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Guar Gum Effects On Weight Reduction, Cravings And Diabetes in GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the Obese

Guar Gum Effects On Weight Reduction, Cravings And Diabetes in GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the Obese

Authors: Marcus Free MD, Rouzbeh Motiei-Langroudi MD, Waqar Ahmad PhD, Kelly Daly RDN, and Don Juravin (Don Karl Juravin).

Abstract (Research Summary)

  • Guar gum decreases body weight by 1.8 lbs (~0.81 kg) in overweight adults and those with additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease (Jovanovski 2020).
  • Guar gum increases satiety for 10 hours (Faris 1998).
  • Guar gum decreases daily energy intake by 310 calories (Pasman 1997b). That is a weight loss of ~2.5 kg (5.3 lbs) per month or 30 kg (66 lbs) per year.
  • Guar gum increases the ratio of the healthy to unhealthy gut flora by 100% to 1,000% (Fak 2015, Ohashi 2015, Berger 2014, Okubo 1994). An unhealthy microbiome promotes sugar cravings (Roberfroid 2010).
  • Guar gum decreases the peak concentration of glucose by 44% to 56% resulting in better glycemic control for diabetics, increased satiety and weight loss (Jenkins 1978).
  • Guar gum decreases appetite by 10% (Kovacs 2001, Krotkiewski 1984, Evans 1975). This reduces caloric intake by 200 calories per day resulting in 420g weight loss per week, or 22 kg per year.
  • Guar gum decreases cravings as it increases the gastric transit time. This results in better glycemic control for diabetics by reducing the concentration of glucose in the blood and inhibiting the absorption from the gut.

Overview

Guar gum is an extract of the guar bean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba, aka Dietary Fiber, Guar Flour, Indian Cluster Bean, Indian Guar Plant and Jaguar Gum). Guar bean is an annual legume crop mainly grown in India and Pakistan, with minor amounts in the United States, Australia, and Africa. Guar gum is widely used as a food-thickening agent. It is also found in nutritional supplements.

Guar gum is a soluble dietary fiber produced from the seed of the guar plant. It works as a bulk laxative. When ingested, it expands in the presence of water and tends to normalize bowel function. Like other fibers, it absorbs glucose and lipids in the gut, decreases their absorption and lowers blood glucose by slowing the delivery of carbohydrate to the small intestine and increasing hepatic extraction of insulin.

Guar Gum Effects On Weight Reduction, Cravings And Diabetes in GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the Obese

Guar Gum Effects on Weight Reduction

Guar gum promotes 2.5 kg (5.3 lbs) weight loss per month due to increased satiety and healthy gut flora. It also decreases caloric intake, glucose metabolism, appetite and cravings.

  • Guar gum decreases body weight by 1.8 lbs (~0.81 kg) with 95% (-1.20, -0.41) confidence interval and other markers of adiposity in overweight adults and those with additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease (Jovanovski 2020).
  • Guar gum (10g twice daily) increases satiety and decreases weight by 4.3 kg (9.5 lb) over 8 weeks (Clemens 2012, Ou 2001, Krotkiewski 1984).
  • Guar gum promotes weight loss as it lowers blood glucose and increases satiety. It increases the viscosity of small intestinal contents, hinders glucose diffusion, decreases the concentration of available glucose in the small intestine and slows α-amylase action that promotes glucose production (Ou 2001).
  • Guar gum (3.5g thrice daily for 6 months) consumed 20 minutes before main meals results in weight loss (Cicero 2007).
  • Guar gum (10g twice daily for 14 months) consumed as dissolved in 200mL of liquid, such as water, coffee, or orange juice results in weight loss (Pasman 1997b).
  • Guar gum (2.5g thrice daily) with a low-energy semisolid meal promotes weight loss (Kovacs 2001).

Guar Gum Linked to Decrease in Appetite

Guar gum decreases appetite (by 10%) by slowing the rate of digestion, therefore extending the sensation of satiety fullness for up to 8 hours. The bulk forming properties may also cause a sense of fullness and cause decreased appetite.

