Xanthan gum is a sugar-like compound made by mixing aged (fermented) sugars with a certain kind of bacteria. It is used to make medicine.
Xanthan gum is used for lowering blood sugar and total cholesterol in people with diabetes. It is also used as a laxative.
Xanthan gum is sometimes used as a saliva substitute in people with dry mouth (Sjogren's syndrome).
In manufacturing, xanthan gum is used as a thickening and stabilizing agent in foods, toothpastes, and medicines. Xanthan gum is also an ingredient in some sustained-release pills.
How does it work?
Xanthan gum swells in the intestine, which stimulates the digestive tract to push stool through. It also might slow the absorption of sugar from the digestive tract and work like saliva to lubricate and wet the mouth in people who don't produce enough saliva.