Skip to main content

Xanthan Gum Pharmaceutical Applications

Xanthan gum, derived from the gram-negative xanthomonas campestris bacterium, is a common excipient in prescription drugs and over-the counter medications.

Many infectious-disease professionals and the National Institutes of Health report that gram-negative bacteria may be more dangerous than the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) organism.

The 2008 patent application—"METHOD FOR REMOVING IMPURITIES FROM BIOPOLYMER MATERIAL"—provides the following re the endotoxins emanating from pharmaceutical-grade biopolymers such as alginate, xanthan gum and gelatine:

In pharmaceutical production, it is necessary to remove LPSs from drug product containers as even small amounts of this endotoxin will cause illness, but not disease, in humans.
LPSs are in large part responsible for the dramatic clinical manifestations of infections with pathogenic gram-negative bacteria, such as Neisseria meningitis, the pathogen that causes fulminate meningitis.
According to the FDA, xanthan gum is generally the source of this unwarranted bacterial activity.

In 2009 the Center for Drug Research and Evaluation found the following Tobradex ST microbiology issue:

Xanthan gum is the primary source of bacterial endotoxin since it is produced by bacterial fermentation. The proposed manufacturing changes were made in processing xanthan gum to achieve reduction in endotoxin level and maintaining high viscosity of the solution.
FDA standards regarding permissible endotoxin limits are not disclosed. Endotoxin data was redacted in the Tobradex ST review.

It may be circumstantial, but many pharmaceutical products containing xanthan gum are linked to necrotizing (cell death) events. Adverse events include, but are not limited to, toxic epidermal necrosis and Stevens-Johnson.

Research papers—"Bacterial Endotoxin in Human Disease"—and "Concordance of Endotoxemia with Gram-Negative Bacteremia in Patients with Gram-Negative Sepsis: a Meta-Analysis" document that endotoxins release tumor necrosis factor receptors.

Medications absent xanthan gum are also known cause necrolysis.

The study of interaction of various pharmaceutical agents is challenging but it has been established that antibiotics can initiate endotoxin activity. This subject is discussed in "Effects of Different Types and Combinations of Antimicrobial Agents on Endotoxin Release from Gram-negative Bacteria: An In-Vitro and In-Vivo Study."

The EuroSCAR-study  "Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis: assessment of medication risks with emphasis on recently marketed drugs" and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences "Stevens Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis and SJS-TEN overlap: A retrospective study of causative drugs and clinical outcome" report provide further data.

Xanthomonas campestris—Xanthan Gum

Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris is the cause of "black rot" necrotic plant disease.  Fermentation of the xanthomonas campestris pathogen and its numerous molecularly-altered strains produce xanthan gum.

Gram-Negative Bacteria

Xanthomonas campestris, a gram negative bacterium, contains endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide) layers (LPSxcc). The transformation (lysis) of xanthomonas campestris to xanthan gum releases lipopolysaccharides which are known to provoke  harmful immune defense mechanisms in plants and humans.

Gram-negative bacteria is mutable, often antibiotic resistant and will spark endotoxin activity. Reference: "Bacteroides: the Good, the Bad, and the Nitty-Gritty"
Clinical Microbiology Reviews 2007

Plant Pathogen Crossover

The National Institutes of Health has identified various plant pathogens and their related strains as disease prompting agents. This plant-to-human transmission phenomena is called crossover. The plant bacteria xanthonomas campestris pv. campestris is known to cause bacteremia.

The Code of Federal Regulations re Xanthan Gum Formulated
Pharmaceuticals

The Code of Federal Regulations prescribe that food/pharmaceutical grade xanthan gum be extracted from non pathogenic/non toxigenic Xanthomonas campestris strains and not contain active Xanthomonas campestris cells.

Patent applications reveal that xanthan gum endotoxin-reduction methods are complex. For instance,  KELTROL T [ Kelco Biopolymers]  xanthan gum contains more than
one million endotoxin units per gram.

Xanthan gum was classified a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) food additive in 1969 and was approved for pharmaceutical usage in 2004.

Xanthan Gum Manufacturers

Xanthan gum, manufactured in China, France, U.S. and Austria, is ubiquitous in food and pharmaceuticals. This biopolymer is classified Quantum satis. In other
words, amounts in consumer items are left to manufacturers' discretion.

