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.
Many plants – both edible and inedible – are rich sources of arabinogalactans, including leek seeds, carrots, radishes, black gram beans, pears, maize, wheat, red wine, Italian ryegrass, tomatoes, ragweed, sorghum, bamboo grass and coconut meat and milk. Many herbs with well established immune-enhancing properties, such as Echinacea purpurea, Baptisia tinctoria, Thuja occidentalis, Angelica acutiloba and Curcuma longa also contain significant amounts of arabinogalactans.
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.
Arabinogalactan is FDA-approved for use in food applications and it is safe even in large doses. The only known side-effect is occasional bloating
in a small percentage of people who take it.