Does the name “gum arabic” ring a bell? That’s because you have probably come across it while reading the list of ingredients of your favorite toffee or makeup. Gum arabic is actually hardened sap derived from nature, in particular the acacia tree that thrives in the likes of India, Pakistan, Sudan and many parts of Africa.
In the past, gum arabic was obtained from the trunk and branches of only a single type of acacia tree — acacia nilotica or gum arabic tree. These days, however, there are a couple of other acacia tree species from which gum arabic is also obtained, and they are senegalia senegal and vachellia seyal.
Gum arabic is a staple ingredient in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. It’s also oftentimes used in the manufacturing of paint and glue. These days, there are fiber supplements that contain gum arabic in them. The following are said to be the health and beauty benefits that gum arabic offers:
Healthier gut. Fiber in arabic gum is food for the beneficial bacteria residing in your gut, and thus it encourages their proliferation. Having more friendly than bad bacteria in the gut is good not only for the process of digestion, according to experts, but also your mood as well as immune system.
Regular bowel movement. It’s no secret that a high-fiber diet is essential for warding off constipation. The intake of supplements with gum arabic can help boost a person’s daily fiber intake, thus facilitating the evacuation of the bowels and removal of toxins and waste products.
Blood sugar control. Gum arabic is said to be beneficial to diabetics, too. That’s because the loads of fiber it has can help in slowing down the release of sugar in the bloodstream, preventing blood sugar spikes. Because of this, the pancreas is also saved from having to produce more of the hormone insulin.
Weight reduction. Since fiber feels so heavy in the stomach, taking supplements with it can help facilitate the elimination of unwanted pounds. As a result of the feeling of heaviness, a person can be saved from consuming more food than needed. It will be easier to keep cravings and hunger pangs at bay too.
Stronger teeth. Chewing gum that contains gum arabic is said to be helpful in maintaining a beautiful smile. That’s because it helps encourage the production of saliva, which then washes off food debris and bacteria. As a result, discoloration of the teeth and formation of dental carries can be prevented.
Reduced oxidative stress. Because gum arabic comes from trees, it doesn’t come as a shock why it has antioxidants in it. This is the reason why gum arabic can help in neutralizing free radicals, thus reducing oxidative stress that can come with so much health repercussions, like cancer and heart disease.
Lowered cholesterol. Speaking of heart disease, gum arabic is said to help lower it because of the fact that its fiber and antioxidant content work together in lowering bad cholesterol. Keeping high bad cholesterol in check helps lower the blood pressure, and it’s something that helps reduce heart disease risk.
Body detoxification. It is said by the experts that gum arabic also helps support the functioning of the liver which does so many roles, and the neutralization of toxins in the body is one of them. Some studies even suggest that gum arabic may one day be used for treating liver disease.
Gum arabic is said to cause common side effects like excess gas, abdominal distention and loose stools. Some people may develop allergic reactions to it like skin rashes and wheezing.
Prior to taking supplements with gum arabic, make sure that you let your doctor know about it first. This is true most especially if you are diagnosed with a medical condition and/or you are taking prescribed medicines. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should refrain from taking supplements with gum arabic.