Water supplies also contain the Xanthomonas campestris bacteria because industrial-grade xanthan gum is utilized by oil/gas producers as a lubricating fracking agent.

Domestic and foreign Xanthomonas campestris fermentation facilities, rarely inspected by the FDA, produce both consumer and industrial grade xanthan gum.  Dual-use production sites raise quality control concerns.

The question of whether the original Xanthomonas campestris bacterium and its related mutated strains are benign excipients deserves review.  Preclinical xanthan gum safety studies are dated. 

Xanthomonas Campestris Mutatations

Since the 60s interested parties have been experimenting with the Xanthomonas campestris bacteria and its progeny to achieve greater xanthan gum production.

For example, Syntro Inc. sponsored 1980s research determined that two classes of Xanthomonas campestris, mutant strain B1459, increased xanthan gum quantity but were antibiotic resistant. These findings, "Improved strains for production of xanthan gum by fermentation of Xanthomonas campestris," were published in the Journal of Industrial Microbiology (1989) 55-64.

Companies holding patents on genetically-altered Xanthomonas campestris strains are exempt from product safety trials and pre marketing constraints because the novel products are deemed substantially equivalent to the parent bacterium.

The substantially-equivalent theory is explained in "THE DOSSIER IN SUPPORT OF THE GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS SAFE (GRAS) STATUS OF REDUCED-PYRUVATE XANTHAN GUM (RPXG) AS A FOOD INGREDIENT."  This report was presented to the FDA in June 2006 by the Burdock Group on behalf of CP Kelco.

Pharmaceutical Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Associations

In defense of their products, manufacturers maintain that pharmaceutical-induced necrolysis incidents are rare. This allegation and other relevant matters are before the Supreme Court in Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett (12-142).  Mutual Pharmaceutical is arguing that the company should not be held responsible for the defendant's sulindac-caused toxic epidermal necrolysis illness. Sulindac, according to the product label, does not contain xanthan gum.

Rare harmful drug events can be expected to occur in > than 1/10,000 and < 1/1,000 patients.

Responsible parties acknowledge that mortality/morbidity incidence reports are subject to change because clinical trials often do not reflect reality.

For example the rotavirus (anti-diarrheal) inoculation, RotaShield (Wythe), was determined safe for infants and children until pernicious events proved otherwise.
The FDA RotaShield post-prescription advisory is:

AUG 1998: RotaShield® (Wyeth Laboratories, Inc.) Live oral rhesus-based, tetravalent, 3-dose series— Increased risk of intussusception reported following vaccination— Voluntarily withdrawn by the manufacturer in October, 1999—License revoked by FDA in November, 2002.
Xanthan Gum Excipient Pharmaceuticals and Stevens-Johnson
Syndrome

The following xanthan gum formulated medications are linked to the Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. This list is not inclusive.

Rotarix—human rotavirus RIX4414 strain—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome — The FDA became aware in 2010 that Rotarix and RotaTeq rotavirus vaccines contained porcine circovirus. These foreign DNA components are not FDA-considered health risks.

Infants'/Children's Motrin—Ibuprofen—xanthan gum—Stevens Johnson Syndrome—"Ibuprofen is safe, doctor says, despite severe injuries girl suffered after taking Motrin"—"Motrin Lawsuit: Jury Awards Girl $10 Million for Burns and Blindness"

Aldara— imiquimod—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Lipitor—atorvastatin calcium—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Allegra Oral Suspension—fexofenadine hydrochloride —xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Timolol GFS—timolol maleate—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndromebacteremia

Duricef Oral Suspension—cefadroxil—xanthan gum—Stevens Johnson Syndrome

Risperdal M-Tabs—risperidone—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome 1

Moxeza—moxifloxacin hydrochloride—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome [xanthan gum data deleted in the FDA clinical review]

Erythromycin E.E.S. from the Saccharopolyspora erythraea strain—xanthan gum— Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Zmax—azithromycin—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome— Pfzier's warning that allergic reactions may recurr post-azithromycin exposure:

These patients required prolonged periods of observation and symptomatic treatment. The relationship of these episodes to the long tissue half-life of azithromycin and subsequent exposure to antigen has not been determined.
ZEGERID Oral suspension powder—omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

TAMIFLU  oral suspension—oseltamivir phosphate—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome— "The Myth of Tamiflu: 5 Things You Should Know"— Forbes

BIAXIN Granules for oral suspension—Clarithromycin—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

AUGMENTIN XR—amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

VIOXX Oral Suspension —rofecoxib—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome—Vioxx has been attributed to 27,000 heart attacks or sudden cardiac deaths while prescribed 1999-2003—Vigor Study

MEGACE —megestrol acetate—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome—no mutagenesis studies conducted—"New Jersey pharmaceutical company pleads guilty to illegal marketing" of Megace to elder care facility physicians.

