"Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food". Hippocrates - Father of Modern Medicine c. 460-377 B.C.

BioSYLx is in the business of bringing health benefits to global consumers. We select our products based on health benefits, as demonstrated by traditional use in society, but also based on peer-reviewed scientific publications. All our products' heath claims are reviewed by in-house medical practitioners.

Click here to view Biological effects of gum arabic: A review of some recent research.

Click here for Nutritional information on Sesame and Watermelon Seeds

Click here for health benefits information on Baobab

USES OF GUM ACACIA IN HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Apart from commercial industrial uses, Gum Acacia is also widely used for its health benefits. It is GRAS approved in the United States, has many functional benefits and is free of any side effects..

  • Gum Acacia is used in treatment of sore throats, stomach and intestinal problems.
  • It is used for to help alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis and diverticulitis, Crohn's disease.
  • Gum Acacia has been used in patients with kidney disease such as chronic renal failure.
  • Gum Acacia has been used in patients with end stage renal disease to decrease the frequency of dialysis.
  • Gum Acacia is widely recognized as an excellent prebiotic; prebiotics are used as energy source by bacteria in the gut and can help boost the immune system.
  • Gum Acacia is used topically for wound healing and also inhibits the growth of bacteria and deposition of plaque. Externally it is also used as an anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Gum Acacia has been used for oral rehydration therapy in patients suffering from diarrhea.
  • Gum Acacia can be used in patients with coronary heart disease to help decrease total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol level.
  • Gum Acacia can be used in chewing gum to prevent dental plaque.

SIGNIFICANT SCIENTIFIC LITTERATURE SUPPORTING THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF GUM ACACIA

METABOLISM OF GUM ACACIA

Gum Acacia is well metabolized, as described below:

  • It passes through the small intestine intact.
  • It is then fermented in the colon under the influence of enteric bacteria.
  • It is completely degraded in the colon.
  • It does noes not disturb the osmotic pressure and is very comfortably tolerated.
  • There are minimal if any, side effects at dosages up to 50 grams per day, above which, flatulence more common.
  • Due to its high molecular weight and its branched structure, acacia fiber is slowly fermented compared to other fibers, explaining its very good tolerance up to the dose of 50g/day and the distribution of its health benefit along the colon. Moreover, due in part to its encapsulating properties, it has been shown recently that it has synergistic effects with exogenous bacteria, the so called probiotics, increasing their survival in the product and during their transit in the gut.
GUM ACACIA IS WELL TOLERATED

A 2003 study published in Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease demonstrated high tolerance of Gum Acacia in the gastrointestinal tract when compared with sucrose and fructose oligosaccharides.

  • Gas production much lower than with Fructose oligosaccharides.
  • Gum Acacia is well tolerated and doesn't cause flatulence (<50g/day).
  • Unlike low-viscosity fibers, such as oligosaccharides, GA does not exhibit laxative side-effects.
  • No warning, such as "excessive consumption may produce laxative effect" is necessary.

Source: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, Volume 15, Issue 1 January 2003, pages 43 – 50.

GUM ACACIA HAS POWERFUL PREBIOTIC PROPERTIES

Prebiotics are defined as "non-digestible substances that provide a beneficial physiological effect on the host by selectively stimulating the favorable growth or activity of a limited number of indigenous bacteria". Prebiotics tend to promote growth of healthy bacteria, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, which, in turns increases the fecal volume, leading to better digestion. These healthy bacteria grow at the expenses of other pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli, so reduces the pathogens in the gut.

Acacia Gum is a bifidogenic dietary fiber with high digestive tolerance in healthy humans. A 2003 study published in Microbial Ecology in health and Disease demonstrated the following:

  • Gas production much lower than with Fructose oligosaccharides.
  • Gum Acacia is well tolerated and doesn't cause flatulence (<50g/day).
  • Unlike low-viscosity fibers, such as oligosaccharides, GA does not exhibit laxative side-effects.
  • No warning, such as "excessive consumption may produce laxative effect" is necessary.

Source: C. Cherbut, C. Michel, V. Raison, T.P. Kravtchenko, S. Meance, "Acacia Gum is a bifidogenic dietary fiber with high digestive tolerance in healthy humans", Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, 2003, 15:43-50. "Effect of Fiber Source on Short-Chain Fatty Acid Production and on the Growth and Toxin Production by Clostridium difficile". Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 1994, Vol. 29, No. 10 , Pages 916-922.

A similar study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2008 demonstrated consistent prebiotic properties of Gum Acacia. Researcher recruited 54 volunteers who received various doses of Gum Acacia, ranging from 5 to 40 grams per day. Water with no gum Aacia was used as a control. The study demonstrated increase levels of bifidobacteria and lactobacillispieces after 4 weeks, a prebiotic efficacy comparable with insulin. The optimal dose was 10 grams per day.

