Arabinogalactans are water-soluble polysaccharides widely found in plants, fungi and bacteria. Because of its potent biological activity and immune-enhancing properties, this unique dietary fiber is receiving increased attention as a clinically useful nutraceutical agent.
Arabinogalactans are most abundant in the larch tree and although larch arabinogalactan can be extracted from the wood of two trees (Western larch/Larix occidentalis or Mongolian larch/Larix dahurica), most commercially-available arabinogalactan is produced from the former. High-grade larch arbinogalactan is composed of more than 90% arabinogalactan. It is a dry, free-flowing powder, with a very slight pine-like odor and sweetish taste. It is 100% water-soluble and produces low viscosity solutions. Because of its excellent solubility and mild taste, the powder mixes readily in water and juices and is easily administered.
Arabinogalactans appear to offer real value in the treatment of recurrent pediatric otitis media.
Larch Arabinogalactan acts as a food supply for friendly bacteria. The term used to describe this action is "prebiotic". The most well known prebiotic substance is "fructooligosaccharides" or "FOS". Larch Arabinogalactan acts in the same manner as FOS in humans. The effect is to increase good bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, while decreasing bad bacteria.
The longest recognized use of Larch Arabinogalactan is probably as a source of dietary fiber. It has been shown to increase the production of short-chain fatty acids, principally butyrate and proprionate. These special fatty acids are critically important for the health of the colon: Having an adequate supply of these fatty acids is thought to make colon cells more resistant to both tumor promotion and a variety of intestinal disease.