Harmful or Harmless: Guar Gum, Locust Bean Gum, and More | Chris Kresser

Harmful or Harmless: Guar Gum, Locust Bean Gum, and More

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guar gum, what is guar gum
How concerned should you be with guar gum listed on the food label? iStock.com/Minerva Studio

So far in this series on additives, I’ve discussed magnesium stearate, soy lecithin, carrageenan, and xanthan gum. These are the most common food additives found in processed foods, especially in processed “health” foods, and many health conscious shoppers have been unnecessarily concerned about avoiding some of the less harmful substances I covered in this series.

In this final installment, I’ll review an assortment of gums that are often found either alongside or replacing xanthan gum and carrageenan in processed foods, acting as thickeners, stabilizers, or emulsifiers.

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Guar Gum

I talked briefly about guar gum awhile back in my unexpectedly controversial article on coconut milk, but I’ll give you a bit more detail here. Unlike xanthan gum, which is a product of bacterial fermentation, guar gum is derived from an actual food: the guar bean, or Indian cluster bean, which grows primarily in India and Pakistan. They look similar to green beans, and are a common vegetable dish in the areas in which they grow.

Find out how gums used in processed foods can affect your health.

The physiological effects of guar gum have been extensively studied, first on animals and then on humans. In rats, the only significant effects from guar gum supplementation were reduced body weight and lower blood glucose, even with guar gum making up 15% of the diet (over 100 times the FDA Acceptable Daily Intake). (1) Because guar gum is a soluble fiber, neither of these effects is particularly surprising. Other animal studies conducted to test the safety of guar gum concluded that it is not carcinogenic or teratogenic (harmful to growing fetuses). (2, 3, 4)

Because the animal studies showed no harm even at very high doses, guar gum is now being studied in humans as a therapeutic tool for reducing blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Studies have shown guar gum supplementation to be effective for reducing fasting blood glucose, improving glycemic control, reducing insulin requirements in insulin-dependent diabetics, and reducing LDL cholesterol, although whether these effects could be maintained long-term is uncertain. (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

Unfortunately, these studies do report gastrointestinal side effects such as increased gas. In one study where subjects were given 21g of guar gum per day for 3 months, two participants dropped out due to excessive gas and abdominal discomfort. (11)

Although 21g per day is far more guar gum than anyone would reasonably encounter in their diet, even small amounts could cause unpleasant symptoms in those with sensitive digestive systems, and I’ve had patients with gut issues improve after removing guar gum from their diet. With that in mind, I think it makes sense to avoid guar gum if you have gut issues, like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or IBS, unless you’ve removed it and added it back in without noticing any harmful effects.

Locust Bean Gum

Locust bean gum, also known as carob bean gum, is derived from the seeds of the carob tree. During a two-year animal study, rats were given locust bean gum as 5% of their diet, and no carcinogenic or other toxic effects were observed. (12)

Similar to guar gum, locust bean gum has also been studied in humans as a potential cholesterol-lowering compound. (13) Normal subjects and subjects with familial hypercholesterolemia were given between 8 and 30 grams per day of locust bean gum for 8 weeks, resulting in reduced total cholesterol and an improved HDL to LDL ratio. Participants did report increased gas, but it went away after a week or two, and no other harmful effects were reported.

I think the same recommendation I gave for guar gum applies here: if you have gut issues, it would probably be best to avoid locust bean gum. Otherwise, I see no indication that it will cause harm.

Gum Arabic

Gum arabic is derived from the sap of the acacia tree. Under FDA regulations, gum arabic is given an Acceptable Daily Intake level of ‘not specified,’ which is assigned to additives with little or no observed toxic potential. Animal studies have shown that it is not carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic, and even at very high doses, the animals did not display any effects of toxicity. (14, 15)

In a small human study, 5 healthy men were given 25g of gum arabic per day for three weeks, and no side effects were reported. (16) In fact, gum arabic had very little effect on the participants, positive or negative, aside from a modest reduction in serum cholesterol and an increase in breath hydrogen.

