Larch Arabinogalactan aka Ambrotose

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Slayadragon, Dec 24, 2006.

  1. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I've been looking into this substance and came across this article (as well as the PDR listing below).


    BTW, Pure Encapsulations (a supplement line that primarily sells through doctors offices and seems to be of high quality) has arabinogalactan now. I believe that even at retail price it is less expensive than Ambrotose.


    Larch Arabinogalactan

    Larch Arabinogalactan Unique Natural Prebiotic for Immune Support
    Carolyn Perrini, CLS, CNC

    Larch arabinogalactan is a well known source of dietary fiber that offers powerful therapeutic benefit as a prebiotic and as a modulator of the immune system. Of particular interest is its potential as an adjunctive supplement in the treatment of chronic diseases, including cancer. (1)

    Arabinogalactan (AG) is a polysaccharide found in the cell walls of a wide variety of edible and non-edible, woody plants. The wood of the western larch tree (Larix occidentalis) provides a rich harvest of free arabinogalactan from its inner bark. This complex carbohydrate helps the tree recover from injury from lightning strikes, and protects against the freeze-thaw cycles experienced in the high altitudes of the Pacific and Inland Northwest where it grows. (2)

    Polysaccharides are often found in many medicinal herbs used for immune enhancement, including Echinacea and Astragalus. (3) AG is a fine, dry, off-white powder with a mildly sweet taste that mixes well with liquids. This safe and effective phytochemical is FDA approved for use as a dietary fiber and as a food additive. There are no known
    reports of toxicity. Credit for introducing larch AG into clinical practice goes to the distinguished naturopathic physician, Dr. Peter DAdamo.

    AG Supports Digestion
    Larch AG acts as a food supply to friendly intestinal bacteria. Like the well-known fructooligosaccharides (FOS), AG is considered a prebiotic. The non-absorbed fiber is eagerly fermented by the distal gut microflora, resulting in an elevated production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)?primarily butyrate, but also propionate. SCFAs are critically important to the health of the colon and are the principal energy source (butyrate) for the colonic epithelial cells. (8,9) Many clinicians use prebiotics to prevent and treat intestinal conditions like diverticulosis, leaky-gut, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as well as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohns and ulcerative colitis.

    Studies have shown that larch AG consumption reduces intestinal ammonia generation. (5) Reducing ammonia is significant because even low ammonia levels can have damaging effects on intestinal colonic cells. (6) AG may especially benefit patients with liver disease who are unable to detoxify ammonia, resulting in hepatic encephalopathy. (4,6,7)

    AG Enhances Immunity
    While larch AG is important for digestive health it has received even more attention for its ability to promote the health of the immune system. Larch AG seems to enhance immune response and may be termed a biological response modifier. (10)

    Larch AG may be important in cancer treatment protocols due to its ability to block the metastasis of tumor cells to the liver, and to stimulate NK cell cytotoxicity. (3) Tumor metastasis to the liver is more common than to other organ sites. AG has been shown to reduce tumor cell colonization and increase survival time of subjects with various cancers. (12,13,14) Incidentally, modified citrus pectin has the same anti-metastatic mechanism of action as larch AG, but does not provide the immune-modulating effects.

    NK cell activity is a functional marker for health. In one well-designed study, larch AG induced an increased release of interferon gamma (IFN gamma), tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). This resulted in activating two powerful cells of the immune system: macrophages and NK cells. It was found that the IFN gamma was most responsible for the observed enhancement of NK cytotoxicity. (11)

    Reports in the medical literature link decreased NK cell activity to a variety of chronic diseases including chronic fatigue syndrome, (15) viral hepatitis, (16,17) HIV/AIDS, (3) and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. (18) The ability of larch arabinogalactans to stimulate NK activity might be the reason for the significantly improved clinical outcome of these patients.

    Other Indications
    Larch AG has also been shown to decrease the frequency and severity of pediatric otitis media caused by gram negative rods (especially, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella sp.) (3) (Note: Xylitol consumption also reduces the incidence of otitis media.)

