GI Effects of Guar Gum

The Effect of Different Dosages of Guar Gum on Gastric Emptying and Small Intestinal Transit of a Consumed Semisolid Meal

Michiel A. van Nieuwenhoven, PhD, Eva M.R. Kovacs, MSc, Robert-Jan M. Brummer, MD, PhD, Margriet S. Westerterp-Plantenga, PhD, and Fred Brouns, PhD

Department of Gastroenterology (M.A.v.N., R.-J.M.B.) and Department of Human Biology (E.M.R.K., M.S.W.-P), Maastricht University, THE NETHERLANDS, and Eridania Béghin-Say (F.B.), Brussels, BELGIUM []

Background: There is no consensus about the effect of guar gum supplementation on gastrointestinal transit. It has been suggested that guar gum slows gastric emptying and intestinal transit, thus inducing an increased feeling of satiety.

Objective: To investigate whether addition of guar gum to a semisolid meal affects gastrointestinal transit.

Design: Eight male subjects were randomly studied four times. They consumed a standard semisolid test meal containing either 0 g, 2.5 g, 3.5 g or 4.5 g of guar gum. The test meals contained 1 mCi 99mTc-hepatate for scintigraphy and 5 g lactulose for the H2– breath test. Scintigraphic scanning was performed for at least two hours, and gastric half-emptying time (T1/2) was calculated. Breath samples were collected at 15 minute intervals and analyzed for H2-enrichment. The orocecal transit time (OCTT) was then determined. A parameter of intestinal transit (PIT) was obtained by subtracting the T1/2 from the OCTT.

Results: There were no significant differences (in minutes) between the different tests in both T1/2 (0 g, t = 88.2 ± 11, 2.5 g, t = 83.3 ± 11.9, 3.5 g, t = 83.3 ± 13.6, 4.5 g, t = 72.4 ± 7.2, p = 0.86) and PIT (0 g, t = 149.9 ± 26.6, 2.5 g, t = 145.5 ± 25.6, t = 3.5 g, t = 175.3 ± 17.6, t = 4.5 g, t = 152.6 ± 22.4, p = 0.52).

Conclusion: Addition of guar gum to a semisolid meal up to a dosage of 4.5 g does not affect gastrointestinal transit. Other mechanisms than gastrointestinal motility are involved in a possible satiating effect of guar gum supplementation.

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