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Scientific Name:
Acacia senegal (syn. Senegalia senegal), A. seyal (syn. Vachellia seyal)
Family Name:
Common Name:
gum acacia, Acacia gum, gum arabic
Safety Data
Adverse Effects & Toxicity
Gum arabic co-administered with interferon (IFN)-γ promoted the release of nitric oxide and other cytokines associated with the pro-inflammatory M1 polarization of macrophages, also inducing the production of iNOS and COX-2 proteins, increasing the release of G-CSF and IL-6 by more than 100 times, and that of IL-3, RANTES, and IL-10 by more than 10 times. Lin 2022
Smoke from Acacia seyal wood, traditionally used by Sudanese women in a smoke bath ceremony called Dukhan, demonstrated dose-dependent genotoxic effects in bacterial and human cells, thus posing a health risk if frequently practiced. Elgorashi 2022
European Food Safety Authority Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings (FAF) found no reason for safety concerns, given the estimated levels of exposure and available data, regarding the use of acacia gum (E 414) as a food additive in foods for infants below 16 weeks of age. FAF 2019
A review of preclinical studies on potential adverse effects on gut microbiota arising from dietary exposure to certain emulsifiers, including gum arabic, refers to international toxicology testing guidelines and current understanding of gut microbiota, concluding that data may not necessarily suggest a safety concern. Vo 2019
The article presents a case series of 11 women with airborne contact dermatitis associated with the traditional African custom of scented smoke baths (Dukhan), typically containing the wood of Acacia seyal. Kibar Ozturk 2018
Occupational allergic rhinitis and contact urticaria caused by Gum Arabic in a candy factory worker. [No abstract] Romita 2018
Results of complement fixation tests, in which gum arabic inhibited alternative and/or classical pathway-induced hemolysis by up to 87% following pre-incubation, suggest that gum arabic may act as an activator of the complement system with ensuing pro-inflammatory effect. Bovo 2016
A report by a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee includes a summary of the committee's evaluations of technical, toxicological, and dietary exposure data concerning octenyl succinic acid modified gum arabic. WHO 2013
An article brings attention to anecdotal risks of developing diseases of the skin and respiratory system following exposure to arabic gum by confectionary workers. [Article in Italian] Aversa 2012
A case study of 11 candy factory workers found various levels of sensitization to gum arabic in four of the workers due to airborne exposure. Viinanen 2011
A panel of toxicological tests found modified gum acacia to be non-mutagenic with acute oral LD50 values of >2000 mg/kg in rats, slightly irritating dermatologically to rabbits, and presenting no subchronic toxicity when administered in the rat diet at 1%-5% for 13 weeks. Schmitt 2008
A case report presents evidence in support of allergy to gum arabic (Acacia senegal) being mediated preferentially by IgE antibodies directed to polypeptide chains. Sander 2006
A 90-day oral subchronic toxicity study of a new type of gum arabic (SUPER GUM) from Acacia senegal determined the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) to be 5% of the diet in male and female rats. Doi 2006
A report on acute, short-term, or subchronic toxicity of products derived from various Acacia spp. for use as ingredients in cosmetic formulations supports the overall safety of gum arabic derived from Acacia senegal or its extract; however, the data could not be applied to crude Acacias and their extracts from species other than A. senegal. [No authors listed] 2005
[Allergic rhinitis, asthma and eczema caused by gum arabic in a candy factory worker] [Article in Finnish] [No abstract] Kilpiö 2000
A case report provides evidence of carbohydrate specific IgE antibodies in a patient with multiple sensitivities to a range of allergens, including gum arabic, possibly due to his occupation as a baker and confectioner. Fötisch 1998
A 14-day, randomized, controlled study (N=30) assessed the safety of a liquid nutritional formula containing fish oil, oligosaccharides, gum arabic, and antioxidant vitamins developed for the nutritional support of ulcerative colitis in healthy adult males. Although large quantities of the formula resulted in some abdominal distention, gas, and loose stools, it was considered safe based upon routine measurements of serum metabolite profiles, hematology, and urinalysis. Campbell 1997
A study reports on the potential mutagenic effects of gum arabic in rodents with mixed results. Sheu 1986
Gum arabic sensitivity associated with epidemic hysteria dermatologica [No abstract] Ilchyshyn 1985
Gum arabic administered to rats at 1-8% of the diet did not cause any microscopic abnormalities in the hearts and livers. Anderson 1984
Administration of diets containing 25,000 (2.5%) or 50,000 ppm (5.0%) gum arabic for ~2 years produced decreases in body weight gain greater than 5% in female rats, with no changes in survival, histopathological effects, or carcinogenicity. Melnick 1983
A novel immunogenicity test demonstrated gum arabic as capable to elicit an immune response comparable to that by a protein antigen while purified commercial gum preparations elicited a reduced immune response in vivo. Strobel 1982
In a subchronic rat toxicity study, administration of gum arabic at up to 20% diet induced reductions in liver and kidney weights, body weight, food and water consumption, along with caecal enlargement, with no adverse effect levels established at 5.2 g/kg/day and 13.8 g/kg/day for male and female rats, respectively. Anderson 1982
Administration of 25,000-50,000 ppm of gum acacia slightly decreased the body weight of female rats and induced a significant trend of increasing the numbers of female mice with hepatocellular carcinomas and of total liver tumors, though the association was not clear. National Toxicology Program 1982
Repeated oral administration of gum arabic caused uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation in the liver and heart mitochondria and partial inhibition of mixed function oxidases of the liver in rats. Bachmann 1978
[Asthma caused by gum arabic in a large printing plant] [Article in French] [No abstract] Hinaut 1961
[A case of asthma caused by gum arabic. Clinical history, skin tests, respiratory function tests] [Article in French] [No abstract] Gaultier 1960
[Allergy to gum arabic in workers in the printing industry] [Article in French] [No abstract] Turiaf 1959
[Respiratory disorders induced by gum arabic] [Article in French] [No abstract] Desoille 1959
[Case of occupational asthma caused by gum arabic]. [Article in Undetermined language] [No abstract] Bruusgaard 1952
Bronchial Asthma due to Sensitivity to Gum Acacia [No abstract] Sprague 1942
History of Record
January 2023
June 2023