The increased breath hydrogen indicates metabolism by intestinal bacteria, which has been confirmed by more recent studies on the prebiotic properties of gum arabic. A study using healthy human volunteers found that gum arabic acts as a powerful prebiotic, selectively stimulating the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. (17) The study authors concluded that gum arabic is at least as effective a prebiotic as inulin, if not more so. Many of you are probably aware that inulin is sold as a prebiotic supplement, so that’s pretty significant!

Based on the available research, gum arabic seems pretty benign, even for those with gut issues. I certainly wouldn’t be concerned about consuming small amounts of it, although as always, be aware of your individual tolerance.

Tara Gum

Like guar gum and locust bean gum, tara gum is derived from the endosperm of a legume. Tara gum is a relatively new food additive so there’s less data on it, but it has been thoroughly studied for toxic effects in animals. Researchers conducted multiple 90-day trials in rats, mice, and beagles with tara gum as 5% of the diet, and found no adverse effects other than decreased body weight in the experimental groups. (18) Three-generation reproductive rat studies and genotoxicity studies found no harmful effects of tara gum. (19) In 2-year trials, the experimental groups had more tumors than the control groups, but due to the “high spontaneous incidence” of this particular tumor and the fact that nearly all of the control mice developed the tumor as well, researchers concluded that this was not a result of the tara gum supplementation. (20)

I’m slightly more skeptical of tara gum compared with the other gums because the toxicity results are less conclusive. Also, while all of the other gums have been tested on humans, tara gum has not. That doesn’t mean it’s not safe, because the available evidence indicates it is; it just means we don’t have as much to go on, and it’s always good to be cautious of new food additives.

Gellan Gum

Gellan gum is similar to xanthan gum in that it is an exopolysaccharide produced by bacterial fermentation. Unfortunately, the routine animal toxicity studies conducted for new food additives aren’t available online, but we do have a human study to look at. To test the safety of gellan gum, the diets of ten volunteers were supplemented with gellan gum at approximately 30 times the level of normal dietary exposure for 23 days. (21) Gellan gum acted as a bulking agent similar to xanthan gum, but no adverse effects were reported. However, a rat study with gellan gum supplemented at 5% of the diet for 4 weeks resulted in abnormalities in intestinal microvilli, which is concerning. (22)

This rat study, as well as the lack of data overall, makes me cautious, and I think those with sensitive guts should avoid it just to be on the safe side. For everyone else, I doubt the small amounts found in food will cause a problem, but it might be best to avoid it if possible.

Conclusion

As a general rule, gums can be problematic for those with digestive issues simply because they’re mostly indigestible, but it’s very unlikely any of them will actually cause harm. Of course it’s ideal to avoid food additives altogether, but I know it’s not realistic for everyone to prepare all food from scratch, and unless you have digestive issues or a sensitivity to certain gums, I don’t think it’s necessary.

Because I’ve covered a lot of different additives with similar applications (primarily thickening or emulsifying), I’ll try to rank them for you. Let’s say you’re buying some almond milk, and there are a bunch of different brands that use different additives. First, do your best to avoid carrageenan. As I mentioned in the article, the concerns have been largely overblown, but it definitely shows the highest potential for harm among the additives we’ve discussed, and with all of the choices available to us, it should be pretty easy to find a brand that doesn’t use it.

Next, I would avoid tara and gellan gums, not because they appear to be harmful, but because we have less information on them.

I’d probably rank guar gum above xanthan gum because it’s derived from a food instead of a bacterial exopolysaccharide, and it isn’t produced using common food allergens. Locust bean gum is probably on about the same level as guar gum, although based on the available studies, the gut symptoms associated with locust bean gum appear to be less severe.

Gum arabic seems the least likely to create digestive symptoms, and it even stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria, so out of all the gums, it appears to be the least problematic.

