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Guar gum causes weight loss, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
Tuesday, November 23, 2004 11:45 am Email this article
Guar gum, along with glucomannan, appears to be the most effective fibers at causing weight loss. 10 grams twice a day reduces food intake by 10%
Ten grams of guar gum taken twice a day before meals reduces food intake by 10 percent according to Evans and Miller (1975).
Guar gum lowers cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood sugar and insulin
Guar gum has the added benefit of
- reducing total cholesterol by 10 to 15 percent (Todd et al, 1990),
- reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol by 15 to 25 percent (Todd et al, 1990),
- reducing blood sugar (Blackburn et al, 1984), and
- reducing insulin levels (Blackburn et al, 1984).
Guar gum may interfere with copper absorption
One paper I read said that guar gum does not impair the absorption of minerals (Krotkiewski, 1984), however, elsewhere I have read that guar gum can impair the absorption of copper, and, as noted in a previous article, copper is extrememly important for good health.
Gel-forming fibers slow the absorption of food
Gel-forming water-soluble fibers like guar gum slow the absorption of foods, and reduce blood sugar and insulin levels (Blackburn et al, 1984; Morgan et al, 1979)
Guar gum lowers blood sugar following meals
Guar gum taken before a meal reduces blood sugar levels following the meal in healthy people (Morgan et al, 1979), as well as in type I (insulin-dependent) and type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetics (Nuttall, 1993; Aro et al, 1981).
This effect lasts up to 4 hours after guar gum is taken.
Guar gum reduces insulin-releasing hormone
Guar gum also reduces a hormone in the gut that causes insulin release called gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) (Morgan et al, 1979).
Ten grams of guar gum taken before a 100 gram dose of carbohydrates reduced GIP by 30 percent (Morgan et al, 1990).
Guar gum reduces rise in blood sugar by 50%, insulin by 31%
Another study found that taking 22 grams of guar gum before a large dose of sugar (80 grams of glucose) reduced the rise in blood sugar by 50 percent, and the rise in insulin by 31 percent.
Decreasing the rise in blood sugar and insulin is a healthy benefit.
Guar gum improves insulin sensitivity
Guar gum also improves insulin sensitivity (Caviezel et al, 1986).
Reduced insulin sensitivity causes increased blood insulin levels which are associated with high blood pressure.
Insulin resistance is part of a syndrome called “Syndrome X” which consists of reduced insulin sensitivity, increased insulin levels, reduced glucose tolerance, reduced “good” HDL cholesterol, and increased triglycerides.
Guar gum’s ability to increase insulin sensitivity is important for overweight people, older individuals, and type II non-insulin dependent diabetics, all of whom have reduced insulin sensitivity.
A few reports of throat obstruction
There have been a few reports of guar gum capsules swelling with water before being swallowed and causing throat obstruction.
For a time, guar gum capsules were removed from the market.
Guar gum powder mixed with water does not have this problem, however, realize that when guar gum powder is mixed with water it becomes thick very quickly and so must be swallowed immediately.
Weight Loss studies
One study found women lost 5.5 pounds in four months taking 5 grams of guar gum before each meal.
A second study found that women taking 10 grams of guar gum immediately before lunch and dinner lost 9.4 pounds in two months.
Another study found patients lost 15.6 pounds in two-and-one-half-months taking 10 grams of guar gum before lunch and dinner for one week then alternating to using the same dose of wheat bran, alternating each week.
A fourth study found that six obese patient taking 10 grams of guar gum twice a day before meals, lost an average of 49.5 pounds after one year, and a seventh patient lost 136.4 pounds.
Other articles about guar gum published after this current article can be found by clicking here.
Aro A, Uusitupa M, Voutilainen E, Hersio K, Korhonen T, Siitonen O. Improved diabetic control and hypocholesterolaemic effect induced by long-term dietary supplementation with guar gum in type 2 (insulin-independent) diabetes. Diabetologia. 1981 Jul, 21(1):29-33.
Blackburn N, Redfern J, Jarjis H, Holgate A, Hanning I, Scarpello J, Johnson I, Read N. The mechanism of action of guar gum in improving glucose tolerance in man. Clin Sci (Lond). 1984 Mar, 66(3):329-36.
Caviezel F, Giacca A, Brighenti F, Testolin G, Pozza G. Comportameno degli oligoelementi e della resistenza all???insulina in soggetti obesi non diabetici trattati a breve e lungo termine con guar. Alim Nutr Metab 7: 65-78, 1986.
Evans E, Miller D. Bulking agents in the treatment of obesity. Nutr Metab. 1975, 18(4):199-203.
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.
Morgan L, Goulder T, Tsiolakis D, Marks V, Alberti K. The effect of unabsorbable carbohydrate on gut hormones. modification of post-prandial gip secretion by guar. Diabetologia. 1979 Aug, 17(2):85-89.
Morgan L, Tredger J, Wright J, Marks V. The effect of soluble- and insoluble-fibre supplementation on post-prandial glucose tolerance, insulin and gastric inhibitory polypeptide secretion in healthy subjects. Br J Nutr. 1990 Jul, 64(1):103-10.
Nuttall F. Dietary fiber in the management of diabetes. Diabetes. 1993 Apr, 42(4):503-08.
Todd P, Benfield P, Goa K. Guar gum. a review of its pharmacological properties, and use as a dietary adjunct in hypercholesterolaemia. Drugs. 1990 Jun, 39(6):917-28.
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