Larch Arabinogalactan

Other Name(s):

Abies gmelinii, AG, Ara-6, Arabinogalactan de Alerce, Arabinogalactan, Arabinogalactane, Arabinogalactane de Meleze, Arabinogalactane de Mélèze, Arabinogalactin, Arabinogalactine, Dietary Fiber, Fibre Alimentaire, Fibre Soluble, Gmelinii, Gomme de Mélèze, Larch, Larch Gum, Larch Tree, Larix, Larix dahurica, Larix decidua, Larix europaea, Larix gmelinii, Larix occidentalis, Lch, Mélèze, Mélèze d'Europe, Mongolian Larch, Mongolian Larchwood, Pinus Larix, Soluble Fiber, Stractan, Western Larch, Western Larch Arabinogalactan, Wood Gum, Wood Sugar.


Arabinogalactan is a starch-like chemical that is found in many plants, but it is found in highest concentrations in Larch trees. Larch arabinogalactan is used for medicine. Most of the larch arabinogalactan you will find in stores is produced from Western Larch (Larch occidentalis). However, larch arabinogalactan can also be produced by other larch tree species.

Larch arabinogalactan is used for infections, including the common cold, flu, H1N1 (swine) flu, ear infections in children, and HIV/AIDS. It is also used to treat liver cancer, as well as a brain condition caused by liver damage (hepatic encephalopathy). Some people use it to provide dietary fiber, lower cholesterol, and to boost the immune system.

In foods, larch arabinogalactan is used as a stabilizer, binder, and sweetener.

How does it work?

Larch arabinogalactan is a fiber that ferments in the intestine. It might increase intestinal bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, and have other effects that could be beneficial to digestive tract health. There is also information that suggests larch arabinogalactan might boost the immune system and help prevent cancer cells in the liver from growing.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • High cholesterol. Early research shows that taking larch arabinogalactan does not lower total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol, other blood fats called triglycerides, body weight, blood pressure, or sugar levels in healthy people. It is not yet known whether larch arabinogalactan improves these outcomes in people with high cholesterol.
  • Pneumonia. Early research shows that taking a specific larch arabinogalactan product (ResistAid) increases the immune system response to shots (vaccines) used to prevent pneumonia in healthy adults.
  • Common cold.
  • Flu.
  • H1N1 (swine) flu.
  • Liver disease.
  • Liver cancer.
  • Earache (otitis media).
  • Dietary fiber supplementation.
  • Boosting the immune system.
  • Inflammation.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of larch arabinogalactan for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Larch arabinogalactan is LIKELY SAFE when eaten in food amounts. It's POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in appropriate amounts for less than 6 months. It can cause side effects such as bloating and intestinal gas (flatulence). Not enough is known about the safety of long-term use of larch arabinogalactan.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking larch arabinogalactan if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Larch arabinogalactan might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using larch arabinogalactan.

Organ transplant recipients: Larch arabinogalactan might increase the risk of organ transplant rejection. If you have received an organ transplant, don't use larch arabinogalactan until more is known.


Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Larch arabinogalactan seems to increase the immune system. By increasing the Larch arabinogalactan seems to increase activity of the immune system. By increasing the immune system, larch arabinogalactan might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.

Some medications that decrease immune system activity include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.


The appropriate dose of larch arabinogalactan depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for larch arabinogalactan. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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