Can larch arabinogalactan boost my immune system?

There’s some preliminary evidence that larch arabinogalactan, an extract from the bark of the larch tree, may boost the immune system, which in turn could help ward off colds.

In one of the most interesting studies, conducted in 2010, people who took powdered larch arabinogalactan every day had a stronger response to a pneumonia vaccine than people who took a similar-looking, similar-tasting powder that didn’t contain the extract.

Other studies show that larch arabinogalactan can rev up the immune cells that hunt and gobble up germy intruders such as bacteria. It also boosts other bacteria-fighting activities of the immune system. Larch arabinogalactan may help ward off ear infections, which frequently add to the unpleasantness of children’s colds. 

Studies are underway to see if the extract reduces the number of colds people catch.

Larch arabinogalactan has a mild taste and easily dissolves in water or juice. Even better, it’s FDA-approved as a source of dietary fiber, so you needn’t have any safety concerns if you want to give it a try. It's meant to be taken daily, so don't wait until the first sneeze or sniffle.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Larch arabinogalactan is a natural immune support supplement available at your local drug store and has been tested in several clinical trials. A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial that included 204 healthy adults found that those taking larch arabinogalactan supplements were 57% more likely to stay healthy than non-users. The health measurement looked at the impact on the non-inflammatory, IgG adaptive immune response, when exposed to an  immune challenge.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.