. It is often used as a thickener due to its unique ability to make liquids more viscous.
This is the first step to understanding how new food ingredients can change our microbiome and whether these changes are good or bad. The results of the study were published in the journal Natural microorganisms.
The processing of xanthan gum appears to be driven by a bacterium, a bacterium from the family Ruminococcaceae, that breaks down the carbohydrates in xanthan gum.
Another type of gut bacteria, Bacteroides gutis, feed on the smaller carbohydrates secreted by Ruminococcaceae bacteria. Bacteria that consume xanthan gum can lead to the production of short-chain fatty acids that play a role in gut health and may contribute to total calories.
Furthermore, genetic markers of these gut bacteria were relatively absent in microbial samples from people from non-industrialized countries, suggesting that widespread consumption of food additives has can positively alter the gut microbiota.
The team also found that the rat’s microbiota could process xanthan gum, which may imply that the ability to process the substance may already be present in the mammalian gut to some extent. something.
This can be especially important for people who consume above-average amounts of xanthan gum, such as those with celiac disease and those following a gluten-free diet.