Xanthum gum is synthetic food additive that’s being used in various products as a thickening and stabilizing agent. It is as a result of the fermentation of sugar by a bacteria called Xanthomonas campestris. It is actually soluble fiber hence doesn’t produce any calories on digestion.
Its distinct property has made it a common ingredient in almost everything today. These include cosmetics, baked foods, ice creams, jams, jellies, sauces, medicines, salad dressings, toothpaste, yogurt and much more. It can enhance the consistency, texture and shelf life of foods. It even prevents foods or cosmetics from being subjected to temperature changes.
Ways Xanthum Gum Benefits Your Health
Xanthum gum can be beneficial to you in the following ways.
1. Lowers High Blood Sugar
Scientific studies cloam that individuals who consumed xanthum gum in large doses showed a marked reduction in blood sugar levels. It reacts with digestive fluids to become a gel-like substance that cannot be easily digested. Therefore a sudden spike in blood sugar levels also doesn’t happen.1
Even people who consumed baked foods containing xanthum gum had lower blood sugar level than those who didn’t have xanthum.2
2. Decreases Serum Cholesterol
Researchers have found that among individuals who suffer from hypercholesterolemia, high cholesterol levels, xanthum intake can be very helpful. Regular consumption leads to a significant reduction in high cholesterol levels.3
3. Promotes Weight Loss
For people who have recently started a weight loss regime, the intensity of cravings will be high. Studies claim that having foods with xanthum is a great way to make you feel full for longer periods. The fiber content in it keeps it in the stomach for long and leads to slow digestion.
4. Improves Bowel Movement
If you are suffering from constipation and irregular bowel movements, adding xanthum in your diet can relieve it. It can soften stools, make them bulkier and regulate the movements of your large intestine.4
5. Improves Chewing And Swallowing
Dry mouth can arise in the elderly or as a side effect of chemotherapy. The absence of saliva makes swallowing food very difficult. Most of them start following a liquid diet for the sake of nutrition. If the liquids are too watery adding xanthum to them can make them the right consistency to swallow.
6. Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
It has the potential to fight the overgrowth of cancer cells. But only a minimal amount of scientific studies are available to support this property of xanthum.5
Despite its health benefits make sure that you don’t consume it more than 20 gm in a day. Excess intake can lead to severe digestive distress. It’s one of the safest food additives, present in very small quantities in most foods. It doesn’t pose any health risk unless it’s consumed in excess.
|↑1||Fabek, Hrvoje, Stefanie Messerschmidt, Valentin Brulport, and H. Douglas Goff. “The effect of in vitro digestive processes on the viscosity of dietary fibers and their influence on glucose diffusion.” Food Hydrocolloids 35 (2014): 718-726.|
|↑2||Osilesi, Odutola, David L. Trout, Esther E. Glover, Sarah M. Harper, E. T. Koh, Kay M. Behall, Thomas M. O’Dorisio, and June Tartt. “Use of xanthan gum in dietary management of diabetes mellitus.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 42, no. 4 (1985): 597-603.|
|↑3||Eastwood, M. A., W. G. Brydon, and D. M. W. Anderson. “The dietary effects of xanthan gum in man.” Food Additives & Contaminants 4, no. 1 (1987): 17-26.|
|↑4||Daly, J., J. Tomlin, and N. W. Read. “The effect of feeding xanthan gum on colonic function in man: correlation with in vitro determinants of bacterial breakdown.” British Journal of Nutrition 69, no. 3 (1993): 897-902.|
|↑5||Takeuchi, Ario, Yoriyuki Kamiryou, Hisakata Yamada, Masatoshi Eto, Kensuke Shibata, Kennichi Haruna, Seiji Naito, and Yasunobu Yoshikai. “Oral administration of xanthan gum enhances antitumor activity through Toll-like receptor 4.” International immunopharmacology 9, no. 13 (2009): 1562-1567.|