Modified Citrus Pectin Health Benefits
Modified citrus pectin health benefits include an ability to fight prostate cancer as well as other health advantages. Most plant cell walls contain pectin, a complex polysaccharide (a type of carbohydrate) that is composed of thousands of sugar molecules chemically bound together. Modified citrus pectin (MCP) has undergone a special process to make the pectin more readily used by the body.
The pulp and peels of citrus fruits have especially concentrated amounts of pectin. Apples, guava, quince, and plums also contain pectin. Pectin is widely used as a gelling ingredient in canned foods and jellies, and in the production of food, cosmetics, and some anti-diarrhea medications.
Modified Citrus Pectin Health Benefits: How They Work
In its natural form, pectin is not absorbed by the body and is considered to be a type of soluble dietary fiber. When citrus pectin undergoes a special manufacturing process that uses pH and temperature modifications, however, it makes the pectin molecules shorter and less complex than regular citrus pectin molecules, which are too large to be absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. The result of this modification process is modified citrus pectin, which has molecules in a weight range of 10,000 to 20,000 daltons. These small molecules dissolve easily in water and boost the potency of the supplement by enhancing the ability of the body to absorb and utilize its components.
The important components of modified citrus pectin are believed to be substances called galactosyl residues. Galactosyl residues can hinder the binding of carbohydrate-binding galectin 3, a type of protein commonly found on the surface of prostate, breast, brain, colon, skin, lymphatic, and larynx cells. Galectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins involved in the growth, survival, and spread (metastasis) of cancer, and they are present in abnormally high levels in many cancers. When galactosyl residues interfere with galectin binding, they disrupt communication between cancer cells and thus inhibit the formation and spread of cancer. The process used to produce MCP increases the number of galactosyl binding sites.
A mini-review published in Carbohydrate Research in 2009 evaluated the studies performed to date on modified citrus pectin health benefits and cancer metastases. The authors concluded that “it is possible that a combination of pH and temperature treatment used in preparing MCP is an optimal combination” for generating pectins with the ability to inhibit galectin binding, promote apoptosis, and help prevent spread of cancer. (Glinsky 2009)
One of the early studies that explored modified citrus pectin health benefits and cancer metastases was conducted at Wayne State University in nude mice. The mice were fed MCP in their drinking water or plain drinking water and injected with human breast cancer or human colon cancer cells. Researchers then studied the impact of MCP on tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis. All three factors were significantly reduced in mice fed MCP when compared with controls, and the degree of benefit improved the higher the dose of MCP. The modified citrus pectin health benefits were attributed to its ability to inhibit the binding of galectin-3 and/or its impact on cells that express galectin-3. (Nangia-Makker 2002)
Modified Citrus Pectin Health Benefits: Prostate Cancer
Several animal studies and uncontrolled human studies have found that MCP may inhibit the spread of prostate cancer and the skin cancer called melanoma. In a study published in Integrative Cancer Studies, scientists analyzed and tested two forms of a brand of modified citrus pectin, 1.0% PectaSol and 1.0% PectaSol-C, to determine their impact on prostate cancer in the lab. The investigators used both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent human prostate cancer cell lines, two similar prostate cancer cell lines from mice, and a noncancerous human benign prostate hyperplasia cell line in their analyses.
Both PectaSol and PectaSol-C performed similarly against the human prostate cancer cell lines and BPH cells, while PectaSol-C performed slightly better than PectaSol against mouse prostate cancer cell lines. The study’s authors concluded that both PectaSol and PectaSol-C inhibited cell proliferation and apoptosis in human and mouse prostate cancer cell lines, and that 1.0% PectaSol-C should be used in additional chemopreventive and chemotherapy evaluation in animal and human studies. (Yan 2010)
At an International Conference on Diet and Prevention of Cancer, Dr. Stephen Strum, an oncologist specializing in prostate cancer, and his team reported that five of seven men who had advanced prostate cancer and who had not responded to conventional therapy experienced an increase in PSA doubling time after taking MCP daily for three months or longer. One of the five men had no increase in PSA level at all. (Strum 1999)
In a subsequent phase II pilot study that also involved Dr. Strum, investigators evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of Pecta-Sol in 13 men who had prostate cancer and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) failure after they underwent radiation, cryosurgery, or radical prostatectomy. Ten men were evaluated for efficacy and 13 for tolerability. After taking MCP for 12 months, the PSA doubling time increased in 7 (70%) of 10 men compared with before taking the supplement. Even though this study lacked a control group, the results suggest that MCP may increase PSA doubling time in men who have recurrent prostate cancer. (Guess 2003)
In an earlier rat study, researchers explored modified citrus pectin health benefits and the ability to inhibit the binding of rat prostate cancer cells to endothelial cells. Rats were injected with prostate cancer cells and then divided into groups that received 0.0%, 0.01%, 0.1%, or 1.0% MCP continuously in their water from day 4 after the injection until day 30.
By day 30, compared with the rats in the 0.0% and 0.01% groups, half of the 14 rats in the 0.1% group and nine of 16 in the 1.0% group had significant reductions in cancer that spread to the lungs. The lungs of the rats treated with 1.0% MCP had significantly fewer colonies of lung metastases than did the rats in the two control groups. Modified citrus pectin did not affect the growth of the primary tumors, however. In a petri dish, MCP inhibited binding of the rat prostate cancer cells to rat endothelial cells. (Pienta 1995)
The results of the studies performed thus far suggest modified citrus pectin health benefits may include reducing the growth and spread of prostate cancer. Large, randomized controlled trials are needed to support and verify these findings.
Modified Citrus Pectin Health Benefits: More Studies
Results of a study published in 2008 showed that MCP fed to mice that had been injected with colon cancer cells inhibited the spread of cancer to the liver. Specifically, MCP inhibited the expression of galetin-3, which increases significantly in the spread of colon cancer to the liver. (Liu 2008)
Modified citrus pectin health benefits may also include eliminating toxic heavy metals from the body. A chemical process called chelation therapy is commonly used to rid the body of excess or toxic metals, and the treatment is usually administered via intravenous infusion of compounds. Modified citrus pectin, however, has demonstrated an ability to significantly increase urinary excretion of toxic metals in people who take oral supplements.
In a pilot trial, eight healthy volunteers took 15 grams of MCP daily for five days and 20 grams on day six. Between day one and six of treatment, there was a 150% increase in the excretion of cadmium and a 560% increase in the elimination of lead. An analysis of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc revealed no increase in their excretion, which indicates MCP does not cause the depletion of these critical nutrients. (Eliaz 2006)
Modified citrus pectin health benefits also extended to chelating lead in children. Seven children ages five to 12 who had toxic lead levels were given 15 grams of modified citrus pectin (PectaSol) daily in three divided doses. All the children experienced a significant increase in urinary excretion of lead, resulting in blood levels below the criterion, and were released from the hospital between two and four weeks. (Zhao 2008)
PectaSol-C® by EcoNugenics is the most advanced and effective modified citrus pectin supplement available for promoting optimal prostate health and is the exact form of the MCP credited for the successful prostate cancer trials at Columbia University and other leading institutions. PectaSol-C® modified citrus pectin is derived from the pith of citrus fruits, and is modified via a proprietary enzymatic process to achieve the most enhanced molecular characteristics for cellular support.
Due to its small molecular weight, PectaSol-C® modified citrus pectin naturally binds and blocks galectin-3, the protein commonly found on the surface of prostate cancer cells. PectaSol-C® modified citrus pectin by EcoNugenics is produced using an enhanced process that carefully controls the weight and size of the pectin molecules. The result is modified citrus pectin that is readily and effectively absorbed into the bloodstream, where it can more actively promote prostate and cellular health.
PectaSol-C® has undergone numerous clinical tests demonstrating its ability to support healthy cell growth, and recent research published by Columbia University analyzed the positive effects of PectaSol-C® on cellular health.
PectaSol-C® by ecoNugenics is the most advanced and effective modified citrus pectin supplement available and the only modified citrus pectin that has been clinically tested and proven in the reported studies.
Here are 4 more reasons we like ecoNugenics MCP:
- Proprietary MCP enzyme extraction maximizes absorption.
- Dr. Eliaz’s (the creator of MCP) commitment to prostate cancer research and clinical trials.
- The ecoNugenics MCP formula, PectaSol-C is the exact supplement used in the studies.
- Purity and quality control of ingredients and manufacturing process.
PectaSol-C® Modified Citrus Pectin was developed by Isaac Eliaz, MD, and is protected by US patents #6,274,566, #6,462,029, and #7,026,302.
Dr Eliaz, the founder of ecoNugenics and creator of PectaSol-C, was directly credited by Columbia University for creating the modified citrus pectin used in the successful studies.
How To Take Modified Citrus Pectin
Modified citrus pectin is available as a powder and as capsules. To appreciate modified citrus pectin health benefits, some manufacturers suggest taking 5 grams of the powder, mixed with liquid such as water or juice, three times daily with meals. A suggested dose is 1 to 6 capsules (800 mg each) taken three times daily with meals. (Douglas Labs) Others suggest taking MCP on an empty stomach with dosages ranging from 6 to 30 grams daily in divided doses. According to this regimen, a typical daily dose is 5 grams taken three times per day. (Life Extension Foundation 2009)
Side Effects of Modified Citrus Pectin
When you take MCP as recommended by healthcare practitioners or supplement manufacturers, side effects rarely occur. Use of MCP may cause serious allergic reactions if you have an allergy to citrus fruit. Some people experience stomach discomfort, and there are a few reports of individuals who developed asthma after using powdered pectin. (American Cancer Society)
Douglas Labs Product Data: http://www.douglaslabs.com/pdf/pds/82046.pdf
Eliaz I et al. The effect of modified citrus pectin on urinary excretion of toxic elements. Phytother Res 2006 Oct; 20(10): 859-64
Glinsky VV, Raz A. Modified citrus pectin anti-metastatic properties: one bullet, multiple targets. Carbohydr Res 2009 Sep 28; 344(14): 1788-91
Guess BW et al. Modified citrus pectin (MCP) increases the prostate-specific antigen doubing time in men with prostate cancer: a phase II pilot study. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 2003; 6(4): 301-4
Liu HY et al. Inhibitory effect of modified citrus pectin on liver metastases in a mouse colon cancer model. World J Gastroenterol 2008 Dec 28; 14(48): 7386-91
Nangia-Makker P et al. Inhibition of human cancer cell growth and metastasis in nude mice by oral intake of modified citrus pectin. J Natl Cancer Inst 2002 Dec 18; 94(24): 1854-62
Pienta KJ et al. Inhibition of spontaneous metastasis in a rat prostate cancer model by oral administration of modified citrus pectin. J Natl Cancer Inst 1995 Mar 1; 87(5): 348-53
Strum S et al. Modified citrus pectin slows PSA doubling time: a pilot clinical trial. Paper presented at International Conference on Diet and Prevention of Cancer, May 1999; Tampere Finland.
Yan J, Katz A. PectaSol-C modified citrus pectin induces apoptosis and inhibition of proliferation in human and mouse androgen-dependent and –independent prostate cancer cells. Integr Cancer Ther 2010 Jun; 9(2): 197-203
Zhao ZY et al. The role of modified citrus pectin as an effective chelator of lead in children hospitalized with toxic lead levels. Altern Ther Health Med 2008 Jul; 14(4): 34-38