Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Arabinoxilano, Arabinoxylane, Pentosan.


Arabinoxylan is a dietary fiber found in cereal grains such as wheat, corn, rice, rye, oat, and barley. It is used as a medicine.

Arabinoxylan is taken by mouth for heart disease, constipation, diabetes, prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, and weight loss.

How does it work?

Arabinoxylan might work by reducing the amount of sugar and cholesterol that is absorbed in the stomach and intestines.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Diabetes. Early research suggests that eating food fortified with arabinoxylan for 5 weeks lowers blood sugar levels and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It also seems to improve blood sugar control in people with this condition.
  • Prediabetes. Early research suggests that eating food fortified with arabinoxylan for 6 weeks lowers blood sugar levels and levels of a blood fat called triglycerides. It might also lower post-meal insulin levels, but conflicting results exist.
  • Heart disease.
  • Constipation.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Weight loss.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of arabinoxylan for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

There isn't enough reliable information to know whether arabinoxylan is safe. When taken by mouth, arabinoxylan might cause diarrhea, gas, or stomach pain.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of arabinoxylan during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Arabinoxylan might lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Monitor blood sugar levels closely. Doses of conventional antidiabetes medications may need adjustment.

Surgery: Arabinoxylan might affect blood sugar levels. There is concern that arabinoxylan might affect blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking arabinoxylan at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Arabinoxylan might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking arabinoxylan along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.


The appropriate dose of arabinoxylan depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time, there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for arabinoxylan. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Garcia AL, Otto B, Reich SC, et al. Arabinoxylan consumption decreases postprandial serum glucose, serum insulin and plasma total ghrelin response in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. Eur J Clin Nutr 2007;61(3):334-41. View abstract.

Garcia AL, Steiniger J, Reich SC, et al. Arabinoxylan fibre consumption improved glucose metabolism, but did not affect serum adipokines in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. Horm Metab Res 2006;38(11):761-766. View abstract.

Grasten S, Liukkonen K-H, Chrevatidis A, et al. Effects of wheat pentosan and inulin on the metabolic activity of fecal microbiota and on bowel function in healthy humans. Nutrition Res 2003;23:1503-14.

Lu ZX, Walker KZ, Muir JG, Mascara T, O'Dea K. Arabinoxylan fiber, a byproduct of wheat flour processing, reduces the postprandial glucose response in normoglycemic subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(5):1123-1128. View abstract.

Lu ZX, Walker KZ, Muir JG, O'Dea K. Arabinoxylan fibre improves metabolic control in people with Type II diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr 2004;58(4):621-8. View abstract.

Péroval C, Debeaufort F, Despré D, Voilley A. Edible arabinoxylan-based films. 1. Effects of lipid type on water vapor permeability, film structure, and other physical characteristics. J Agric Food Chem 2002;50(14):3977-83. View abstract.