Acacia fiber, also known as gum arabic, is a soluble fiber made from the dried sap of the acacia tree. The fiber functions as a prebiotic and is commonly used to support gastrointestinal health. People with GI issues such as IBS often take acacia fiber to help improve digestive ease and comfort, support gut lining repair, promote regularity and add firmness to the stool.
Natural plant fibers such as acacia also may offer benefits beyond the GI tract, and can be useful in helping modulate a healthy inflammation response elsewhere in the body.
When soluble fiber enters the large intestine, it is fermented by microbes that produce butyrate, an essential four-carbon fatty acid, as a by-product. Butyrate, the primary fuel of colonic enterocytes, also exhibits potent anti-inflammatory effects. In colitis patients, for example, butyrate has been shown to reduce levels of the inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha, via mechanisms such as inhibiting NF-kappa B. But what about people with other types of inflammatory disorders?
A 12-week Phase II Clinical trial published in 2018 studied 40 rheumatoid arthritis patients between the ages of 18 and 70, mostly female with a mean age of 55. All subjects were instructed to consume 30 grams of acacia fiber, dissolved in water, once per day in the morning, and to keep track of their symptoms.
Measurements of each participant’s serum levels of TNF-alpha (an inflammatory cytokine) and the inflammatory marker ESR were taken at baseline and throughout the course of the trial, at 1 month intervals. A disease activity score panel known as the DAS28-widely used as an indicator to evaluate RA activity and treatment response-also was obtained following the same schedule.
The remarkable results of this trial found a significant reduction in inflammatory markers and improvement in symptoms in all subjects. ESR levels decreased after one month and remained low throughout the course of the study. TNF-alpha levels were also significantly decreased, as were the number of tender and swollen joints per subjective reporting and DAS28 scores.
Moss Nutrition Acacia Fiber is a 100% organic pure powder supplement that dissolves easily in cool water. By serving as a substrate for colonic microbial fermentation, Acacia Fiber can help increase butyrate production to beneficially modulate the gut microbiome and promote healthy gut-associated immune function. Current research further suggests acacia fiber may help to optimize the inflammation response in extra-intestinal systems, an exciting new finding.
By Diana Allen, MS, CNS, Product Development Manager
Moss Nutrition Digest #9 – 02/15/2019 – PDF Version
- Kamal E, et al. Gum Arabic Fibers Decreased Inflammatory Markers and Disease Severity Score among Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients, Phase II Trial. Int J Rheumatol. 2018 Jul 5;2018:4197537.
Full study access at: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijr/2018/4197537/