Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is autoimmune inflammatory disease that attacks the synovium of the joints. Both TNFa and interleukin-1 play crucial roles in the pathogenesis of RA. Gum Arabic (GA) is gummy exudates from Acacia senegal tree. Gum Arabic fermentation by colonic bacteria increases serum butyrate concentrations, so it is considered as prebiotic agent. Gum Arabic (GA) has anti-inflammatory activity through its derivative butyrate. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study conducted to investigate GA intake on inflammatory markers among RA patients.
Patients and methods: This is clinical trial phase II in which 40 patients were enrolled aged 18 to 70 years. Patients received 30g/day GA for 12 weeks. TNF α, ESR, and complete blood count were measured and DAS-28 was calculated before and after regular GA consumption. Study was approved by the Ethical committee of National Medicines and Poisons Board.
Results: This study showed significant decrease in level of serum TNF α (p value 0.05) [95% CI, 0.65 -16.5], ESR (p value 0.011) [95% CI, 2.6 -18.89], and number of swollen and tender joints in RA patients after 12 weeks of GA intake which reflected as significant decrease in disease severity score DAS 28 P.V:0.00 [95% CI, 1.25 -1.99]. On the other hand, GA had trivial change in blood indices.
Conclusion: Gum Arabic has favorable immune modulator effect on rheumatoid arthritis. It can be utilized in clinical practice as adjuvant therapy.
Trial registration: This trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02804581 Registered at 19 June 2016, prospective registration.