|Can xanthan reduce the glycemic response to "sweet treats" like this?|
When it's added to juice (alongside with beta-glucans), xanthan will reduce the glucose response and thus help stabilize blood sugar levels (Paquin. 2012).
This goes, even though Julie Paquin and her colleagues did not detect an acute increase in their 2012 study on the effects of xanthan and β-glucan enriched juices on the glycemic response and satiety of healthy men. Previous studies suggest that the viscosity of a liquid meal, which is increased by the addition of xantham, may be an important determinant of the hunger response.
Mattes and Rothacker (2001), for example reported significantly greater and more prolonged reductions in hunger with thicker, but otherwise identical replacement shakes.
Marciani et al. (2001) even found that the viscosity of their high- vs. low-viscosity shakes with different macronutrient and energy content had a greater impact on the satiety than the fat, carbohydrate or energy content of the test meals.
The scientists from the University Hospital, Nottingham were also able to show a direct correspondence between the gastric volume of the viscous meal ad the satiety response. These observations support the dual hypothesis, i.e. that more viscous fibres exert their effect owing to distention in the gastric antrum and/or altered transport of nutrients to the small intestine, Caroline Hoad et al. put forward in their 2004 paper in the Journal of Nutrition (Hoad. 2004).
|Table 1: Viscosity AUC values for solutions containing select dietary fibers during gastric digestion simulation|
Why does glycemia even matter? Aside from the fact that extreme glucose excursions after a meal are partly responsible for the development of diabetes, avoiding them will (1) stabilize your energy levels and curb your cravings, (2) decrease inflammation and oxidative stress, (3) help you maintain healthy blood lipid and body fat levels, (4) reduce your cancer and heart disease risk, and so on. You see, if xanthan can help you stability your blood sugar levels, this alone would have a long string of beneficial health consequences.At this point, I could probably cite the dirty dozen of studies that support the appetite suppressing effects of PGX®, a combination of xanthan, sodium alginate and glucomannan (e.g. Jenkins. 2010; Tao. 2010; Kacinik. 2011; Reichert. 2013).
Warning! Xanthan is safe for adults (Eastwood. 1987), but probably not safe for infants. This is at least what a report from the US Food and Drug Administration in the Journal of Pediatrics would suggest (Beal. 2012). According to the USDA, the potential for thickened feeds to increase risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in neonates, has not been thoroughly assessed. Nevertheless, the occurrence of 202 cases of NEC in formula-fed (obviously) infants over 12 years should yet be reason enough to keep your xanthan stash far away from your newborn, irrespective of the fact that the case series Beal et al. present cannot prove an association between the xanthan-containing thickening agent SimplyThick and NEC.Odutola Osilesi and colleagues from various US Universities and the USDA were among the first to propose and demonstrate the potential usefulness of xanthan gum in dietary management of diabetes mellitus (Osilesi. 1985). In the corresponding experimental trial, they supplied 9 drug-free diabetics with moderately elevated serum glucose and four nondiabetic controls controls with - you guessed it - muffins that contained 12g of xanthan gum.
|Figure 3: Muffins w/ 12g xanthan/day have significant beneficial effects on glucose management in diabetics and beneficial, but non-significant effects on fasting and post-prandial blood sugar in healthy subjects (Osilesi. 1985)|
|Figure 4: Effect of the guar (G), xanthan (X), locust bean gum (LBG), and 1: 1 mixtures of X and LBG (X/LBG) and X and Meyprodyn (X/Mey) on the movement of radiolabeled glucose in the mixture (concentrations in % | Edwards. 1987)|
- significant reductions in fasting and postload serum glucose and reduced fasting levels of total plasma cholesterol in diabetic subjects, as well as
- lower fasting and postload levels of gastrin and gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) and fasting levels of total and VLDL triglyceride and cholesterol in VLDL and LDL fractions
In view of the fact that mixing with (obviously) lower viscosity fibers will not necessarily increase the hypoglycemic (glucose improving) effects, of which Edwards et al. (1987) demonstrated that they depend almost exclusively on the viscosity of the chyme, it appears unwarranted to spend the extra bucks on galactomannan or other fibers... Unless you are battling high cholesterol levels and would like to see a similar beneficial effects on your blood lipids as the rodents in the Yamamoto study, of course.
- Beal, Jennifer, et al. "Late onset necrotizing enterocolitis in infants following use of a xanthan gum-containing thickening agent." The Journal of pediatrics 161.2 (2012): 354-356.
- Dikeman, Cheryl L., Michael R. Murphy, and George C. Fahey. "Dietary fibers affect viscosity of solutions and simulated human gastric and small intestinal digesta." The Journal of nutrition 136.4 (2006): 913-919.
- Edwards, C. A., et al. "Viscosity of food gums determined in vitro related to their hypoglycemic actions." The American journal of clinical nutrition 46.1 (1987): 72-77.
- Eastwood, M. A., W. G. Brydon, and D. M. W. Anderson. "The dietary effects of xanthan gum in man." Food Additives & Contaminants 4.1 (1987): 17-26.
- Hoad, Caroline L., et al. "In vivo imaging of intragastric gelation and its effect on satiety in humans." The Journal of nutrition 134.9 (2004): 2293-2300.
- Jenkins, Alexandra L., et al. "Comparable postprandial glucose reductions with viscous fiber blend enriched biscuits in healthy subjects and patients with diabetes mellitus: acute randomized controlled clinical trial." Croatian medical journal 49.6 (2008): 772.
- Jenkins, Alexandra L., et al. "Effect of adding the novel fiber, PGX®, to commonly consumed foods on glycemic response, glycemic index and GRIP: a simple and effective strategy for reducing post prandial blood glucose levels-a randomized, controlled trial." Nutrition journal 9.1 (2010): 58.
- Kacinik, V., et al. "Effect of PGX, a novel functional fibre supplement, on subjective ratings of appetite in overweight and obese women consuming a 3-day structured, low-calorie diet." Nutrition & diabetes 1.12 (2011): e22.
- Marciani, Luca, et al. "Effect of meal viscosity and nutrients on satiety, intragastric dilution, and emptying assessed by MRI." American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 280.6 (2001): G1227-G1233.
- Mattes, Richard D., and Dana Rothacker. "Beverage viscosity is inversely related to postprandial hunger in humans." Physiology & Behavior 74.4 (2001): 551-557.
- Osilesi, Odutola, et al. "Use of xanthan gum in dietary management of diabetes mellitus." The American journal of clinical nutrition 42.4 (1985): 597-603.
- Paquin, Julie, et al. "Effects of juices enriched with xanthan and β-glucan on the glycemic response and satiety of healthy men." Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 38.4 (2012): 410-414.
- Reichert, Ronald G., et al. "Meal replacements and fibre supplement as a strategy for weight loss. Proprietary PGX® meal replacement and PGX® fibre supplement in addition to a calorie-restricted diet to achieve weight loss in a clinical setting." Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews 29.2 (2013): 221-229.
- Tao, Wendy. "A clinical observational study on PGX® conducted at the Canadian Centre for Functional Medicine." Alternative Medicine Review (2010) 15.1: 68-75.
- Yamamoto, Yukiko, et al. "Improved hypolipidemic effects of xanthan gum-galactomannan mixtures in rats." Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 64.10 (2000): 2165-2171.