    Larch arabinogalactan in powder form is typically dosed in teaspoons or tablespoons at a concentration of approximately 3 grams per teaspoon. The adult dosage is one to three teaspoons per day in divided doses. Because of its mild taste and excellent solubility in water or juice, it is easy to use with children. Clinical feedback suggests an occasional reaction of bloating and flatulence in less than three percent of individuals (mostly women). This side effect is probably due to the effect AG has on beneficially altering intestinal microflora and will often disappear after several days to one week. (10)

    1. Adams MF, Ettling BV. Industrial Gums 2nd Edition; Academic Press 1973.

    2. Chemstone. Theoretical Basis for Process Improvement with Chemstone OAE Technology.

    3. DAdamo P. Larch arabinogalactan is a novel immune modulator. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients 1996, July; 156: 42-46.

    4. Vince AJ, McNeil NI, Wager JD, Wrong OM. The effect of lactulose, pectin, arabinogalactan, and cellulose on the production of organic acids and metabolism of ammonia by intestinal bacteria in a faecal incubation system. Br J Nutr 1990;63:17-26.

    5. Englyst HN, Hay S, Macfarlane GT. Polysaccharide breakdown by mixed populations of human faecal bacteria. FEMS Microbiol Ecology 1987;95:163-171.

    6. Robinson R, Feirtag J, Slavin J. Effects of dietary arabinogalactan on gastrointestinal and blood parameters in healthy human subjects. J Amer College of Nutrition 2001; 20: 279-285.

    7. Crociani F, Alessandrini A, Mucci MM, Biavati B. Degradation of complex carbohydrates by Bifidobacterium spp. Int J Food Microbiol 1994; 24:199-210.

    8. Roediger WE. Utilization of nutrients by isolated epithelial cells of the rat colon. Gastroenterology 1989; 83:424-429.

    9.Tsao D, Shi Z, Wong A, Kim YS. Effect of sodium butyrate on carcinoembryonic antigen production by human colonic adenocarcinoma cells in culture. Cancer Res 1983;43:1217-1222.

    10. Kelly GS. Larch arabinogalactan: Clinical relevance of a novel immune-enhancing polysaccharide. Alternative Med Rev 1994; 4(2):96-103.

    11. Hauer J, Anderer FA. Mechanism of stimulation of human natural killer cytotoxicity by arabinogalactan from Larix occidentalis. Cancer Immunol Immunother 1993;36:237-244.

    12. Hagmar B, Ryd W, Skomedal H. Arabinogalactan blockade of experimental metastases to liver by murine hepatoma. Invasion Metastasis 1991;11:348-355.

    13. Beuth J, Ko HL, Schirrmacher V,et al. Inhibition of liver tumor cell colonization in two animal tumor models by lectin blocking with D-galactose or arabinogalactan. Clin Exp Metastasis 1988;6:115-120.

    14. Beuth J, Ko HL, Oette K, et al. Inhibition of liver metastasis in mice by blocking hepatocyte lectins with arabinogalactan infusions and D-galactose. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 1987;113:51-55.

    15.Levine PH, Whiteside TL,Friberg D, et al. Dysfunction of natural killer cell activity in a family with chronic fatigue syndrome. Clin Immunol Immunopathol 1998;88:96-104.

    16. Machado IV, Deibis L, Risquez E, et al. Immunoclinical, molecular, and immunopathologic approach to chronic viral hepatitis.Therapeutic considerations. GEN 1994;48:124-132. [article in spanish].

    17. Corado J, Toro F, Rivera H, et al. Impairment of natural killer (NK) cytotoxicity activity in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Clin Exp Immunol 1997;109:451-457.

    18. Kastrukoff LF, Morgan NG, Zecchini D, et al. A role for natural killer cells in the immunopathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. J Neuroimmunol 1998;86:123-133.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/24/2006]
  2. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    This is one of few supplements that has shown me results a few minutes after taking it. And those are always the best kinds! It relieves my brain fog and gives me energy, great stuff!!

  3. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Larch Arabinogalactan


    Larch arabinogalactan refers to a polysaccharide derived from wood of the Western larch or Larix occidentalis. Arabinogalactans occur in other types of larch, but that which is marketed for supplemental usage comes from the Western larch. Larch arabinogalactan is not one substance but a mixture of several different arabinogalactans with molecular weights as low as 3,000 daltons and as high as 100,000 daltons.

    Arabinogalactans are water-soluble polysaccharides widely found in plants, fungi and bacteria. They are comprised of D-galactose and L-arabinose residues in the form of a beta-D-(1-3)-galactan main chain with side chains made up of galactose and arabinose units of various lengths. Galactan itself is a polymer of galactose.

