Harmful or Harmless: Xanthan Gum | Chris Kresser
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Harmful or Harmless: Xanthan Gum

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Gluten-free baked goods often contain xanthan gum. diego_cervo/istock/thinkstock

I hope everyone had a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving! Today, I’m continuing my series on common food additives.

Last time, I discussed the health effects of carrageenan, a food additive that is commonly used as a stabilizer, thickener, or emulsifier. Another additive that shares many of these functions in commercial foods is xanthan gum, which is also popular in gluten-free baked goods for the elasticity it lends to dough.

Although it isn’t as heavily discussed in the blogosphere as the other additives I’ve covered thus far, many health-conscious people see it on ingredient lists and wonder what it is, and whether they should be eating it. In this article, I’ll do my best to answer those questions.

Should you avoid xanthan gum in gluten-free baked goods? Find out in this article.Tweet This

Xanthan gum is a largely indigestible polysaccharide that is produced by bacteria called Xanthomonas Camestris. (1) Manufacturers place the bacteria in a growth medium that contains sugars and other nutrients, and the resulting product of bacterial fermentation is purified, dried, powdered, and sold as xanthan gum. (Makes you wonder who first thought to put it in food, doesn’t it?)

Animal Studies

Overall, the results from animal studies on xanthan gum aren’t very concerning. In one experiment, rats were fed xanthan gum for two years in concentrations of 0.25, 0.50 or 1.0 g/kg body weight per day. (2) The only notable difference between the xanthan gum groups and the control group was that rats fed xanthan gum experienced soft stools somewhat more frequently than the control rats, but even that barely reached statistical significance. There were no differences in growth rate, survival, blood markers, organ weights or tumor incidence.

Another experiment followed a similar design but used dogs instead of rats, and the results were the same: no changes other than occasional soft stools. (3) In a three-generation reproductive study, rats were fed either 0.25 or 0.50 g/kg per day, and there were no significant changes in the parents and offspring from the xanthan gum-receiving groups. (4)

Based on those initial studies, it was concluded that xanthan gum is a perfectly safe food additive. Since then, a few additional animal studies with different aims have been published.

One study, conducted to evaluate the effects of xanthan gum on digestion in rats, found that a diet containing 4% xanthan gum increased the amount of water in the intestines by 400%, and also increased the number of sugars remaining in the intestine. (5) Another study found that in rats fed 50 g/kg of xanthan gum (an incredibly high dose) for 4 weeks, the stool water content and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) content increased significantly. (6)

This last study actually relates to the potential anti-tumor properties of xanthan gum, and researchers found that orally administered xanthan gum was able to slow tumor growth and prolong the survival of mice with melanoma. (7) The mechanism is unclear, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Human Studies

Due to the lack of harmful effects observed in animal studies, there are few human studies on xanthan gum. The first study aimed to determine the safety of xanthan gum when consumed by humans in an everyday dietary setting, but at levels much higher than people would normally encounter in their diet. (8) For 23 days, 5 adult men with no GI issues consumed between 10.4g and 12.9g of xanthan gum daily (based on the subjects’ weight), which is 15 times the current Acceptable Daily Intake of 10mg/kg. Overall, they experienced a reduction in serum cholesterol, an increase in fecal bile acid, and an increase in stool output and water content.

Another study had volunteers consume 15g of xanthan gum per day for 10 days. (9) They found xanthan gum to be a “highly efficient laxative,” and subjects experienced greater stool output and gas. That’s not very surprising considering the high dose, but what I found particularly interesting about this study was their measurement of the ability of subjects’ fecal bacteria to metabolize xanthan gum.

The researchers found that before the trial period, bacteria from the stools of only 12 of the 18 subjects could break down the xanthan gum, while after the trial period, bacteria from 16 of the subjects could break it down. (10) Additionally, the stool samples containing bacteria that could break down the xanthan gum showed a much greater production of hydrogen gas and SCFA after the trial period as compared to baseline, indicating that the intestinal bacteria of the subjects quickly adapted to this new food source. Clearly, xanthan gum (like many indigestible carbohydrates) can have a profound impact on the gut microbiota in large doses.

