Modified Citrus Pectin - Cutting the Chains

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At XY Wellness we aim not only to provide you with practical ways to thrive, but also to explain the scientific evidence behind each and every detail.  We value your health and your independent thinking, and we believe that everyone deserves to understand the careful thought that grounds our health advice.  Today, we will say a few words about an essential ingredient: Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP).

At first, you might see the word “modified” and recoil, as we have all learned (with good reason) to distrust food sources that “modify” their products genetically (say “no” to GMO).  However, the modification that citrus pectin undergoes differs completely from that of, say, meat or corn.  Instead of a genetic modification, it is modified chemically.  Pectin is found in fruits as a long chain of sugar molecules.  In this state, the digestive tract cannot easily absorb it, and this makes the molecule largely useless.  To maximize the positive effects of this long sugar chain, chemists simply break the molecule into smaller, more absorbable pieces.  That’s the only change.

Once pectin is absorbed into the bloodstream, it can have its positive effect on the body.  A substantial body of research has documented pectin’s ability to stifle unhealthy cells that break off from their source and threaten to harm the rest of the body.  One article in particular from the latest issue of Carbohydrate Polymers reports that not only citrus pectin but several pectic extracts all had the ability to sabotage and stop the proliferation of damaged or unhealthy cells (Cobs-Rosas et al. 2015).  Other, less recent articles describe similar results, as well as pectin’s tendency to slow or prevent unhealthy cell growth in the first place (Bergman et al. 2009).  Talk about a powerful sugar chain!

These studies represent only a few key examples from the growing body of research that has discovered pectin’s protective properties.  We at XY Wellness aim to be completely transparent, and we provide links to these sources in an effort to work with you toward your health goals.  Robust health takes more than a to-do list of eats and do-not-eats.  It takes understanding, too.

In light of this information, what should you do?  First, remember the documented benefits behind pectin extracts.  Second, talk to your doctor about adding modified fruit pectin to your diet in supplement form.  Third, let this be a reminder to fill your diet with as many organic, whole fruits as you can.  Of all the essential nutrients that fruits promise, pectin represents only a tiny slice.

References

Bergman, M., Djaldetti, M., Salman, H., & Bessler, H. (2010). Effect of citrus pectin on malignant cell proliferation. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 64(1), 44-47. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2009.03.004

Cobs-Rosas, M., Concha-Olmos, J., Weinstein-Oppenheimer, C., & Zúñiga-Hansen, M. E. (2015). Assessment of antiproliferative activity of pectic substances obtained by different extraction methods from rapeseed cake on cancer cell lines. Carbohydrate Polymers, 117(0), 923-932. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2014.10.027

Glinsky, V. V., & Raz, A. (2009). Modified citrus pectin anti-metastatic properties: one bullet, multiple targets. Carbohydrate Research, 344(14), 1788-1791. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carres.2008.08.038

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