Guar gum is a widely-used additive that helps improve the texture, flavor, and shelf life of processed foods and gluten-free products. Guar gum is a byproduct of an annual legume called guar bean or cluster bean. The beans are ground and mixed with water to produce the gum, which then serves as a primary thickening and binding agent in many food and health supplement products.
List of known nutrients
- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
- Octadecadienoic Acid
- Octadecatrienoic Acid
- Octadecenoic Acid
- Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Medicinal uses for guar gum
Guar gum is touted for its beneficial effects on the digestive system. The food additive is known to relieve digestive discomfort. In fact, a series of studies carried out by digestive-disease expert Edoardo Giannini of the University of Genoa in Italy found that adding small amounts of guar gum to diets helped ease diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The expert also noted that using guar gum as an add-on treatment to antibiotic therapy helped inhibit bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. Likewise, the study revealed that guar gum helped eliminate up to 91 percent of errant bacteria in patients, compared with drug treatment alone. Additionally, guar gum is touted to improve the quality of life in IBS patients.
The food additive is touted to improve the gut microbiome too. In a study published in 2006, a team of Italian researchers found that people who consumed guar gum had two types of beneficial bacteria in their intestinal tract. Another study, carried out by health experts at the United Kingdom’s University of Reading, revealed that participants who ate biscuits laced with guar gum had higher probiotics levels than those in the placebo group. Increased probiotics levels were associated with reduced incidence of gastrointestinal diseases and lower rates of allergies in children.
Guar gum is also noted for its positive impact on cardiovascular health. The food additive is classified as a soluble fiber, which helps reduce blood cholesterol levels by regulating cholesterol absorption in the intestines. An analysis published in 1990 confirmed that adding guar gum to diet may slash cholesterol levels by 10 to 15 percent. On the other hand, an earlier study revealed that male subjects who took 15 grams of guar gum daily for six weeks exhibited a 12 percent decline in bad cholesterol levels. This makes guar gum a potent superfood against cardiovascular diseases.
In addition, guar gum is notably effective in regulating blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes. In fact, a study published in 1990 showed that type-2 diabetes patients who took five grams of guar gum three times daily for three months exhibited a 17 percent reduction in fasting blood glucose levels. Another study released in 2005 indicated that the superfood’s glucose-lowering effects simultaneously prevents unhealthy decreases in blood pressure, which then lowers the odds of fainting spells and falls especially in older patients.
Body systems supported by guar gum
Guar gum is best known for its beneficial effects on the the digestive system. Likewise, its cholesterol-lowering properties ensure a healthier cardiovascular system. In addition, the superfood helps fortify the immune system against allergies.
Ways to use guar gum
Guar gum is primarily used in gluten-free baked goods including cakes, breads, and cookies. Likewise, the superfood can be incorporated into frozen desserts such as ice cream. Online recipe generator Yummly.co has curated some of the most interesting guar gum recipes across the web.
Where to learn more
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Guar gum helps relieve irritable bowel syndrome and related issues.
Guar gum attenuates heart disease risk and helps manage diabetes.
Guar gum benefits the digestive, cardiovascular and immune systems.