Xanthan Gum For Fat Loss?

Xanthan gum is arguably one of the most popular of the food supplements on the market today. Used as an emulsifier and a thickener, Xanthan gum is touted to cause weight loss. Although it has been around since the 1960s, there isn’t really enough evidence to suggest that it indeed helps fat-loss?

Xanthan GumLet us have a closer look at what Xanthan gum is and how, if indeed it does, cause fat-loss.

What is Xanthan gum?

Xanthan gum is produced as a result of the fermentation of corn sugar. Xanthomonas campestris bacteria are held to be responsible for this fermentation. It may also be produced from other sources like wheat and soy.

The sticky, slimy chemical so produced is collected, made to dry and then converted into a fine, white powder to be included into a variety of food products – salad dressings, sauces and ice creams amongst others.

Possible mechanism of action of Xanthan gum to cause fat-loss

Xanthan is a complex carbohydrate – an indigestible fiber, to be precise. One teaspoonful of xanthan gum should ideally contain 7gm of fiber. As we all know, consumption of increased amount of fiber is likely to inhibit the absorption of fat present in ingested food.

Furthermore, presence of xanthan if food allegedly reduces the amount of oil that is absorbed into food during cooking processes, especially frying (Sakhale, Badgujar, Pawar, & Sananse, 2011). Also, the more the amount of xanthan gum in the food products, more likely is the retention of moisture, keeping the food item fresh, Furthermore, the study quoted above also reported that addition of xanthan gum increases the eventual taste and flavour of the dish (Sakhale et al., 2011).

Also, xanthan gum – which forms a part of the group called hydrocolloids – is added to food products to increase shelf-life (Saha & Bhattacharya, 2010). This is so because it is an emulsifier and thickener. For instance, xanthan in ice-cream prevents formation of ice crystal and keeps the product nice and smooth.

Having mentioned the above benefits, it cannot be denied that there isn’t much evidence to the ‘health benefits’ or ‘fat-burning’ abilities of xanthan gum.

Other uses of Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is used in sustained release capsules. This is so because it xanthan is a non-gelling gum and been shown to retard the release of the drug contained within the capsule (Verhoeven, Vervaet, & Remon, 2006; Mughal, Iqbal, & Neau, 2011; Varshosaz, Tavakoli, & Kheirolahi, 2006).

How safe are Xanthan-containing Products?

Although xanthan is considered quite safe for consumption, those with gluten-sensitivity are recommended to observe caution when using food products with xanthan gum in them. The good thing is that if you are in the habit of cooking your own food, there’s a very slim chance of you adding xanthan to your dishes. The only time that you’ve got to be careful is when you are at the grocer’s; it always makes sense to read the food label for presence of xanthan gum.

For those, without any gluten or other food allergies, xanthan should be safe enough for consumption.

Our Verdict on Xanthan Gum for Fat Loss

Although, the health benefits of xanthan gum sound good in theory, there isn’t much evidence that xanthan gum indeed improves heath parameters or causes fat-loss. Under such circumstances, Diet Pills Watchdog finds it pretty difficult to recommend xanthan gum for such purpose

Reference List

  • Mughal, M. A., Iqbal, Z., & Neau, S. H. (2011). Guar gum, xanthan gum, and HPMC can define release mechanisms and sustain release of propranolol hydrochloride. AAPS.PharmSciTech., 12, 77-87.
  • Saha, D. & Bhattacharya, S. (2010). Hydrocolloids as thickening and gelling agents in food: a critical review. J Food Sci.Technol., 47, 587-597.
  • Sakhale, B. K., Badgujar, J. B., Pawar, V. D., & Sananse, S. L. (2011). Effect of hydrocolloids incorporation in casing of samosa on reduction of oil uptake. J Food Sci.Technol., 48, 769-772.
  • Varshosaz, J., Tavakoli, N., & Kheirolahi, F. (2006). Use of hydrophilic natural gums in formulation of sustained-release matrix tablets of tramadol hydrochloride. AAPS.PharmSciTech., 7, E24.
  • Verhoeven, E., Vervaet, C., & Remon, J. P. (2006). Xanthan gum to tailor drug release of sustained-release ethylcellulose mini-matrices prepared via hot-melt extrusion: in vitro and in vivo evaluation. Eur J Pharm.Biopharm., 63, 320-330.

Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.

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2 comments on 'Xanthan Gum For Fat Loss?'

  1. I tried a product (Slimstyles PGX powder) that contained xanthan gum and glucomannan (konjac root) as a blend. I would take 5 grams about 30 minutes before eating. It worked in the sense that it filled me up, making me eat smaller portions. Over the period of a month it even curbed my craving for sweets. Over that month, without exercising, I lost 7 pounds.

    I picked up that product because of the glucomannan. Then, I found a cheaper product that was only glucomannan, so I switched. It definitely didn’t have the same affect. After taking it and even after eating I would feel hungry. So I think it was the combination of the two.

    Before going back to the more expensive product, I decided to buy xanthan gum to mix with the glucomannan and make my own supplement to see if it works. Hopefully it will work. I just wish I knew their ratio.