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  • Guar gum: Women lose 9.4 lbs in two months without dieting

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Monday, November 01, 2004 7:17 am Email this article
    Women taking 10 grams of the dietary fiber guar gum immediately before lunch and dinner lost 9.4 pounds in two months according to a 1984 study. Subjects: 9 women, 160-242 lbs

    The study involved 9 women weighing 160 to 242 lbs who were told not to change their eating habits.

    Peak blood sugar levels fell by 10%

    Blood sugar following meals decreased by 10 percent.

    Total cholesterol was reduced by 9%

    Total cholesterol was reduced by 9 percent, from 239 to 220 mg/dl.

    “Good” HDL cholesterol and triglycerides were not affected.

    Side effects: Flatulence and loose stools

    Side effects from the guar gum included increased flatulence and loose stools, however, these side effects tended to improve after 2-3 weeks of use. 

    Note: Hydrolyzed guar gum (Benefiber) does NOT cause weight loss

    Several years ago a company developed hydrolyzed guar gum, given the name Benefiber, which does not become thick when mixed with water.

    They did this for marketing purposes.

    Regular guar gum becomes very thick in water after about 30 seconds—too thick to drink—and turns to a gel after a minute or two, so thick that you can turn the glass upside down without and the gel will stay in the glass.

    However, this gelling action is how guar gum works.

    A recent study tested guar guar and concluded it does not work, however, they used the wrong type of guar gum. They used the hydrolyzed guar gum. The conclusion of the study should not have been that guar gum does not work, it should have been that hydrolyzed guar gum does not work.

    Therefore, if you decide to try using guar gum, make sure it is regular guar gum and not the hydrolyzed or paritally hydrolyzed guar gum (Benefiber).

    Regular guar gum is also cheaper than hydrolyzed guar gum (Benefiber). Regular guar gum only costs $6-13 per pound (as of Nov 2004).

    Where to buy

    Frontier Coop sells guar gum powder for $12.90 per pound (item #2196).

    Here is their phone number, fax number and mailing address.

    Frontier Natural Products Co-op
    PO Box 299
    3021 78th St.
    Norway, IA 52318

    1-800-669-3275 phone
    1-800-717-4372 fax

    Monday - Friday
    7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Central Standard Time

    There used to be another source on-line selling selling guar gum for about half this price, but they apparently have discontinued carrying it.

    One-half tablespoon equals 6 grams; rounded 1/2 tablespoon 9 grams

    A level half tablespoon contains approximately 6 grams of guar gum.

    A rounded half tablespoon contains approximately 9 grams.

    Drink it quickly after mixing with water or juice

    How to use guar gum

    In order to take guar gum, put a half tablespoon in a dry glass, add a few ounces of water or juice (such as orange juice), stir for a few seconds and drink immediately.

    If you get distracted for 15 seconds or more, I would recommend pouring it out and starting over with a new dry glass. (A wet glass will cause guar gum to stick to the bottom of the glass.)


    Krotkiewski M. Effect of guar gum on body-weight, hunger ratings and metabolism in obese subjects. Br J Nutr. 1984 Jul, 52(1):97-105.

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


    On Nov 18, 2004 at 3:20 pm Donna T wrote:

    . . . . .

    Hello! I wanted to THANK YOU for this wonderful site! It's great!

    I'm thinking of trying Glucomannan. Do you have any thoughts as to which might be better, Glucomannan or Guar Gum?

    On Nov 22, 2004 at 11:58 am Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    Thank you very much for your nice comments. I appreciate it.

    I don't know which is better. I am not aware of any studies comparing the two.

    Some researchers believe glucomannan superior

    Some researchers theorize that glucomannan should be the best because it has the highest viscosity (thickness). But I do not necessarily agree with this reasoning.

    However, I think guar gum may mix with food better in the gut

    Guar gum also becomes very thick, but, it seems to me, that it may do a better job of mixing with in the gut, and therefore be better at slowing the absorption of food.

    Guar gum studies older, not as well controlled; glucomannan studies newer, better controlled

    The studies I have seen on guar gum tend to be older and are not double-blinded controlled studies.

    The studies I have seen with glucomannan tend to be newer and are better controlled, but they also tend to be shorter studies.

    Less glucomannan needed -- 5 grams per day

    An advantage to glucomannan is that you need less of it -- 5 grams per day (5,000 mg).

    This means you can take 3 capsules (600 mg each) before each meal.

    More guar gum needed -- 20 grams per day

    Whereas, larger doses are needed with guar gum -- 5 or 10 grams before meals, 20 grams a day -- which makes it much less convenient. (This is 0.5 to 1 Tablespoons mixed with water before each meal.)

    Guar gum cheaper

    But the advantage to guar gum is that it is less expensive.

    I'll post some more information about guar gum and glucomannan.

    Please feel free to share your comments about this article.




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