Finally, just remember that the overall quality of your diet is far more important than how well you avoid these additives. Luckily, the two correlate pretty well!

229 Comments

Join the conversation

  1. I’m very sensitive to carob bean/locust bean gum. It gives me bladder infection like symptoms and causes frequent urge to urinate (whether or not I actually have to pee). Before I realized what it was, I was sometimes getting up 8 – 10 times a night to go to the bathroom, sometimes more! I was falling asleep all the time during the day. It took a couple of months of not eating carob bean gum in anything for the symptoms to go away completely. I avoid it like the plague now. As others have noted, it’s in everything, though, so I mostly eat fresh cooked food at home and avoid most everything packaged.

    For other people with allergies and sensitivities: don’t just read labels, read them every time you buy the product. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of eating something I knew I could trust just to suffer from symptoms and then find out they had changed their recipe. 🙁

  2. Thank you for a well balanced commentary. I arrived here because I am reverting to my earlier practice of making my own yogurt, and seeking a better approach to a thicker version, I checked the ingredient list on my favorite organic yogurt. Your column has been very helpful. I began reading comments because I frequently find additional useful information from other readers. What I have gleaned from the comments on this site is as follows: 1) I reaffirm once again that I am very grateful that I have no allergies to anything. 2) People really need to find some means for self-affirmation other than attacking other people. We all have our short-comings and it does not make anything better if you are constantly poised to point out those of others. 3) As I grow older, I have an increasingly lower threshold for tolerance of negativity and people belittling others. I have not read all the available comments on this really nice article because of too much nastiness.

  3. Thanks Chris. These gums are poison to my daughter who developed GI issues from her soy allergy. My daughter recently started to become sick again complaining about naucious was and pain in her esophagus and stomach. Turns out that one of her main stay foods, brown cow yogurt started adding locust bean gum. We stopped the yogurt and the discomfort and stopped.

    Most “natural” foods make her I’ll. We can’t buy anything at whole foods. All this “healthy” food is dangerous. Now the safe foods are potato chips and Fritos.

    Thanks Chris. Your research is great

    • Gregg. I feel sorry for your daughter that you consider potato chips and Fritos safe foods. They are nothing but pure junk foods with almost zero nutritional value.

      • um, i think it was meant as sarcasm…..? i guess some don’t share the same sense of humor. i took it as such.

      • actually it’s quite possible that some people would be less allergic or sensitive to highly synthetic foods if that person has many natural allergies to things that are grown out of the ground. I am very allergic to wheat but I am not allergic the chewing gum.

  4. I have been diagnosed w/IBS. I am a 74 y.o. white female, in otherwise fair health (osteoporosis, now osteopenia). I am looking primarily for ways to avoid the continuous upsets to my digestive health by better understanding what can cause them . I am working to better incorporate the low-FODMAP diet which I believe is helpful as is a product called ibGard, anOTC treatment for IBS. The gastroenterologist who dx the IBS said the 2 things that exaserbate IBS are stress & fresh restaurant food, (salads, fruit) due to the preservatives widely used in restaurant kitchens. “Your gut has no idea what to do w/preservatives.” Apparently fresh foods are sprayed w/preservatives in many restaurants. I now buy only organic.

    • I was diagnosed with IBS w/ diarrhea. It was making my life hell. My doctor prescribed me a med that I was to take everyday for the rest of my life and I was only 24 at the time! I am not into taking any type of meds (I didn’t even use an epidural when I had my son). Thank God I was dating a vegan at the time of the dx who suggested I stop eating meat. It was close to Jan 1st so I made it my New Years resolution and the results were a 180!!!! 8 years later now and I recently began eating chicken sparingly but those symptoms NEVER returned

      • I was diagnosed with IBS which in turn was ulcerative colitis, I was due surgery in 8 months – I went to a naturopath and cut out anything in my diet that was or turned into sugar (carbs, wheat, rice, carrots, onions, sweet potaotes, starches, garlic, anything fried, chips etc) it was hard, but I stuck it out for 8 months eating healthy proteins and lots and lots of greens along with fish oil, probiotics and vitamin D. I went back for the colonoscopy and the top doctor thought he had the wrong chart (even scolded the nurse), turns out he didn’t have the wrong chart and I had reversed my symptoms with the best medicine ever – FOOD! If you commit yourself to your health you can do it too! It’s amazing!!

