I hope everyone had a really good Thursday. I did. My middle granddaughter is staying with me for a while and we are having a really nice visit.
I know that everyone is now reading the ingredients list on their grocery items. Have you noticed xanthan gum listed on anything? Have you also noticed it is listed on LOTS of things? So, what the heck is it?
“Xanthan gum is the result of the mixing of corn sugar and a bacteria called Xanthomonas Campestris. It is used in many recipes as a thickening agent and as a replacement for gluten in many gluten/wheat free recipes.” (http://www.theglutenfreelife.com/xanthanguar-gum/”
Perhaps you have noticed it on the shelves of your local grocery? It comes in a powder form and looks a lot like flour. It is often used in place of gluten to thicken products and to make products smoother.
Ok, it is made from “natural” ingredients but other than making things thicker or smoother, are there other benefits? Dr. Axe says yes:
“Are there any health benefits?” Well yes, there are! While very few in number, some research studies have actually uncovered that xanthan gum may have substantial health benefits. According to a 2009 article published in the journal International Immunopharmacology, for example, xanthan gum was shown to have cancer-fighting properties. This study evaluated the oral administration of xanthan gum and discovered that it “significantly retarded tumor growth and prolonged survival” of mice inoculated with melanoma cells. Xanthan gum based thickeners were also recently found to help oropharyngeal dysphagia patients swallow because of increased viscosity. This is a condition where people have a difficulty emptying food into the esophagus because of abnormalities in muscle or nerves. Common in stroke victims, this use can help people considerably because it can help aspiration. Interestingly, this increased viscosity can help keep blood spikes to a minimum when xanthan gum is mixed with fruit juice. (10) In addition to these few studies, some Internet sources claim that xanthan gum is good for the skin and hair.” (https://draxe.com/what-is-xanthan-gum/)
Actually there are also many industrial uses for xanthan gum because of the viscosity of the gel it makes. But there is no need to worry about that (Dr. Axe says). You would have to consume more than 15 grams of xanthan gum daily to make it hazardous. And no one gets even close to that number.
OK, this is where I will leave you to your own research. As for me, I am going to watch out for the number of items that I consume with xanthan gum as an ingredient. I will try to avoid it whenever possible but you make your own call. After all, it’s your body and you have to decide what is safe for you to ingest.
By for now and I’ll talk to you later. 🙂