Guar gum is a long-chain carbohydrate (A Complex carbohydrate made up of long chains of single sugar units) used to thicken and bind foods.
Guar gum is high in fiber and has been associated with a multitude of health benefits. One study showed that it reduced symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as bloating and constipation. (US National Library of Medicine-National Institutes of Health).
A review of three studies also found that people who took guar gum along with a meal had increased feelings of fullness and ate fewer calories from snacking throughout the day (US National Library of Medicine-National Institutes of Health).
Other research suggests that guar gum may also help lower levels of blood sugar and cholesterol (US National Library of Medicine-National Institutes of Health).
A word of caution here, high amounts of guar gum may have adverse effects on health, because it can swell 10 to 20 times its size, potentially causing issues like obstruction of the esophagus or small intestine. Guar gum may also cause mild symptoms like gas, bloating or cramps in some people (US National Library of Medicine-National Institutes of Health).
In moderation, guar gum is generally considered safe. The FDA has set strict guidelines on how much guar gum can be added to foods to minimize the risk of negative side effects.
Review: Guar gum is a long-chain carbohydrate used to thicken and bind foods. It has been associated with better digestive health, lower levels of blood sugar and cholesterol, as well as increased feelings of fullness.
Xanthan gum is a common additive that’s used to thicken and stabilize many types of food such as salad dressings, soups, syrups and sauces. It’s also sometimes used in gluten-free recipes to help improve the texture of foods.
Xanthan gum has been associated with several health benefits.
One study found that consuming rice with added xanthan gum resulted in lower levels of blood sugar than consuming rice without it. Another study also found that eating xanthan gum for six weeks reduced levels of blood sugar and cholesterol, plus increased feelings of fullness (US National Library of Medicine-National Institutes of Health).
However, recent research on the potential benefits of xanthan gum is still limited.
Furthermore, consuming large amounts of xanthan gum may also be linked to digestive problems, such as increased stool output, gas and soft stools (US National Library of Medicine-National Institutes of Health).
For most people, xanthan gum is generally safe and well tolerated. If you do experience negative symptoms after eating xanthan gum, it’s best to reduce your intake or consider eliminating it from your diet.
Review: Xanthan gum may help reduce levels of blood sugar and cholesterol. In large amounts, it may cause digestive issues like gas and soft stools.
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