What Is Acacia Gum? Learn About 5 Acacia Benefits

For centuries, the thick amber colored resin oozing from the bark of Northeast Africa’s acacia trees has been collected and ground into powders and pastes for use in traditional medicine as well as for everyday applications. Researchers around the world are now taking a deeper look at the healing properties and health benefits of the legendary acacia gum, which is now proven clinically effective for everything from polishing teeth to assisting weight loss to fighting free radicals.

What Is Acacia Gum?

So, just what is acacia gum? Also known as gum Arabic and acacia fiber, acacia gum is made from the sap of the Acacia senegal tree, a shrub-like species found primarily in Africa’s Sudan region. Loaded with soluble fiber and packed with health-supporting benefits, acacia gum has been used medicinally by native cultures for centuries and should be a trusted component of every natural medicine advocate’s healthy-gut playbook. 

5 Acacia Benefits

1. Acacia gum keeps your microbiome happy

Many researchers now believe that human health begins with gut health, and gut health begins with a thriving microbiome teeming with friendly intestinal flora. A soluble fiber, acacia gum has been shown in clinical studies to be an effective prebiotic, increasing the production of probiotic bacterial strains Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, two kinds of bacteria crucial for keeping the immune system running and our digestive systems operating smoothly. [1]

 2. Acacia gum lowers your cholesterol

 Acacia gum contains soluble dietary fibers that will bind to your cholesterol so it can’t be absorbed into your body through the intestines. At a later point, the bound cholesterol will be eliminated from the body through the excretory system, keeping your cholesterol levels in check. Two studies examined the effects of acacia gum on plasma cholesterol.  Twenty-five grams of acacia gum were administered in beverage form daily to a group of men for three weeks. This first group experienced a 6.3 percent decline in serum cholesterol concentration. A second test group that consumed 30 grams of acacia gum in the form of lentil soup twice daily experienced a 10.4 percent decline in serum cholesterol concentration.[2]  

3. Acacia reduces symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

According to information posted by the Mayo Clinic on their web site, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation or both. In a test of 130 women with IBS, overall symptoms were significantly reduced in test groups who were given yogurt enriched with acacia fiber.[3]

4. Acacia gum triggers weight loss

A total of 120 healthy females participated in a study to determine whether consumption of gum arabic (acacia gum) would cause a significant reduction in body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage. A test group of 60 volunteers received 30 grams of acacia gum per day for six weeks. The participants who took the acacia gum lost almost a kilogram in weight over the six- week period, while the participants in the control group (no gum) stayed the same weight.[4]

Investigators surmised that because acacia gum is rich in fiber, study participants who were taking it were able to experience a feeling of fullness throughout the day, making them less likely to reach for a snack between mealtimes. And because acacia gum is soluble fiber, once ingested it was able to absorb any water in their stomachs allowing it to expand and fill the gastrointestinal tract, turning off the feeling of hunger.

5. Acacia Gum:  clinically confirmed as an antioxidant and free-radical fighter

Some of the many medicinal uses of acacia gum were confirmed in a 2012 study of the acacia tree’s powerful antioxidant properties. Free-radicals are a confirmed cause of aging, acacia gum’s free-radical fighting abilities may support healthy aging.

Other acacia gum benefits:

The bark and sap of the plant have been used to treat bedsores and wounds, inflammation of the intestinal mucosa, and, when applied topically, to treat inflamed skin surfaces, burns, and nodular leprosy.  The plant’s gum has also been used as an astringent, a cough and cold remedy, a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery, sore throats and urinary infections, as well as countless other applications.[5]  

Health Benefits of Acacia Gum Now Available in a Nutritional Supplement

Acacia gum is one of the powerful health-conducive ingredients found in Healthycell’s pill-free multivitamin, Bioactive Multi. This is a broad spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals made with a new delivery technology called MICROGEL™ that uses a prebiotic gel matrix to deliver a broad spectrum of extremely small, dissolvable nutrient particles in highly bioavailable forms to make it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients it needs without irritating the gut. 

Key Takeaway:  Acacia Gum Is Natural Medicine’s “Swiss Army Knife”

This powerful water-soluble acacia fiber offers a host of major health benefits including optimizing your intestinal flora, reducing symptoms of IBS, lowering cholesterol and improving cardiovascular health, and supporting healthy aging, all while providing a simple dietary tool for weight loss.

 


References

[1] Wim Calame, Antje R. Weseler, Christer Viebke, Cal Flynn “Gum arabic establishes prebiotic functionality in healthy human volunteers in a dose-dependent manner.” British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 100, Issue 6, December 2008, pp. 1269-1275.
[2] William L. Haskell, PhD, Gene A. Spiller, PhD, Christopher D. Jensen, RD, Brenda K. Ellis, MS, RN, and Joan E. Gates, “Role of Water-Soluble Dietary Fiber in the Management of Elevated Plasma Cholesterol in Healthy Subjects” Am J Cardiol 1992;69:433-439.
[3] Min YW, Park SU, Jang YS, Kim YH, Rhee PL, Ko SH, Joo N, Kim SI, Kim CH, Chang DK.
“Effect of composite yogurt enriched with acacia fiber and Bifidobacterium lactis.
World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Sep 7;18(33):4563-9.
[4] Babiker R, Merghani TH, Elmusharaf K, et al. Effects of gum Arabic ingestion on body mass index and body fat percentage in healthy adult females: two-arm randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind trial. Nutr J 2012;11:111.
[5] Mangal Sain et al “Antioxidant Potential and Free Radicals Scavenging Activity by Pod Extracts of Acacia Senegal Wild.” JPCBS 2012 2(4) 500-506.