    • Hi Ann,

      What did you do to turn around osteoporosis to osteopenia? Please inform me as I would like to do the same. Thank you.

  5. Im am extremely sensitive to gums. It took me 2 yrs to find out these fillers were poison to me. I dont know if this has to do with my fibro, migraine, sibo, or all of the above, but I cannot eat anything with gums or I get terrible vertigo. Its a travesty how many foods now contain these fillers. Its in almost everything that is vegan or gluten free and in all tortillas, most coconut milks, and even gourment made sushi rolls. Ugh. I think we are going to see more senstivities to these substances in the future, but people will think its the food they are eating.

    • I have intestinal problems and a lot of food intolerances as a result. I can’t drink ordinary milk so I started drinking almond milk. Well, I started getting ill so I switched to hazelnut milk. Well, I started getting ill again. I thought it was my condition.

      Last night, Christmas, I slowly worked my way through a carton of hazelnut milk. After I finished I lazily read the carton. What is locust bean gum? What is gellan gum? I looked it up, found this website. I had a shock. I shouldn’t be consuming this. I feel such a fool for not knowing. I so carefully check ingredients. I also had a few chocolates I thought I could eat. Guar gum? I feel a total imbecile.

      So, yesterday, abdominal pain, loads of diarrhoea in the early hours of the morning. I have to be so careful. How can I make a mistake like this? I just didn’t know until now.

    • Hi Margie,

      I have dealt with Migraines since I was young. I know one trigger is Guar Gum, the second is Xanthan Gum. Guar causes much more pain and length of migraine. Xanthan seems to take more build up in my system before causing a Migraine.

  6. I’m a chef. The only reason for adding these gums to anything, say ice cream for example, is to s t r e t c h the ingredients and lower cost. These gums cost only a few dollars per ton verses
    the cost of real milk or cream.

    For people with gluten intolerance, you certainly want to avoid these gums. They can clog the microvilli in your intestines.
    Flours can be milled to almost any protein and gluten level. For example good pizza flour has a high gluten
    content but cake flour has very little gluten.
    If you make a loaf of bread out of cake flour, it will fall apart in your hand because cake flour has almost no gluten in it.
    For those baked goods, you have to add a gelling agent like egg whites, etc.
    Never gum.
    A good miller can probably supply you with wheat flour having almost no gluten in it if you ask for it.
    Again you will have to “fix” this flour for it to be usable in baking. For gravies or sauces it should be fine as is.

    • Thank you Al Schrader! I avoid him additives on general principal, and because my son is allergic to all guns. They caused anaphylactic shock when he was elementary school age.

      I thought gums were only being added as thickened. But now I can see it’s all about increasing profits, driven by greed. Gums make icecream and yogurt taste less good, just so the makers can increase their bottom line! This is wrong.

      Consumers should demand gum-free food.

  7. You say some gums are indigestible. What does the body do with the Gum, store it as fat, or release it through bile???
    ?

    • If your gut is compromised, it’ll slip into your bloodstream and trigger an autoimmune response.
      I didn’t know I had Celiac until I was 50. Like most Americans I would say to the GI doc, “hey–eating xyz gives me the runs, have you got a pill so I can KEEP eating xyz?” 100 years ago, if something you ate sent you to the outhouse every time, you’d say to YOURSELF, I’d better NOT EAT xyz! Right?
      But nope, I had to get crazy sick before I figured out the MD had it right…. My late father grew up on a ranch but they grew wheat too. When they introduced what he said was “Red Dwarf Wheat” a hybrid, he said, he developed horrible GI symptoms. So his brother back on the family ranch planted NON-hybrid wheat and shipped it to us 1000 miles away. My mom ground it and we baked EVERY DAY. But after he and my uncle died, my cousin thought we were nuts to want that wheat. He now has Celiac too.