Source: W. Calame, A.R. Weseler, C. Viebke, A.D. Siemensma, "Gum Acacia establishes prebiotic functionality in health volunteers in a dose-dependent manner", British Journal of Nutrition, December 2008, volume 100, Issue 6, Pages 1269-1275.

Gum Acacia also helps to support the critical gut mucosal barrier in various ways:

  • It provides substrate for proximal and distal fermentation by intestinal bacteria
  • Fermentation of Gum Acacia in the colon results in the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA)¹,
  • SCFAs provide fuel for ileal and colonic epithelial cells, which helps maintain the integrity of the colon wall

Source: Michel C., Kravtchenko T.P., David A., et al., "In vitro prebiotic effects of acacia gums onto the human intestinal microbiota depends on both botanical origin and environmental pH. Anaerobe", 1998,4(6):257-66.

GUM ACACIA : A SOLUBLE FIBRE

Insoluble fibers are fibers that won't dissolve in water. These fibers help to promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation. In contrast, soluble fibers, such as Gum Acacia, dissolve in water. Soluble fiber helps promote satiety in addition to their potential to decrease blood cholesterol & blood glucose levels (see our sections on cholesterol and blood glucose).

Gum Acacia is a soluble fiber at more than 85% of dry weight. Both the US and Canada, health authorities recommend the consumption of approximately 25-38g of dietary fiber per day (US Institute of Medicine, 2002). The recommended daily allowance is : 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories or about 1 gram per 70 calories. Those who consume 1,800 calories per day would need a minimum of 25 grams of fiber. However, according to dietary assessment estimates, on average, people are only consuming about 15-19g of Gum Acacia per day.

GUM ACACIA MAY LOWER "BAD" AND INCREASE "GOOD" CHOLESTEROL

Gum Acacia, as many fiber-rich ingredients tends to have beneficial effects on patients with cholesterol:

  • Gum Acacia can lower "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
  • Gum Acacia can increase "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.

A study published in 2005 by the American Heart Association on 78 participants showed that when it is in the intestines, a cocktail of fibers including Gum Acacia decreased reabsorption of cholesterol from a meal.

Source: Study presented at the American Heart Association’s Sixth Annual Conference on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology in 2005.

Another study published in 1997 by the Journal of American Dietetic Association demonstrated that apple fiber and Gum Acacia lowers total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in men with mild hypercholesterolemia.

Source: K.A. Mee, Journal of American Dietetic Association, April 1997; 97(4):422-4.

GUM ACACIA CAN IMPROVE KIDNEY HEALTH

Gum Acacia is used in developing countries in the care of patients with renal failure, with dosing of 1 gram per kg. It promotes fecal excretion of urea, helps renal failure patients feel better in between dialysis and decreases dialysis frequency.
Source: Al Mosawi, Future Drugs 2006, Vol 3, No. 2, p.265-272.

According to an article published in 2006 in Future Medicine, there are several possible reasons why Gum Acacia could work to reduce nitrogenous waste products in a patient with chronic renal insufficiency.

  • It may help limit protein absorption.
  • It may stimulate colonic bacterial proliferation and incorporating gut nitrogenous compounds.
  • It may decrease the incidence of uremia by lowering blood urea levels.

Source: R.W. Chesney, A.B. Patters, "Acacia gum in chronic renal failure", Future Medicine, March 2006, Vol. 3, No. 2, Pages 183-185.

GUM ACACIA CAN LOWER BLOOD GLUCOSE

Acacia fiber has a beneficial impact on carbohydrate metabolism. The most accurate predictor of the effect of a particular food on blood glucose level is its glycemic load (GL). This is based on what is called the glycemic index (GI). The GL is calculated using the GI and portion size. Foods that release their sugar content into the blood more slowly have a low GI. The GL of a diet is an important predictor of the risk for diabetes. Acacia fiber helps decrease the Glycemic Index of foods by lowering post-prandial glucose, thus making them healthier and more suitable for diabetics. Acacia fiber intake is associated with a significant reduction in fasting plasma glucose and insulin levels while increasing insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic subjects. Because of its low viscosity, Acacia fiber can be added in large quantities to food products without changing their texture or mouth feel.

Source: Sharma RD: "Hypoglycemic effect of Gum Acacia in healthy human subjects", Nutrition Research, 1985 (5) 1437-41. Castellani F. Fibregum "Acacia Fiber helps reduce the glycemic index of food products", AgroFood Industry, Hi-Tech 2006; 16: 24-6.

The chart below, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition illustrates the effect of Gum Acacia on sugar metabolism.

Source: "Plant Fiber, Carbohydrate and lipid metabolism", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 1979, vol. 32, no. 2, Pages 346-363.