Jump to content
  • Sign Up
  • Join Our Community!

    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I just ran across the following in Wikipedia's entry for Xanthan Gum:

Some people are allergic to xanthan gum, with symptoms of intestinal gripes and diarrhea. Workers exposed to xanthan gum dust exhibit nose and throat irritation as well as work-related illness, with symptoms becoming more prevalent with increasing exposure.[1]

Also, since xanthan gum is produced by a bacterium that is fed corn to grow, some people allergic to corn will also react to it.[2]

I don't often use xanthan gum, and on the rare occasions when I do ingest it, there are generally a few other miscellaneous additives present as well -- but as near as I can tell, it makes me feel thirsty, weepy, and/or edgy. It's nice to know it's not just me!

Edited by Carol the Dabbler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure I've eaten it before I started checking labels. I thought about buying some just in case I ever wanted to use it in baking. It doesn't sound very appetizing though....bacterium...Yummmm :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually have started seeing it quite regularly in my label reading, have a jar of it in my cupboard for when I get the notion to bake something... no ill effects that I can detect so far

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might be completely wrong here but isn't Wikipedia the site where anyone can contribute information and it can be edited by anyone? I have seen some facts on different non-celiac topics which were incorrect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I might be completely wrong here but isn't Wikipedia the site where anyone can contribute information and it can be edited by anyone? I have seen some facts on different non-celiac topics which were incorrect.

Right, that's the site. But, as you point out, not only can information be contributed by anyone, it can also be edited/corrected by anyone. From what I've seen, the incorrect stuff doesn't tend to last long. As with anything on the Internet, it pays to exercise your own good judgement.

Here's a link to their Xanthan Gum page.

And here is a link to the page cited by that "[2]" footnote. The part that I find most interesting is the comments that have been added by others, many of whom have reactions to xanthan gum.

My reason for posting this thread in the first place is that xanthan gum is routinely used in gluten-free foods, both ready-made and home-made. It's generally acknowledged that many celiacs have additional food intolerances. (And as one of the commenters (see previous paragraph) said, xanthan has a fairly short track record.) I would just hate to see someone conscientiously follow a gluten-free diet, and then wonder why they're still having problems -- when the culprit could be their gluten-free diet!

Edited by Carol the Dabbler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought it before Thanksgiving in an effort to make gluten-free, low carb gravy.

It caused me some GI distress, so I don't plan to use it anymore. I still have a fairly large package of it (well, a small container, but when 1/4 tsp is a serving there's quite a bit in there!) and I'm not sure what to do with it. I'll probably hang onto it and see if my body reacts better to it in a few months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just ran across the following in Wikipedia's entry for Xanthan Gum:

"Some people are allergic to xanthan gum, with symptoms of intestinal gripes and diarrhea. Workers exposed to xanthan gum dust exhibit nose and throat irritation as well as work-related illness, with symptoms becoming more prevalent with increasing exposure."

I've been avoiding xanthan gum on general principles. On the rare occasions when I do ingest it, there are generally a few other miscellaneous additives present as well -- but as near as I can tell, it makes me feel thirsty, weepy, and/or edgy. It's nice to know it's not just me!

It's generally acknowledged that many celiacs have additional food intolerances.

Yes but many don't, and not all those that do have the same one's. Why would you have general principles for avoiding it? It's not a gluten containing ingredient, so there should be no particular reason Celiacs should avoid it.

You can't compare consumer use with factory workers. Factory workers are often exposed to far higher levels. Almost everything is dangerous at high levels of exposure. The nose and throat irritation could be simply from being exposed to dust, any kind of dust, but especially dust that turns into thick slime when wet (in the nose and throat). But these workers are exposed to large amounts of it 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. How long are we exposed to the zanthan dust when we bake? One or two tsp for 30 seconds?

Xanthan gum and Guar gum are used to help replace some of the important properties of gluten in wheat flour. It plays a critical part in the success of a gluten-free product. Plus it's very expensive, they wouldn't want to waste it for no reason. I use it every time I bake gluten-free goods and have never had a problem with it. They do warn about it being fiber so it could possibly cause some looseness, but you only use a small amount. Never heard of anyone feely "weepy" or "edgy". Maybe you have some rare intolerances.

By all means, it's up to everyone to avoid the things they have an intolerance to. But zanthan gum and quar gum are very common ingredients and most likely well tolerated by most people. They are in many, many products. Here are just some things I quickly found in my fridge that have it:

Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (Guar Gum, Carrageenan Gum, and Carob Bean) all thickeners.

