A common thickening agent called Xanthan Gum might be changing our good gut bacteria

Health Stuff TO Know

Doctor's Opinion

In the News:

Xanthan Gum is in our FoodHealth Stuff TO Know

New research is showing that Xanthan Gum, a common food additive, is changing our gut health.

The Background: There's a lot of talk about food additives, such as Xanthan Gum, and their effects on our gut microbiome. It's important for, both, researchers and consumers to know if there are any long-term side effects on our bodies.

Who's this for?

  • people who are on special diets.
  • people who are interested in gut health.

What are some points I should focus on?

For a long time, researchers and clinicians have thought that additives like Xanthan Gum simply go through our digestive system when they're consumed. But, new data is starting to show that our bodies are actually breaking down and absorbing these materials.

As such, we need to know if there are any long-term side effects to the breakdown of these additives on our gut biome.

👇 Health Expert Insights

What should I do next?

Dr. Puja, editor of Health Stuff to Know, had this to say:

First: People who have certain GI conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), Celiac Disease, and food intolerances should be careful with how much Xanthan Gum they're consuming.

Second: Because we don't know what the negative or positive effects of the breakdown of Xanthan Gum are, it's important to be mindful of how much Xanthan Gum we consume.

"Based on this study, we cannot conclude if and how xanthan gum affects our health. But we can say that the additive affects the microbiota in the gut of people who consume it through food..." Dr. Sabina Leanti La Rosa.

The Big Picture: There is plenty of data showing that poor gut health leads to poor mental health.

So, it's very important that we know what we're consuming. And, we need to know what harm those foods/additives pose to our overall health.

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Health Stuff TO Know provides digestible health & medical news from doctors. Expert information on the day's top health news. Dr. Puja Uppal is a board-certified physician. Dr. Uppal is Chief Medical Officer of Health Stuff TO Know & ThinkHealthy

Michigan State

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