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...

  • Constipation. Taking guar gum by mouth appears to relieve constipation in some people.
  • Diarrhea. Adding a specific guar gum product (Benefiber by Novartis Nutrition) to tube feeding formula given to critical care patients may shorten episodes of diarrhea and reduce the number of liquid stools. This guar gum product also appears to shorten episodes of diarrhea in children with diarrhea. However, guar gum does not seem to improve diarrhea in adults with cholera.
  • High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia). Taking guar gum seems to lower cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol. Guar gum and pectin, taken with small amounts of insoluble fiber, also lower total and "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, but don't affect "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or other blood fats called triglycerides.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension). Taking guar gum with each meal might reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. However, the effects of guar gum seem to be less than the effects of psyllium husk.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Taking guar gum by mouth might reduce stomach pain and improve bowel function and quality of life in people with IBS.

Possibly Ineffective for...

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Preventing diarrhea due to cancer treatment (chemotherapy). Early research suggests that adding guar gum to the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG does not reduce diarrhea in people receiving cancer treatment with the medication 5-fluorouracil.
  • Diabetes. Some early research suggests that taking guar gum with meals might lower post-meal blood sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes. The effectiveness of guar gum in type 2 diabetes is unclear, as research in this area has been conflicting.
  • Liver disorder in pregnancy (intrahepatic cholestasis). Early research suggests that taking a specific granulated guar gum product (Guarem) does not reduce itching or improve liver function in pregnant women with a specific liver disorder called intrahepatic cholestasis.
  • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of guar gum for these uses.

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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