This article will discover what is partially hydrolyzed guard gum and its health benefits on the gut, cholesterol and blood sugars, and weight loss. We will also discover some of its side effects. But let’s start; what is partially hydrolyzed guar gum?
What is Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum?
Guar gum is made from the seeds of the guar plant. It is frequently used in processed foods as a thickener and emulsion stabilizer. It has a high viscosity, making it difficult to add to foods and beverages. Viscosity is a fluid’s resistance to flow. High viscosity liquid is thicker with greater resistance to flow, i.e., less liquid .
Guar gum can be chemically treated or “partially hydrolyzed” by using an enzyme to make it into a water-soluble compound with low viscosity . This process makes it dissolve in liquids and withstand acid or heat.
Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum (PHGG) is a water-soluble dietary fiber used to make food and beverage products . It is a white powder that is colorless, transparent in water, and tasteless . It has a wide range of uses in the food industry and clinical nutrition.
PHGG Health Benefits
PHGG and gut health
Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum has been proved to be safe and effective in promoting gut health. It is useful in treating both Irritable Bowel Syndrome- constipation (IBS -C) and IBS-diarrhea (IBS-D) symptoms in adults and children . In fact, it reduces symptoms in both IBS-C and IBS-D forms and improves the quality of life .
PHGG increases Bifidobacterium (a good bacterium) in the gut .
In healthy subjects, PHGG significantly improved stool frequency and consistency and increased short-chain fatty acids like butyrate and acetate. Short-chain fatty acids are produced by the gut bacteria and are important for overall gut health. PHGG increases certain good gut bacteria .
In a study on healthy volunteers with a tendency toward IBS-D symptoms, PHGG significantly improved stool form. There were significant changes in gut bacteria, such as an increase in Bifidobacterium. PHGG improves stool form by regulating intestinal microbiota .
PHGG has prebiotic properties by increasing intestinal short-chain fatty acids . A prebiotic improves gut health by feeding good gut bacteria. Read the “13 Best Prebiotic Food To Eat.”
PHGG was given to children with autism spectrum disorders with constipation. It helped to improve constipation and gut dysbiosis symptoms, which helped reduce inflammation and behavioral irritability in these children .
In one study, PHGG decreased dependence on laxatives in residents in a nursing home population .
Partially hydrolyzed guar gum can lower cholesterol and blood sugar
Adding soluble fiber to the diet, in one experiment, led to a 12.8% decrease in subjects’ LDL-cholesterol and a 12.3% decrease in blood glucose levels . Guar gum can lead to reduced serum cholesterol by affecting low-density lipoproteins .
Partially hydrolyzed guar gum can help with weight loss
Eating fiber can be more filling and lead to a decrease in appetite. It is certainly more satiating to eat fiber rather than sugar. Partially hydrolyzed guar gum may significantly improve the feeling of satiety and reduce overall calorie intake by reducing whole-day snacking .
Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum Side Effects
In one study, some patients taking partially hydrolyzed guar gum experienced mild side effects, such as abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, heartburn, and nausea. The side effects were mild and went away once partially hydrolyzed guar gum was discontinued .
In the 1990s, a diet pill containing a lot of guar gum caused some severe reactions; esophageal obstruction, small bowel obstruction, and one case of death. The water-holding capacity of guar gum swells 10- to 20 times in size to promote satiety and reduce appetite. However, this can also cause an obstruction, and the offending diet products have since been banned .
In Conclusion, What is Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum, and What Are Its Health Benefits?
It is best not to consume excess amounts of PHGG or guar gum. The amounts found in food products are deemed safe in typical portions. If you want to supplement PHGG or guar gum, then please consult your doctor or supplement instructions for the correct dose.
As an additive, PHGG is generally safe. It can be helpful as a therapeutic aid for some digestive conditions. For healthy people, a little PHGG in your diet is not a problem, and as always, we recommend following a whole foods diet with minimally processed foods.