Xanthan Gum Side Effects


Xanthan gum is a food and medical additive with bulk-forming qualities. The product was discovered in the 1960s by the Department of Agriculture during research of biopolymers. The side effects are not severe when used properly according dosage directions.


  • Xanthan gum is created through the mixture of fermented sugar and certain bacteria. It is similar to cellulose, with additional trisacharides. The resulting product is a gel that is slimy in appearance.


  • Xanthan gum is used in the production of medicine and also as a gluten-free food additive. It creates a bulk-type laxative used in the treatment of constipation. In foods it is used as a thickening agent and fat substitute to produce a full feeling. Xanthan gum lowers blood sugar and cholesterol in diabetic patients, according to WebMD.com.

Side Effects

  • Side effects of xanthan gum include excessive gas production and bloating. Exposure to the powder may cause lung and breathing problems along with flu-like symptoms.


  • Do not use xanthan gum if you are pregnant or nursing a child. It is also not recommended for patients with appendicitis, intestinal stenosis or blockage of the bowel. Xanthan gum is a bulk laxative and requires additional water intake to prevent problems.

Intake Amount

  • The World Health Organization lists 15 grams a day as the safe maximum dose of xanthan gum. Diabetic patients should limit their consumption to 12 grams a day.

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