Many people struggle to get enough fibre in their diet. However, eating more fibre has benefits that extend beyond digestive health. It can help fight obesity and diabetes and boost immunity.
Acacia fibre is commonly found in many supplements. It's a type of soluble fibre that is also used as a thickening agent in certain foods.
Rich in soluble fibre, acacia fibre powder benefits is sourced from the sap of the Acacia Senegal tree, a plant native to parts of Africa, Pakistan, and India. Also known as gum arabic and acacia gum, acacia fibre is said to offer several health benefits.
When used in powder form, Acacia can be stirred into water and consumed as a beverage. Some people prefer Acacia to other forms of fibre because it isn't gritty, doesn't thicken, and has a fairly mild taste. The powder can also be mixed into smoothies and other beverages.
We'velong known the far-reaching benefits of a diet high in fibre, like supported bowel function, heart health, and healthy cholesterol and glucose levels already within a normal range. But, the fibrous foods that we eat do much more than keep us regular—they also feed our miraculous microbiome.
You see, we have trillions of bacteria living in and on our body, and collectively, they make up our microbiome, widely considered another "organ" "by scientists who are discovering just how important these microscopic organisms are to our everyday health.
What is Acacia?
Acacia has been used in medicines, baking ingredients, tools, and woodwork for centuries. It has a long history in civilizations as ancient as the Egyptians and the aboriginal tribes of Australia. These kingdoms and tribes used Acacia in surprisingly diverse ways, from making desserts to treating hemorrhoids. The first species ever discovered was given the name Acacia nilotica by the Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus in the 1700s. Since then, nearly 1,000 species have been added to the Acacia genus.
Acacia still sits on grocery store shelves in crushed, ground, and complete form. The name Acacia itself refers to a genus of plant that includes many different types of plants, such as trees and shrubs. They can be used in a variety of applications. The Acacia that you can buy today may come from one or more of these species. Most of the time, the Acacia in food or medicine is Acacia Senegal (L.) Willd. This type of Acacia is usually in gum form, and it will say acacia gum on labels and packaging.
Acacia fibre is a highly soluble fibre that is sourced from the Acacia tree sap. Acacia mostly grows in Africa and some parts of India and Pakistan. The acacia fibre is also referred to as acacia gum or gum arabic.
Because of its high soluble fibre content, acacia fibre is commonly consumed as a dietary fibre supplement. In the food industry, gum arabic is used as a thickening agent or an emulsifier.
This fibre has so many amazing health benefits, which is why it's also used in many ketogenic supplement products. For example, Perfect Keto uses acacia fibre as a carrier to turn their MCT oil into MCT powder.
Due to its high soluble fibre content, acacia fibre is thought to help lower cholesterol levels, keep blood sugar in check, protect against diabetes, and aid in treating digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Soluble fibre (one of the main types of dietary fibre) dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the intestines.
In addition, acacia fibre suppresses appetite, reduces gut inflammation, alleviates constipation, relieves diarrhea, and supports weight loss efforts (by helping you stay full for longer).
Acacia fibre is also said to be prebiotic (a non-digestible food ingredient in dietary fibre that can stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines).
Although very few studies have tested the health effects of acacia fibre, there's some evidence that it may offer certain benefits.
Eases Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms
Free of substances such as gluten and artificial sweeteners that can be problematic for some people, acacia fibre may help relieve IBS symptoms. In a study published in 2012, researchers determined that yogurt enriched with acacia fibre and the probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis (B. lactis) could help ease IBS symptoms.
Study participants consumed the yogurt twice daily for eight weeks. Both those with constipation- and diarrhea-predominant IBS showed an improvement in IBS symptoms and bowel habit satisfaction compared to those who took a control product.4
Good Source Of Fibre
Acacia gum contains water-soluble dietary fibres (WSDF) that are not only good fibre for your diet but also helpful in keeping your cholesterol under control. One study showed that taking 15 grams of acacia gum in liquid form every day helped manage the concentration of plasma cholesterols in blood. Although published in 1992, this is the most comprehensive study on the effects of acacia gum on the blood to date. WSDF can also help you maintain a healthy weight and is good for general cardiovascular health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even changed regulations to recognize the beneficial use of Acacia as a good fibre source in many popular foods, including cereals, juice, and yogurt.
