Xanthan gum
Xanthan gum


Xanthan gum is a chain of sugar building blocks made by fermenting simple sugars with a specific kind of bacteria. It is sometimes used to make medicine.

Xanthan gum is used for diabetes, constipation, dry eye, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.

In manufacturing, xanthan gum is used as a thickening and stabilizing agent in foods, toothpastes, and medicines.
When taken by mouth: Xanthan gum is LIKELY SAFE in the amounts found in foods. It is also LIKELY SAFE when taken as a medicine in doses up to 15 grams per day. It can cause some side effects such as intestinal gas and bloating.

When applied to the skin: Xanthan gum is LIKELY SAFE when used appropriately.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if xanthan gum is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using amounts larger than those normally found in foods.

Nausea, vomiting, appendicitis, hard stools that are difficult to expel (fecal impaction), narrowing or blockage of the intestine, or undiagnosed stomach pain: Do not use xanthan gum if you have any of these conditions. It is a bulk-forming laxative that could be harmful in these situations.


NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
  • Constipation. Xanthan gum seems to reduce constipation.
  • Trouble swallowing. Xanthan gum seems to improve swallowing and reduce the risk of aspirating food.
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions
  • Diabetes. Using xanthan gum in muffins seems to slow the increase in blood sugar in people with diabetes.
  • An autoimmune disorder in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are damaged (Sjogren syndrome). Applying xanthan gum into the mouth seems to work like saliva in people with this condition.
  • Dry eye.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Other conditions.

Dosing & administration

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

  • For constipation: Up to 15 grams per day has been used.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Taking xanthan gum at the same time as medications that you take by mouth can affect how much medication your body absorbs. Take xanthan gum 30-60 minutes after taking medications by mouth.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.


Xanthan gum swells in the intestine, which stimulates the intestine to push stool through. It also seems to slow the absorption of sugar from the digestive tract.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 26/07/2022 20:01:47 and last updated on 23/12/2020 03:47:17. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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