Colitis in Infants

The only concerning research I found on xanthan gum relates to the development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in infants. Earlier this year, the New York Times published an article relating the tragic deaths of infants who had developed NEC after consuming a diet of formula or breast milk that had been thickened with a xanthan gum-based product called SimplyThick. This product was widely used in hospitals to thicken feed for infants with swallowing difficulties.

Two papers reviewed the cases of xanthan gum-associated NEC, and while there isn’t enough data to establish causation, the general consensus seems to be that the xanthan gum caused increased bacterial production of SCFA in the newborns’ intestines, and this contributed to the development of NEC. (11, 12) Although SCFA are vital to colon health, the immature digestive systems of newborns appear to be extremely sensitive to them. (13, 14) Since then, general practice guidelines suggest avoiding manufactured thickening products in babies under 12 months old, and rice cereal or baby oatmeal is used instead.

I wanted to address this because while it’s clearly important to avoid giving xanthan gum to infants (especially in large amounts), I’d like to emphasize that none of this changes the fact that xanthan gum appears to be relatively harmless in adult humans. None of the animal or human studies found damage to the intestinal mucosa following xanthan gum consumption, even in large doses, so this danger appears to be unique to newborns. For everyone else, SCFA aren’t something to be afraid of, and they are actually beneficial for the gut and for metabolic health, as I mention in previous articles here and here.

Wheat, Corn, Soy, and Dairy Allergies

I mentioned in the opening section that xanthan gum is produced by bacterial fermentation of a sugar-containing medium. Unfortunately, that ‘medium’ is often a potentially allergenic substance such as corn, soy, dairy, or wheat. Many xanthan gum manufacturers aren’t eager to share what their ‘medium’ is, but one common supplier, Bob’s Red Mill, discloses their production practices.

It looks like they originally used corn or soy as a medium, but they’ve since changed their medium to a glucose solution derived from wheat starch. However, they claim that the xanthan gum is still gluten-free, and it continues to be marketed as such.

It can be difficult to find production info online, but just be aware that if you have a severe allergy to corn, soy, wheat, or dairy, it would be prudent to either avoid xanthan gum entirely or check with the manufacturer to see how it’s produced.

Conclusion

Based on the available evidence, the worst xanthan gum seems to be capable of (in adults) is causing some digestive distress in those who are susceptible by increasing stool bulk, water content, and sugar content. But as I just mentioned, those with severe allergies should also be careful.

I recommend that people with digestive problems generally avoid xanthan gum, not because there’s evidence that it could damage your gut, but because its structural properties make it likely to produce unpleasant gut symptoms. Unlike carrageenan, there’s no evidence that xanthan gum can cause serious harm (even in human studies using doses much higher than people would normally encounter), so if you are able to tolerate it, I see no compelling reason to strictly avoid it. I wouldn’t recommend consuming large amounts every day, because xanthan gum appears to have a high propensity for altering the gut microbiome, and it’s unclear whether that alteration could be problematic in the long run. But the small amounts that you would normally encounter in the context of a real-food diet shouldn’t present a problem.

Now I’d like to hear from you. Have you ever experienced any unpleasant side effects from using xanthan gum? Have I allayed your fears about this additive? Let me know in the comments below.

456 Comments

Join the conversation

  1. The problem I see with these additives are they rarely come alone. When is xanthan gum the only stabilizer/thickener used? Usually, a label looks more like this:

    Xanthan gum, guar gum, locust bean gum, carrageenan, polysorbate 80.

    All these things may seem innocuous enough on their own, but what happens when they’re combined? If you’re the type of person that makes a gluten-free cake for your kid’s birthday once a year, it’s probably fine to have a small stash of powdered food-grade xanthan gum in your pantry for those rare instances so the flours rise properly, but I’m going to continue to avoid it on food labels because it rarely comes alone.