      • Very interesting! Our wheat is not as it used to be. My Mother who is from Europe ate wheat her whole life because it was pure and not adultered by Monsanto. What a sin we cannot eat wheat anymore due to the GMO effect.

        • All non-organic wheat may say non-gmo verified, but it was probably sprayed with round-up to kill it just before harvest.

          • They also started adding Folic Acid to all grains about the same time they re-engineered wheat. A large portion of the population has a MTHFR gene variant which affects how the body processes Folic Acid, which should not be confused with Folate.

            I can tolerate some gums, not others. Took me a long time to figure out that as a celiac with a latex allergy I was reacting to latex cross-reactive foods including acacia which is gum arabic.

            • My daughter has the MTHFR gene (drs nickname it “Monday Thursday Friday” for good reason – ha!) so I avoid anything that says “enriched” as well as multivitamins that also contain synthetic vitamins that many people can’t process and can build to toxic levels. It’s not an easy task to avoid this stuff. It means I have to read every single ingredient list in the store, while others just cruise down the aisles grabbing whatever without reading. Meanwhile, pregnant women are still being encouraged to gorge on folic acid supplements which I have read can block the folate receptors. I think by the next generation people will finally realize the link between food additives/synthetic nutrients and developmental disorders such as autism and adhd.

  8. There is a prebiotic called Perfect Pass Prebiotic that contains PHGG, partially hydrolyzed guar gum which is ‘broken down with natural enzymes into the ideal molecular size and the perfect food for your beneficial microbes’. It claims to be guaranteed to have no side effects and does not feed the bad bacteria.

    I would welcome opinions on this product!

    • I wonder why this product would use Guar Gum instead of Arabic Gum since that is the only gum that seems to have any benefits whatsoever, including prebiotic properties.

  9. Hello, I have been increasing my intake with Almond Milk Original brand and drinking more coffee – I’m using a french vanilla creamer as well. However, I keep getting severe bloating – it looks like I just ate a Thanksgiving meal! Also, I am experiencing a lot of gas. Also, when I was younger I was lactose intolerant but I grew out of it and have no stomach pain when consuming diary. Is the dairy what is causing me to bloat? Do you have any suggestions for things to consume that may help with the bloating? Thank you!

  10. Gellum gum, like xanthan and guar is a beta 1to4 O glugoside,
    as is lactose, pectin and phlrorizin to name a few, if one is lacking the Beta 1to 4 O glycosidase often called lactase then all these products will ferment in the gut and cause unusual lavage as well as gastric reflux if used in excess, diahrrea is common as symptom of lack of the enzyme as well as flatulence.

  11. Are there any ingredients I can use in gluten free bread to bind things together (IE what guar gum and other gums do), which don’t cause stomach discomfort and gas?

    I absolutely LOVE bread but I’m trying to heal a leaky gut, so need to stay clear of gluten. Help! 😉

  12. After much research a recent found book written by Dr. Russell Blaylock, called ‘Excitotoxins’ has given me so much information that I now understand by so many people have similar reactions to food additives. As the research has revealed foods like carrageenan and nutrisweet act similarly in the brain and gut. Since our gut is called our second brain due to its numerous nerve endings the correlation stands to reason. I read one bloggers response about the reaction being the same to both. The doctor informed that msg has been added to carrageenan causing the same reaction. Flavor enhancers are used constantly and called by different names in order to deceive us. Since the thickeners of all sorts are beyond our control, who’s to say that this is not true in every case. I am a nutritional analyst and have been able to test whether any food or food product are beneficial for us. We will always be deceived by those who wish to line their pockets. So I will always say go back to basics and know what you put in your mouths

