Pectin is a major component of plant cell wall and
considered a healthy fiber
for human consumption. It is a naturally occurring carbohydrate in fruit
that is concentrated in the fruit's skin and the core. When cooked, it
solidifies to a gel, causing fruit preserves to set.
Modified citrus pectin, also known as fractionated pectin, is a complex polysaccharide obtained from the peel and pulp of citrus fruits. This substance has been tested in various cancers, including prostate cancer and colon cancer. On this page I discuss the benefits of several pectins, including grapefruit pectin.
Carbohydrate Research. 2009. Modified citrus pectin anti-metastatic properties: one bullet, multiple targets. In this minireview, we examine the ability of modified citrus pectin (MCP), a complex water soluble indigestible polysaccharide obtained from the peel and pulp of citrus fruits and modified by means of high pH and temperature treatment, to affect numerous rate-limiting steps in cancer metastasis. The anti-adhesive properties of MCP as well as its potential for increasing apoptotic responses of tumor cells to chemotherapy by inhibiting galectin-3 anti-apoptotic function are discussed in the light of a potential use of this carbohydrate-based substance in the treatment of multiple human malignancies.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013. Synergistic Effects of PectaSol-C Modified Citrus Pectin an Inhibitor of Galectin-3 and Paclitaxel on Apoptosis of Human SKOV-3 Ovarian Cancer Cells.
Integr Cancer Ther. 2013. Synergistic and additive effects of modified citrus pectin with two polybotanical compounds, in the suppression of invasive behavior of human breast and prostate cancer cells. The objective of this study was to evaluate the combined effect of a known galectin-3 inhibitor, PectaSol-C modified citrus pectin (MCP), and 2 novel integrative polybotanical compounds for breast and prostate health, BreastDefend (BD) and ProstaCaid (PC), on invasive behavior in human breast and prostate cancer cells in vitro, respectively.
PLoS One. 2015. Heat-modified citrus pectin induces apoptosis-like cell death and autophagy in HepG2 and A549 cancer cells. Cancer is still one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and finding new treatments remains a major challenge. Previous studies showed that modified forms of pectin, a complex polysaccharide present in the primary plant cell wall, possess anticancer properties.
Modified citrus pectin increases the prostate-specific antigen doubling time in men with prostate cancer: a phase II pilot study.
Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2003.
Prostate Oncology Specialist, Marina del Rey, California
This trial investigated the tolerability and effect of modified citrus pectin (Pecta-Sol) in 13 men with prostate cancer and biochemical prostate-specific antigen (PSA) failure after localized treatment, that is, radical prostatectomy, radiation, or cryosurgery. A total of 13 men were evaluated for tolerability and 10 for efficacy. Changes in the prostate-specific antigen doubling time (PSADT) of the 10 men were the primary end point in the study. We found that the PSADT increased in seven (70%) of 10 men after taking modified citrus pectin for 12 months compared to before taking modified citrus pectin. This study suggests that modified citrus pectin may lengthen the PSADT in men with recurrent prostate cancer.
Inhibition of human cancer cell growth and metastasis in nude mice by oral
intake of modified citrus pectin.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2002.
The role of dietary components in cancer progression and metastasis is an emerging field of clinical importance. Many stages of cancer progression involve carbohydrate-mediated recognition processes. We therefore studied the effects of modified citrus pectin, a nondigestible, water-soluble polysaccharide fiber derived from citrus fruit that specifically inhibits the carbohydrate-binding protein galectin-3, on tumor growth and metastasis in vivo and on galectin-3-mediated functions in vitro. Modified citrus pectin, given orally, inhibits carbohydrate-mediated tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis in vivo, presumably via its effects on galectin-3 function. These data stress the importance of dietary carbohydrate compounds as agents for the prevention and/or treatment of cancer.
Modified citrus pectin monograph.
Altern Med Rev. 2000.
Metastasis is one of the most life-threatening aspects of cancer and the lack of effective anti-metastatic therapies has prompted research on Modified citrus pectin's effectiveness in blocking metastasis of certain types of cancers, including melanomas, prostate, and breast cancers.
Effects of daily oral administration of quercetin chalcone and modified
citrus pectin on implanted colon-25 tumor growth in Balb-c mice.
Altern Med Rev. 2000.
Two natural substances, quercetin (a flavonoid) and citrus pectin (a polysaccharide found in the cell wall of plants) are of particular interest to cancer researchers. Two modified versions of these substances - quercetin chalcone (QC) and a pH- modified citrus pectin - are the focus of this study. Previous research has confirmed that quercetin exhibits antitumor properties, likely due to immune stimulation, free radical scavenging, alteration of the mitotic cycle in tumor cells, gene expression modification, anti-angiogenesis activity, or apoptosis induction, or a combination of these effects. Modified citrus pectin has inhibited metastases in animal studies of prostate cancer and melanoma. To date, no study has demonstrated a reduction in solid tumor growth with modified citrus pectin, and there is no research into the antitumor effect of QC. This study examines the effects of modified citrus pectin and QC on the size and weight of colon-25 tumors implanted in balb-c mice. Fifty mice were orally administered either 1 ml distilled water (controls), low-dose QC, high-dose QC, low-dose modified citrus pectin (0. 8 mg/ml) or high-dose modified citrus pectin (1.6 mg/ml) on a daily basis, beginning the first day of tumor palpation (usually eight days post-implantation). A significant reduction in tumor size was noted at day 20 in all groups compared to controls. The groups given low-dose QC and modified citrus pectin had a 29-percent and 38-percent decrease in size, respectively. The high-dose groups had an even more impressive reduction in size; 65 percent in the QC group and 70 percent in the mice given modified citrus pectin. This is the first evidence that modified citrus pectin can reduce the growth of solid primary tumors, and the first research showing QC has antitumor activity.
