Nutritional, therapeutic, and pharmaceutical potential of plant gums: A review

Ravi Kant Upadhyay


The present review explains nutritional, therapeutic, and pharmaceutical potential of plant gum that is commonly applied to water-soluble, non-starch polysaccharides of commerce. This article also emphasizes commercial and domestic uses of important products of gum such as chicle and jelutong mainly non-elastic gums or chewing gums. These are also used in food, pharmaceutical, paper textile, and other industries. The present review also explains various biological activities such as antidiarrheic, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, antiparasitic, gastrourinary, antitumor, antiparasitic, antioxidant, chemopreventive, and gastroprotective activity of plant gums. These reduce stomach inflammation, system cleansing or to settle the intestines. Other uses for mesquite gum include treatment for lice, sore throat, cough, laryngitis, fever reduction, painful gums, and hemorrhoids and it can be used as a purgative. Gum arabic is a water-soluble dietary fiber rich in Ca2+, Mg2+, and K+ that is used for the treatment of chronic kidney disease. It increases creatinine clearance, enhances renal excretion of antidiuretic hormone, Mg2+, and Ca2+, and decreases plasma phosphate concentration as well as urinary excretion of phosphate and Na+. Gums are used as adhesives, crystallization inhibitors, emulsifying agents, emulsion stabilizers, encapsulating agents, film formers, foam stabilizers, suspending agents, suspension stabilizers, or syneresis inhibitors and impart other specific properties. The gum is also used to a limited extent in polishes, contact insecticides and pesticides, photographic emulsions, and pharmaceuticals. This article suggests wider use of plant gums in generation of drug delivery system for cancer and brain tumor therapy. There is no doubt that chemical constituents of plant gums can be largely used for making therapeutic drugs because of their broad-spectrum biological effectiveness.

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