    • No one ever mentions panic attacks which in my case began as benign shakiness soon after eating some kinds of meals and oddly enough fast food milk shakes. Over years it evolved into the full blown reaction and nearly daily , with the shakes, heart rate of 120’s with chest discomfort productive cough with wheeze , and bowel movements also evolving from loose to at the last resembling cholera-like water and gas…time lasting went from hour to half day…sipping Pedialyte helped the calming…..finally an overnight ER visit after a 3 day period of repeating hours long attacks culminating with hours of severe dysrythmia, I was sent home with no diagnosis as symptoms disappeared after 10 hours. My nutrition savvy daughter diagnosed me by long distance phone call that early morning with gastritis. She said my symptoms were due to a highly irritated vagus nerve and she prescribed a white diet: milk, eggs, rice and boiled meat, starchy veggies like squash and baby fruit. No coffee or stimulating drinks…apple juice….that EE visit was my last panic attack after I began the prescribed diet and gluten free bread, but that week had a short lived almost attack, and read the ingredients of a new brand of gluten free cracker. There it was: xanthum gum. Since then I have sampled out to include carrageenen, and others and found even a mouthful of carrageenen content food starts the early symptoms of this panic condition. Otherwise I am now regular with firm stool, no tachycardia or respiratory signs after eating but have had threats after eating unexpected gums in what always seemingly benign foods, but nothing full blown….I was headed for treatment with beta blockers or psychotropic drugs for my “anxiety”, a falsely derived diagnosis offered in the ER. Now I am in my 3rd month of living carefully but well as I have not been for years. And the gums are everywhere like a plague even as folk are dealing with IBS, asthma, panic attacks, and the young are being affected because these are not an instant problem but will be in the future. I have just bought a breadmaker and will be eating gluten free bread for now but amazingly most glutenfree baking flours have gums so I have stocked plain flours and will create my own. Engaging shoppers at local groceries I have been amazed how many report their own problems with panic attacks and GI too , theirs or family….so I share my experience and results….it cannot hurt to try this new way of eating because as I tell these folk, if there is no improvement then the gums and perhaps the gluten are not the problem. PS Just look at the label on those expensive natural breads: gums and cellulose, carrageenan, inulin, and hold on to your hats, datum…and in all the nutrition and protein drinks too. I hope my expetience helps someone.

      • Would you please provide your gluten free bread recipe. I also suffer from panic attacks, and I have a bread maker but seldom use it. Thank you.

  13. I didn’t really care much about all the gums in the ingredients until I started to dring Silk Almond milk which contains Gellan Gum and Locust Bean Gum. I had diarrhea immediately after consuming about two cups of Almond milk in the morning and it lasted for about 5 hours.
    I switched from regular milk to almond milk and now I guess I have to take all types of milk out of my food intake…which is sad.
    All the chemicals used in food and cosmetics, etc…are really sickening.

    • Almond milk is Very easy to make and tastes delicious!
      Check web for recipes- should be water & almonds & a dash of vanilla or salt if you like, nothing more is necessary! If you blanch and peel the Almonds (skin slips off easily), it makes the almond mik rich and creamy!

  14. From Livestrong.com: “A study in rats published in ‘International Journal of Cancer’ in 2002 illustrated that high levels of guar gum exacerbated colon cancer risk. Although there have been correlation studies in humans, there have not been any complete clinical trials in humans to examine this possible impact. If you have any history of colon cancer in your family, you should be cautious when consuming large amounts of guar gum.”