Cedax (ceftibuten) Cedax Oral Suspension—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson SyndromeFDA Cedax False Advertising Warning Letter

Tegretol Oral Suspension— carbamazepine—xanthan gum—Stevens-Johnson Syndrome



Xanthan Gum Endotoxins

It is disconcerting to learn that contrary to the information published in the Code of Federal Regulations, xanthan gum endotoxins are permitted in pharmaceutical products.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Well, they can always nuke the gum. (6+ / 0-)

    Hard gammas from Co-60 or Cs-137 could be used to sterilize the gum. It's not the first option, but if others don't work high levels of radiation will.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:08:32 PM PDT

    •  That won't get rid of the LPS (6+ / 0-)

      which seems to be the problem here (not live bacteria, although the diary was a tad vague in this regard).

    •  Actually . . . (5+ / 0-)

      it's sterilized both in manufacturing and in most uses.  The issue seems to be that the endotoxin (produced during fermentation) is not always sufficiently removed from the gum product.  At least that's the allegation, as far as I can make out from this horrible bit of writing.

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Tue May 14, 2013 at 07:14:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Science writing is hard (4+ / 0-)

        Thanks for pointing out that the endotoxin is a product of fermentation.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Tue May 14, 2013 at 07:35:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In other words, killing the assassin after he has (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greengemini

          already slipped the poison into your drink (without you knowing he did it, of course) doesn't do any good.  You are still dead if you drink it.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Tue May 14, 2013 at 09:17:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  In a way - actually endotoxins (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flowerfarmer, cynndara

          are naturally produced by virtually all bacteria (and what cause sepsis, etc that is deadly in bacterial infections).

          In particular LPS, or lipopolysaccharide is a potent endotoxin that is very immunogenic.

          Since the xanthum gum is also a polysaccharide (minus the  "lipo" (i.e., lipid) part) the extraction method to get the endotoxins out of the product has to be quite rigorous, especially when the LPS has a large polysaccharide component (and thus has chemical feature close to the gum).  

          Reading on wikipedia, it seems like isopropanol is typically used for extraction.  Guess it works, kinda, sorta - at least when the product is intended to lubricate oil wells (drill baby drill!!).  Less well when it is intended as part of a drug to give already sick people, however.  

          US companies probably do an OK job of this - but when you read that major outsourcing is being sent out to China et al, that does make one a bit queasy.

      •  it is a horrible bit of writing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy, Deward Hastings

        Very confused.  Gram negative bacteria in the form of e. coli inhabit the gut in every one of us in vast numbers. Digestion would not work properly without them. One gram negative bacteria is not the same as another.

        As to endotoxin, that term merely refers to bacterial cell wall debris and is normally harmless when taken by mouth. In fact we ingest vast amounts of bacterial cells and their debris by the simple act of eating yogurt and other cultured products.

        •  This article is GREAT reporting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VeggiElaine

          Hours of research, links documenting, and left open-ended for reader to study and make their own conclusions.

          To say "horrible writing" is unkind and unnecessary

          I will never understand how any Dkos member can write an unkind comment.

          Sure,  have and share your opinions about a topic, the debate is what originally hooked me to Dkos.

          But to classify a diary that a fellow member spent hours researching, organizing, and publishing as "horrible writing?"

          These sorts of comments undermine the credibility of Dkos, IMO

          ........unless this is the goal, perhaps an apology to the writer ......

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:17:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, he's correct. (3+ / 0-)

            It's a whole bunch of misdirection to get around the fact the "issue" at hand appears to be one incident of harmless contamination that was caught before approval process on a drug years ago.

