Overview

Xanthan gum is a chain of sugar building blocks made by fermenting simple sugars with a specific kind of bacteria. It is sometimes used to make medicine.

Xanthan gum is used for diabetes, constipation, dry eye, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.

In manufacturing, xanthan gum is used as a thickening and stabilizing agent in foods, toothpastes, and medicines.

How does it work ?

Xanthan gum swells in the intestine, which stimulates the intestine to push stool through. It also seems to slow the absorption of sugar from the digestive tract.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Possibly Effective for

  • Constipation. Xanthan gum seems to reduce constipation.
  • Trouble swallowing. Xanthan gum seems to improve swallowing and reduce the risk of aspirating food.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Diabetes. Using xanthan gum in muffins seems to slow the increase in blood sugar in people with diabetes.
  • An autoimmune disorder in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are damaged (Sjogren syndrome). Applying xanthan gum into the mouth seems to work like saliva in people with this condition.
  • Dry eye.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Other conditions.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Xanthan gum is LIKELY SAFE in the amounts found in foods. It is also LIKELY SAFE when taken as a medicine in doses up to 15 grams per day. It can cause some side effects such as intestinal gas and bloating.

When applied to the skin: Xanthan gum is LIKELY SAFE when used appropriately.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Xanthan gum is LIKELY SAFE in the amounts found in foods. It is also LIKELY SAFE when taken as a medicine in doses up to 15 grams per day. It can cause some side effects such as intestinal gas and bloating.

When applied to the skin: Xanthan gum is LIKELY SAFE when used appropriately. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if xanthan gum is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using amounts larger than those normally found in foods.

Nausea, vomiting, appendicitis, hard stools that are difficult to expel (fecal impaction), narrowing or blockage of the intestine, or undiagnosed stomach pain: Do not use xanthan gum if you have any of these conditions. It is a bulk-forming laxative that could be harmful in these situations.

Interactions ?

    Minor Interaction

    Be watchful with this combination

  • Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs) interacts with XANTHAN GUM

    Taking xanthan gum at the same time as medications that you take by mouth can affect how much medication your body absorbs. Take xanthan gum 30-60 minutes after taking medications by mouth.

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
  • For constipation: Up to 15 grams per day has been used.
View References

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.