Xanthan GumOther names: Bacterial Polysaccharide, Corn Sugar Gum, Goma Xantana, Gomme de Sucre de Maïs, Gomme de Xanthane, Gomme Xanthane, Polysaccharide Bactérien, Polysaccharide de Type Xanthane, Polysaccharide Xanthane, Xanthan, Xanthomonas campestris.It was discovered during the Great Depression when scientists were looking to improve the conversion of …
Xanthan gum, also known as Bacterial Polysaccharide, Corn Sugar Gum, Goma Xantana, Gomme de Sucre de Maïs, Gomme de Xanthane, Gomme Xanthane, Polysaccharide Bactérien, Polysaccharide de Type Xanthane, Polysaccharide Xanthane, Xanthan, and Xanthomonas campestris (phew, that’s a mouthful!), is a synthetic additive that was discovered during the Great Depression when scientists were desperately trying to find a cheaper and more efficient way to convert corn starch into sugar.
Nowadays, this Frankenfood is used as a stabilizer and thickener in all sorts of products, from ice cream to toothpaste to medicine. But get this – it’s also used in non-drip paint and oil drilling. Talk about versatility!
Xanthan gum is made by fermenting simple sugars with a specific bacteria – Bacterium Xanthomonas campestris. These sugars can come from a variety of sources, including wheat, corn, sugar cane, molasses, soy, and dairy. But good luck figuring out which one was used in your favorite product because federal law doesn’t require manufacturers to disclose that information.
So, should you be worried about consuming Xanthan gum? Well, it depends. If you’re sensitive or allergic to any of the aforementioned sources of simple sugars, or if you have an autoimmune disease, it’s probably best to steer clear. And even if you’re in the clear, you should still limit your intake to 15 grams per day to avoid gas, bloating, and more severe side effects like flu-like symptoms and lung problems.
But let’s be real – if you’re using a laxative that contains Xanthan gum, you might want to reevaluate your diet and lifestyle choices. Sure, Xanthan gum can bulk up your stool, but nutrition is often the key to solving chronic constipation. And let’s not forget that Xanthan gum is a man-made substance – it’s not found in nature.
So, the bottom line is this: avoid Xanthan gum whenever possible, and if you do encounter it, proceed with caution. Or, as the old saying goes, “when in doubt, leave it out!”