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Last Updated: 7 April 2021

Acacia Fiber: The Complete Guide

Evidence Based 7 key references

While other fibers have hogged all the spotlight (hello Metamucil you fancy psyllium powder), Acacia Fiber has waited patiently for its turn in the sun.  And with so many benefits on offer it is time to dive into exactly what this fiber is all about.  So in this guide we’re going to show you exactly what acacia fiber is, why it can be beneficial and even how it can help your microbiome.  Let’s go!

In a hurry?  Jump to
What is it? Benefits Side Effects Summary & Verdict
Researched & Written by
Bailey Franzen MS, RDN
Bailey Franzen MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Carolyn Quijano MS, RDN
Carolyn Quijano MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Edited by Digest Life team

What is Acacia fiber?

Acacia fiber is derived from the stems and branches of the Acacia Senegal tree (S). Other names for acacia are acacia Senegal, gum Arabic, and acacia gum. Acacia fiber is soluble, non-viscous, and ferments slowly (S)(s).

While fibers get categorized into different types (learn more about the categorization in our high fiber article), different foods have different fiber structures. The structure of fiber found in acacia is called arabinogalactan.

Other foods that have this same structure are leek seeds, carrots, radishes, pears, maize, wheat, and tomatoes (S). Arabinogalactans have been studied for their possible immune-stimulatory effects (S).

Acacia fiber is low FODMAP certified (s) meaning people who suffer from IBS or who have sensitive guts should be able to tolerate it well. It resists digestion in the small intestines and reaches the large intestine where it ferments slowly (S)(S).

The process of slow fermentation can help to prevent excessive bloating and gas while stimulating beneficial bifidobacteria, lactobacillus, and even SCFAs such as butyrate.source; source ; source

What are the benefits of Acacia fiber?

From our extensive research we have identified 7 benefits acacia fiber can offer:

  1. Normalize bowel function by improving diarrhea/constipation
  2. Anti-obesity effect in healthy adult females
  3. Decrease inflammation
  4. Improve cardiovascular health by changes in lipid profile
  5. Normalize blood glucose levels
  6. Bone mineralization
  7. Support beneficial bacteria in the microbiome

1.  Bowel function

Acacia fiber has shown to both improve diarrhea and constipation in rat studies. (Pg. 126 source)

2.  Anti-obesity effects in healthy adult females

Healthy adult females taking 30 g/day of acacia fiber for 6 weeks were observed to have a significant reduction in BMI (0.32) and body fat percentage (2.18%). S

Taking acacia fiber for weight reduction 
Study Result Dosage
↓ BMI (0.32)

↓ Body fat percentage (2.18%)

30g per day x 6 weeks S

3.  Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Acacia fiber has a favorable immune modulating effect in rheumatoid arthritis and can be utilized in clinical practice as an adjuvant therapy (S).

When supplementing acacia fiber, there is an increase in butyrate production (source). This is likely the cause of anti-inflammatory activity.

Taking acacia fiber with rheumatoid arthritis 
Study Result Dosage
↓ Swollen tender joints and inflammatory marker TNFa in people with Rheumatoid arthritis. 30g per day x 12 weeks source

4.  Heart health

Acacia fiber has shown to be beneficial in improving blood  lipid profiles. Supplementing with acacia fiber lowered total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), triglycerides, blood pressure, and BMI. pg 127 source S, and . In addition, it has shown to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind) (S).

Taking acacia fiber with heart disease
Study Result Dosage
↓Total cholesterol and triglycerides especially LDL 25-30 g per day
↓ Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and BMI

Increase in HDL cholesterol

30 g per day (S)
↓ systolic blood pressure both in diabetics with kidney disease as well as healthy study participants 25 g/day x 8-12 weeks (S)

5.  Blood sugar control

Blood glucose regulatory effect — decreases blood sugar and insulin rise with glucose challenge (5-20g) pg.127 source source

Significant decrease in fasting plasma glucose levels.

The GA group showed significant reduction in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and HbA1c (P<0.05) within the GA group.

Taking acacia fiber with diabetes
Study Result Dosage
↓ blood sugar and insulin rise after a glucose challenge 5-20 g per day (pg.127 source source )
↓ fasting blood sugar and Hemoglobin A1c 30 g per day (S)

6.  Bone mineralization

In a study conducted in mice, increased calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc concentrations were found in femurs of the animals receiving acacia supplementation. These results suggest that acacia supplementation could be beneficial for bone mineralization. Similar findings have been shown in other dietary fiber supplementation (GOS, FOS). Further studies on this topic are needed. (S)

7.  Changes to the microbiome

Acacia fiber is not digestible in the small intestine, leaving it to pass on to the large intestine where it is fermented by intestinal microbes.S Acacia fiber doses ranging from 5 to 40g/day have been reported to increase intestinal Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species populations. S These bacterial genera have been associated with several  positive human health effects.

Bifidobacterium species have been shown to: S, S

  • Modulate the immune system
  • Have an anti-carcinogenic effect
  • Secrete antimicrobial compounds; inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria
  • Increase resistance to infection
  • Produce SCFAs such as lactate and acetate while cross-feeding with butyrate producers
  • Produce certain vitamins

Lactobacillus species have been shown to: S

  • Neutralize toxins or toxic compounds
  • Produce a cholesterol-lowering activity
  • Have antioxidant activity
  • Modulate the immune system
  • Inhibit pathogens

The evidence to date suggests that acacia fiber has potential to modulate the microbiome in beneficial ways for human health. However, differences in study methods, population groups, and acacia fiber being provided in different forms can make it challenging to compare studies or draw firm conclusions. S Optimal effective doses for microbiome modulation have yet to be identified.

Acacia Fiber Microbiome Changes
Effect Dose
Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species 5-40g/day

What are potential side effects of acacia fiber?

So the good news is that Acacia fiber has a high digestive tolerance at 30 g per day.  And unsurprisingly, the severity of complaints are low.

Even at doses over 50 g/day, the main complaint tends to be about excessive flatulence (Source).

Other side effects reported in healthy individuals include bloating and cramps; however, even this was from a high dose of 67 g/day and 71 g/day, respectively (Source).

Summary & Verdict

  • Acacia fiber is soluble, non-viscous, and slowly fermented. (s)
  • Acacia fiber is a well-tolerated supplement
  • Acacia fiber promotes a number of health benefits including gut health, heart health, and diabetes.
  • Acacia fiber changes the microbiome and helps to support potentially beneficial bacteria such as Ruminococcus, Bifidobacteria, and Lactobacillus
  • More research is needed to confirm the benefits of acacia fiber supplementation in humans.

Acacia fiber seems to be a top contender in promoting gut health. Keep in mind that a lot of the studies mentioned above were conducted in animals or had a small sample size, so additional research is needed in humans and the proposed effects of Acacia fiber.