Guar Gum Uses, Benefits – Dosage – Herbal Database

gum and water diet

Scientific Name(s): Cyamopsis psoralioides DC., Cyamopsis tetragonolobus (L.) Taub.
Common Name(s): Guar, Guar flour, Indian cluster bean, Jaguar gum

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 28, 2019.

Clinical Overview

Guar gum is a food additive/thickener. It has been shown to reduce serum cholesterol and appears to have positive effects on blood glucose. It may be useful in reducing recurrence of anal fissures and mitigating postprandial hypotension. Guar gum should not be used to promote weight loss.

Guar gum has been administered in amounts from 7.5 to 21 g/day in clinical trials for weight loss. For constipation in children, 1 study used partially hydrolyzed guar gum 3 g/day for patients 4 to 6 years of age, 4 g/day for patients 6 to 12 years of age, and 5 g/day for patients 12 to 16 years of age. Guar gum 8 to 36 g/day and 100 to 150 g/day of dried beans or legumes have been suggested to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 5% to 10%.


Contraindications have not yet been identified.


Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.


Large amounts of guar gum (10 g or more daily) may decrease metformin serum concentrations and should be avoided.

Adverse Reactions

Guar gum may cause GI obstruction. The most common adverse effects are abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, and flatulence.


There is no published evidence of toxicity with the use of guar gum.

Scientific Family

  • Fabaceae (bean)

The guar plant is a small nitrogen-fixing annual that bears pods, each containing a number of seeds. Native to tropical Asia, the plant grows throughout India and Pakistan and has been cultivated in the southern US since the beginning of the 20th century.1 Another name for this species is C. psoralioides DC.

Guar gum is a dietary fiber obtained from the endosperm of the bean, which can account for more than 40% of the seed weight. It is separated and ground to form commercial guar gum. Guar beans may be eaten as green beans, used as fertilizer, or fed to cattle.2

Guar gum is reported to contain 75% soluble fiber, 7.6% insoluble fiber, 2% crude protein, 0.78% fat, 0.54% ash, and 9.6% moisture.2 Synonyms are Cyamopsis psoralioides DC.

Guar gum has been used for centuries as a thickening agent for foods and medicines. The largest market for guar gum is the food industry, where guar gum is known as food additive code E412.2 Guar gum continues to find extensive use for these applications as well as in the paper, textile, and oil drilling industries.

Guar is a galactomannan polysaccharide that forms a viscous gel when placed in contact with water. It forms solutions that range from slightly acidic to neutral pH. Even at low concentrations (1% to 2%), guar gum forms gels in water. The viscosity of these gels is generally unaffected by the pH of the solution.

Food grade guar gum contains approximately 80% guaran (a galactomannan composed of D-mannose and D-galactose units) with an average molecular weight of 220 kDa. The overall ratio of mannose to galactose is approximately 2:1.3 However, guar gum is not a uniform product and its viscosity may vary in proportion to the degree of galactomannan cross-linking.

Because of this physical composition, guar gum–based matrix tablets are currently being evaluated as a method of administering sustained-release drugs, including diltiazem,4, 5 and for colonic drug delivery of corticosteroids to patients with inflammatory bowel disease.6

Uses and Pharmacology

Animal data

In a 60-day study of Wistar rats, diets containing 10% and 20% weight/weight guar gum resulted in lower serum cholesterol, triacylglycerol, and LDL cholesterol levels as well as higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels.3 Rats fed guar gum had significantly lower lymph flow compared with rats fed cellulose (3.88 ± 1.31 and 11.9 ± 1.1 mL, respectively; P

Seventy-seven patients with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth were randomized to receive 1,200 mg/day of rifaximin or 1,200 mg/day of rifaximin plus 5 g/day of partially hydrolyzed guar gum for 10 days. The eradication rate of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth was 62% in the group given rifaximin alone compared with 87% in the per-protocol group given rifaximin plus guar gum (P = 0.017) and 85% in the intention-to-treat group given rifaximin plus guar gum (P = 0.036). Clinical improvement was noted in 87% of patients receiving rifaximin alone compared with 91% in those receiving rifaximin plus guar gum (P = 0.677).43

A prospective, open-label study evaluated the effect of guar gum on colonic transit time (CTT) in adults (n = 39) with chronic constipation; bisacodyl or glycerin suppositories were allowed for rescue therapy during the study period. Daily partially hydrolyzed guar gum (5 mg) for 4 weeks significantly improved CTT, straining, and weeks with pain, specifically in patients with baseline slow transit time (P = 0.016, P


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This product may adversely interact with certain health and medical conditions, other prescription and over-the-counter drugs, foods, or other dietary supplements. This product may be unsafe when used before surgery or other medical procedures. It is important to fully inform your doctor about the herbal, vitamins, mineral or any other supplements you are taking before any kind of surgery or medical procedure. With the exception of certain products that are generally recognized as safe in normal quantities, including use of folic acid and prenatal vitamins during pregnancy, this product has not been sufficiently studied to determine whether it is safe to use during pregnancy or nursing or by persons younger than 2 years of age.

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