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Old 05-23-2011, 09:19 AM   #1
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FDA warning: Xantham Gum and infants

FYI: I realize we're not infants, but xantham is causing necrotizing enterocolitis and may have caused the death of 2 preemies:

SimplyThick May Be Damaging Infants' Intestines : Shots - Health Blog : NPR
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:33 AM   #2
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yeah, I doubt anyone here is making up low carb shakes for premature infants, but it's always good to have this sort of thing in the back of your head in case you ever know someone who has one.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:49 AM   #3
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You don't give honey to infants yet they don't ban honey. Let hope they don't go nuts with xanthum gum for those of us who want to use it and aren't infants
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:03 PM   #4
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I really wasn't concerned about premature infants, at least in this forum, on this topic. However, if xantham gum is implicated in actually causing the intestines of these babies to die.. actually, rot away.. I certainly wouldn't use it again. People complain about intestinal problems using it.. well, duh?
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:02 AM   #5
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The NPR article doesn't give a link to a report of analysis or a study comparing other products containing xanthan gum. How do they know it was the xanthan gum and not the citric acid or the potassium sorbate?

Also, there may be some other ingredients which are problematic, but which are in such small amounts that it is not listed on the label.

It may be that xanthan gum is the culprit, but without any scientific references to substantiate their declarations, the article paints fear with a broad brush.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slbbw View Post
I really wasn't concerned about premature infants, at least in this forum, on this topic. However, if xantham gum is implicated in actually causing the intestines of these babies to die.. actually, rot away.. I certainly wouldn't use it again. People complain about intestinal problems using it.. well, duh?
premature infants have many physical systems which don't function well enough for the baby to live normally for awhile. that's why they have to do so many things to help them. this is used when they can't even SWALLOW, you know? that is such a basic human response. it's not a stretch to understand that their digestive systems aren't functioning either. it's really not sensible to think this problem applies to adults.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Em View Post
The NPR article doesn't give a link to a report of analysis or a study comparing other products containing xanthan gum. How do they know it was the xanthan gum and not the citric acid or the potassium sorbate?

Also, there may be some other ingredients which are problematic, but which are in such small amounts that it is not listed on the label.

It may be that xanthan gum is the culprit, but without any scientific references to substantiate their declarations, the article paints fear with a broad brush.
yes, their point is SPECIFICALLY that this particular product, often used because the preemies can't swallow, has been banned for that use. one can't really project the data any further than that.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:59 AM   #8
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Ravenrose, thanks for posting again.

The information on necrotizing enterocolitis, in the link to MedlinePlus, posted in the NPR article about the FDA announcement, is as follows:


Necrotizing enterocolitis
Necrotizing enterocolitis is the death of intestinal tissue. It primarily affects premature infants or sick newborns.


Causes:

Necrotizing enterocolitis occurs when the lining of the intestinal wall dies and the tissue falls off. The cause for this disorder is unknown. However, it is thought that a decrease in blood flow to the bowel keeps the bowel from producing mucus that protects the gastrointestinal tract. Bacteria in the intestine may also be a cause.

This disorder usually develops in an infant that is already ill or premature, and most often develops while the infant is still in the hospital.

Those with a higher risk for this condition include:

Premature infants
Infants who are fed concentrated formulas
Infants in a nursery where an outbreak has occurred
Infants who have received blood exchange transfusions




Symptoms may come on slowly or suddenly, and may include:

Abdominal distention
Blood in the stool
Diarrhea
Feeding intolerance
Lethargy
Temperature instability
Vomiting
Exams and Tests

Abdominal x-ray
Stool for occult blood test (guaiac)
Elevated white blood cell count in a CBC
Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
Lactic acidosis
Treatment

In an infant suspected of having necrotizing enterocolitis, feedings are stopped and gas is relieved from the bowel by inserting a small tube into the stomach. Intravenous fluid replaces formula or breast milk. Antibiotic therapy is started. The infant's condition is monitored with abdominal x-rays, blood tests, and blood gases.

Surgery will be needed if there is a hole in the intestines or peritonitis (inflammation of the abdominal wall). The dead bowel tissue is removed and a colostomy or ileostomy is performed. The bowel is then reconnected several weeks or months later when the infection and inflammation have healed.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Necrotizing enterocolitis is a serious disease with a death rate approaching 25%. Early, aggressive treatment helps improve the outcome.

Possible Complications

Intestinal perforation
Intestinal stricture
Peritonitis
Sepsis
When to Contact a Medical Professional

If any symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis develop, especially in an infant that has recently been hospitalized for illness or prematurity, go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911).

References

Piazza AJ, Stroll BJ. Digestive System Disorders. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 102.

Update Date: 5/15/2009

Updated by: Todd Eisner, MD, Private practice specializing in Gastroenterology, Boca Raton, FL. Clinical Instructor, Florida Atlantic University School of Medicine. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.


I put the sections in bold type which point out what Ravenrose stated about the undeveloped digestive system of premature infants.
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Last edited by Auntie Em; 05-25-2011 at 12:01 PM.. Reason: typing error
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