Is Gum Arabic Harmful?

Is Gum Arabic Harmful?
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The verdict on this common food additive.

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Gum arabic—found in paints, marshmallows, M&Ms, Diet Coke, and as the lickable adhesive on the backs of stamps. Harmful, harmless, or helpful? Completely harmless.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Tarig A. Eltom via Wikimedia Commons.

Gum arabic—found in paints, marshmallows, M&Ms, Diet Coke, and as the lickable adhesive on the backs of stamps. Harmful, harmless, or helpful? Completely harmless.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Tarig A. Eltom via Wikimedia Commons.

Doctor's Note

For more on gum arabic:
Update on Gum Arabic

And check out the other “HHH” videos (Harmful, Harmless, or Helpful?) – listed below the post. 

Also see my associated blog posts: Is Caffeinated Tea Really Dehydrating? and Soy milk: shake it up!

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

13 responses to “Is Gum Arabic Harmful?

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    1.  Gums such as xanthan, carageenan, agar agar and pectin are vegetable based thickeners (mostly soluble fibers), which are completely benign and vegan.  If you are trying to avoid all animal products, gelatin is  the most common animal based thickener to avoid.




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      1. Hi, It’s not about avoiding all animal products, it’s about what is healthy. I have seen research studies that link carageenan to tumors, I’m not wondering about that one, I’m wondering specifically about xantham gum, are there any detailed studies about that and please if you aren’t a nutritionalist or the like please provide a link where you got your info. Thanks.




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        1. I would also like to know about other gums. My almond milk contains carageenan as do most non dairy milks and I have also heard that it promotes tumors. I do not know if that was information from a credible source.




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        2. My husband is addicted to Nicotine gum. He wakes up at night to chew it. His HDL is depressed and his LDL is elevated. Moderate risk of heart attack even with plant-based whole foods 20 meals per week for 3 years.
          He spends too much time in anabolic instead of catabolic. I resent this.




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  1. How about another thickening additive, carrageenan? I’ve read some literature stating that both high and low molecular weight variants are harmful.




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  2. Hello Dear Dr.Michael Greger,Skotidakis Greek yogurt dip,contens the ingredient Sodium Benzoate,is very dangerous,deadly dangerous.Why the system let those companies serving the Death in our plate? Like monosodium Glutamate, its poison to kill the rats and they put in our foods.Like aspartame. I can write millions of deadly toxic synthetic ingredints. I always read labels, like behind the word (spices) is monoso-dium glutamate,Those food compnies put in baby foods High Fuctose Corn Syrup,is also cancerous.I can go on and (on, Our body does not
    know what that is to send to waste,so stays in our body and causing health problems to our organs,like fluoride. Please tell me some good advise.I send an e.mail to that Company and they said that Skotidkis will Talk me,,they never call me.I a, still. waitind,Thank you Dr. Greger.




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  3. do not listen to this idiot. xanthum gum is the same as aspartame and its fake bacteria lab created excrement. gives cancer. idiot doctor. theres so many of them




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