  2. I have suspected I was sensitive to this additive and have developed SIBO eating a healthy primalarily Paleo/Primal diet (I have always had some form of IBS however and felt great after giving up gluten) I have been using bone broth and gelatin as my thickeners and avoiding store bought almond/coconut products with xanthan. Can you also do an article on guar gums since that goes hand in hand with xanthan. Also, I am wondering about konjac/glucommanan which I have eliminated from diet temporarily. Could you touch on that? Your columns are great and very balanced. Thank [email protected]

  3. I haven’t had a reaction to Xanthan gum in my own baking, but I ate some of Bob’s Red Mill’s GF corn bread on Thanksgiving (half of a muffin) and was immediately bloated like I had just ingested gluten. Not sure if it was the gum or the sorghum flour. Do you (or any readers) have any info on sorghum flour? I tried to google it and was unsuccessful.
    Thank you!

    • My husband and I have found that we are extremely sensitive to sorghum which sadly is being used by a lot of commercial gluten free bakeries. It is as bad as wheat for me! I do have some reaction to xanthan gum not enough to avoid it when out for occasional use but do not use it at home

    • It’s the corn! Corn is a horrible ‘bloatation device’ for me.. Notice it next time you eat a product with corn in it or even popcorn.

      • I think you are right. I had a measured cup of plain GF pasta from Trader Joe’s that was literally corn meal and water for the ingredients. I got bloated within 10 minutes of being done. Thanks for your reply!

      • Although it could be the sorghum–my husband and I both react to sorghum just like gluten(bloating, IBS)! I tend to react to corn with skin issues. I read somewhere(can’t remember) that there were some issues with contamination of Bob’s sorghum. We avoid it to be safe.

  4. A lot of people have multiple chemical sensitivities as well as allergies and as well as a genetic metabolic desease called Porphyria (Many types) and a very little bit of certain things cause terrible and sometimes life threatening reactions, so NO ONE can say that anythingsOK for everyone, whether it be natural or organic; to find out what you do not tolerate for whatever reason, you have to keep a very strict journal, not only of foods, but where you’ve been, what you/ve been exposed to, and have a lot of tests, etc.
    No matter all the various research, nothing applies to everyone, you have to be your own advocate and expecially with medicine, foods, cosmetics, environmenta;, etc., and you cannot rely on doctors as they are not up on anything much any more, and no one thing can cure anything; the body is dependent on synergistic food based nutrition.

  5. HI Chris, I would be interested how your comment “because xanthan gum appears to have a high propensity for altering the gut microbiome, and it’s unclear whether that alteration could be problematic in the long run” applies to the use of potato starch as a source of resistant starch in the diet. It also causes gas, but is being encouraged as a good thing to get into. I.e tatertot in comments section http://chriskresser.com/you-are-what-your-bacteria-eat-the-importance-of-feeding-your-microbiome-with-jeff-leach

    • No, I don’t think the same thing applies to potato starch. Different compounds and different effects on the gut flora.

      • Hi, what do you think about The xanthum gum in the toothpast, parodontax, thinking about the GMO factor.
        Does it work already in the mouth. One doesnot swallow it but some stays in the mouth? I use parodontax because it is fluor free, since 35 years. What Other toothpast can I find without fluor without GMO factors. I just don’t feel like supporting it if they are not interested in us, just in their own pockets of money.

  6. As usual, it comes to individual reactions and sensitivities.
    I react A LOT to Xantham gum, Carragheenan, AND guar gum! That’s a No-no for me, but it seems to be fine with most of my patients!!!!
    It’s worse for me than gluten or dairy! Oh well….!!! I have to make my own almond milk, and coconut milk, and coconut milk ice cream!!!!
    I appreciate the time you spend on the research Chris!!! Thanks!