            As an example, what relevance does this have with anything:

            Mutual Pharmaceutical is arguing that the company should not be held responsible for the defendant's sulindac-caused toxic epidermal necrolysis illness. Sulindac, according to the product label, does not contain xanthan gum.
            •  Like I said, please debate the topic (0+ / 0-)

              To include empirical evidence to back up a critique without using unkind phrases like "horrible writing"

              it wasn't even my diary, however this phrase hurt my heart and discourages me from contributing here.

              unkind and unnecessary

              It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

              by War on Error on Wed May 15, 2013 at 08:03:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Part of the problem was that it was almost (2+ / 0-)

                impossible to "debate the topic" based on the information presented in the diary.

                For example, I was one of the early commenters - probably about 1/2 hour after the diary was posted - and even then others didn't have a clue what this was about (e.g., they interpreted the diary that the gum was contaminated with live bacteria . .. . .).

                So, while there were lots of links posted, they didn't really fit together in any coherent way.  Much like doing a Google search on a topic and arbitrarily deciding that the top 20 hits could comprise a coherent diary . .. . . no, there's little chance of that w/o some serious editing.

              •  this is a reality-based site (0+ / 0-)

                Some of your diaries have been equally guilty of uninformed, poorly researched, alarmist fear mongering. It is apparent you have been totally immune to the constructive criticism you have received from a variety of Kossacks well educated in science.  Instead of blaming the messenger you might want to take a look at what's driving your reaction to the message.

                •  You are not being very nice today (0+ / 0-)

                  are you struggling?  {{  hugs  }}

                  It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                  by War on Error on Wed May 15, 2013 at 10:46:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  well (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    War on Error

                    I do appreciate your conciliatory gesture.  I get that you are a feeling centered-person. I acknowledge that I was "not very nice" in how I expressed myself and apologize for my tone.  That said, I respectfully suggest there is something important for you to learn here about maintaining scientific accuracy in writing.

                    •  Thank you, wilderness voice (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      wilderness voice

                      I agree.  

                      I have much to learn, certainly about setting aside emotions when approaching a scientific study.  I will share that my series about Fort Calhoun during the massive flooding event a couple of years ago purposefully included emotions.  At the time of writing, I felt not enough attention was being given to the potential dangers.   After my diaries, the NRC jumped in.  Was there a connection?  Probably not, but I 'felt' better about the tone I wrote about Ft Calhoun.

                      : ))

                      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                      by War on Error on Thu May 16, 2013 at 11:34:18 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  This diary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deward Hastings
            left open-ended for reader to study and make their own conclusions.
            - an uninformed person would have a really hard time sorting through this disorganized information dump to discern fact from fiction, and would have to spend a lot of time in order to do so.  That is what makes it horrible writing.  It is diaries such as this that undermine the credibility of dKos.  I stand by my comment.  
      •  This is what great reporting looks like (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cynndara

        Hours of research, links documenting, and left open-ended for reader to study and make their own conclusions.

        To say "horrible writing" is unkind, unnecessary, and not true

         

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:07:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Perfect (0+ / 0-)

      in a generation we will all have a natural supply Cs137 in our bodies due to the ongoing leak of Fukushima radioisotopes into the Pacific, and whichever other rustbucket nukes remember they are beyond their design lifetimes and loudly expire.  

  •  Thanks for putting this additive on my radar. (4+ / 0-)

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

    by weck on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:12:26 PM PDT

  •  Wow, xanthan gum is in everything! (12+ / 0-)

    Yikes.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:13:29 PM PDT

  •  Some bags of xanthan gum have a warning on them (6+ / 0-)

    Don't pour down the sink as it will turn your p-trap into a solid block of jello.  Stuff is amazing.  I use it when I bake cookies.

    •  Perhaps not so much now? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chmood, 4Freedom
      I use it when I bake cookies.

      -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

      by luckylizard on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:40:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For gluten free baking, xanthan gum is needed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        luckylizard, VeggiElaine

        for the texture. I've been using Bob's Red Mill for years.

        •  Ah, then you must carry on. :-) n/t (0+ / 0-)

          -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

          by luckylizard on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:17:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  From wikipedia . . .. (0+ / 0-)

          perhaps a bit of caution is needed to ensure the "gluten free" thing!

          Allergies [edit]

          Xanthan gum may be derived from a variety of source products that are themselves common allergens, such as corn, wheat, dairy, or soy. As such, persons with known sensitivities or allergies to food products are advised to avoid foods including generic xanthan gum or first determine the source for the xanthan gum before consuming the food.

