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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!


Many hard-to-define health problems, some since childhood.

Diagnosed with spastic colon circa 1984.

My father also had many hard-to-define health problems, as did his brother.

His brother's daughter biopsy-diagnosed as celiac, June 2007.

My Prometheus Celiac Plus blood panel results (late November 2007) were **very** negative

---- except for one DQ8 gene.

Awaiting results of EnteroLab stool tests.

Meanwhile, have been gluten-free since 4 December 2007, and starting to feel better!

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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:


Osteoporosis, and sacroiliac arthritis diagnosed 32 yrs of age.  Chronic low wbc, Severe constipation, Migraines, severe GERD, multiple miscarriages, Sjrogen's disease, positive ANA, thyroid nodules (hyperthryoid), fatty liver disease with elevated enzymes, low vitamin D, low protein, IBS, SIBO, Discoid lupus, mulitple food allergies and massive hair loss.  I left my career because I was too sick to keep working, and it was devastating because I couldn't apply for disability without a diagnosis.  My daughter was a preemie and she has Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) and had a positive ANA and Rheumatoid Factor at 16 and now has been dx'd with Hashimoto's.

 

Allergic to:  corn, rice, beans, tomatoes, dairy.  Not diagnosed as celiac.

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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


Just my .00000002 cents worth

If I knew what I was doing years ago I would have half a clue today!

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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.


~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!

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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!


Many hard-to-define health problems, some since childhood.

Diagnosed with spastic colon circa 1984.

My father also had many hard-to-define health problems, as did his brother.

His brother's daughter biopsy-diagnosed as celiac, June 2007.

My Prometheus Celiac Plus blood panel results (late November 2007) were **very** negative

---- except for one DQ8 gene.

Awaiting results of EnteroLab stool tests.

Meanwhile, have been gluten-free since 4 December 2007, and starting to feel better!

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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.


Ruth, single mom to DD1, 14, DD2, 113, and DS, 7

Kosher, low carb (since 6/3/07), gluten free (since 11/15/07), dairy free, mostly legume (incl. soy) free since 2/7/08. Now on the Blood Type Diet (type O) which includes cutting out corn as well. I have fibromyalgia and this diet is helping me feel better.

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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


gluten-free 12-18-06

colonoscopy, upper GI
blood, urine, stool tests, prometheus panel
positive endoscopy/positive duodenal biopsies (severe villous atrophy, high intraepithelial lympocytes)
diagnosed celiac disease by Gastroenterologist Andrew R. Gottesman, 12-18-06

"Sobriety sucks. That's why they invented booze in the first place." Denis Leary - Rescue Me

Beware the chocolate of Chiapa

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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


gluten-free 12-18-06

colonoscopy, upper GI
blood, urine, stool tests, prometheus panel
positive endoscopy/positive duodenal biopsies (severe villous atrophy, high intraepithelial lympocytes)
diagnosed celiac disease by Gastroenterologist Andrew R. Gottesman, 12-18-06

"Sobriety sucks. That's why they invented booze in the first place." Denis Leary - Rescue Me

Beware the chocolate of Chiapa

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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.


Many hard-to-define health problems, some since childhood.

Diagnosed with spastic colon circa 1984.

My father also had many hard-to-define health problems, as did his brother.

His brother's daughter biopsy-diagnosed as celiac, June 2007.

My Prometheus Celiac Plus blood panel results (late November 2007) were **very** negative

---- except for one DQ8 gene.

Awaiting results of EnteroLab stool tests.

Meanwhile, have been gluten-free since 4 December 2007, and starting to feel better!

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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


Osteoporosis, and sacroiliac arthritis diagnosed 32 yrs of age.  Chronic low wbc, Severe constipation, Migraines, severe GERD, multiple miscarriages, Sjrogen's disease, positive ANA, thyroid nodules (hyperthryoid), fatty liver disease with elevated enzymes, low vitamin D, low protein, IBS, SIBO, Discoid lupus, mulitple food allergies and massive hair loss.  I left my career because I was too sick to keep working, and it was devastating because I couldn't apply for disability without a diagnosis.  My daughter was a preemie and she has Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) and had a positive ANA and Rheumatoid Factor at 16 and now has been dx'd with Hashimoto's.

 

Allergic to:  corn, rice, beans, tomatoes, dairy.  Not diagnosed as celiac.

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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.

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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.


~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!

36_22_10[1].gif

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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.


-Colleen

Dx 8/05 via bloodwork and biopsy (total villous atrophy)

13-year old son Dx 11/05 via bloodwork and biopsy

Daughters (16 and 5) have tested negative via bloodwork

A woman is like a tea bag - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water. - Eleanor Roosevelt

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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!


~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!

36_22_10[1].gif

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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.


Many hard-to-define health problems, some since childhood.

Diagnosed with spastic colon circa 1984.

My father also had many hard-to-define health problems, as did his brother.

His brother's daughter biopsy-diagnosed as celiac, June 2007.

My Prometheus Celiac Plus blood panel results (late November 2007) were **very** negative

---- except for one DQ8 gene.

Awaiting results of EnteroLab stool tests.

Meanwhile, have been gluten-free since 4 December 2007, and starting to feel better!

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