We’re going to talk about gum arabic, an insoluble fiber.
Gum Arabic comes from the Acacia plant that grows in the Sudan. Acacia are also known as Wattle trees. This plant has beautiful flowers that can make you sneeze like crazy. The sap from this tree is dried to make Gum Arabic.
Gum Arabic has been used for many things over the years. I think, at one point, it was even used to make the back of postage stamps sticky.
The insoluble polysaccharides in Gum Arabic are very beneficial for your digestive health as they pass through the GI tract.
In the 1970s, the Federal Drugs Administration in the US categorized Gum Arabic as Generally Recommended as Safe (GRAS), so there aren’t usually any significant risks. Gum Arabic can cause gas, bloating, and loose stools if you take too much from the very beginning.
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I think Gum Arabic is definitely worth a shot if you’re carrying a bit of excess weight, or if you want to build up beneficial gut bacteria. As per usual, take it slowly. You can’t go from zero to 100 miles an hour in three seconds without breaking your neck.
Studies have shown that one ounce (28 grams) is quite beneficial. If you do that for six weeks, you can potentially lose up to 2% of your body weight. In one study of about 120 women, the subjects were divided into two groups. One group got 30 grams of Gum Arabic per day, and the other group were given a different type of insoluble fiber. After six weeks, only the Gum Arabic group had lost 2% of their body weight.
When you eat Gum Arabic, it generates a sense of satiety. It changes the way the satiety hormone, leptin, reacts with your gut and brains. You’re not going to feel like eating a lot of food when you’ve had a good dose of Gum Arabic.
That being said, I wouldn’t use it primarily as a weight-loss tool. I would look at Gum Arabic as a way to improve gut health. It’s a nice powder that you can add to different dishes. It’s very good for the digestive system and is even linked to lowering cholesterol.
Taking a half an ounce of Gum Arabic a day helps bind LDL cholesterol and move it out of the body. Oat bran and rolled oats do the same.