          Specifically, an allergic response may be triggered in people sensitive to the growth medium, usually corn, soy, or wheat.[4][10] For example, residual wheat gluten has been detected on xanthan gum made using wheat.[10] This may trigger a response in people highly sensitive to gluten. Some consider this to be a separate allergy to xanthan gum with similar symptoms to gluten allergy.

  •  yikes indeed (7+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure I get all this.. can someone do a Cliff notes version?

    As a person who reads labels, yes, X gum is in many common products.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:37:27 PM PDT

    •  Unfortunately (16+ / 0-)

      this poorly written screed consistently fails to distinguish between the bacterium used to produce xanthine gum (which is at least potentially dangerous as an infectious agent), xanthine gum itself (which is harmless), and endotoxins (dangerous) produced by the bacteria which should be, and for the most part are, successfully removed from  the “gum” product in the manufacturing process.

      Because of that failure this apparently well documented diary is in fact worthless scaremongering.  It's a shame, really, since there apparently is a real, though relatively minor, problem, and it is being addressed and dealt with.

      The "Cliff notes" would probably read something like "the bacterium used to produce xanthine gum also produces a toxin that has to be removed before the gum is used in pharmaceutical and food products.  There is some concern that the removal may be insufficient in some products, and that standards and testing need to be tightened."

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Tue May 14, 2013 at 07:10:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •   the distinction appeared clear to me (0+ / 0-)

        when I read it.

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Tue May 14, 2013 at 09:33:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're being rather generous. (0+ / 0-)
        Because of that failure this apparently well documented diary is in fact worthless scaremongering.  It's a shame, really, since there apparently is a real, though relatively minor, problem, and it is being addressed and dealt with.
        The entire purpose of the diary is obvious scaremongering.  The rest is just thrown in as misdirection to keep you from noticing the "contamination" was harmless and caught before approval of the drug (and occurred years ago.)
        The "Cliff notes" would probably read something like "the bacterium used to produce xanthine gum also produces a toxin that has to be removed before the gum is used in pharmaceutical and food products.  There is some concern that the removal may be insufficient in some products, and that standards and testing need to be tightened."
        The FDA caught this particular incident before approval, however.  Looks like the government agency correctly did their job.
    •  No translation possible (17+ / 0-)

      There is no way to summarize the content, as it is a hodge-podge of barely relevant and irrelevant snippets. As much as I would like to see reasoned discussion of undesirable food ingredients here, this does not advance any understanding. And frankly, there are probably far more substantial concerns than Xanthan gum (brominated vegetable oils, anyone?).

      In case anyone is wondering, I hold a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry, teach biochemistry at the graduate level and lecture frequently on food chemistry. I find this article indecipherable.

      •  Thank you both for evaluating the diary. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pgm 01

        --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

        by Fiona West on Tue May 14, 2013 at 07:35:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Typical of someone irrationally scared (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deward Hastings

        of something because they saw something scary on Facebook/email/random website.

        It's also typical of someone that doesn't have a fundamental grasp of the underlying subjects but is good at copying and pasting stuff.

  •  Translation please. (4+ / 0-)

    In the time it took Adam Lanza to reload, eleven children escaped. What if...

    by Sixty Something on Tue May 14, 2013 at 06:52:50 PM PDT

  •  I never use the stuff. (0+ / 0-)

    They don't make it in sugarless.

    The patellar reflex is a deep tendon reflex which allows one to keep one's balance with little effort or conscious thought.

    by SpamNunn on Tue May 14, 2013 at 07:06:09 PM PDT

  •  Well, crap. I was rx'd Tobradex a couple months (7+ / 0-)

    ago for an eye infection.....

    Infection seems to have gone and the doc said it was but.... this feeds into my growing concern that we cannot get anything done correctly anymore, that everything is about getting your money, results be damned.

    Who cares if you even get sick or lose your eyesight (tobradex is a combination anti-biotic and a steroid and has a clear warning to not use more than 10 days without increased risk of glaucoma) as long as somebody is taking your money?

    VIOXX was found to be the cause of some 30-40,000 deaths over a couple year period after it was approved for the market. It was yanked but allowed back on the market as it was a vastly lucrative drug and "the benefits outweighed the risk" and it is really lucrative. (But don't smoke pot).

