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Acacia (Arabic) Gum
What is acacia (arabic) gum?
Acacia or arabic gum is a soluble fiber obtained from the sap of Acacia senegal and Acacia seyal legume trees grown in sub-Saharan Africa . It is a mixture of indigestible polysaccharides and glycoproteins. It can be broken down (fermented) by normal colonic bacteria into substances that are absorbed; according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it can provide 1,7 Calories per gram . In the European Union, acacia gum is labeled as E number E414 .
Gum Arabic as a Food Additive
Gum arabic is used as a thickener and emulsifier in dairy products, canned foods, soybean products, soft drinks and syrups (gomme syrup), essential oils, hard gummy candies, confectionery and other foods. It is also used in pills and cough syrups.
Gum Arabic Supplements (Acacia Fiber)
Acacia fiber as a powder, tablets and capsules are available over-the-counter (OTC).
There is INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE about acacia gum effectiveness in prevention or treatment of high blood glucose or cholesterol levels [8,11,12], periodontal disease , promoting the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria (a prebiotic effect) , constipation , irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) , fecal incontinence  or promoting weight loss [6,7].
Acacia Fiber Safety: Toxicity, Side Effects
Gum arabic is nontoxic and Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) . If ingested in excess, it may cause nausea, abdominal bloating and excessive gas (flatulence). Allergies to gum arabic are possible .
Pregnancy. Not enough studies have been done to evaluate the safety of the acacia fiber during pregnancy and breastfeeding .