You know, it frustrates me from time to time that scientific research isn’t always made accessible to my patients and friends. So, I try my hardest to really break down certain principles and make scientific research something that everyone can understand. In an effort to do that today, I want to talk to you about an ingredient that can really help your gut bugs thrive: larch fiber.
It’s name is bit complicated, but don’t let that deter you from learning how this incredible substance can help your health.
Larch arabinogalactans – doesn’t it sound like it could be the name of a spaceship on Star Trek, or even the name of a planet far, far away – is its official name. But, because larch arabinogalactans is such a mouthful, I’m just going to refer to it as larch fiber.
Now, what exactly is Larch Fiber?
Larch fiber is a phytochemical found in certain plants, and it contains starch-like properties. The biggest source of larch fiber is the larch tree, but despite its name, you may find it in other plants as well. Larch fiber has been consumed by humans for thousands of years and is found in a variety of medicinal herbs, where people have been taking it for centuries to fight against common ailments.
But many people use larch fiber as a source of dietary fiber, thinking it may help them lower their cholesterol, or even to help build a more responsive immune system.1
How does it work?
Remember, prebiotics are specialized plant fibers that nourish and feed the good gut bugs already in your large intestine or colon. So, when probiotics introduce good bacteria into your gut, prebiotics can act as a fertilizer for all of the good gut bugs that are already there.
Well for starters, larch fiber ferments in the intestine and acts as a prebiotic. That means it could potentially increase the amount of good intestinal bacteria – like Lactobacillus.2
Also, larch fiber has been shown to increase butyrate production in gut bacteria. Now, butyrate is a type of fatty acid that helps your gut work right, and it could be really important for gut-related health issues.
Turns out, butyrate also nourishes your gut lining. And your gut lining is one of the first lines of defense against lectins and other harmful substances you might not know you’re eating.3
So, no matter what they call it – larch arabinogalactans or larch fiber – you’ll want to make sure you find a way to include it in your diet. Again, you can find larch fiber in certain vegetables, but there are also supplements out there that can help heal and protect your gut. And remember, good health begins in the gut.
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