Frequent use of acacia gum as a fibre supplement indicates its abundance in fibre. The body requires 25 grams of fibre per day for women and 38 grams for men. Unfortunately, many people don't consume enough. Seemingly, acacia gum has fibre contents ranging from 80% to 90%.
The Food and Drug Administration also listed and approved acacia gum as a dietary fibre. They also requested the public to forward information, scientific data, and comment with regards to the finding.
Several preliminary studies have shown the positive impact that acacia gum and other soluble fibres have on cholesterol. Food and Chemical Toxicology published a report that analyzed the cholesterol-lowering abilities acacia fibre had on rats.
In the study, 13 males and 16 females were given two different water-soluble dietary fibre (WSDF) supplements containing acacia gum. After four weeks of consuming 5g thrice every day, a 10% and 14% decrease in plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, respectively, was noted in subjects who were assigned the WSDF containing acacia gum.
Another study proved the ability of a gum-based supplement containing Acacia, guar, and pectin to reduce both LDL and total cholesterol.
Contains Prebiotic Benefits For Gut Health and Digestion
The British Journal of Nutrition published a study that proved the efficacy of acacia gum as a prebiotic supplement. According to the study, acacia fibre increases Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, which are some of the beneficial bacteria found in children's milk and other dairy products.
Other relative studies have also shown the prebiotic benefits of gum acacia.
By boosting the multiplication of the good bacteria, it produces short-chain fatty acids that sustain cells in the intestinal tract. Consequently, the gut barrier grows stronger, preventing it from being leaky. In addition to making an excellent prebiotic supplement, acacia fibre contains high digestive tolerance and anti-inflammatory effects.
Reduces Body Fat
Acacia gum has the potential to keep your weight in a healthy range while also reducing your overall body fat. In a study involving 120 women, 60 women took 30 grams per day of acacia gum for six weeks, while the other 60 took a placebo containing just 1 gram of pectin. Results showed that women who took the acacia gum reduced their body mass index. In addition, their body fat percentage was also reduced by over 2 per cent.
Preliminary research suggests that acacia fibre may help to reduce body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage. For one study, healthy women took either gum arabic or a placebo daily. At the end of the six-week study period, those who had taken the gum arabic had a significant reduction in BMI and body fat percentage.
As an excellent source of soluble fibre, Acacia helps you feel full, so you aren't tempted to reach for unhealthy snacks in an effort to curb cravings. In fact, by absorbing water in the intestine and stomach to form a gel, acacia fibre can keep you feeling satiated until your next meal. And acacia fibre supports glucose absorption into the bloodstream, helping to fend off rapid influxes of insulin that can lead to weight management issues.
WWhat'smore, by nourishing the good guys in your gut, acacia fibre can help support your digestion and nutrient absorption, so you are actually benefiting from the healthy foods you eat and not reaching for empty calories to try to fill up. In one research trial, 60 female volunteers who ingested gum arabic for six weeks significantly reduced their BMI and decreased their body fat percentage by more than 2%!4
Soothing Sensitive Stomachs
Unfortunately, some types of fibre supplements (and even high-fibre foods) can lead to uncomfortable gas and bloating. You see, the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract ferment the soluble fibre that you consume, breaking it down into a microbial food source and releasing gas in the process. Sometimes, this excess gas can lead to digestive discomfort.
Fortunately, acacia fibre ferments more slowly than other types of fibre. Studies indicate that gut bacteria ferment acacia fibre well into the colon's distal (or last) part. In contrast, most other prebiotic fibres are fermented right away in the first section of the colon, leading to a sudden release of gas.2 For people prone to gas and bloating, acacia fibre proves to be incredibly well-tolerated, even at high doses.3
Helps Control Diabetes
Foods rich in dietary fibre are well-known to regulate blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetic patients.
