Gum Arabic - Food Additive Analysis
Gum arabic is a substance derived from the sap of the acacia tree, and classified by the FDA as having little or no toxic potential. Thus far, animal studies have shown that Gum Arabic is not carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic.
What about human consumption?
The Science on Gum Arabic So Far
In a very small study involving only 5 healthy human volunteers, it was found that consuming 25g of gum arabic per day for three weeks had very little effect on the participants, with the only changes observed being a modest reduction in serum cholesterol and an increase in breath hydrogen.
When analyzing the impact of increased breath hydrogen, it suggests that gum arabic is metabolized by intestinal bacteria, and more recent studies have confirmed this notion by demonstrating its prebiotic properties. In particular, they showed that gum arabic selectively stimulates the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, both of which are probiotic species typically found in the intestines.
These findings suggest that consuming gum arabic may be able to impact your gut’s microbiome by altering populations of these two types of bacteria.
Consequently, further studies are needed to investigate whether incorporating gum arabic into one’s diet could lead to long-term health benefits or problems.