Does anyone else have problems with Xanthan Gum?

Have been having problems baking a decent GF loaf and thought I would try Xanthan Gum, which did result in a better loaf, but since using it I have been suffering various recurring symptoms, such as; return of my dizzy spells, feeling tired and lethargic all the time, bloating, constipation etc. I didn't connect these to Xanthan Gum before now but couldn't pin-point anything else I had ingested, no suspect foods, no cross-contamination (I am very careful) so it only led to to the Xanthan Gum. I researched online and found that a lot o coeliacs have problems with Xanthan Gum depending on what it is cultured on, but I am now wondering if shop bought GF loaves contain it as I know the Gluten Free Bread Mixes do and does anyone else have the same symptoms???

7 Replies

  • Yes, I can't eat baked goods with xanthum gum...I can't leave the house the next day. Most loaves have it as quite a major ingrediient.

  • Yes, my reaction to it has increased with each (accidental) exposure. I get stomach pains and diarrhoea within a few hours. Not as bad as being glutened as it's not as long lasting. It's in a lot of things apart from baked goods. I used to be able to have a cake with my coffee when I went out, but no longer. I avoid all added gums and cellulose. Blasted additives!

  • Try substituting psyllium seed powder. Solgar makes a gf version (I got it on Amazon). If you add hot water it becomes like a gel and has the same sort of effect on baked goods as xantham gum.

  • Yes definitely. I think I discussed earlier so you should find thread if you look for xanthan gum. I have only tried Dove's Farm xanthan gum (and I can't use Dove's Farm gf flours either) so I'm not sure if it's something to do with their particular version. I steer clear of it anyway. I also try to avoid guar gum, but I'm not sure if it has the same reaction.

  • Lots of people report sensitivity to xanthan gum. If you bake your own bread you can use psyllium husk, chia seed, linseed and/or guar gum to substitute with acceptable results.

  • Thanks for the great advice, I was considering trying guar gum as it was the only other thing I had heard about but I think I will steer clear. Thanks for the suggestions of psyllium seed powder, psyllium husk, chia seed etc, these are all new to me but will definately give them a go. Nice to know it was not my imagination, thanks all!! xx

  • Hi there, if you mix guar gum and psyllium husk together they compliment one another so you use less, here's where I buy mine from:

    One thing to bear in mind with gums is that they absorb a lot of moisture so will make baked goods drier but by absorbing moisture they are also like roughage. Psyllium husk is a seed ground up and is grown and used as a thickener in may Pakistani dishes but in large quantities is used for colonic irrigation, which's why it's a good idea to use a combination and then you only need around a tea spoon of each with 500g/1lb of flour.

    It is also worth adding eggs or egg whites to a bread mix as egg whites replicate gluten really well.

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