  7. One factor you are overlooking is the GMO factor. When xanthan gum is made from corn or soy, and almost all the corn and soy in the USA is known to be GMO, then one can see how this ingredient can easily become troublesome, especially for folks with compromised immunity.

  8. I suspect I have reacted to xanthan gum just like I react to wheat exposure but can’t be sure as I didn’t eat it alone. I do not feel it improves the consistency of my bakings enough for me to use it so I have given it up. I might eat it if it was in something offered to me at someone’s house etc. but won’t buy it to my home.

    • There should be no problem for babies of nursing mothers as xanthan gum affects the gut and would be unlikely to be present in breast milk ( or in insignificant quantity if at all ). Retired midwife

  9. Thanks for the great article. As always, I appreciate the research you have done and the translation of that information into a form I can use! We have a Wheat free house, so we use Xanthan Gum to make sauces, soups etc. We have had no problems attributed to it and now my confidence using it has improved.

  10. I avoid xanthan gum as it causes gas, bloating and stomach aches – all fairly mild but uncomfortable anyway. I used to use it when making gluten free baked goods of which I would only consume one a day and then have many days or even a week or two before baking again. These mystery ingredients just do not seem to set well for me so I just avoid them.

  11. I have used in baked goods and feel it really improves the consistency. I haven’t noticed GI issues with its use. I sometimes use Swerve or xylitol with it and any tummy upset I would attribute to the sweetener.

  12. Thanks, Chris! I have had IBS for over 25 yrs and am concerned about the many additives used in gluten free or Paleo recipes. I stopped buying foods w/ Carragenan after reading your article but was unsure about xanthan gum. Now I know that I can indulge in small amounts w/I worrying.

  13. I stopped chewing all GUM 20some yrs ago….when I see people chewing now, I think of cows chewing on cuds……

    For a little lift, I use WOW Drops, much much better than any gum.

  14. I definitely react to Xanthan Gum. I’ve tried intermittently over the last 6 years to reintroduce it after being SCD/paleo, dairy-free and gluten-free, but it makes me ill every time I consume it. The “unpleasant gut symptoms,” which I have with it, are definitely worth avoiding despite the fact that I do like gluten-free products made with it.

    • Wheat, corn, soy, and dairy allergies
      Xanthan gum is produced by bacterial fermentation of a sugar-containing medium. Unfortunately, that ‘medium’ is often a potentially allergenic substance such as corn, soy, dairy, or wheat. Many xanthan gum manufacturers aren’t eager to share what their ‘medium’ is, but one common supplier, Bob’s Red Mill, discloses their production practices.

      It looks like they originally used corn or soy as a medium, but they’ve since changed their medium to a glucose solution derived from wheat starch. However, they claim that the xanthan gum is still gluten-free, and it continues to be marketed as such.

      It can be difficult to find production info online, but just be aware that if you have a severe allergy to corn, soy, wheat, or dairy, it would be prudent to either avoid xanthan gum entirely or check with the manufacturer to see how it’s produced.

  15. Very interesting post, Chris. To put this in perspective, xanthan gum is extremely effective thickener so very little is used. For example to thicken a cup of stock for deglazing a sauteed chicken breast would require about 1/4 teaspoon which must be less than 1/2 g. Two things: xanthan gum is very insoluble so, for example you would have to cook the deglazed stock for awhile and stir well to get out lumps. (More info in Dana Carpender’s book). Second, for thickening, it has consistency of corn starch-thickened liquid rather than flour-thickened.

  16. I react worse to xanthum gum than to gluten, it is made from the black mold smut from corn; it IS harmful to many people. I do not tolerate ANY of the gums and most other non nutritional so called ‘inactive added ingredients’; there is no such thing as an inactive ingredient, it is either going to be good or bad, and mostly bad as they are nnnon-digestible, and if you already have digestive problems, then they are going to be compounded expotentially. Some people are like canaries in the mines, a little will do us great harm, other so called normal people it takes a long time of useage to cause harm, by them it sometimes is too late to reverse, so stay away from crappy additives that FDA allows in people food, but does not allow in animal food! (except they allow it in animal foods comsumed by people cause they are going to kill them anyway and if they make a profit off them, they don’t care about the effects down the road on people) I just hope THEY eat a lot of their own products so they can get the full adverse affects of their greed.

