Xanthan Gum

Medically reviewed by | By

Update Date 12/05/2020 . 3 mins read

Uses

What is xanthan gum used for?

Xanthan gum is a sugar-like compound made by mixing aged (fermented) sugars with a certain kind of bacteria. It is used to make medicine.

Xanthan gum is used:

In manufacturing, xanthan gum is used as a thickening and stabilizing agent in foods, toothpastes, and medicines. Xanthan gum is also an ingredient in some sustained-release pills.

How does it work?

There are not enough studies about how xanthan gum works. Please discuss with your doctor for more information. However, it is known that xanthan gum swells in the intestine, which stimulates the digestive tract to push stool through. It also might slow the absorption of sugar from the digestive tract and work like saliva to lubricate and wet the mouth in people who don’t produce enough saliva.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using xanthan gum?

Consult with your doctor or pharmacist or herbalist, if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription.
  • You have allergy with any substances of xanthan gum or other medications or other herbs.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

The regulations for xanthan gum are less strict than the regulations for a drug. More studies are needed to determine its safety. The benefits of taking xanthan gum must outweigh the risks before use. Consult with your doctor for more information.

How safe is xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum is safe when up to 15 grams per day are taken.

Special precautions & warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of xanthan gum during pregnancy and 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.

Surgery: Xanthan gum might lower blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using xanthan gum at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Side effects

What kind of side effects may I have from xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum can cause some side effects such as intestinal gas (flatulence) and bloating.

People who are exposed to xanthan gum powder might experience flu-like symptoms, nose and throat irritation, and lung problems.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about side effects, please consult your doctor.

Interactions

What interactions may I have with xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum may interact with your current medications or medical conditions. Consult with your doctor before using.

Products that may interact with xanthan gum include:

  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

Xanthan gum might decrease blood sugar by decreasing the absorption of sugars from food. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking xanthan gum with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor before using this medication.

What is the usual dose for xanthan gum?

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

By mouth:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has set the maximum acceptable intake for xanthan gum as a food additive at 10 mg/kg per day and as a laxative at 15 grams per day. For safety and effectiveness, bulk laxatives such as xanthan gum require extra fluids.

For diabetes: a typical dose is 12 grams per day as an ingredient in muffins.

The dose for this supplement may be different for every patient. The dose that you take depends on your age, health, and several other conditions. Supplements are not always safe. Please discuss with your doctor for your appropriate dosage.

What form does xanthan gum come in?

Xanthan gum may be available in the following dosage forms:

  • Powder

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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