The Benefits of Acacia Fiber

Health Benefits, Uses, and More

acacia fiber, also known as gum arabic
Acacia fiber, also known as gum arabic, is a natural gum made of hardened sap taken from the acacia tree. Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Acacia fiber is a type of soluble fiber sourced from the sap of the Acacia senegal tree, a plant native to parts of Africa, Pakistan, and India. Also known as gum arabic and acacia gum, acacia fiber is said to offer a number of health benefits.

Uses for Acacia Fiber

Due to its high content of soluble fiber, acacia fiber is thought to help lower cholesterol levels, keep blood sugar in check and protect against diabetes, and aid in the treatment of digestive disorders (including irritable bowel syndrome).

One of the two main types of dietary fiber, soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the intestines.

In addition, acacia fiber is said to suppress appetite and support weight loss efforts, reduce inflammation, alleviate constipation, and relieve diarrhea.

Health Benefits of Acacia Fiber

Although very few studies have tested the health effects of acacia fiber, there's some evidence that it may offer certain benefits. Here's a look at some key findings from the available research:

1) High Cholesterol

Preliminary studies suggest that acacia fiber may help keep cholesterol in check. In a 2009 report published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, for instance, investigators analyzed the available research on acacia fiber and found that acacia fiber appears to reduce cholesterol levels in rats.

See more remedies for high cholesterol.

2) Diabetes

Acacia fiber may help protect against certain diabetes-related complications, according to an animal-based study published in Kidney & Blood Pressure Research in 2012.

In tests on diabetic mice, scientists determined that treatment with acacia fiber helped lower blood pressure. Given this finding, the study's authors suggest that acacia fiber may help shield people with diabetes from diabetic nephropathy (a type of kidney damage thought to result in part from poor control of diabetes and blood pressure).

Find out about other natural diabetes remedies.

3) Liver Health

Animal-based research indicates that acacia fiber may help guard against liver damage caused by ingestion of acetaminophen (a drug used to relieve pain). For example, a 2003 study published in Pharmacology Research found that treating mice with acacia fiber prior to administering acetaminophen helped protect their livers from the drug's toxic effects. According to the study's authors, acacia fiber may help combat liver damage by reducing oxidative stress.

Related: Herbs for the Liver

Alternatives to Acacia Fiber

A number of other natural substances are rich in soluble fiber. These include flaxseed, carob, glucomannan, and psyllium.

In addition, you can increase your fiber intake by regularly consuming foods like apples, citrus, carrots, barley, oats, and legumes.


Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of long-term use of acacia fiber. Since consuming large amounts of any type of fiber in a short period of time can cause a number of side effects (including gas, bloating, and cramps), it's important to gradually increase your consumption of acacia fiber.

Supplements haven't been tested for safety and due to the fact that dietary supplements are largely unregulated, the content of some products may differ from what is specified on the product label. Also keep in mind that the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get tips additional on using supplements here.

Where to Find It

Widely available for purchase online, acacia powder is sold in many natural-foods stores and in stores specializing in dietary supplement. Typically sold in powder form, acacia fiber is also available in tablet and capsule form.

Using Acacia for Health

It's too soon to recommend acacia fiber in the treatment of any health condition. If you're considering using it, talk to your doctor before starting your supplement regimen. Keep in mind that acacia fiber should not be used as a substitute for standard care in treatment of a chronic health condition.


Ali BH, Ziada A, Blunden G. "Biological effects of gum arabic: a review of some recent research." Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Jan;47(1):1-8.

Gamal el-din AM, Mostafa AM, Al-Shabanah OA, Al-Bekairi AM, Nagi MN. "Protective effect of arabic gum against acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in mice." Pharmacol Res. 2003 Dec;48(6):631-5.

Nasir O, Umbach AT, Rexhepaj R, Ackermann TF, Bhandaru M, Ebrahim A, Artunc F, Kempe DS, Puchchakayala G, Siraskar B, Föller M, Saeed A, Lang F. "Effects of gum arabic (Acacia senegal) on renal function in diabetic mice." Kidney Blood Press Res. 2012;35(5):365-72.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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