Food Additives: Acacia gum or Gum arabic

If you read this blog regularly then you know that I homeschool my daughter. I have decided to make a Nutrition class for her based on a book my son read for a college course called, Food Matters. Part of this Nutrition course will include food additives and preservatives and the effects they have on the body. The goal is to increase knowledge of foods being consumed and ingredients used. Be sure and check out my brand new video, below, How A Health Coach Can Help You.

This weekly blog topic could take a while to get through, and I may have to do more than one a week as there are over 3,000 food additives/preservatives approved as safe for use in the United States. You may have heard the statement don’t eat processed foods with more than 5 ingredients, or foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce or never heard of. This really would limit a lot of food items to people living in rural or poor areas, where limited food sources are available. It is better to educate yourself about the ingredients and how they can effect the body and then make an informed decision about what you eat.

Acacia Gum or Gum Arabic is actually a natural fiber from the Acacia Tree and has been around for a very long time. It is has been used in traditional medicines for hundreds of years, before the food industry started to use it mainly as an emulsifier of thickening agent. It is a fiber so it adds bulk, and texture to foods. As with any fiber ingesting too much, or if you don’t tolerate fiber well can cause bloating, gas, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea etc. So, if you notice this ingredient in foods you consume, and I recommend learning to read food label ingredients, and you also notice that it makes you have any of the symptoms noted, you may wish to avoid foods with Acacia Gum in it.

Acacia Gum may be able to help people with IBS or other Digestive Issues, as it is a Prebiotic. Be sure to discuss with your doctor any supplements you may wish to take. Amazon has a lot of options for Acacia Gum fiber.

This food additive peaked my interest for 2 reasons. One, it may help improve kidney function. I am still researching this, and as to why, but it seems it has antioxidant effects and removes free radicals that may harm the kidneys. 2- It was studied, in a good randomized control study, for decreasing weight and BMI, both which should be a goal of anyone who wants to improve their overall health. The study showed that taking 30 grams of Acacia Gum daily, had a significant effect on both weight and BMI after just 6 weeks. I have to say, however, that 30 grams is quite a large dose, and if you bought pills, you would be taking like 30 pills a day. If anyone was interested in this method, it might be better to buy the powder form. Ask your doctor, or pharmacist to be sure it won’t effect any other medications you may be taking, and always drink plenty of water when taking fiber supplements. If you are on fluid restrictions this option could actually be harmful.

Here is a link to the study

There is also a short video below explaining Acacia Gum. Be sure and follow my blog to get email updates. All new customers of Health Buddy Melissa get my 30 day coaching plan for only 25 dollars and includes a free meet and greet. Don’t forget to sign up for my September Kidney Class, here. Use the contact form below to message me about coaching services, or email me at

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