  •  So if I'm reading this right, then: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, greengemini

    if we eat foods with xanthan gum (which we can hardly avoid) and/or take medicines containing xanthan gum (which is luck of the draw; we can't stop taking medicine) --

    we run a small risk of a really bad consequence, ie necrotic tissue disease.  The risk is greater than 1 in 10,000  but less than 1 in 1000.  Except we don't really know where in that range the risk falls, because we don't know the safe level of consumption (if any), and because when you move from the lab to the real world things can surprise you.  That is, "clinical trials often do not reflect reality.

    So now there's a great flurry of activity as we remove  xanthan gum and it's endotoxins from pharmaceutical products and food.  Right?

    Right?

    Corrections and clarifications welcome.

    --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

    by Fiona West on Tue May 14, 2013 at 07:18:57 PM PDT

  •  Xanthan gum: basic explanation of some risks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VeggiElaine

    Thank you for posting such important information.  It seems to me that medications must contain only tiny amounts of XG in a very purified form, yet even those small/pure amounts can cause serious illness.

    The presence of Xanthan gum in foods very likely exposes many people to the dangers you write about.

    Cookbooks  for Gluten-intolerant people include xanthan gum as a texturizing ingredient for baked goods and bread.  I will forward the link to this diary to some online baking-supply sales sites in hopes they will pass on this info to their customers.

    For lay people like me, some simpler explanations of Xanthan gum's production and uses can be found at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    and

    http://simple.wikipedia.org/...

    However, neither of these articles include the important new health information you write about.

    A few months back, when I was teaching myself to bake bread, I looked into gluten-free baking as a way of working with non-wheat flours.  Xanthan gum was included as a pantry item on every website I looked at regarding gluten-free baking.

    I looked into Xanthan gum (in an amateur way).  It seemed evident to me that a production process based on (basically) grinding up tiny life-forms could result in having DNA particles in the final product.  This possibility was enough to put me off Xanthan gum as an ingredient.

    Your information about endotoxins from gram-neg bacteria (which I admit I will have to re-visit when I have more time) is new to me, and even more horrifying.  I did some (amateur) research on endtoxins some years ago, but rather than trying to explain them with my limited understanding, I'll give the community a quote:

    The term endotoxin was coined by Richard Friedrich Johannes Pfeiffer, who distinguished between exotoxin, which he classified as a toxin that is released by bacteria into the environment, and endotoxin, which he considered to be a toxin kept "within" the bacterial cell and to be released only after destruction of the bacterial cell wall. Today, the term 'endotoxin' is used synonymously with the term lipopolysaccharide.,[1] which is a major constituent of the outer cell membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. Larger amounts of endotoxins can be mobilized if Gram-negative bacteria are killed or destroyed by detergents. The term "endotoxin" came from the discovery that portions of Gram-negative bacteria themselves can cause toxicity. Studies of endotoxin over the next 50 years revealed that the effects of "endotoxin" are, in fact, due to lipopolysaccharide.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    The same Wikipedia article contains information on the dire effects of endotoxin:
    Endotoxemia

    The presence of endotoxins in the blood is called endotoxemia. It can lead to septic shock, if the immune response is severely pronounced.[6]

    Moreover, endotoxemia of intestinal origin is considered to be an important factor in the development of alcoholic hepatitis,[7] which is likely to develop on the basis of the small bowel bacterial overgrowth syndrome and an increased intestinal permeability.[8]

    Older readers may remember a highly publicized outbreak of of 'toxic shock syndrome' in the 1980s, which mainly affected women of childbearing years and resulted in the deaths of a number of women.  'Toxic Shock syndrome' is the same as 'septic shock' above.  
    Septic shock is a medical condition as a result of severe infection and sepsis, though the microbe may be systemic or localized to a particular site.[1] It can cause multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (formerly known as multiple organ failure) and death.[1] Its most common victims are children, immunocompromised individuals, and the elderly, as their immune systems cannot deal with the infection as effectively as those of healthy adults. Frequently, patients suffering from septic shock are cared for in intensive care units. The mortality rate from septic shock is approximately 25–50%.[1]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    I know that my information is limited and basic, but I hope it will help readers understand some of the dangers referred to in this diary.
  •  Great diary...and particularly (3+ / 0-)

    interesting given that not only is xanthan gum widely used in medicines as the diary details, but in numerous foods and is heavily used in gluten-free baking.

    Now on a less serious, but still important note...I hereby award you the 2013 Daily Kos Award (a Kosi) for "Most Instances of the Letter X in a Diary."

