Acacia Gum health benefit, role in kidney disease by Ray Sahelian, M.D. (index of healing herbs and vitamins)
April 22 2014

Acacia gum is also known as gum Arabic. It is obtained from the Acacia tree which grows in a region that stretches from Senegal to Sudan in Africa. This gum is made of hardened sap taken from two species of the acacia tree; Acacia Senegal and Acacia seyal. The Senegal gum acacia is an average sized tree with thorns that grows on the African savanna grassland. The fiber is widely used in both the pharmaceutical and food industries as an emulsifier and stabilizer. Acacia gum is composed of saccharides and glycoproteins and is fit to be consumed by humans.

Health benefit
Acacia gum may be useful in those with kidney disease, for instance chronic renal failure.

Acacia gum and kidney disease research studies
Acacia gum supplementation of a low-protein diet in children with end-stage renal disease.
Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) die in the absence of renal replacement therapy (RRT). In developing countries RRT is not uniformly available and treatment often relies on conservative management and intermittent peritoneal dialysis (IPD). This study investigates the possibility of using acacia gum supplementation to improve the quality of life and provide children with ESRD with a dialysis-free period. Three patients referred to our hospital with ESRD during a 3-month period were enrolled in a therapeutic trial to investigate the efficacy of acacia gum (1 g/kg per day in divided doses) as a complementary conservative measure aimed at improving the quality of life. Inclusion criteria included a pre-dialysis creatinine clearance of <5 ml/min, current dietary restrictions and supplementation, at least one dialysis session to control uremic symptoms, absence of life-threatening complications, and sufficient motivation to ensure compliance with the study protocol. One patient complied with the protocol for only 10 days and died after 6 months, despite IPD. Two patients completed the study. Both reported improved well-being. Neither became acidotic or uremic, and neither required dialysis during the study period. Both patients maintained urinary creatinine and urea levels not previously achieved without dialysis. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with acacia gum may be an alternative to renal replacement therapy to improve the quality of life and reduce or eliminate the need for dialysis in children with end stage renal disease in some developing countries. Pediatric Nephrology. 2004.

Your article on gum arabic and those with chronic renal failure is interesting to me because my wife has less than 5% renal function. Ideally we would like to minimize the amount of dialysis she requires and this seems like something we could discuss with the doctors. Do you know if gum arabic affects the action of immunosuppressant drugs such astacrolymus? I ask because she has a grafted liver.
   I do not know at this time.

The effects of gum arabic oral treatment on the metabolic profile of chronic renal failure patients under regular haemodialysis in Central Sudan.
This study aimed at assessing the effect of acacia gum oral treatment on the metabolic profile of chronic renal failure patients. A total of 36 chronic renal failure patients (under regular hemodialysis) and 10 normal subjects participated in this study. We conclude that oral administration of gum arabic could conceivably alleviate adverse effects of chronic renal failure. Nat Prod Res. 2008. Faculty of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, University of Gezira, Wad Medani, Sudan.

Effects of gum arabic ( Acacia senegal ) on water and electrolyte balance in healthy mice.
Acacia gum is a dietary fiber is used in the traditional treatment of patients with chronic kidney disease in Middle Eastern countries. We explored the effects of acacia gum on the water and electrolyte balance of healthy wild-type mice. Treatment with acacia gum resulted in moderate but significant increases of creatinine clearance and altered electrolyte excretion, i.e., effects favorable in renal insufficiency. Renal Nutrition. 2008.

My son has nephrotic syndrome and we heard about the acacia gum or the gum Arabic, and it's relation with kidney illness. How can he use it. my son is 5 years and his immune system is very low.
   I don't have personal experience using this substance to treat kidney disease, so I don't know.

Emails
Is acacia gum a glyconutrient?
   I have not come across a good definition of what a glyconutrient is, so I really can't say for sure at this time.

Interactions
Are there any apparent contraindications using Artichoke Leaf Extract and acacia gum?
   I don't suspect any untoward interactions.

Would the use of acacia gum interfere with the benefit of a multivitamin supplement used for more stamina?
   I don't think there should be any interference.