    • Frances, I agree with your comments. Chris, You haven’t raised the issue of GMO. Food producers look for the cheapest ingredients so they can maximize profit. I doubt they would source organic corn, soy or wheat. The story about the infants and NEC sounds so counter-intuitive. Why thicken their formula if they are already having problems with swallowing?!! By the way flax seed becomes very gelatinous when soaked in water for anyone interested in making their own bread. I eat real food. And leave the crap made by the dark wizards of the food industry for them.
      Another canary.

      • Thickeners are add to infants milk when they have trouble swallowing. Thin liquid are difficult. Usually these babies have other issues as well. From a mother who knows.

        • The biggest reason to thicken formula is for a condition called Reflux (technical name?) This is a condition where the “flap” between the esophagus and stomach doesn’t work properly so the formula & thin baby food comes right back up which can cause choking and/or aspiration (breathing in liquids) Thickening the formula (+thinner baby foods) and keeping the child at a 45 degree angle helps tremendously (especially important to do after eating and while sleeping). We had to get creative for sleep but there’s plenty available to make that task easier these days! We jokingly referred to our Daughter as the exorcist baby because it would shoot halfway across the room, people weren’t lining up to feed her lol! They usually grow out of this but surgery is sometimes needed. My Daughter did amazingly well, she gained weight normally and was completely cured by 8.5 months (when she began walking) I credit the sound advice of our Oldtimer Pediatrician for her recovery, his advice was much better than that of my youngest Sons pediatrician (who talked disdainfully about the “older” ways!) The oldtimer explained it by giving an example of a water bottle without the top on…the fuller it is or the more you tip it the more that will come out…it won’t come out quite so easily when thickened but it still comes out so keeping her upright was the best solution for her safety and comfort (think heartburn). He had us use 2 teaspoons of RICE cereal (easiest to digest) per ounce of formula and about half that in the thinner baby foods (they add water to commercial baby food so homemade is thicker and better when possible…I always froze it in ice cube trays then transferred it to ziplock bags so I always had perfect portions ready for use!) We were only supposed to feed her 1 ounce per hour but we often gave her two (satisfied her better and for longer periods (just made sure not to jostle her or handle her too much after feeding…the swing, without movement, worked really well for this purpose!) We were also told to change her diaper before feeding so we wouldn’t have to lay her down…remember the water bottle example!!

          Soy formula is the worst ever…all kinds of studies linking it to big problems….I can attest to them because my youngest drank it for 16 months and has had a multitude of health issues (currently very ill with Hashimoto’s which began at age 14)

          • As a former La Leche League Leader and special ed teacher who dealt with multiply handicapped preschoolers who had difficulty swallowing, thickening foods helps enable those with weak muscles to bring the food from the tip of the tongue to the back of the throat for swallowing. With infants, consuming mother’s milk is the only ideal food for the first 6 months because they have immature digestive systems. Their can’t absorb nutrients very well from most other sources and although baby formula is sometimes indicated, mother’s milk is best; Thickened rice cereal, foods thickened with flax meal, and foods thickened with xanthan gum are not advised until the baby develops the enzymes to break down that food. Being in the food industry, I have done extensive research on xanthan gum and like Chris, I came away with the same conclusion….in normal amounts used in foods, xanthan gum is benign.

            • I have a fourteen month old daughter and I have been giving her unsweetened almond milk a couple times a day because solely cow ‘s milk has been giving her painful, hard stool. I read about newborns and the danger there but is it okay for my baby/toddler to have almond milk with xanthan gum in it? The almond milk seems to help with going to the bathroom but has these added ingredients I’m not sure about.

