What is Larch Arabinogalactan?

Christine Hudson
Christine Hudson
Studies conducted with larch arabinogalactan indicated a decrease in metastasis in rats with tumors of the liver and spleen.
Studies conducted with larch arabinogalactan indicated a decrease in metastasis in rats with tumors of the liver and spleen.

Larch arabinogalactan is a natural source of fiber in the form of a dietary supplement. It suggested to be beneficial when used in conjunction with traditional medicine to treat people with chronic illnesses such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, or those with chronic or recurring constipation due to poor diet. Larch arabinogalactin comes from a tree which is native around the world, but the most concentrated source is the Pacific Northwest.

Gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome may be treated with larch arabinogalactan.
Gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome may be treated with larch arabinogalactan.

The second part of this supplement's name, "arabinogalactan," is the name of a polysaccharide, or complex carbohydrate, which is found in the walls of certain plant cells. Since the arabinogalactan is a complex sugar, it protects the tree from injury during freeze-thaw cycles, as well as damage from lightning strikes. The western larch is believed to be a lucrative source of arabinogalactan, as large amounts of this substance can be found in the tree’s bark. This particular larch is also found in some inland locations.

Larch arabinogalactan may be beneficial for those with chronic constipation due to a poor diet.
Larch arabinogalactan may be beneficial for those with chronic constipation due to a poor diet.

Introduced into clinical practice by American doctor Peter D'Adamo in the 1980s, larch arabinogalactan is used to treat gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease. It may also be useful to those with liver ailments because it is capable of reducing ammonia in the human body and reducing stress on the liver. Polysaccharides are often used as an ingredient in many health foods and medicinal herbs that are used to boost the immune system. Larch arabinogolactan is indicated for this purpose as well. In its processed form, it is generally available in a fine white powder with what many describe as a slightly sweet taste.

Side effects of larch arabinogalactan may include bloating.
Side effects of larch arabinogalactan may include bloating.

Digestive health is not the only proposed benefit of larch arabinogalactan. Many studies have been conducted concerning its use as a possible supplement for cancer patients. Studies conducted in 1987 and 1991 indicated a decrease in metastasis, the spreading of cancer cells, in rats with tumors of the liver and spleen. These results, however, have not been clinically validated in human subjects.

Larch arabinogalactan comes in the form of a dietary supplement that provides users with a natural source of fiber.
Larch arabinogalactan comes in the form of a dietary supplement that provides users with a natural source of fiber.

The average adult dose is 1 teaspoon (about 3 grams) once a day mixed with water or juice. Some nutritionists, however, recommend dividing this amount into separate doses and taking them every eight hours for maximum benefit. Larch arabinogalactan is Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -approved for use as a dietary supplement, and there have been no reported cases of overdose or toxicity. The only known side effects are bloating and flatulence reported in about 3 to 5 percent of users. Most nutritionists claim these side effects are temporary and will diminish as a person’s body adjusts to the supplement.

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Discussion Comments

bear78

This supplement is also used by vets for dogs with anal gland problems. I know because my sister's dog suffers from blocked anal glands and she uses this supplement to treat and prevent it. Apparently, it works very well.

donasmrs

@serenesurface-- I have been using a larch arabinogalactan supplement for several months now and I have not experienced any negative side effects. The supplement regulates bowel movements and aids with digestion. I have been battling constipation and acid reflux for some time now and this supplement has helped a lot.

Soon after I started taking it, I had to take antibiotics for an ear infection. Antibiotics usually give me a lot of stomach issues like nausea and vomiting. For the first time in a long time, I had no problems and I think it was due to being on larch arabinogalactan. I highly recommend this supplement if you have similar issues. Ask your doctor first just to make sure.

serenesurface

Larch arabinogalactan sounds like a great supplement. What I worry most about with these type of supplements are potential side effects. Since many natural supplements do not undergo the same level of testing as medications, their side effects are usually unknown or unreported. So people who use them can be faced with an unpleasant surprise. But it sounds like larch arabinogalactan is very safe.

Has anyone here used the supplement?

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    • Studies conducted with larch arabinogalactan indicated a decrease in metastasis in rats with tumors of the liver and spleen.
      Studies conducted with larch arabinogalactan indicated a decrease in metastasis in rats with tumors of the liver and spleen.
    • Gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome may be treated with larch arabinogalactan.
      Gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome may be treated with larch arabinogalactan.
    • Larch arabinogalactan may be beneficial for those with chronic constipation due to a poor diet.
      Larch arabinogalactan may be beneficial for those with chronic constipation due to a poor diet.
    • Side effects of larch arabinogalactan may include bloating.
      Side effects of larch arabinogalactan may include bloating.
    • Larch arabinogalactan comes in the form of a dietary supplement that provides users with a natural source of fiber.
      Larch arabinogalactan comes in the form of a dietary supplement that provides users with a natural source of fiber.