Acacia Fiber

Is Acacia Fiber Safe To Take?

Acacia fiber is a gum extracted from several species of the acacia tree. It is quite soluble in water, and is used as a dietary fiber, and for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), among other things. Acacia fiber is generally considered safe to use. Any side effects one may experience are usually mild, but there are certain precautions one should be aware of, as acacia fiber reacts with some drugs and medications. In addition, there are some who may are allergic to acacia fiber, though the percentage of the population of those having such an allergy is not large.

Acacias - Acacias, also known as thorn trees, grow on most of the continents of the world, there being at least 1,300 species of this tree or shrub. It is a member of the Mimosa family, the foliage being very similar to the Mimosa, the "Sensitive plant". In some parts of the world, seeds and young shoots of some acacia species are used as food, and the honey that bees produce from acacia pollen is considered to be a delicacy. Over the centuries, there have been many medicinal uses of acacia, some of which have been validated scientifically. One of the medicinal uses of acacia is as a cholesterol lowering agent, although its effectiveness in this role has not been firmly established. In spite of the fact certain benefits of acacia have been scientifically validated, many supposed benefits have yet to be proven.

Acacia fiber is sold as a supplement, usually for the treatment of IBS, where it is believed to play a role in increasing friendly bacteria residing in the gut. It is claimed that the fiber reduces gas and bloating, although gas and bloating are listed among the possible side effects. This suggests that while most sufferers of IBS may benefit form taking the fiber, there may be some who will not.

Reviews And Testimonials - Commercial acacia fiber may be found in tablet form, but is usually sold as a fine powder, which can either be mixed with water, or simply added to food. There are many reviews one can read regarding the effectiveness of acacia fiber in treating IBS. Unfortunately, many of these reviews are not authored by professional care givers or nutritionists, but are simply testimonials, making the fiber at times sound like a wonder drug, which is a little unfortunate. Reviews focusing on both the positives as well as any negatives would be nice to have for reference.

A Few Precautions - Not enough is really known about acacia fiber to determine what the proper dosage might be, or how much is too much. It is suggested that pregnant and breast-feeding women avoid acacia fiber supplements, though only because of a lack of knowledge as to whether the fiber might be harmful to the fetus or infant. One thing that is known, is that acacia gum interacts with the antibiotic medicine amoxicillin, and prevents the body from absorbing this medication. Those taking Amoxil or Trimox should not take the medication within 4 hours before or after ingesting acacia. Acacia should also used with caution when taking iron supplements, or because of possible allergic reactions such as asthma attacks, should be avoided when suffering from a respiratory disorder.

Summary - In short, acacia fiber does appear to provide some real benefit, especially for those suffering from IBS or other digestive disorders. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, although it can be said there are many other good sources as well. Acacia fiber is not regarded as being harmful, except for those who may have an allergic reaction to it, or for those who are taking medication that the acacia fiber may block, or otherwise not allow the body to absorb.




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