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Guar Gum

What other names is Guar Gum known by?

Cyamopsis psoraloides, Cyamopsis tetragonoloba, Cyamopsis tetragonolobus, Dietary Fiber, Dolichos psoraloides, Farine de Guar, Fibre Alimentaire, Goma Guar, Gomme de Guar, Gomme de Jaguar, Guar Flour, Indian Guar Plant, Jaguar Gum, Psoralea tetragonoloba.

What is Guar Gum?

Guar gum is a fiber from the seed of the guar plant.

Guar gum is used as a laxative. It is also used for treating diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), obesity, and diabetes; for reducing cholesterol; and for preventing “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis).

In foods and beverages, guar gum is used as a thickening, stabilizing, suspending, and binding agent.

In manufacturing, guar gum is used as a binding agent in tablets, and as a thickening agent in lotions and creams.

Possibly Effective for...

Possibly Ineffective for...

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of guar gum for these uses.

How does Guar Gum work?

Guar gum is a fiber that normalizes the moisture content of the stool, absorbing excess liquid in diarrhea, and softening the stool in constipation. It also might help decrease the amount of cholesterol and glucose that is absorbed in the stomach and intestines.

There is some interest in using guar gum for weight loss because it expands in the intestine, causing a sense of fullness. This may decrease appetite.


What is cholesterol? See Answer

Are there safety concerns?

Guar gum is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth with at least 8 ounces of liquid. The water is important because it reduces the chance of choking or developing a blockage in the intestine.

Side effects include increased gas production, diarrhea, and loose stools. These side effects usually decrease or disappear after several days of use. High doses of guar gum or not drinking enough fluid with the dose of guar gum can cause blockage of the esophagus and the intestines.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking guar gum during pregnancy in typical amounts is POSSIBLY SAFE. But not enough is known about the safety of taking guar gum during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Guar gum might lower blood sugar levels in some people. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use guar gum.

Gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction: Don't take guar gum if you have a condition that causes obstruction or narrowing of your esophagus or intestine.

Low blood pressure: Guar gum might lower blood pressure. In theory, taking guar gum might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.

Surgery: Because guar gum might affect blood glucose levels, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood glucose control during and after surgery. Stop taking guar gum at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any interactions with medications?

Ethinyl estradiolInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Ethinyl estradiol is a form of estrogen that's in some estrogen products and birth control pills. Guar gum can decrease how much ethinyl estradiol the body absorbs. Taking guar gum along with estrogen-containing medicines might decrease the effectiveness of estrogen.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Guar gum might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking guar gum along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Medications used for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Guar gum might decrease blood pressure in some people. Taking guar gum along with medications used for lowering blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. Do not take too much guar gum if you are taking medications for high blood pressure. Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.

Metformin (Glucophage)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Guar gum can decrease how much metformin the body absorbs. Taking guar gum along with metformin can decrease the effectiveness of metformin.

Penicillin (Penicillin VK, Pen VK, Veetids)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Guar gum can decrease how much penicillin the body absorbs. Taking guar gum along with penicillin can decrease the ability of penicillin to fight infection.

Digoxin (Lanoxin)Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some people worry that guar gum can decrease how much digoxin the body absorbs. But it is unlikely that guar gum will significantly affect digoxin absorption.

Dosing considerations for Guar Gum.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For constipation: 12 grams per day. Start with a small dose of 4 grams per day and increase the dose slowly over time to limit unwanted gastrointestinal (GI) side effects.
  • For diabetes: 15 grams per day.
  • For high cholesterol: 15 grams per day of guar gum plus pectin in combination with 5 grams insoluble fiber.
  • For irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): 5 grams of partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG). PHGG is guar gum that has been chemically treated to make it dissolve in liquids and keep it from being broken down by acid or heat.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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