  • Guar gum (40g) supplementation for 1 week reduces caloric intake by 310 calories per day due to increased satiety and decreased hunger (Pasman 1997a). This equals 9,300 calories or loss of 2.4 kg (5.3 lbs) per month.
  • Guar gum (10g consumed before meals or 2.5g consumed within a semisolid meal) reduces appetite by 10% and reduces caloric intake by 200 calories per day, resulting in 450g (1 lb) weight loss over 18 days (Kovacs 2001, Kovacs 2002, Krotkiewski 1984, Evans 1975).
  • Guar gum (2g to 12g) added to a meal increases duration of satiety up to 8 hours in overweight people due to delayed gastric emptying (French 1994, Wilmshurst 1980). A longer duration of satiety will increase dietary compliance and decrease total caloric intake.
  • Guar gum lowers postprandial glucose and insulin levels, leading to a reduction in appetite and an increase in satiety (Lavin 1995).

Guar Gum Linked to Increased Healthy Gut Flora

Guar gum improves gut flora composition, finally improving metabolic processes associated with obesity including satiety and glucose control. Controlled glucose levels and improved satiety reduce cravings and caloric intake. 

  • The human gut is the natural habitat for a large and dynamic bacterial community, comprising 300 to 1000 different species; however, 99% of the gut flora is comprised of 30 to 40 species.
  • Gut flora has many functions including carbohydrate metabolism, immunity, and normal bowel movements, and thus is essential for weight loss.
  • Dysbiosis (gut flora imbalance) is directly related to obesity, and other metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
  • Guar gum is a powerful prebiotic (Tuohy 2007). Prebiotics feed gut flora colonies and are beneficial for body weight, energy balance and satiety regulation (Roberfroid 2010).
  • Guar gum improves gut flora composition, which in turn improves metabolic processes associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes (Roberfroid 2010), such as satiety and glucose control, reducing cravings and caloric intake.
  • Guar gum improves gut flora composition and increases the ratio of healthy to unhealthy gut flora (Slavin 2013, Waitzberg 2012). Unhealthy gut flora increases cravings for substances like sugar to feed them. As a result, Guar gum reduces sugar cravings.
  • Guar gum (6g to 21g per day) increases the healthy gut flora (Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Clostridium coccoides group, Roseburia/Eubacterium rectale group, Eubacterium hallii, butyrate-producing bacterium strains and Akkermansia muciniphila) 100% to 1,000%, and decreases blood glucose levels and weight (Fak 2015, Ohashi 2015, Berger 2014, Okubo 1994).

Guar Gum Effects on Cravings

Guar gum decreases cravings as it prolongs the gastric transit time and reduces the concentration of glucose in the blood. Reduced glucose decreases hunger and promotes satiety, therefore reducing cravings.

  • Guar gum affects glucose and fat metabolism rates for up to 4 hours and lowers blood glucose (by 44% to 56%) and lipids (by 21%), increasing insulin sensitivity (Clemens 2012, Ou 2001, Krotkiewski 1984, Jenkins 1980, Jenkins 1978). Controlled glucose levels decrease cravings and increase satiety, thereby leading to weight loss of 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) per month or 30 kg (66 lbs) per year.
  • Guar gum improves the ratio of healthy gut flora by 100% to 1,000%, which decreases strong cravings for sugar (Slavin 2013, Waitzberg 2012).
  • Guar gum increases intestinal transit time by 25% (7 to 10 hours) therefore keeping the stomach filled and inhibiting the release of hormones which increase hunger and cravings, such as ghrelin and serotonin (Faris 1998).

Guar Gum Effects on Diabetes

Guar gum limits the maximum rise in blood glucose by 44% to 56%. This helps to control sugar levels in diabetics.

  • Guar gum increases satiety for up to 10 hours by increasing intestinal transit time by 25% (Faris 1998), which keeps the small intestine fuller for longer, increases satiety, slows the absorption of glucose and limits the rise of postprandial blood glucose levels.
  • Guar gum limits the maximum rise in blood glucose by 44% to 56% (Jenkins 1978). Slower glucose metabolism helps control sugar spikes.
  • Guar gum reduces the maximum rise in serum insulin by 43% to 59% (Jenkins 1978). Controlled insulin release is linked with controlled sugar levels.
  • Guar gum slows glucose metabolism rate, lowers blood glucose, and increases insulin sensitivity (Clemens 2012, Ou 2001, Krotkiewski 1984).
  • Guar gum (15g daily for up to 48 weeks) improves glycemic control and postprandial glucose tolerance (Groop 1993, Chuang 1992).
  • Guar gum consumed for 4 weeks reduces urinary glucose (Johansen 1981).
  • Guar gum (7.6g) added to bread containing carbohydrates (75g) reduces postprandial glucose and insulin (Gatenby 1996).
  • Guar gum (5g four times daily for 6 weeks) consumed before meals reduces fasting blood glucose, postprandial glucose, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and insulin requirements in patients with type 1 diabetes (Ebeling 1988, Vuorinen-Markkola 1992).
  • Guar gum (9g daily for two months) added to natural fibers (30g) reduces serum levels of HbA1c (Bruttomesso 1989).