            • My son has the condition called silent aspiration. All liquids need to be thickened to honey consistency. We’ve been using between 30-60g per day which is a lot higher than the amounts mentioned in this article. He’s on a gluten free diet or so we thought until I read this article. We may be using chia seeds instead from now on. We’ve used before and it should be more beneficial for him. It’s easier to thicken his soups and smoothies with fruits and veggies but there’s no much to do when we need to maintain his water intake up without compromising his lung health.
              Thank you for doing and sharing this research.

      • Thick liqiuds are more difficult to aspirate when you have swallowing problems. Thickeners are used so that you have more control of the food and thus less likely to aspirate.

      • Like you, I am hesitant to use Gum or any “inactive ingredients, but I desperately need something to produce wheat free bread, in order for it not to fall apart. Are you saying that ground flax seed soaked in water will accomplish the same?

          • Thanks Marian, I appreciate the link. I am fortunate not to have any medical problem, but I strongly believe in preventative practices.

        • I got rid of bread in my house, it started when I wanted to get rid of gluten, started buying gluten free bread and that wasn’t to my taste, so I just stopped bringing any bread into my house….I eat all my sandwiches in a lovely romaine lettuce leaf(s)…just had a lovely chicken/romaine with dijon mustard sandwich…I use MOST organic foods….

          • @Joy, Collard greens also make a good wrap for sandwich purposes. We’re fortunate to have a local entrepeneur who has created a raw organic vegetable wrap. It’s held together with ground flax.

            • Yes, I suppose one could use any LARGE green leaf as a wrap, I’ve stuck with beautiful romaine, but I’ll give other leaves a chance too for my wrap.

              I don’t use flax as I read things about it that didn’t fit for me…forget it all now, but don’t use it….and no breads in this house…

          • Hey Joy, another way you can enjoy a sandwich without all the additives in bread is using corn tortillas as your bread. Lightly toast, or heat a tortilla in a pan and add your favorite ingredients. I buy the Casa Valdez brand at my local Winco market..The only ingredients are whole grain corn, water and lime.

            • is it non-GMO corn? I wouldn’t eat corn (or ANY corn products) ever again after what I learned about “monsato corn” and what it is doing to us!

          • love your reaction, I am there now to and really enjoying it. keep it up.

            My question is more do I want it in my thoothpaste. My favo parodontax fluoride free?

        • Hi there, just read your post. I make wheat free bread all the time and it is awesome and all natural! Look up “against all grain” by Danielle walker, her world famous sandwich bread is what I make. Hope this helps:)

          • Hi Tiff, I too have made Danielle Walker’s grain free bread. It’s awesomely delicious; pain-free bread. I do call it my ‘special occasion’ bread as raw cashew butter is $13.00 (in Canada) for the amount required for this recipe.
            Meggs, I tried the buckwheat bread. Didn’t turn out for me. Door- stop material. Maybe I missed something.
            Anyone tried the gluten free girls recipes? You have to weigh everything, and I’m resisting purchasing a scale, as I’m limiting intake of grains altogether. But fall is coming and I love home-made soup with a crusty roll. Here’s a link:http://glutenfreegirl.com/a-guide-to-gluten-free-baking/

      • Hey if you have a good recipe for bread, I wonder if you would share, since I can’t eat any of the commercial breads. Thanks. I agree leave the toxins for the ones making us sick.

    • OMG.. I AM SO MUCH WITH YOU!!!
      I could not believe american person wrote this. I got used to people think I am crazy thinking all “THAT” stuff is bad. And also I got used to think I am the only (lonely) idividum thinking that way. Hope very much America wakes up one day. Sadly no one is protected from the “infection” of big/easy/fast money, just as no one has the immunity from greediness, neither in the third world countries neither here in the US. God save America.

