Effects of gum arabic (Acacia senegal) on water and electrolyte balance in healthy mice

J Ren Nutr. 2008 Mar;18(2):230-8. doi: 10.1053/j.jrn.2007.08.004.


Objective: Gum arabic (GA) is a dietary fiber derived from the dried exudates of Acacia senegal. It is widely used in both the pharmaceutical and food industries as an emulsifier and stabilizer. It is also used in the traditional treatment of patients with chronic kidney disease in Middle Eastern countries. However, the effects of GA on renal function remain ill-defined.

Design: We explored the effects of GA on the water and electrolyte balance of healthy wild-type 129S1/SvImJ mice (n = 18). Feces and urine were collected in metabolic cages before and after 3 or 14 days of treatment with 10% GA in drinking water.

Results: The GA solutions contained particularly high concentrations of Ca2+, Mg2+, and K+. Because of enhanced uptake, treatment with GA significantly increased both the intestinal and renal excretion of Mg2+ and Ca(2+). The latter was accompanied by decreased urinary excretion of inorganic phosphate and decreased plasma concentrations of 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D. Moreover, GA significantly increased fecal weight and Na+ excretion. Gum arabic increased 24-h creatinine clearance (from 283 +/- 35 to 382 +/- 40 muL/min [SEM]) and urinary antidiuretic hormone excretion, and decreased daily urine output (from 1.8 +/- 0.2 to 1.2 +/- 0.1 mL/24 h) as well as the urinary excretion of Na(+) (from 226 +/- 22 to 196 +/- 19 mumol/24 h). In conclusion, treatment with GA resulted in moderate but significant increases of creatinine clearance and altered electrolyte excretion, i.e., effects favorable in renal insufficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / pharmacokinetics*
  • Creatinine / metabolism
  • Dietary Fiber / pharmacology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / drug effects
  • Gum Arabic / pharmacology*
  • Magnesium / pharmacokinetics*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Potassium / pharmacokinetics*
  • Renal Insufficiency / drug therapy*
  • Urinalysis
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / drug effects*


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Gum Arabic
  • Creatinine
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium