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So far in this series on additives, I’ve discussed magnesium stearate, soy lecithin, carrageenan, and xanthan gum.

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Other animal studies conducted to test the safety of guar gum concluded that it is not carcinogenic or teratogenic (harmful to growing fetuses).(2, 3, 4)Because the animal studies showed no harm even at very high doses, guar gum is now being studied in humans as a therapeutic tool for reducing blood glucose and cholesterol levels.Studies have shown guar gum supplementation to be effective for reducing fasting blood glucose, improving glycemic control, reducing insulin requirements in insulin-dependent diabetics, and reducing LDL cholesterol, although whether these effects could be maintained long-term is uncertain.(5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)Unfortunately, these studies do report gastrointestinal side effects such as increased gas.

In one study where subjects were given 21g of guar gum per day for 3 months, two participants dropped out due to excessive gas and abdominal discomfort.

(11)Although 21g per day is far more guar gum than anyone would reasonably encounter in their diet, even small amounts could cause unpleasant symptoms in those with sensitive digestive systems, and I’ve had patients with gut issues improve after removing guar gum from their diet.