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Ed in Baja

Xantham Gum-Bobs Redmill

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I have been using more gluten free products lately with Xanthum gum. Initially I found it a little weird. A little bit of stomach rumbling, etc. and a kitchen spill was interesting and alarming...its was impossible to clean up, especially after hitting spilled water on the counter and floor. After using a rag, windex, cleanser, and scrubbing to no avail, creating a sticky,slimy mess, I had to ask myself, what happens when I eat this stuff?

So I did some research:

Animal studies at high doses have not indicated pathology in low duration studies, e.g. Three mouse generations.

Human studies are few.

Those that exist find XGcuases and increase in short chain fatty acids in the gut.

The powder is made from a bacteria that is grown on a substrate of wheat, corn, or soy. Industrial production has largely shifted to a wheat base, as in Bob's Redmill products, which claim to be gluten free.

I could not find data regarding the survival of any gluten in the refined product. I DO NOT WANT TO SPEAK POORLY OF THIS COMPANY. They have been a reliable and innovative leader in the gluten-free industry. I have had NO problems with Bob's products, and I get a Herpetiform lesion at the least gluten exposure.

XG also results in an increase in water in the intestines

There is evidence that the gut flora changes with long term XGintake. This results in easier digestion of the byproducts.

The bottom line is that while the effects on the gut can be disturbing...a feeling of mild bloating, with loose stool at the extreme, the long term effects might be useful. Short chain FA has many useful effects in the body, delaying hunger,increasing the use of body fat as fuel, and may have cardiac benefits.

However, the Internet is replete with stories of intolerance of XG. A few sound like bonfafide allergies.

But most are similar to the effects of eating beans if one is not accustomed to them. That is, the production of poorly digested resistant starch. You have to grow the bugs that eat them, or gas will be produced. So, with slow introduction, and probiotics, most people will grow the right bugs.the evidence is that XGcauses profound changes in gut flora over time. Studies are needed to ascertain if this is ultimately good. The use of XG in infant formula as a thickener has resulted in bacterial overgrowth resulting in deaths. It is no longer used as such.

Am I going to use it? Probably. But as a treat, not a staple. gluten-free foods are my candy. Having type 1diabetes I find I am healthiest with no refined carbohydrates in my diet. Yeah, none. All carbs in whole grain form, or still attached to the plants that formed them . Ground grains are refined cargos...yes indeed . Some gluten-free flours raise blood sugar as rapidly, even higher, than white flour. And they cause weight gain...which is associated with insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. They are not nutrient dense and so are not an improvement on the Standard American Diet, with its very high risk for formation of diabetes.

I wish all of you the benefit of your own experience. Eating is very deep and personal, and many of us celiacs have a sense of deprivation and sadness at not being normal. Which makes high carb relatively empty baked goods seem very comforting ,in the broad array of gluten-free possibilities. Good on ya if you choose to eat them, but keep your eyes open as to the effects."normalcy"may mean obesity and diabetes.

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Ah, I thought I was getting glutened when I was first diagnosed, but it turned out that I could not handle Xanthan Gum. My husband could handle it because he had been gluten-free for 12 years. I switched to guar gum and did not have issues with that. Could I handle xanthan gum now after being gluten-free for over two years? Like you, I am diabetic. Any grain, spikes my blood sugar. So, it has not been worth it to see if I can tolerate xanthan gum. I still avioid it in the processed foods that I purchase.

My blood sugar has been stable on a Low Carb, High fat diet. I get most of my carbs from berries and veggies. My doctor is happy and so am I.


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

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