In this post, we’re doing a bit of a deep dive into some of the wonderful prebiotic ingredients in our powder Feed; Partially Hydrolysed Guar Gum (PHGG) and Acacia Gum.
You may have heard of prebiotics, not to be confused with probiotics. Prebiotics are foods and food products that feed and naturally alter our existing microbiome for the better. Probiotics are different, rather than being ‘bacteria food’ they actually provide live bacteria and yeasts to the gut, to alter the microbe population and activity in the gut.
While probiotics are heavily backed by science to show that they can improve digestion and general wellbeing, prebiotics are an essential part of the equation and also have a large evidence base that is continuing to be built upon.
What you feed the microbiome dictates how the microbes behave and how they impact your health, so feeding your gut with prebiotics is just as important as supporting healthy populations with probiotics.
Not all prebiotics are fibre and not all fibres are prebiotics. To earn the title of a prebiotic, fibres and food products have to be proven to improve growth of beneficial microbes in the gut and to increase production of health enhancing metabolites. Dietary fibre and supplemental prebiotics have so many benefits to offer for our health. Here are a few of the top benefits of fibre & prebiotics;
Prebiotics help to support immune health by improving gut integrity and immune boosting microbe populations; think lactobacillus, beneficial yeasts and Bifidobacterium.
Prebiotics can regulate bowel motions and improve bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.
Prebiotic fibre assists our body to remove toxins by ensuring they’re carried out in the stool and not re absorbed in the gut.
Fibre can also regulate cholesterol levels. It prevents excess dietary fat being absorbed into the blood stream from the gut and promotes production of bacterial by-products, that reduce cholesterol production.
Dietary Fibre has two main sub groups; soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre is found in grains, seeds & fruits and draws in water so make a gel like substance that can help to regulate bowel motions, both for diarrhoea and constipation. Insoluble fibre is found in herbs and vegetables and does not draw water in, it can slow digestive transit time and assist in producing formed stools.
Partially Hydrolysed Guar Gum
Guar Gum is a soluble fibre made from guar seeds, that is particularly easy to add to foods and drinks as it dissolves well and has no taste or smell. Partially hydrolysed guar gum refers to a prebiotic that is made from guar gum. It’s pre-fermented by enzymes, making it very gentle on the stomach and very well tolerated by even the most sensitive irritable bowel syndrome sufferers.
Guar gum is fantastic for regulating bowel motility and improving the consistency of stool, making it easier to pass. It also reduces gas production in the gut as well as pain signalling, reducing bloating and stomach pain associated with food reactions, IBS and another related condition; Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).
PHGG also improves tissue integrity of the gut lining, helping to manage leaky gut and reducing severity of gut-derived inflammation and food sensitivities. It also improves growth of key species that benefit immune function; Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. PHGG also increases SCFA production to regulate inflammatory response in the body, maintain healthy intestinal structure, boost immune function and support mental health.
Acacia gum is a naturally gummy substance from the plant Acacia Senegal, it has been used traditionally in Africa for centuries to treat gut ailments. In modern natural medicine, Acacia gum is still used to treat the gut but now we have far more information about how helpful it truly is.
For people who experience bloating, gas and stomach pain, supplementing with Acacia Gum can reduce pain and bloating and improve overall intestinal comfort within 4 weeks of daily supplementation.
Acacia gum promotes growth of Bifidobacterium, improve immune function and prevents growth of bacteria that can cause illness, such as the Clostridium family.
Acacia gum can reduce severity of stomach and duodenal ulcers, improve the symptoms of mild allergies and food sensitivities and even improve eczema, too. These actions are due to its ability to restore the gut lining.
Additionally, Acacia gum significantly improves production of metabolites form colon bacteria called short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs have a role in regulating inflammation in the body, balancing cholesterol and liver function and even can have a positive impact on mental health. Therefore, supplementing with Acacia gum is an excellent way to give your microbiome some love, to improve your overall health and prevent digestive issues in the long term.
Rawi, M. H., Abdullah, A., Ismail, A., & Sarbini, S. R. (2021). Manipulation of Gut Microbiota Using Acacia Gum Polysaccharide. ACS omega, 6(28), 17782–17797. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.1c00302
Massot-Cladera, M., Azagra-Boronat, I., Franch, À., Castell, M., Rodríguez-Lagunas, M. J., & Pérez-Cano, F. J. (2020). Gut Health-Promoting Benefits of a Dietary Supplement of Vitamins with Inulin and Acacia Fibers in Rats. Nutrients, 12(8), 2196. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082196
National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, New Zealand Ministry of Health. Nutrient Reference Values for
Australia and New Zealand. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council; Version 1.2, September 2017.
Niv E, Halak A, Tiommny E, Yanai H, Strul H, Naftali T, Vaisman N. Randomised clinical study: partially hydrolysed guar gum (PHGG) versus placebo in the treatment of patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Nutr Metab 2016; 13 (10).