Modified citrus pectin is a dietary fiber that has undergone alterations and is used therapeutically. In this article, we will discuss whether using this supplement for cancer is an effective alternative, as it suggests…
Many fruits and vegetables contain dietary fibers that help in the digestion of food. One such dietary fiber is pectin. Pectin is a complex carbohydrate which is found in abundance in the peel and pulp of fruits, mainly citrus fruits. Large amounts of pectin is also found in other fruits like plums and apples. Pectin helps in binding the cells together and also helps maintain the integrity and shape of the cell membranes. Fruit pectin, which is also a kind of pectin, is also a popular food additive that is used to make jams, jellies etc. Pectin in its natural form has large molecules that cannot be absorbed by the body.
Hence, with some alterations, modified citrus pectin, having simplified molecules, has come into existence and can be easily assimilated into the bloodstream. Modified citrus pectin powder is available in medical stores, health stores, etc., and can be procured without any prescription. It can be taken by individuals who are above 18 years of age.
Modified citrus pectin is known to be effective in treating a number of health disorders, in particular, cancer. A number of health benefits can be reaped by including this nutritional supplement. A few of the positive effects of taking this nutrition supplement are listed as below.
- The soluble fiber present in this altered pectin maintains the pH balance in the intestines. It helps retain water and prevents the occurrence of constipation and expels toxins from the intestine. This helps reduce the risk of colon cancer and other cancers which may affect the gastrointestinal tract.
- Another health benefit is that it prevents the accumulation of heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium in the body. It also helps in successfully eliminating these metals and avoiding further harm to the vital organs.
- According to a recent research, modified citrus pectin tends to attract molecules that attach themselves to galactose. Galactose contain galectins which are carbohydrate binding proteins. These proteins help the cells in binding and also perform the function of transmission of messages among cells. Since cancerous cells have the tendency to affect the healthy tissue, taking pectin can prevent the abnormal development of cells, thus inhibiting cancer.
Though modified citrus pectin is considered to be safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), over consumption of this dietary fiber supplement has a few negative effects on the body that have been reported. Given below are some of the side effects which may occur when taken above its recommended level.
- Individuals who are allergic to citrus fruits may experience hypersensitivity. Hence it is advisable to avoid including this supplement in the daily routine.
- In some cases, it may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating sensation and nausea induced vomiting, etc. High doses can result in diarrhea due to the laxative-like effects.
- Modified citrus pectin can interact with certain over-the-counter drugs. It can prevent the absorption of drug in the body and hamper its effectiveness. If you are on chelation drugs, then it is necessary to exercise caution, as this supplement can increase the levels of toxic metals like mercury, arsenic and lead in the urine.
- Pregnant women are strictly advised against taking this modified dietary fiber as it may have some unwanted consequences on the fetus. Though proving the ill effects is still in experimental stage, it is advisable to consult your gynecologist if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
- Other health disorders, especially seen in the elderly, which can be caused due to high dosage are loss of fluids and electrolytes from the body, which may lead to fecal impaction or constipation.
Keeping the side effects of modified citrus pectin in mind, consult a health care provider before taking this or any other nutritional supplement, to avoid unnecessary complications.