Hidden Valley Ranch

Miracle Whip

Kraft Light Catalina

Kraft Cool Whip (Xanthan & Guar gum)

Bookbinders Tarter Sauce

Kraft Lemon & Herb Tarter Sauce

Zatarains Lemon Butter Sauce

Great Value (Walmart) Sour Cream

Philidelphia Cream Swirls Brown Sugar 'n Cinnamon Spice

Newmans Own Creamy Ceasar Dressing

Central Market Organics Hoisin Sauce

Hershey's Chocolate Syrup

best regards, lm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sure I've eaten it before I started checking labels. I thought about buying some just in case I ever wanted to use it in baking. It doesn't sound very appetizing though....bacterium...Yummmm :rolleyes:

Ever eat yogurt?

Our gut is bursting with trillions of bacteria. They are absolutely essential for our well being. :D

best regards, lm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My specific reasons for avoiding xanthan gum, and the specific reactions that I may (or may not) have to it, are really not relevant. (I mentioned them only as examples.) And I realize that many people use xanthan gum on a regular basis without noticing problems.

Let's talk about corn for a minute. It's gluten-free and apparently well tolerated by most people, so it's frequently used in gluten-free foods. But many people do not tolerate corn, so there is a certain amount of caution regarding its use. That's why some companies advertise that their products are both gluten-free and corn-free.

All I'm saying is that there's some evidence that xanthan gum, like corn, is not well tolerated by a certain number of people. Unlike corn, xanthan gum is not such an obvious suspect, because it tends to be far down on the list of ingredients. But because it's used in the great majority of gluten-free baked goods, anyone who continues to have problems, despite a gluten-free diet, might want to try avoiding xanthan gum for a while, to see if that helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a big difference between a natural probiotic bacteria and manmade fermented xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is not essential to our well being.

Ever eat yogurt?

Our gut is bursting with trillions of bacteria. They are absolutely essential for our well being. :D

best regards, lm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My specific reasons for avoiding xanthan gum, and the specific reactions that I may (or may not) have to it, are really not relevant.

When you post on a message board for gluten-free that you don't eat something on principle it is very relevent to be clear that the principle is not a gluten related one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When you post on a message board for gluten-free that you don't eat something on principle it is very relevent to be clear that the principle is not a gluten related one.

Very good point, because if it is not a gluten free reason you are avoiding it you can cause a newly diagnosed celiac to get confused. Xanthan Gum itself is gluten free and in a lot of gluten free foods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I buy xanthan gum 5-pounds at a time. I use it literally every day.

Plenty of food is gross if you really stop to think about it. Ever eaten Good & Plenty candy? The cochineal coloring you see listed on the label is made from ground up beetles. :blink: Ever eaten a yeast bread? Yeast is a microorganism that eats sugar and excretes waste products that makes bread rise. Yummy yeast poo! Ever eaten a really good artisan cheese? The rennet in it may have been made of the powdered remains of a calf stomach. I don't think xanthan gum is any more heinous than any of these.

Sure plenty of people may be intollerant to xanthan. But I bet if you did a poll on this board, you would find a lot of people that tolerate it quite well. I don't have any qualms about feeding it to myself or my kids. But if someone else want to avoid it, they should feel free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Plenty of food is gross if you really stop to think about it. Ever eaten Good & Plenty candy? The cochineal coloring you see listed on the label is made from ground up beetles. :blink:

Eww no wonder I never liked good and plenty's...yikes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When you post on a message board for gluten-free that you don't eat something on principle it is very relevent to be clear that the principle is not a gluten related one.
I agree that my wording was vague, and have modified the initial post to say simply that I rarely use xanthan gum. I have also changed post #6 to say that xanthan gum is used "routinely" rather than "indiscriminately." While I do suspect that many gluten-free recipes call for xanthan gum in a rather knee-jerk fashion, my intended point was that it's present in virtually every gluten-free bread, cake, cookie, etc.

Xanthan gum is not essential to our well being.
And it's used in such small amounts that it's even unlikely to add any nutritional value. It's merely a thickening agent. And it's not used just in gluten-free products, it's in all kinds of prepared foods and other products.

