Today’s web adventure:
Today, as I placed a regular supplement order with Vitacost.com, I somehow saw a long list of products. From idle curiosity, I scrolled down the page. I noticed that they listed guar gum, the main ingredient in the old form of Benefiber ™. Of course I clicked on the listing, and got two listings, for Source Naturals ™ versions of the same product.
Because I knew Amazon sells Source Naturals, and VitaCost had a shipment delay on one size of the Guar Gum product, I checked price and shipment information on Amazon.com, using “guar gum” for the search term. Yes, they have the same product, but you have to buy three at a time. Yes, it’s shipped directly from Amazon.com, so (especially if you are an Amazon Prime member) the ship time is very fast and accurate. Just to see what else there is, I checked their whole listing for guar gum. You can do the same — just avoid Bob’s Red Mill ™ or Barry Farm guar gum, which are intended for baking, and very hard to use as a supplement.
Believe me, I’ve tried.
At the bottom of the Amazon list of guar gum products, they had an allied ad from HerbalRemedies.com.
Poking around that web site, I found the following information on acacia fiber, the basis for Heather’s Organic Acacia Tummy Fiber ™.
Acacia General Information
Ancient Hebrews considered Acacia to be the Shittah tree of the Bible which supplied the sacred wood. The Ark of the Covenant and the sacred Tabernacle were made from Acacia wood. As a spiritual icon it is also one of the most powerful “symbols” in Freemasonry representing the eternal soul and purity of the soul. The ancient Egyptians used the gum of the tree on loose teeth because its thick mucilaginous (thick and sticky) properties supported the tooth while the astringent qualities tightened up the gum tissue surrounding the loose tooth. The Egyptians also used the material as a glue and as a pain reliever base. The gum of the Acacia tree was applied to open wounds as an antiseptic. The Aztecs used it as a food and dye, and ate the seedpods as an aphrodisiac.
Where The Acacia Tree is Found Today
The acacia tree (Acacia Senegal) is a thorny, scraggly tree that grows to heights of about 15 feeet. It grows most prolifically in regions of Africa, in particlular in the Republic of Sudan. During times of drought, the bark of the tree splits, exuding a sap that dries in small droplets or “tears”. In the past, these hardened sap tears served as the major source of acacia gum, but today commercial acacia gum is derived by tapping trees periodically and collecting the resin semi-mechanically. At least three grades of acacia gum are available commercially and their quality is distinguished by the coloor and character in the collected tears. There is considerable variation in the gum quality depending on whether it is obtained by natural flow secondary to extreme drought, obtained by tapping of induced by the boring of beetles at sites of branch injury. Gums derived from Combretum are readily available at low prices in East and West Africa and are often offered for sale as “gum arabic”.
Acacia Uses & Scientific Evidence For
Today Gum Arabic is used to provide a soothing coating over inflammations in the respiratory, alimentary, and urinary tracts. It is also helpful for coughs, sore throat, and catarrh, eyewash, diarrhea, and dysentery. Acacia is sometimes used for typhoid fever as well. Acacia is highly soluble, with low viscosity and a high soluble dietary fiber content, and therefore, used in meal replacement products, nutritional beverages, and weight-loss products. Acacia gum has been used in food as a stabilizer and in pharmaceuticals as a demulcent. It is used topically for healing wounds and has been shown to inhibit the growth of periodontal bacteria and the early deposition of plaque.
That’s comprehensive information on acacia fiber, when I started out looking for guar gum supplements — especially to replace Benefiber ™, which is now made with wheat dextrin. So in the next post, I’ll deal more specifically with guar gum as a soluble fiber, not just where to get the supplement.