Reference Number: 435
The objective of the present study was to determine whether acacia gum (GUM) is a prebiotic fibre and to evaluate its intestinal tolerance in healthy subjects. The effects of increasing doses of GUM were compared to those of sucrose (SUC) on stool output, concentration of the main bacterial populations in stools, and occurrence and severity of intestinal symptoms (flatulence, bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea). Ingestion of GUM 10 and 15 g/day for 10 days increased total lactic acid-producing bacteria and bifidobacteria counts in stools, without affecting total anaerobe and aerobe counts. The magnitude of this selective effect was greater in subjects with a low initial faecal concentration of bifidobacteria. Faecal digestibility of GUM was around 95% and its caloric value was estimated to range between 5.5 and 7.7 kJ/g. In addition, stool weight increased 30% because of greater faecal water content. Digestive tolerance of GUM was high and not statistically different from that of SUC up to a daily dose of 30 g. Above this dose, the main complaint was excessive flatulence. However, the mean degree of severity remained mild (<1), even at doses >50 g/day. Other intestinal events were rarely reported. Thus GUM is a very well tolerated dietary fibre with bifidogenic properties believed to benefit intestinal health.
Significance of this study to the sourdough baker:
This suggests that the addition of Acacia gum (GUM) to our blends may boost our intake of fibre and therefore benefit our intestinal health. The fibres in the Acacia gum are fermented by the gut bacteria to produce favourable short chain fatty acids (SCFA). SCFA enhance our gut health by improving the integrity of our gut wall. The Acacia gum here is also found to boost the levels of beneficial bacteria to enhance our gut and overall health.