Acacia gum is an excellent source of dietary fibre, and this strongly suggests its ability to control blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. However, few studies have authenticated the potential controlling capabilities of dietary fibre on diabetes and included renal benefits.
A study performed on diabetic mice established that acacia gum could be used to reduce blood pressure. In addition, the results concluded that acacia fibre could be used to protect diabetic patients from diabetic nephropathy.
Promotes Oral Health
The extract of a species of Acacia known as Acacia catechu, sometimes called black hair, can be used in dental products like mouthwash to prevent gingivitis. Powdered Acacia can also be used in a type of herbal toothpaste that's been shown to clean teeth without being too abrasive to the surface of your teeth. An older study from 1999 showed that this herbal tooth powder cleaned and cleared well over two-thirds of tooth plaque, and nearly 100 per cent in some cases.
Gum acacia can be used as herbal toothpaste in its powdered form without being too abrasive.
In fact, a study once established that it was used to clean and clear more than two-thirds of tooth plaque. In addition, other studies have shown the effects acacia gum has on tooth mineralization and treatment of chronic periodontitis (serious gum infection).
When consuming acacia fibre, or any type of fibre-rich supplement, be sure to gradually increase your intake and get enough fluids to protect against side effects commonly associated with high doses of fibre, such as gas, bloating, constipation, and cramps. Studies reported side effects to include early morning nausea, mild diarrhea, and abdominal bloating, particularly during the first week.
Acacia is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in food.
Acacia is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts used for medical purposes. Up to 30 grams daily have been used safely for six weeks. However, it can cause minor adverse effects, including gas, bloating, nausea, and loose stools.
Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of long-term use of high doses of acacia fibre. Keep in mind that acacia fibre shouldn't be used as a substitute for standard care in treating a health condition. If you're considering using Acacia, talk to your healthcare provider before starting your supplement regimen.
Supplements haven't been tested for safety, and because dietary supplements are largely unregulated, the content of some products may differ from what is specified on the product label. Also, keep in mind that the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established.
Ask your doctor before consuming any form of Acacia to ensure you won't have an allergic or drug interaction reaction. Acacia Senegal has been found to interact with the efficacy of some medications. For example, it may prevent some antibiotics from being absorbed.
Some forms of Acacia contain toxic chemicals that could cause hair loss, affect your digestive tractability to take in nutrients, and stunt growth. Do not consume a form of Acacia that you're not familiar with. Also, be sure to consult your doctor or an expert before taking any form of Acacia that hasn't been processed for use in food.
Acacia is often found already processed in foods, but it's also available in ground, powder, or complete form at your grocery store. The studies above show that anywhere from 15 to 30 grams of Acacia per day is a safe dose but talk to your doctor before giving it to younger children or older adults. They may suggest adjusting the dosage to avoid any potential digestive or absorption issues.
Widely available for purchase online, acacia powder is sold in many natural-foods stores. It is typically sold as a powder but is also available in tablet, capsule, or gum form. IIt'salso found in food products such as breakfast cereals, grain-based bars, and baked goods. As a natural emulsifier (it can mix substances that normally don't mix well together), Acacia is also used in soft drinks, candy, and medications.
Acacia gum is already used in many foods and can usually be safely used in cooking,
drinks, and other substances. But talk to your doctor before using it as a supplement if you take any medications.
Frequently Asked Questions About Acacia
It's a dietary fibre that can dissolve in water. As a medicine, Acacia is taken by mouth to reduce cholesterol levels and to help increase weight loss. In manufacturing, Acacia is used as a pharmaceutical ingredient in medications for throat or stomach inflammation and as a film-forming agent in peel-off skin masks.
Acacia Senegal, also known as gum arabic, acacia fibre or acacia gum, is the ground and powdered form of the hardened sap made by the acacia tree. Rich in soluble fibres, Acacia fibre dissolves in liquids and forms a gel-like substance in the intestines. Acacia is found in many foods you eat every day!
It is a complex mixture of sugars and hemicellulose. It is commonly used as an emulsion stabilizer in the food industry.
A few symptoms of an allergic reaction to Acacia are Asthmatic symptoms. Eczema. Hay fever.