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Home > Research Department  > Supplement Articles > Pectin
    Supplement Articles  
PECTIN
Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor ( N.D.)

Soluble fibre from the skin of fruit that can help to regulate blood sugar levels and promote healthy bowel function ...

PECTIN

Pectin is a great source of fibre that can help diarrhea and constipation.
Pectin is a very long and branched chain of sugars found as a major building block in plants that helps them stay firm. It is the molecule responsible for the tight connection between each cell, and is found in highest concentration in the skin of fruits. It is pectin that is broken down as fruit ripens, causing a softening of the flesh. Pectin is also the gelling ingredient that makes fruit jams and jellies become solid.
Fibre
Because pectin is so large and branched, it is not able to be absorbed in the human digestive tract. Instead, as it passes through the system it attracts water and toxins and binds them. Thus, pectin is an excellent source of soluble fibre that can help to improve intestinal motility and promote detoxification. It helps to normalize the water content of the stool which allows pectin to help treat constipation and diarrhea. For more information on the benefits of fibre, please click here.

Excess Cholesterol and Excess Hormones
Much like other waste products, excess cholesterol and excess hormones like estrogen are shed into the gastrointestinal tract. Unfortunately, when these substances are present in very large amounts, more of them are reabsorbed in the large intestine and recycled through the body. Soluble fibre, like pectin prevents this process by binding the excess products before it can be reabsorbed. This helps to reduce the excess cholesterol and hormones cycling in the bloodstream.

Blood Sugar
When soluble fibre like pectin is eaten with foods high in sugar, the pectin can bind the sugar and slow its absorption into the bloodstream. Thus, high glycemic index foods can become lower glycemic index when they are eaten with soluble fibre. This can help to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent spikes immediately after meals. For more information on blood sugar maintenance, please see our diabetes article.

Digestive Health
Beyond its obvious benefits for digestive health based in its role as fibre, pectin has also been found to help improve symptoms in those suffering from irritable bowel disease (IBD), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The exact mechanism of action is not yet known, but there has been some relief of symptoms noted. For more information on IBD, please click here. For more information on IBS, please click here.

Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP)
A number of health benefits are attributed to a particular form of pectin known as modified citrus pectin (MCP). MCP is pectin that has been modified by chemical processing to allow it to pass through our digestive tract into our bodies. MCP has been found to promote further detoxification and also to potentially help prevent the growth and spread of certain cancers. There are a number of research studies examining the benefits of MCP in cancer treatment. For more information on MCP, please click here.

Sources of Pectin
Pectin is found in large amounts in more solid fruits like: applies, guavas, plums, oranges and other citrus fruits. Carrots are also an excellent source of pectin. There are a number of supplements that contain pectin. Pectin is commonly found in powder or capsule form, and also in combination formulas for blood sugar, detoxification, and digestive health. There is no established dosage for pectin, although dietary fibre requirements are 25-38g per day, and pectin can easily help you to cover any gaps in your diet. General recommendations for supplementation of pectin is between 5 and 15g per day, usually in divided doses with meals to help slow sugar absorption.

Pectin – QUICK FACTS

SOURCE

· The skins of fruit such as: apples, guavas, plums, oranges and other citrus fruits as well as carrots.

APPLICATIONS

· Digestion, constipation, high cholesterol, blood sugar regulation, hormone dysregualtion, detoxification.

OPTIMUM DOSAGE

· 5 - 15 grams daily in divided doses with meals. (Clinical doses may be higher as recommended by your practitioner).

WORKS WELL WITH

· Other forms of soluble fibre, bentonite clay.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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· Do not take fibre supplements with any medication as it can bind and prevent proper absorption.

· Be sure to drink sufficient water (at least 1 – 2 cups) when you are taking any fibre supplement, in order to prevent constipation.

For informational purposes only.  Please consult your health care practitioner before taking natural health care products. Click here for full disclaimer.


All articles copyright National Nutrition 2001 - 2012.  For educational purposes only.  Please note that while National Nutrition supports your right to use natural health care products for any therapeutic purpose that you see fit, that the information on this website should not be considered as a claim or as a substitute for medical advice.

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