Arabinogalactans are considered a type of water-soluble polysaccharide (complex carbohydrate) derived from plants, specifically the larch tree. Arabinogalactans have consistently shown immunomodulating effects in both animal and human studies. For example, arabinogalactan has been shown to increase NK cell numbers, decrease the proliferation of B cells and granulocytes, and affecting pro-inflammatory cytokine signaling such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF- α) and Interleukin-6 (IL-6). A recent study by a group of physicians researchers in California examined the whether arabinogalactan extract had positive immune effects in healthy adults. They supplemented with either 4.5 grams of arabinogalactan or placebo for 10 weeks. After 4 weeks of supplementation, all subjects received a pneumococcal vaccine and then were monitored for development of antibodies over the rest of the study.   As expected both groups increased pneumococcal antibody levels after vaccination as measured by immunoglobulin levels, but the increase was significantly greater in the subjects supplementing with arabinogalactan. The improved antibody response to arabinogalactan suggests that the supplement improved acquired or adaptive immunity. A stronger and more robust immune system is critical for athletes to stay healthy and promote a better environment for recovery.
. Udani JK, Singh BB, Barrett ML, Singh VJ. Proprietary arabinogalactan extract increases antibody response to the pneumonia vaccine: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot study in healthy volunteers. Nutr J. 2010 Aug 26;9:32.