Inhibition of spontaneous metastasis in a rat prostate cancer model by
oral administration of modified citrus pectin.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995.
Many stages of the metastatic cascade involve cellular interactions mediated by cell surface components, such as carbohydrate-binding proteins, including galactoside-binding lectins (galectins). Modified citrus pectin has been shown to interfere with cell-cell interactions mediated by cell surface carbohydrate-binding galectin-3 molecules. The aim of this study was to determine whether modified citrus pectin, a complex polysaccharide rich in galactosyl residues, could inhibit spontaneous metastasis of prostate adenocarcinoma cells in the rat. Modified citrus pectin had no effect on the growth of the primary tumors. In vitro, modified citrus pectin inhibited MAT-LyLu cell adhesion to rat endothelial cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner as well as their colony formation in semisolid medium. We present a novel therapy in which oral intake of modified citrus pectin acts as a potent inhibitor of spontaneous prostate carcinoma metastasis in the Copenhagen rat.
Apple pectin is a water-soluble fiber, helpful in removing cholesterol out of the intestines and delaying glucose absorption.
Effect of pectin on some electrolytes and trace elements in patients with hyperlipoproteinemia.
Folia Med. 1998.
Clinic of Hematology, Higher Medical Institute, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Seventy three patients with hyperlipoproteinemia, aged from 40 to 69 years, were included in the study. They were treated with a natural product, based on high-esterified pectin granulated with sorbitol. The results of the comparative assessment of the electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride, ionised calcium, total and ionised magnesium) failed to reach statistical significance during the administration of the pectin product. Neither did the serum level of trace elements (iron and copper) change significantly during the observed period. The biochemical analysis of the serum level of certain electrolytes and trace elements indicate that daily administration of 15 g of high-esterified apple pectin for a three-month period has no adverse effects. Therefore pectin products can be included in the therapeutic schedule in the treatment of hyperlipoproteinemia.
The effects of grapefruit pectin on patients at risk for coronary heart disease without altering diet or lifestyle. Clinical Cardiolology. 1988.
Department of Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida
Dietary intake of cholesterol has been linked to coronary heart disease. The effect of grapefruit pectin ( Citrus paradisi ) on plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and the low-density lipoprotein:high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio was studied. The study design was a 16-week double-blind, crossover (placebo or pectin) using 27 human volunteers screened to be at medium to high risk for coronary heart disease due to hypercholesterolemia. The study did not interfere with the subjects' current diet or lifestyle. Grapefruit pectin supplementation decreased plasma cholesterol 7%, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol 10%, and the low-density lipoprotein : high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio 9%. The other plasma lipid fractions studied showed no significant differences. We conclude that a grapefruit pectin-supplemented diet, without change in lifestyle, can significantly reduce plasma cholesterol.
Fruit pectin and cooking
Pectin methylesterase is the first enzyme acting on pectin. All fruits contain some pectin. Apples, crabapples, gooseberries, some plums, and highbush cranberries usually contain enough pectin to form a pectin gel. Pectin is available to consumers as an "extract" under the brand names of Certo, in North America and the UK, and SureJell in America. Both are made by Kraft.
Fruits and their extracts obtain their jelly forming ability from a group of substances called pectins. Pectin provides the three dimensional structure which results in a jellied product. Powdered pectin is mixed in with the fruit before the fruit is heated. The liquid pectin is added to the fruit after it is cooked.
Acidophilus with pectin
Some companies sell products that contain acidophilus and pectin. Although both are beneficial, I do not know the particular rationale for combining acidophilus and pectin in a supplement formula.
I have read of the warnings regarding the effect of grapefruit juice on certain pharmaceuticals. Do the same effects exist with grapefruit pectin? I'm thinking in particular of cholesterol and erectile dysfunction medications, but wonder about medications in general used along with grapefruit pectin.
We have not seen any studies regarding the influence of citrus pectin and drug metabolism, and we doubt that there would be any significant interaction, but we are not 100 percent sure.
Source Naturals - Modified
Citrus Pectin Powder, Net Wt 200 Grams (7.05 oz)
Pectin, a soluble dietary fiber naturally present in citrus fruit, cannot be absorbed by the human digestive tract. However, it can be pH modified to shorten the molecular chain. This process creates smaller polysaccharide fragments that are easily absorbed and utilized by the body. Source Naturals Modified Citrus Pectin is made up of very short chains of molecules, containing fragments of the same molecular weight used in recent scientific studies. Some of the constituents believed to be responsible for its beneficial properties are the galactosyl fractions.
Modified Citrus Pectin 5 g
I have noticed that many of the Modified Citrus Pectin supplements (Pecta-Sol) contain high amounts of potassium. What caution should one observe when using these supplements.
A. It seems one scoop, 5 grams, of PectaSol-C contains 420 mg of potassium. The daily average intake is about 2000 mg. So, unless a person has a kidney problem or is taking in very, very high doses of potassium from other sources, or is taking a potassium sparing medication, it should be fine to take less than a scoop of this product most days of the week.