    • Well said Frances! I’m also a believer of avoiding non nutritional so / inactive added ingredients. I love pure food. I also get cautious when I read that it is being created by taking out one ingredient (the bacteria) multiply it excessively (and even worse on an unknown medium). Things are out of proportion / balance and I believe that could be distressing the human body / digestive system.

      I know this is an old post, but I stumbled upon it and so will others. And I still like to reply.

    • I so agree that the FDA approves additives in food which are very harmful. Wouldn’t it be ironic if someone with the FDA came down sick & that was a main cause. It’s difficult to tell quite often though the source of a sickness when there is so much that is bad for our system. So much controversy in the food industry. Don’t know what to eat or drink anymore!!

  17. Considering that any thing more than 1/8-1/4 tsp causes things to become disgustingly ‘goopy’ and slimy… I think I’ll take my chances haha

    I only use it in baking anyways to give things some elasticity.

    • I like to use it to thicken chili, sauces, some soups; all which are homemade. The small amount I use in a large pot, probably about 2 tsp the most, does not appear to be significant but is far better than using at least 3x as much corn starch and or flour to get the same results.

      • I don’t suffer form insomnia, but the smallest amount of xanathan gum or guar gum triggers a violent spasmodic reaction for me…I have IBS and Celiac disease, so both are known to be toxic offenders and do cause a plethora of gastrointestinal issues…actually guar gum is a laxative, so for me, I need to avid it all costs, plus the more a person ingests, the more it expands in your system…not a good picture for me because I have years of intestinal damage and need to monitor my soluble fiber intake. Xanathan gum is made from a bacterial mold fungus…so once again, I need to steer clear of it entirely. Anyone else suffer from digestive disorders with either of these terrible additives? rl

        • Yes, to the point of bloating to the size of a 7 month pregnancy in the space of an hour, ripping my innards (I could literally feel my insides stretching and tearing from the suddenness of the swelling of my abdomen!!) causing subsequent rectal hemorrhage (and a $5000+ medical bill it will take me years to pay!). Basically the stuff quite literally makes me explode. Whoever approved thickeners as a food additive deserves a life sentence. I feel lucky to be a survivor, it’s that bad.

          Thickeners are fraudulent in the first place: they are used to make up for the absence of any real ingredients, a smokescreen to fool the public into thinking they’re eating food. One would think the basis of fraud alone ought to make thickeners illegal. They are industrial waste products designed to increase profit margins, not food, they are there to make you believe you’re eating without the manufaturers actually spending any money to feed you.

          I have no Celiac or other digestive disease beyond some mild intollerance to wheat products and some cheese, the additives alone are enough to cause those symptoms.

          • People taking meds for HYPERTENSION BEWARE OF XANTHAN GUM !
            I am sensitive to Xanthan gum and experience extreme intestinal issues issues when I consume too much (and the problem is that too much varies from product to product. ) Usually I try to eat clean … but I recently bought a package of name brand Sunday cones to eat with my grandchildren as a treat for the holiday …big mistake .I am hypertensive and take a low dose ace inhibitor daily. After eating 3 Sunday cones over the course of a day I not only experienced digestive issues but a huge drop in blood pressure the following day ! 93/68 , horrible headache , could barely stand up . Had to drink 3 cups of strong coffee (and drink 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 8 oz of water ) to just bring it up to 100/76 ! ( Usually I can only do decaf, 1/4 cup of caffinated sends me for an extra dose of my hypertension meds.) After reading about how xanthan gum can pull large amounts of water into the intestines ,and thereby make you dehydrated and since dehydration lowers blood pressure , the mystery has been solved . Just be warned if you take medications for hypertension this “laxative mold ” can increase their effect by making you dehydrated . Ruined my day with my grand kids( and may have to sit on a donut at my desk for the next few days as a result of the laxative effect ) but I consider myself lucky . If someone with heart problems or previous stroke had had a reaction such as mine the consequences could have been much worse .

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