  15. I am also allergic to guar gum. I suspect I have had this allergy for my entire life, but recently discovered it after spending 2.5 weeks in Belize and Guatemala last February and March. I ate freely there and felt better than I have ever felt before! When I returned home to the states, the symptoms came back after eating: nausea, diarrhea, gas, dehydration, and occasionally constipation. The reaction occurs within 15 minutes of ingesting guar gum and can last for hours. I eliminated all of the major allergens out of my diet to discover guar gum has been the culprit this entire time. There is no reason why we need a substance used for fracking in our food. If Guatemalans can eat well without guar gum in their food, so can we.

    I am sick of letting guar gum make me miserable. I contacted the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) this afternoon to file a complaint against this additive. I highly recommend all of you allergic to guar gum to do the same. If we ban together, we can eliminate this from our food. Here is the link to file a complaint with the FDA’s CFSAN: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CFSAN/ContactCFSAN/default.htm

    • I am also Allergic to Guar Gum and now it seems Gellan Gum too. I get lesions on me, whenever I eat anything with Guar Gum in it. It started when I found out I had celiac disease 3 years ago. I started baking all my own breads and buying gluten free products and they all have a lot of Guar Gum. I was adding a lot of it and Xanthum Gum to my baking. My dermatologist thought it was Herpes, then my Crohns, then Shingles. He didn’t have a clue and I didn’t have any of those, but I do have hundreds of food and chemical allergies. I kept asking if it could be an allergy. It was so painful and I would get the lesions for weeks. He said that allergies NEVER cause sores or lesions. IDIOT. I finally figured out that it was the Guar Gum and as soon as I cut out the Guar Gum, I stopped having the lesion outbreaks, until I would accidentally get ahold of Guar Gum (CREAM CHEESE) I would never think cream cheese had it, but I check everything now. I never buy shredded cheese, because they even slip it in that sometimes too and all ice cream has it. I make my own ice cream out of frozen bananas and fruit. Well, I love Almond & Cashew Milk, but I couldn’t drink the Blue Diamond, because of the Guar Gum they put in theirs. I was drinking the Silk Cashew & Almond Milks. Actually, just putting them on my cereal and mixing them in my powdered peanut butter and a little in my smoothies. Then, I saw that ALDI had Unsweetened Almond Milk for $2.29. Good price and No Guar Gum. Got home, drank a glass. Yummy!!! A few hours later. Here come the lesions. Wait a minute. What does that have in it? GELLAN GUM. Silk Original Cashew Milk I have in the frig has that too, but it’s way down on the ingredients. On Aldi’s brand, it’s one of the first few ingredients, meaning it has a LOT in it and I just drank a glass of it. So, for me, this Gellan Gum, is acting just like Guar Gum does to my system. I do have both Celiac Disease and Crohns, plus Diabetes. So, I don’t have a great immune system. I just looked at Wikipedia on my TV and looked up Guar Gum and it says that people that are allergic to Gaur Gum can get LESIONS. Well, surprise, surprise. I didn’t think I was the only one having problems with these gums.

      • Dogs and cats with allergies get bumps and lesions. Why not humans? (Im a vet tech & cert. Natural health consultant). Your allergy doctor is an idiot!

  16. I am alergic to guar gum. I break out in a rash and will get red patch like sores. Especially around the elbows and lower legs on my delicate skin. I will also get flushing and redness around the temples and right in the center of my chest. It got worse as I got older, as more and more items had Guar gum added in. When I stopped eating Guar gum, my chronic dandruff and diarrea stopped. I really wish I lived in Europe like in France, or Belgium. There are laws that prevent this kind of crap ending up in food. I’ve learned how to avoid a large dose of it, but still I get tricked now and again. It should be labeled as an alergen, but unfortunately, it is considered harmless.

      • Mike is right

        I live in Europe and it is freely available.

        The article above clearly states these additives ARE NOT dangerous, unless you have an allergy or sensitivity to them, in which case its bad luck for you, but it does not make the additive “evil” or something that should be banned.
        If we start banning all the foods people have terrible reactions too, then in our household ,we could get kale, mushrooms, onions ,wheat, and any other fodmap food banned!
        Just because one has a problem with certain foods, does not mean it is harmful to another!

