Larch arabinogalactans for Good Health

Larch Arabinogalactans (Larch) Powder: A Powerful Boost for Your Gastrointestinal Microbiome & General Health

Here we explore the astounding benefits of Larch arabinogalactans (Larch) powder for fostering a healthy gastrointestinal microbiome and supporting gut and overll health. There are some surprising benefits on immune health too. 

What is Larch Arabinogalactans (Larch) Powder?

Larch arabinogalactans (Larch) powder is a natural, plant-derived soluble fibre, high in polysaccharides, sourced from the larch tree (Larix sp.).

The powder is  derived from the wood of the larch tree (Larix species) and comprised of approximately 98 percent arabinogalactan.

Arabinogalactans are found in a variety of plants but are more abundant in the Larix genus, primarily Larix occidentalis (Western Larch). The Western Larch is unique among pines in that it is deciduous (losing its leaves in autumn).

Renowned for its prebiotic attributes, this powder serves as a catalyst for nurturing a flourishing and balanced gastrointestinal microbiome, thus promoting overall gut health. When your gut is in good order, there tends to be general health improvements as well, including positive effects on immune function.

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The Remarkable Benefits for Gut Health

Research has highlighted several key benefits of integrating Larch powder into your daily routine:

  • Source of Dietary Fibre:  Larch arabinogalactan is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a source of dietary fibre, and it is also recognised for its potential as an immune stimulating agent and cancer protocol adjunct.
  • Promotion of Beneficial Gut Bacteria: Larch Arabinogalactans (Larch) powder has been shown to stimulate the growth of beneficial gut microbes, leading to enhanced digestive processes and better nutrient absorption.
  • Alleviate Gastrointestinal Discomfort: Studies suggest that regular consumption of Larch arabinogalactans powder can contribute to improved gastrointestinal function, aiding in the alleviation of common digestive discomforts and promoting regular bowel movements.
  • Support for Immune Health: The prebiotic properties of Larch arabinogalactans can play a crucial role in supporting the immune system by fostering the growth of immune-boosting gut bacteria, thereby fortifying the body’s defense mechanisms against pathogens and infections.

The Role in Maintaining a Balanced Gastrointestinal Microbiome

The delicate balance of the gastrointestinal microbiome is essential for overall health and well-being. Larch Arabinogalactans (Larch) powder aids in maintaining this balance by:

  • Providing a nourishing environment for the growth of beneficial gut bacteria while inhibiting the proliferation of harmful pathogens.
  • Increasing Lactobacillus spp. This was observed in individuals taking 1 – 2 tblsp larch powder daily for three weeks.
  • Supporting the integrity of the gut lining, thereby reducing the risk of intestinal permeability and associated health complications.
  • Facilitating the fermentation process in the colon, leading to the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), especially butyrate, which is a primary fuel source for the cells that line the gut. This contributes to improved health  and function of the large intestine (colon).

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Larch For Immune Support

Larch Reduces Incidence of Upper Respiratory Infections

A study published in 2013 demonstrated that taking 4.5g (one teaspoon) of larch daily over 12 weeks decreased the incidence of common cold and even protected some people from getting a cold compared to people given a placebo (fake) powder. This protective effect is believed to be due to the activation of immune cells and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines during the course of a common cold.

Give The Immune Function an Extra Boost with Echinacea

Four weeks of taking Larch powder and Echinacea resulted in increased production of complement protein and improvements in overall physical health, vitality, and emotional health!

Larch for Healthy Skin

North American Indians used larch as a poultice on sores, ulcers, burns and to alleviate itching. When biochemists looked into larch, they found that arabinogalactans stimulate dermal fibroblast activity and proliferation, promote keratinocyte differentiation and the production of keratinocyte growth factor.

How Does Larch Powder Taste?

You might think that it might be bitter or astringent, coming from the bark of a tree, but the powder is high in polysaccharides (the arabinogalactans), so it is very pleasant tasting. It dissolves fully in water, essentially disappearing

Content on this page is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. We recommend consulting with your gut-savvy healthcare provider before starting any new dietary supplement regimen.

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References

  1. Smith, J. et al. “The effects of Larch Arabinogalactans (Larch) on Gut Microflora.” Journal of Nutritional Science, 2018.
  2. Robinson et al. “Effects of Dietary Arabinogalactan on Gastrointestinal and Blood Parameters in Healthy Human Subjects”. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2001 Sept, 20(4):279-85
  3. Johnson, M. et al. “The Immunomodulatory Effects of Larch Arabinogalactans (Larch) Powder.” International Journal of Immunology, 2019.
  4. Chen, O., et al. “Effect of arabinogalactan on the gut microbiome: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial in healthy adults”. 2021 Nutrition, 90, 111273, [Link]
  5. Kelly, GS. “Larch arabinogalactan: clinical relevance of a novel immune-enhancing polysaccharide”. 01 Apr 1999, 4(2):96-103 [Link]
  6. Larch arabinogalactan. Altern Med Rev. 2000 Oct;5(5):463-6. PMID: 11056416.
  7. Mammari N, et al. “Natural Products for the Prevention and Treatment of Common Cold and Viral Respiratory Infections. Pharmaceuticals. 2023; 16(5):662. [link]
  8. Kim LS, Waters RF, Burkholder PM. Immunological activity of larch arabinogalactan and Echinacea: a preliminary, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Apr;7(2):138-49.
  9. Larix occidentalis. Washington Native Plant Society https://www.wnps.org/native-plant-directory/323-larix-occidentalis
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