    In plants, arabinogalactans occur as arabinogalactan proteins. These proteins are proteoglycans involved in plant growth and development; they may also be involved in signal transduction in plants.

    Dietary intake of arabinogalactans comes from carrots, radishes, tomatoes, pears and wheat, among other plant foods. Gum arabic, a commonly used food additive, is composed of highly branched arabinogalactan. Arabinogalactans are also found in such herbs as Echinacea spp. and such edible mushrooms as Ganoderma lucidum. Arabinogalactans are thought to contribute to the possible immune-enhancing activities of echinacea and ganoderma.

    Larch arabinogalactan is considered a nondigestible soluble dietary fiber. It is also thought to stimulate the colonic growth of such bacteria as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. These bacteria may confer certain health benefits. Substances that stimulate the growth of bifidobacteria are called bifidogenic factors. Substances that promote the colonic growth of beneficial bacteria are called prebiotics.



    Larch arabinogalactan may have immune-enhancing activity.


    Larch arabinogalactan has shown some immune-enhancing activity in the laboratory, particularly with regard to the stimulation of human natural killer cell cytotoxicity.

    The mechanism of the possible immune-enhancing activity is not known.


    Little is reported on the pharmacokinetics of larch arabinogalactan in humans. It appears that there is little digestion of the polysaccharide in the stomach and small intestine. Like similar substances, it is most likely fermented in the colon to produce the short-chain fatty acids acetate, propionate and butyrate; the gases hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and methane; and lactate, pyruvate and succinate. This requires corroboration by human studies.


    Larch arabinogalactan exhibits immune-enhancing properties in animal and in vitro studies.


    Larch arabinogalactan has enhanced natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity and has also enhanced the function of some other immune-system components in experimental studies. It has inhibited the metastasis of tumor cells to the liver in the laboratory. Human trials are needed.



    Larch arabinogalactan is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of a larch arabinogalactan-containing preparation.


    Since larch arabinogalactan contains galactose and since the pharmacokinetics of the polysaccharide in humans has not been clarified, those who require a low galactose diet should avoid the substance.

    Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid larch arabinogalactan supplements, pending long-term safety studies.

    Those with lactose intolerance should exercise caution in the use of supplemental larch arabinogalactan.


    Doses of up to 10 grams daily appear to be well tolerated. There are no reports of adverse reactions. However, as with similar products, it would be expected that at higher doses (e.g., greater than 30 grams daily) gastrointestinal side effects, such as flatus, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, would be likely to occur in some.


    No known interactions with drugs, nutritional supplements, foods or herbs.


    There are no reports of overdosage.


    Larch arabinogalactan is available in capsules, powder and combination products marketed as nutritional supplements. Dosage is variable and ranges from 1 to 3 grams daily and sometimes higher.


    Hauer J, Anderer FA. Mechanism of stimulation of human natural killer cytotoxicity by arabinogalactan from Larix occidentalis. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 1993; 36:237-244.

    He Y,Li.R, Chen Q, et al. [Chemical studies of immunologically active polysaccharides of Ganoderma lucidum (Leyss.ex Fr.) Karst.] [Article in Chinese.] Chung Kuo Chung Yao Tsa Chih. 1992; 17:226-228,256.

    Kelly GS. Larch arabinogalactan: clinical relevance of a novel immune--enhancing polysaccharide. Altern Med Rev. 1999; 4:96-103.

    Odonmazig P, Ebringerova A, Machova E, Alfodi J. Structural and molecular properties of the arabinogalactan isolated from Mongolian larchwood (Larix dahurica L). Carbohydr Res. 1994; 252:317-324.

    Ponder GR, Richards GN. Arabinogalactan from Western larch. Part III: alkaline degredation revisited, with novel conclusions on molecular structure. Carbohydrate Polymers. 1997; 34:251-261.
  4. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Has anyone had die-off reactions on this stuff?

    If so, what were the symptoms?

    Did the die-off fade away over time? If so, how long did it take?

  5. dahopper

    dahopper New Member

    I did have herxing with it and never could get past it. I know it is a wonderful product and may consider trying it again in the near future. I gave it to my 2.5 lb Yorkie when she nearly died from a hard fall and I swear it saved her life. It was amazing how well she did on it. I finally stopped giving it to her because she got 100% well. We thought she would die.... Amazing stuff.

    Again I hope you are still feeling well and have a wonderful day. Hugs, Love Debbie

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