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Arabinoxylane Introduction

Arabinoxylane is an extract derived from the mycelia of three potent medicinal mushrooms: shiitake, kawaratake, and suehirotake. These mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine for millennia, and their extracts are currently being used as prescription cancer medicines in Japan. Studies have found that arabinoxylane may improve immunity by enhancing the aggressiveness of natural killer (NK) cells (the first line of defense in the immune system), and by increasing production of interferon (a compound that inhibits the replication of viruses), Tumor Necrosis Factor (proteins that help destroy cancer cells), and T- and B-immune cells. [1-10] These studies suggest that arabinoxylane may have therapeutic effects against cancer and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), as well as provide general immune support.

Arabinoxylane Food Sources

Shiitake has been used in Asian cooking for centuries, and is still considered among the most popular and flavorful of all culinary mushrooms. Biologically speaking, shiitakes are rich in protein, calcium, potassium, enzymes, and polysaccharides, which all possess the ability to boost the immune system. However, arabinoxylane extract derived from shiitake is much more concentrated than the nutrients available from consuming shiitake as a food. [10]

Arabinoxylane Uses

Arabinoxylane is used to activate immune cells, and possesses some anti-tumor and anti-viral qualities that may be useful in treating conditions such as; cancer, AIDS, and hepatitis A, and hepatitis B. Dietary supplementation with arabinoxylane has been shown to increase the efficacy of the immune system’s NK cells, which contain toxic granules that destroy “foreign invaders” (e.g. cancer cells, HIV). Cancer patients often have weak NK cells without toxic granules. Arabinoxylane treatment may recharge empty NK cells with toxic granules in this disease populous.

Studies show that arabinoxylane supplementation increases NK cell activity in cancer patients. [1, 6] In one study, after only a week of a supplementation, cancer patients had eight times the number of NK cells. At the end of two months, NK cells were killing 27 times more cancer cells than prior to taking arabinoxylane. [1] Another study reported that arabinoxylane inhibited HIV replication in vitro, suggesting that supplementation may be of value in both HIV and AIDS patients. [8]

Arabinoxylane Dosages

  • The most common dosage for general immune support is: 500 milligrams, 2 times a day.
  • The most common dosage for aggressive treatment is: 1,000 milligrams, 4 times a day for 4 weeks; Followed by dosages of 500 milligrams, 2 times a day.

Delivery Forms = Capsules. [1, 11]

Arabinoxylane Toxicities and Deficiencies

Arabinoxylane Deficiency

A deficiency in arabinoxylane has not been reported in medical literature, as arabinoxylane is not a naturally occurring substance found in the human body.

Arabinoxylane Toxicity

Arabinoxylane supplementation has been reported to be safe and without adverse effects when used with the proper dosage. [8-11] However, always inform your health care provider about the dietary supplements you are taking, since there may be a potential for drug interactions, side effects, or allergy. Individuals who are allergic to mushrooms may experience an allergic reaction when taking this supplement.


1. Ghoneum M, et al. NK immunomodulatory function in 27 cancer patients by MGN-3, a modified arabinoxylane from rice bran. 87th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Washington DC. Apr1996.

2. Ghoneum M. Enhancement of human natural killer cell activity by modified arabinoxylane from rice bran (MGN-3). International Journal of Immunotherapy XIV(i)


3. Ghoneum M, et al. Effect of MGN-3 human natural killer cell activity and interferon-y synthesis in vitro. FASEB Journal. Jun1996;26.

4. Ghoneum, M. Immunomodulatory and Anti-Cancer Properties of MGN-3, a Modified Xylose from Rice Bran, in 5 Patients with Breast Cancer (abstract). Presented at the American Association for Cancer Research, Special Conference, Baltimore, MD, November 5-8, 1995.

5. Ghoneum M, Gollapudi S. Modified arabinoxylane rice bran (MGN-3/Biobran) sensitizes human T cell leukemia cells to death receptor (CD95)-induced apoptosis. Cancer Lett. 2003 Nov 10;201(1):41-9.

6. Ghoneum M, Jewett A. Production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma from human peripheral blood lymphocytes by MGN-3, a modified arabinoxylane from rice bran, and its synergy with interleukin-2 in vitro. Cancer Detect Prev. 2000;24(4):314-24.

7. Ghoneum M, Abedi S. Enhancement of natural killer cell activity of aged mice by modified arabinoxylane rice bran (MGN-3/Biobran). J Pharm Pharmacol. 2004 Dec;56(12):1581-8.

8. Ghoneum M. Anti-HIV activity in vitro of MGN-3, an activated arabinoxylane from rice bran. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. Feb1998;243(1):25-9.

9. The Natural Pharmacy. MGN-3: Mushroom Ammunition- Winning the War Against Cancer. Alternative Medicine:\AMXSL\ArticleDetail.xsl

10. Devi S. The magic of medicinal mushrooms. Alternative Medicine:\AMXSL\ArticleDetail.xsl#

11. Arabinoxylane, Dietary Supplement Information Bureau: