Arabinogalactan and Its Role in Gut Health
In this blog you will gain a greater understanding of ways to support your microbiome with arabinogalactan and other prebiotics while also supporting your immune system.‡
Over the past few decades, we’ve seen an evolution of information regarding the gut, the role of probiotics (good gut bacteria) and their helpers, prebiotics. Many of you may have been following the healthy gut movement for decades, but did you realize that there are many more prebiotics than inulin and chicory root, like arabinogalactan?
Let’s take a quick skip through the basics about prebiotics. For some this is new, for others, a great reminder.
What Are Prebiotics
Prebiotics are dietary fibers. They are found in a variety of fiber-rich foods, but not in all fiber- containing foods. Let’s find out some more. These dietary fibers are pretty strong, since they do not break down in the small intestine during the digestion process. In fact, they resist digestion and head down the gastrointestinal (GI) tract where they make their way into the colon, or large intestine. At this point, your gut’s healthy bacteria start to break down and ferment these prebiotics and use them as a source of food to help stimulate the good bacteria in our gut.
Pass the Prebiotics, Please
Make sure you include variety in your diet. Here are some prebiotic-rich foods to add to your grocery list:
- Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, bananas, beans, garlic, chicory, onions, rye, wheat, barley, tomato, honey, soybean, plantains, lentils and cow’s milk.
Long chain carbohydrates like oligosaccharides (OG), fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and galactooligosaccharides (GOS) are also beneficial prebiotics found in our foods.
Eating whole grains and fruits and veggies daily help with your fiber and prebiotic intake, but many of us will need to supplement with a prebiotic supplement to ensure we are getting enough prebiotics in our diet.
Prebiotics such as arabinogalactan play an important role in our health. This non-digestible fiber helps to regulate and support our gut microbiota.‡ So, let’s learn a little more about this prebiotic fiber called arabinogalactan.
Our Arabinogalactan (AG) is a fermentable prebiotic fiber that has the potential to support healthy gut bacteria while supporting immune cells involved in the body’s first line of defense.1 It may also promote healthy cytokine production, which is involved in the cell-to-cell communication between cells and in the immune response.1,2‡
- Friendly bacteria are important for a healthy immune system. Arabinogalactan enhances the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, including lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.3‡
- Bifidobacterium is the predominant intestinal bacterial genus during the first year of life and is associated with healthy immune development and cytokine balance both in infants and later in life.4‡
- A randomized, 4-week clinical trial in healthy adults suggested that arabinogalactan also potentiates the complement system, another mechanism of defense in the body.5‡
Arabinogalactan also contained in EpiIntegrity Powder is combined with glutamine and herbal extracts promotes healthy modulation of mucosal immune response to support gastrointestinal (G.I.) integrity and function.
This plant-based fiber is not found in the produce aisle, but rather in North American larch trees and is also an active component of echinacea.
Emerging evidence suggests that prebiotics may play an even more significant role than probiotics, performing beneficial metabolic, restorative and protective functions within the gut, leading to overall cellular, immune and metabolic support.6‡
- If you are lacking variety in your diet or perhaps are following a restrictive diet, keep in mind that you may be facing a decrease in your microbiome’s diversity. Restricted diets typically decrease microbiome diversity, while varied and diverse sources of fiber and polyphenols increase microbiome diversity.
- This is significant because high microbiome diversity has been linked to optimal health and resilience.7
- Therefore there are other prebiotics that contribute to supporting a healthy microbiome, such as supplements like Poly-Prebiotic powder which provides a blend of researched prebiotics and polyphenols. This supplement supports your microbiome’s integrity and healthy G.I. function and provides immune system support.‡
Good Gut-Good Bacteria
Working together prebiotics and probiotic supplements may help you to establish a healthy gut environment for these unique microbes. The probiotics (good flora) and the prebiotics (food for the probiotics), like arabinogalactan and others, may support a healthy microbiome. This teamwork is called symbiosis. Both the pre- and the probiotics must be a benefit to the host or to you, the person consuming them.
As discussed, the advantages of daily intake of both prebiotics, like arabinogalactan, and probiotics are important to achieving and maintaining a healthy and diverse gut flora.
Before you take a prebiotic or probiotic supplement, we do encourage you to discuss this with your healthcare provider who can best determine if you are a candidate to do so.
But taking a bite out of some of the foods rich in prebiotics to positively impact your gut’s health can be as simple as peeling a banana.
With Pure intentions, Purely for you!
- Dion C, et al. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2016 Apr 12;13:28.
- Hauer J, et al. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 1993;36(4):237-44.
- Grieshop CM, et al. J Nutr. 2002 Mar;132(3):478- 82.
- Childs CE, et al. Br J Nutr. 2014 Jun 14;111(11):1945-56.
- Riede L, et al. Curr Med Res Opin. 2013 Mar;29(3):251-8.
- Natalia S, et al. Nutrients. 2018 May; 10(5): 576.
- Lecerf JM, et. al. Br J Nutr. 2012 Nov 28;108(10):1847-58.