Arabinogalactan is a member of the carbohydrate family. Itís a natural polysaccharide that is made up of many galactose and arabinose sugar units linked together in a ratio of 6 galactose units to 1 arabinose unit. Arabinogalactan naturally occurs in small amounts in many plants and plant-based foods such as fruits, carrots, radishes, wheat flour and coffee beans. In most plants, it is found within the sturdy walls that surround each plant cell. It may be bound to proteins and other complex molecules in the cell wall. Extracting and isolating the arabinogalactan from plant cell walls requires chemicals and mechanical treatments. Arabinogalactans are an abundant class of cell surface proteoglycans widely distributed in flowering plants. Arabinogalactans are proteoglycans found between cells of most plants. They are commonly found in larch and tamarack and herbs and can be used as soluble fiber. Since the late 1980s, arabinogalactanproteins have attracted widespread attention from plant biologists following reports of their involvement in plant development, including a role in root regeneration and seed germination.. Arabinogalactan proteins are readily soluble and possibly play a major role in cell-cell interactions during development.
Larch arabinogalactan is a polysaccharide powder 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 loses its needles in the fall. Western Larch is also known as Mountain Larch or Western Tamarack and is native to the Pacific and Inland Northwest United States as well as parts of British Columbia, Canada. Larch arabinogalactan is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a source of dietary fiber, but also has potential therapeutic benefits as an immune stimulating agent and cancer protocol adjunct.
Pharmaceutical-grade larch arabinogalactan is a fine, dry, off-white powder with a slightly sweet taste and mild pine-like odor. It dissolves completely in water or juice, is low in viscosity and therefore easy to administer, even to children. It is composed of galactose and arabinose molecules in a 6:1 ratio, with a small amount of glucuronic acid. Arabinogalactans are long, densely branched polysaccharides of varying molecular weights (10,000-120,000). Lower molecular weight polysaccharides typically exhibit an anti-inflammatory, anti-complement, antiallergy effect, while those of higher weights stimulate natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity and reticuloendothelial cells.