        • You can’t equate kale, mushrooms, onions or even wheat with guar gum. Those are whole foods, while guar gum is a laboratory concoction (even though it’s taken from a real food (a bean). Your comparison is like saying high fructose corn syrup is just like corn.

          • It’s not LIKE it’s corn, it IS corn. If I take a cell out of your body, extract an ion of anything out of it, it will still be human.
            I’m a veteran of Mayo Clinic immunology and learned the HARD way before seeing that doctor. Some GMO foods contain human DNA. Opinion?
            I had been thought to NOT have a rare disease. My BODY didn’t get that memo, and I nearly died. Corn is ubiquitous–it’s everywhere and in everything. I’ve had drug company pharmacists say, “oh it may have STARTED as corn, but there’s no corn left in it.” Then how is there ANYTHING left? I react to both the glutens AND starches. A month back a nurse mistakenly hooked me up to lactated Ringer’s (has dextrose) and went into anaphylactic shock while unconscious. “Not the same?”

    • Welcome to America! The land of the free, the brave and every illness causing additive added to the food supply! God bless us….every one !

  17. I do gluten free, mostly grain free baking and have been searching for a binder. After reading your series of articles, I ordered Gum Arabic from Mountain rose Herbs. When it came on the back of the package is a WARNING: California Proposition 65): This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.

    I’m wondering about this since I planed to use it in bread as a substitute for Xantham gum.

    What do you know about this?

    • I know: that if it says it could be carcinogenic – to avoid it like the plague… or cancer. : ) Return the package! Another comment is: the above supposed studies have been conducted for only a month – that is the huge mistake ALL clinical trials make. The damages to our system for an UNKNOWN substance will not need to show up in one month. I coukld take years to show. Cancer for example takes 8 years to grow to soemthing that can be detected in diagnostics. THAT IS WHY MOST CAANCERS ARE ONLY DETECTED WHEN ONE HAS ONLY MONTHS TO LIVE.

      sO DO WE REALLY WANT TO TAKE A CHANGE WITH FOODS MADE IN A LABORATORY THAT WE WOULD NOT NORMALLY EAT IN THE WILD???? wHAT THEY ARE DOING IS SIMPLY UNNATURAL (SORRY FOR THE CAPS, SOMETHING WENT WRONG WITH MY KEYBOARD)

    • About 90% of the whole herbs I get have that warning on them. Really? Alfalfa leaf is carcinogeic? Chamomile flowers? Oatstraw? It is the GMO people putting fear in the population of healthy, whole foods that can PREVENT cancer. It’s like the disclaimer they MAKE the dairy industry put on the packaging saying it is free of rBGH or rBST only if the FDA’s disclaimer, “no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-supplemented and non-rbST-supplemented cows” is included on the label. There is a difference and a danger of giving those artificial growth hormones to the cows and us drinking the milk! I would not worry about the Prop 65 warning on anything from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are a reputable company selling SAFE products.

      • The companies may be reputable, but they are not in charge of the policies that the USDA and FDA create for farmers and products. If you research the USDA website or email them, you will soon see that there are many restrictions and requirements for the cultivation of crops whether GMO or non-GMO, and many of these FAVOR CHEMICALS and GMOs. Like allowing certain percentage of dangerous pesticides or other conventional techniques on non-GMO crops – yes. NON-GMO crops. So not all is transparent becuase like they finagle with vocabulary, like “natural” and “organic” and names they name chemicals on labels – or the chemicals they do NOT require then to label at all. So the truth is that EVERTHING is suspect and subject to trusting our certifying officials – but how can we do that when they exclude info and lie?? and change vocabulary meanings?? this is why WE MUST GO FOR BANNING GMOs. Period, and for changing our farming techniques. Did you know that the USDA PATENTS GMO crops also?? How could they be impartial or even truthful if they have investments in GMOs themselves???

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