Benefits, Side Effects, Interactions

Benefits

  • Guar gum is a hypocholesterolemic agent which reduces low density lipoproteins, very low density lipoproteins and cholesterol and prevents cardiovascular problems and hypertension (Jenkins 1978).
  • Guar gum improves the health and functionality of the small bowel by stabilizing gut flora and increases motility (Faris 1998).
  • Guar gum reduces nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress associated with diabetes and hypertension (Slavin 2013, Waitzberg 2012).
  • Guar gum is used orally as a bulk laxative. It is also used for treating diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), obesity, and diabetes.
  • Guar gum is used  as a thickening, stabilizing, suspending, and binding agent in foods and beverages, as a binding and disintegrating agent in tablets, and as a thickening agent in lotions and creams.

Safety

Guar gum is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) according to the FDA.

Side effects

  • Flatulence: Guar gum increases intestinal and gut gas production resulting in increased flatulence.
  • Loose bowel motions: Diarrhea may occur but is expected to subside within a few days.
  • Obstruction: When Guar gum is consumed with inadequate amounts of fluids, it can also cause severe esophageal and small bowel obstruction (Lewis 1992).
  • Side effects can be minimized by gradual increase in intake of fiber rich foods and increase of water intake to 3 liters per day.

Drug interactions

  • Ethinyl estradiol: Guar gum decreases ethinyl estradiol absorption, decreasing the effectiveness of estrogens.
  • Antidiabetic drugs: Both Guar gum and antidiabetic drugs decrease blood glucose levels. On the other hand, concurrent use of Guar gum with metformin may decrease metformin absorption and lower its antidiabetic activity. Therefore, it is important to monitor glucose levels and speak to a physician about balancing the antidiabetic drugs if required.
  • Antihypertensive drugs: Guar gum appears to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure (Landin 1992, Uusitupa 1984) and taking Guar gum with antihypertensive drugs might increase the risk of hypotension.
  • Digoxin: Guar gum decreases the rate of digoxin absorption.
  • Penicillin: Guar gum may decrease the absorption of penicillin, resulting in decreased effectiveness.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

  • Calcium: Guar gum can reduce the rate of calcium absorption and concomitant use of Guar gum and calcium supplements might reduce the efficacy of calcium.
  • Herbs and supplements with hypoglycemic activity: Guar gum lowers blood glucose levels. Therefore, concomitant use of guar gum with herbs and supplements that have hypoglycemic activity (like alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, devil’s claw, fenugreek, garlic, Panax ginseng, psyllium, Siberian ginseng, etc.) could have additive and adverse effects.
  • Herbs and supplements with hypotensive effects: Guar gum appears to have hypotensive effects. Combining guar gum with other herbs and supplements with hypotensive effects (like andrographis, casein peptides, cat’s claw, coenzyme Q10, fish oil, L-arginine, lyceum, stinging nettle, theanine, etc.) increases the risk of hypotension.
  • Guar gum taken with small amounts of insoluble fiber does not affect iron, ferritin, vitamin A or vitamin E absorption.

Interactions with foods

None known.

Caution

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: There is limited research and therefore best to avoid Guar gum during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
  • Diabetes and surgeries: As Guar gum lowers blood glucose levels, it is important to monitor glucose levels to avoid hypoglycemic episodes in diabetics.
  • Surgery: As Guar gum lowers blood glucose levels, it is suggested to discontinue Guar gum 2 weeks prior to elective surgical procedures.
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction: Do not consume Guar gum if you have a condition which causes obstruction or narrowing of the esophagus or intestine.
  • Hypertension: Patients with hypertension should use Guar gum with caution to avoid the risk of hypotension.

References

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Footnote

This research was sponsored by GLOBESITY FOUNDATION (nonprofit organization) and managed by Don Juravin. GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the obese is part of GLOBESITY FOUNDATION which helps obese with 70 to 400 lbs excess fat to adopt a healthy lifestyle and thereby achieve a healthy weight.

Tags: guar gum, weight reduction, GLOBESITY FOUNDATION, weight loss, cravings, diabetes, healthy weight, decrease in appetite, healthy gut flora, 

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3960285  orcid.org/0000-0002-7537-2939