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Karaya (Sterculia) Gum

What is karaya gum?

Karaya or sterculia gum is a natural soluble fiber extracted from the sap of the Indian tree Sterculia urens. It is an indigestible carbohydrate, a polysaccharide made of  galactose, rhamnose and galacturonic and glucuronic acid [1].

Karaya Gum as a Food Additive

Karaya gum is used as a thickener in various commercial foods. In the European Union it is labeled as E number E416 [3].

Karaya Gum Supplements

There is INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE about the effectiveness of karaya gum supplements in prevention or treatment of constipation, diarrhea, high glucose, cholesterol or triglyceride levels or in stimulation of sexual desire [4].

Karaya Gum Safety and Side Effects

Karaya gum is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [2]. When taken in excess, may cause diarrhea [1]. If taken with insufficient amount of water it may cause bowel obstruction [5]. No toxic effects of karaya gum were reported; allergic reactions are possible, though [1].

Pregnancy. Not enough studies have been done to evaluate karaya gum safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding [1].

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