Health

Acacia Powder for Weight Loss: Does it Work?

Acacia Powder for Weight Loss: Does it Work?

Acacia powder has long been used in supplements or as a stand-alone fiber product. Today we’re taking a closer look at the increasing interest in the use of acacia powder for weight loss.

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About Acacia Powder

Acacia powder is derived from ground bark of the acacia tree, which is commonly found in the African region of Darfur in Sudan.  It is used in a variety of products from ice cream to milk, but its use for weight loss has increased in recent years, and is the focus of this article.

Acacia Powder for Weight Loss

After a recent television segment promoting acacia powder as part of a weight loss regimen, there has been increased interest in it for this purpose. Because of its high fiber content, acacia powder has a thickening effect, which gives you a full sensation after consuming it. It can be sprinkled on food or mixed into drinks and may help to curb hunger due to its high fiber content. It is colorless and tasteless.

Reviews for a popular acacia powder on Amazon give the product generally favorable reviews, with a 4-star rating out of 5 overall.

A product called Heather’s Tummy Fiber includes acacia fiber, and strong consumer reviews. It sells for under $20.

Studies

A 2008 study found that the use of acacia powder showed the greatest reduction in BMI over other fiber types, in addition to being the most palatable.

Other uses

A common use for acacia and other fiber products is for relief of diarrhea or constipation associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis.

WebMD states that Acacia is “possibly ineffective” for lowering cholesterol, and a lack of evidence that it can be used to treat other conditions.

acacia tree

Acacia powder is created from the ground bark of the acacia tree.

Acacia Powder Side Effects

Acacia fiber is easily tolerated by most people, however it can cause side effects such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea – especially in those with sensitive stomachs or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Rare side effects include skin reactions or asthma attacks.

Acacia has an interaction warning and should not be taken four hours before or after taking amoxicillin. According to WebMD, acacia interrupts the body’s ability to absorb the antibiotic.

You should consult your doctor before adding acacia or any fiber to your diet.

Dosage

It is recommended to start with small quantities of acacia powder, such as 1/2 teaspoon twice a day, and gradually increase up to anywhere from 2 teaspoons to 3 tablespoons a day.

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It is also highly recommended that you drink plenty of water when taking acacia powder or other fiber supplements. Failure to adequately hydrate while taking acacia fiber can lead to constipation or blockages of the esophagus, intestines, or stomach.

How much does Acacia Powder cost?

Acacia powder is easily found for as low as $10-$20 online or in supplement stores.

Alternatives to Acacia Powder

There are other fiber products on the market, of varying flavors and textures. These include Benefiber, Citrucel, Metamucil, and Fibercon. There are also generic-brand equivalents. If you find acacia powder doesn’t agree with you, you may want to give one of these other fiber products a try.

Google Trends History

The Google Trends graph below displays interest in acacia powder over time. Search interest peaked in May of 2013 followed by another surge in November of 2013. Since the surge in November of 2013, interest appears to have largely declined.

Bottom Line

Acacia powder can provide a boost in fiber in your diet, which is an integral part of a more comprehensive weight loss solution. It is not, however, a standalone solution, and caution should be used when introducing fiber into your diet. Reviews of acacia powder have been generally positive, yet scientific evidence that is significantly affects weight loss appears to be lacking.

Your Turn

Have you tried acacia powder for weight loss, or for other purposes? Tell us of your experience with it in the comments below.

Updated March 15, 2015
Originally published May 2013

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