    :)

    On last thing....can you even imagine an article like this being posted on a right-wing blog/board? I can just see the comments now:

    "Speak English, you elitist Commie!"

    "Trying to sound all smart, huh? Liberal troll!"

    "What does this have to do with Benghazi?"

    "What does this have to do with the 2nd Amendment?"

    To be blunt, if you do not suffer from seriously diminished mental capacity or the personality disorder that is right wing extremism and still vote Republican...I'd double check on the two previously mentioned conditions.

    by jellin76 on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:44:26 PM PDT

    •  and to everyone who felt like this was largely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego

      written in some type of foreign language (myself included)...ignore the "Speak English, you elitist Commie!" remark as the whole point is the 'elitist Commie' part.

      :)

      To be blunt, if you do not suffer from seriously diminished mental capacity or the personality disorder that is right wing extremism and still vote Republican...I'd double check on the two previously mentioned conditions.

      by jellin76 on Tue May 14, 2013 at 08:48:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  OMG we are all going to die. Endotoxin is a normal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weck, MGross

    part of the group of bacteria known as Gram negative. Also known as lipopolysaccharide or LPS or endotoxin, this substance is dangerous when injected because it causes fever and other inflammatory reactions but is not of concern when ingested. If you look at bottles of sterile water or saline that might be used to irrigate wounds you will see the words "non-pyrogenic", This affirms that endotoxin has been removed and potentially could be used for injection.  The amounts you get in food or oral medicine from xanthan gum is innocuous and not harmful. Tap water is chlorinated to kill pathogenic bacteria. Other bacteria at low levels do survive and you drink them every day along with their endotoxins.. Bottled water is usualy just filtered tap water so no bacteria but no gurantee of no left over bacteria bits like LPS. This whole diary is like the introduction to a typical California law suit targeting various producers for a big time money settlement.

    I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. The TSA would put Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad on the no-fly list.

    by OHdog on Wed May 15, 2013 at 05:09:07 AM PDT

  •  GREAT REPORTING LYNNE VOGEL (0+ / 0-)

    And timely for me as a newly converted vegan.

    Xanthum gum is sold by the pound at Winco markets and is an ingredient in many vegan baking recipes.  I was actually planning on buying some.  I won't now

    We vegans have to be careful of processed so-called vegan friendly products/ingredients.

    Another example is TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) which is touted as a great substitute for ground meat.

    I was going to try to convert one of my carnivorous friends with some highly spiced TVP tacos when, low and behold and upon researching, I learned that Archer Daniels makes lots of TVP.

    TVP is processed with a petro chemical and has been found to have nexane in it.  Nexane is a neuro-toxin.

    I threw my newly purchased TVP away.

    Now, I grind my own flours in my newly acquired Blentec, hoping the whole grains are not GMO.

    Do vitamin supplements have Xanthum Gum in them?  My huge supplement ingesting friend became very ill and docs said she was taking too many supplements and something about how they were made.

    PLEASE KEEP SHARING YOUR RESEARCH, K?

    GREAT DIARY, thank you

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:31:43 AM PDT

  •  What interests me most (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina

    is the history of the development and adoption of this substance.  At the time of its invention and introduction, there were patently inadequate controls on evaluation of new additives; if it wasn't acutely poisonous in large doses it would be approved.  As standards have tightened it has apparently been "grandfathered in" as are most substances and technology in ubiquitous use, under the theory that the dangers would have already been discovered if there were any, combined with the significant economic adjustments required by removal.  Virtually the only substance ever removed from marketing after such universal inclusion has been lead from gasoline and paints, and lead was obviously neurotoxic and had been known to be toxic at the time of its original adoption for those uses.

    At this point, the dangers would be so pervasive -- you virtually cannot purchase prepared food that doesn't incorporate xanthan gum, and the number of people in the US who manage to subsist wholly on raw and entirely home-prepared foods is vanishingly small -- that they would appear only as general rises in the occurrence of previously rare toxicities and illnesses over the last fifty years.  We have those, but teasing out the individual causes is usually impossible and they all get lumped under "diseases of modern life".  Which include everything from high blood pressure to allergies, autoimmunity, and cancer.  What is caused by what is an extremely complex problem, one that the Corporations Who Own Us are in no hurry for us to solve.

Click here for the mobile view of the site