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Arabinogalactan is a larch tree extract and studies suggest it promotes the healthy function of immune cells.

In these studies, preliminary evidence points to that the compound works by stimulating the activity of macrophages and other white blood cells that play a key role in maintaining the body’s natural immune defense system.

The compound itself is a polysaccharide that is made up of galactose and arabinose sugar units linked together in a ratio of 6 galactose units to 1 arabinose unit.

The compound also acts as a food supply for so called "friendly" bacteria, in that it helps to increase levels of "good" bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, while eliminating "bad" bacteria.

In foods and herbs, the compound is found naturally in echinacea, carrots, radishes, pears, wheat, red wine, and tomatoes. There are also many supplements available that contain the compound.

Arabinogalactan - Studies

Immunomodulating activity of arabinogalactan and fucoidan in vitro. Department of Biotechnology & Bioproducts Research Center, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea. J Med Food. 2005 Winter;8(4):446-53.

An arabinogalactan isolated from the medicinal plant Maytenus ilicifolia. J Nat Prod. 2004 Apr;67(4):703-6.

An arabinogalactan from the skin of Opuntia ficus-indica prickly pear fruits. Carbohydr Res. 2004 Apr 28;339(6):1201-5.

No long-term benefits of supplementation with arabinogalactans on serum lipids and glucose. J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 Apr;104(4):636-9. Marett R, Slavin JL. Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota

Antimicrobial activity of Andrographis paniculata. Fitoterapia. 2003 Dec;74(7-8):692-4.

Effect over time of in-vivo administration of the polysaccharide arabinogalactan on immune and hemopoietic cell lineages in murine spleen and bone marrow. Phytomedicine. 2003 Mar;10(2-3):145-53.

Immunological activity of larch arabinogalactan and Echinacea: a preliminary, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Apr;7(2):138-49. Kim LS, Waters RF, Burkholder PM. Research Department, Southwest College, Arizona.

Effects of dietary larch arabinogalactan on gastrointestinal and blood parameters in healthy human subjects. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Aug;20(4):279-85. Robinson RR, Feirtag J, Slavin JL. Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota.

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