Nowadays there are many products on the market that claim to be good for you, or good for gut health. One of these products are the prebiotic acacia fiber. But what exactly is acacia fiber? And what effect does it have on our gut?
What is acacia?
Acacia fibers are made from a gum-like substance that grows from acacia trees. These trees mainly grow in the tropical regions of the world such as Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
Parts of the acacia tree and its gum have been used for therapeutic purposes for centuries. And in recent years, various studies have shown that acacia gum (and therefore acacia fibers) can have a positive effect on blood sugar levels, the immune system, and the gut microbiome. That is very promising, but it has ultimately received little publicity.
So there are many health problems on which acacia fiber may have a positive influence. But Positive Gut is all about gut health, so that’s what we’re focusing on in this blog!
Side note: acacia gum is already used for years as an additive and thickener in food and cosmetics. However, those doses are not sufficient to have a real effect on health.
Acacia fiber and gut health
Acacia fiber is prebiotic. This means that these fibers are digested in our colon by our gut microbiome. Research has shown that the acacia fibers stimulate the growth of our healthy bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli are known to have a beneficial effect on intestinal health, partly due to the production of short-chain fatty acids (including butyrate). The more of these bacteria you have, the better.
Many prebiotic supplements are known to increase gas and bloating. The breakdown of fiber by our gut bacteria usually also causes gas. This effect is usually temporary, and if you continue to use it, it almost always diminishes. Acacia fiber has shown to produce less gas than many other common forms of prebiotics.
A number of small studies have found that acacia gum may be helpful in treating constipation. However, more research is needed.
How to use acacia fiber?
Acacia fiber is very easily added to the daily diet. The fibers are a white powdery substance that dissolves well in water. It is important that you let the water flow vigorously on top of the fibers, in a dry glass. (stirring also helps!)
When acacia fibers come into contact with too little moisture, it forms a gum-like substance that is difficult to dissolve afterward.
The effective dose for supporting the bifidobacteria and lactobacilli is 10 grams per day.
Acacia fiber is easily available as a dietary supplement (for example the Prebio M from prebioticas, which I recently received a sample pack of) and this can be a good way to support your gut microbiome.
However, it is important not to let a supplement be your only action point. Fiber from our diet also has the ability to increase bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. And in the end, a complete and healthy diet is the most important basis for a healthy gut!
I help people with irritable bowel syndrome to achieve a calm belly and good bowel movements through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Are you also ready for a calm belly? Send me a message and we’ll talk.
Have you ever tried acacia fiber or any other prebiotics? Let me know in a comment below! I am interested in your experience.