Someone with unexplained problems might want (after ruling out the more obvious offenders such as gluten, dairy, etc.) to try avoiding xanthan gum for a while, to see whether they might be one of the people who react to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Top Posters +

  • Upcoming Events

    • March 24, 2019 Until March 27, 2019
      0  
      NEW ORLEANS GOURMET GLUTEN-FREE mini GETAWAY    March 24 ~ 27, 2019   We have arranged a fun and Gluten-free food filled mini in the city known for it's food and fun.  We have arranged to eat many of the famous dishes that aren't usually Gluten-free at a few of the World Renown restaurants.   Staying at the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street in the center of the French Quarter, you'll be able to enjoy the ambiance of the city at all hours.   Our itinerary will include a Luxury Coach tour of the city and surrounding area - Admission to The National World War II Museum, including the Tom Hanks" 4D film "Beyond All Boundaries" - an exciting Airboat ride and tour through the Bayou.      This it the 3rd time we have visited New Orleans and it has always been well attended, so join us even if you've been there before.  Check out our website for the complete itinerary and cost.    Due to contractual obligations we must have 20 participants by October 31, 2018 to make this a go.      If you have any questions just give us a call at 410-939-3218.  Bob & Ruth info@bobandruths.com (410) 939-3218
    • March 27, 2019 04:00 PM Until 08:00 AM
      0  
       
       
       
      Celiac Emotional Healing Support Group
       
       
       
      Again you are invited to join Johnny Patout, LCSW for Baton Rouge's first emotional healing support group meeting to assist those living with celiac disease manage the emotional challenges so many of us face. Most often the emotional disturbances include depression, disinterest in normal activities, insomnia, grief, mood changes, anxiety, inability to concentrate, extreme concern about managing a gluten-free lifestyle and other emotional and behavioral challenges.
       
      The professionals at Jamestown Avenue Counseling Center created the emotional healing support group to give us a safe place to begin to process our emotions and support each other as we heal emotionally while managing celiac disease and the resulting autoimmune disorders.
       
      The emotional healing support group meets every Thursday, 6:00-7:00pm, at the Jamestown Avenue Counseling Center of Baton Rouge. Jamestown Avenue Counseling Center is located at 4637 Jamestown Avenue, Baton Rouge, Suite B-1. Suite B-1 is upstairs.
       
      The support group is free and open everyone managing celiac disease. For more information: emotionalhealingforceliacs@hotmail.com
    • March 30, 2019 Until March 31, 2019
      0  
      Nourished Festival is a family-friendly event with 10 locations across the US. Attendees will be able to sample food, health and beauty products, meet with companies, learn about the most current food lifestyles, receive coupons and attend educational sessions with industry experts. 
      Nourished Festival, managed by The Nourished Group and presented by Enjoy Life Foods, is the largest gluten-free, allergy-friendly and specialty diet event in the US, with 10 locations including.
      ABOUT THE NOURISHED FESTIVALS
      Managed by The Nourished Group, formerly The Gluten Free Media Group, The Nourished Festivals are the largest and fastest growing special diet consumer events in the United States. Started in 2007, the events have expanded from one to ten cities throughout the country. The festivals cater to anyone looking to lead a healthier lifestyle or those who follow a specialty diet due to autoimmune conditions, food sensitivities, allergies or intolerances. Offerings including Paleo, Keto, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Allergen-Friendly and Nut-Free products. The events provide the opportunity for attendees to sample and purchase new products, receive coupons, meet with brand ambassadors and attend educational classes with industry experts. For more information, visit http://www.nourishedfestival.com 
       
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      86,807
    • Most Online
      4,125

    Newest Member
    MeresaI
    Joined
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      112,067
    • Total Posts
      956,699
  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Forum Discussions

    Oh yes, it could, although to be honest I never got myself so wet with sweat that it would have been a serious situation.  However, I can remember one time when I got caught in a cloudburst while going to my car in a large parking lot, though, and got soaked to the skin, and of course had to wear those soaking-wet clothes while I drove the 45 minutes it took me to get home --- I will NEVER forgot the misery and agony of that drive!  I could just barely keep the car under control, in fact.
    Thanks for your response, Squirmingitch, but I have to almost laugh, as at this point I am not really stressing over these questions at all --- just curious.  I have always been an insatiable question-asker, so please don't take my frequent questions as a sign of my obsessing over celiac disease or DH.  Yeah, admittedly I was rather stressed out for a couple of days two weeks  ago or so, but I am significantly settled down now, even while negotiating the nutritional maze of trying to manage two
Water?! That's… unreasonably inconvenient. Did it happen with sweat?
  • Blog Entries

  • ×
    ×
    • Create New...