Study supports Dahurian larch tree extract safety for human consumption. What is the potential for supplements?

By Stephen DANIELLS

- Last updated on GMT

Study supports Dahurian larch tree extract safety for human consumption. What is the potential for supplements?
An extract from Dahurian larch with potent antioxidant activity is safe for use as a supplement ingredient, according to a new toxicological study. This Russian nutraceutical is already commercially available in the US and boasts over 169 studies to support its multiple health benefits.

The Dahurian Larch tree (Larix gmelinii​) grows in Siberia and is the northern most tree found in the world. It can reportedly survive at temperatures up to –97 °C (-142 °F). This ability to survive at such extraordinary low temperatures was one of many reasons behind interest in the chemistry and bioactivities of this species of Dahurian larch trees, in addition to its potent antioxidant scavenging capacities.

A commercial extract called Lavitol is produced by Russian company Ametis, and is available in the US for supplements and functional foods, said Inna Yergorova, PhD, from Inna Consulting Services (Northridge, CA), the exclusive representative of Ametis in North America.

Toxicology

A new paper published in the International Journal of Toxicology​ with data from genotoxicity and toxicological tests on the extract provides further support for the safety of the ingredient for consumption as a food supplement and food additive.

While the new paper, authored performed by scientists at AIBMR Life Sciences (USA), Amur State Medical University (Russia), Ametis, JSC (Russia), and Inna Consulting Services (USA), supports the extract’s potential as a radioprotective agent, no claims relating to this will be made with Lavitol, said Dr Yergorova. Instead, the ingredient is positioned for cardiovascular, nervous system and liver support and as an antioxidant with high ORAC values, said Dr Yergorova.

Science and health benefits

“Over 169 experimental and clinical studies have been published on Dahurian (and Siberian) larch and its key bioflavonoid Dihydroquercetin (taxifolin),” ​Dr Yergorova told NutraIngredients-USA. “These studies have evaluated the following properties of Larch/Taxifolin-Dihydroquercetin: antioxidant, anti-aging, radioprotective, cardioprotective, gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, ophthalmoprotective, joint-related benefits, skin-related benefits, application in cases with elevated blood sugar levels, oral health, respiratory health, women’s health, weight loss, and sports nutrition.

“Numerous human studies have been conducted on Lavitol (dihydroquercetin) in the Eastern Europe and Asia to evaluate its cardiovascular, nervous system- and other health-related benefits.

“The existing body of evidence provides reasonable grounds for structure-function claims; however, Ametis is considering a possibility of conducting several studies in the US to explore additional benefits of Dahurian Larch extract - Lavitol.”​ 

Supply

“Larch extract Lavitol is extracted from the stumps only,” ​explained Dr Yergorova. “Ametis obtains the stumps of dahurian larch from a specific location in the Far East. These stumps are left in the forest after the trees are cut to be used by any other industry. By removing the stumps from the ground, the supplier clears the area for a new tree to be planted and, indirectly, protects the forest from potential fire hazard.”

Source: International Journal of Toxicology
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1177/1091581815576975
“Toxicological and Genotoxicity Assessment of a Dihydroquercetin-Rich Dahurian Larch Tree (​Larix gmelinii Rupr) Extract (Lavitol)”
Authors: A.G. Schauss, S.S. Tselyico, V.A. Kuznetsova, I. Yegorova

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