Alternative Cancer Therapy | Natural Health Blog

Date: 10/22/2008    Written by: Jon Barron

Pectin Protects Against Cancer

Apple Pectin, Cancer

A new study confirms yet one more reason why it pays to eat your fruits and vegetables. Turns out the gelatinous substance pectin, which naturally occurs in all fruits and vegetables, protects against cancer.

While the benefits of pectin have been known for some time, this study sheds light on how pectin works specifically in fighting cancer cells. A research team at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, England, discovered that a substance in pectin binds to a tumor-producing protein called galectin 3. Galectin 3 allows cancer cells to detach from tumors and to reattach elsewhere, and so it's a major factor in the spread of cancer. But pectin blocks the activity of galectin 3 and in so doing, may prevent the progression of cancer within the body.

What exactly is pectin? It's a complex carbohydrate found in the walls of plant cells. When it interacts with acid, it produces new molecular components, including the substance, galactose, that binds to galectin 3. (Theoretically, it would seem that your stomach acid could provide that activation, provided you're still producing sufficient stomach acid.) You may know pectin as a substance used to solidify jams and jellies, and so the question arises: does "jamming" yourself full of jam protect you from cancer? Probably, not so much. The researchers point out while the process of making jam may activate the "good" effects of the pectin and provide some protection, the high sugar content and additives in commercial jams would most likely counteract the benefits (a good reason to choose all-fruit jam).

Studies last year confirmed that pectin does, in fact, actively work in combating cancer. A research team at the University of Georgia found that pectin destroyed up to 40 percent of prostate cancer cells upon exposure, while other studies revealed that pectin helps in fighting lung and colon cancers. And in fact, apple pectin was used after Chernobyl to extract radioactive waste from victims. Other benefits of natural pectin include protecting against hypertension, gallstones, cholesterol damage, ulcers, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, and diabetes damage.

You'll also find apple pectin in high-quality intestinal cleansing formulas. As I explain in my newsletter on colon detoxing, pectin removes "unwanted toxins and heavy metals (mercury, lead, aluminum, etc.), lowers cholesterol, and reduces the side effects of exposure to radiation." It binds water and toxins together and bulks the stool, and thus carries toxins from the body.

Modified citrus pectin is another pectin worth looking at. Numerous studies have supported its use in dealing with multiple cancers -- including prostate cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma. Modified citrus pectin is particularly rich in galactose, the substance described above that binds to galectins on the surface of cancer cells, resulting in an inhibition, or blocking, of cancer cell aggregation, adhesion, and metastasis.

The researchers note that their findings on pectin are preliminary, but they intend to continue investigating to see if they can isolate the active components of pectin (in case there are any beyond galactose) to increase its impact in combating cancer. Translated to techno-speak, "Bioactivity resides in the neutral sugar side chains of pectin polysaccharides, and ...these components could be isolated and modified to optimize bioactivity," says lead researcher Vic Morris.

While the scientists continue to dissect, isolate, and modify the stuff to make it "better," you can get your fill of pectin by eating plenty of raw vegetables and fruits and an occasional gob of all-fruit jam. To increase your intake even more -- and especially to reap benefits such as protection from cardiovascular damage, hypertension, and cancer -- go to the health food store and peruse the selection of pectin supplements. You can also get pectin working for you by doing an intestinal cleanse that contains pectin -- or using such a formula as part of a daily maintenance program.


Click for Related Articles


    Submitted by Jeanette PEterlin on
    November 18, 2008 - 3:55am

    Why is it that you recommend a juice fast during liver detox? Wouldn't you get more out of eating the whole organic fruits and veggies? I'm just finishing up the colon cleanse and will be doing the liver after thanksgiving and am curious.
    Be well,

    Submitted by Joel Despas on
    October 31, 2008 - 6:47am

    I believe that most fruit and vegetable fibers especially cruciferous vegetables including oat bran are anticancer, lower cholesterol and good for blood sugar control.
    Personally I am most interested in foods and supplements that can cure diabetes type II, HBP, obesity, leg edema, vision, sleep apnea, heart disease and asthma. Very much interested in the subject of anti aging, anti oixidants and general preventive heath with superfoods and nutritional products.
    By the way is your comprehensive anti aging available and the cost and web site?
    Have vibrant health, wealth and happiness.

    Submitted by Madonna ihejirika on
    April 3, 2012 - 9:37pm

    Pls J as human nutritionist, suffering 4rm ulcer. I think fruit n sum beverages are gud 4 me but i found out dat afta taking it i feel a lot of pains

    Submitted by Jon Barron on
    November 18, 2008 - 4:53am

    Juice fasting cleanses the body while supplying a dramatic increase in vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Vegetable and fruit juices are a living fuel that take no digestive energies from the body, allowing the body's entire focus to be on healing and rejuvenation. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, living enzymes, antioxidants, phytochemicals, yet low enough in calories to force the body to cannibalize its own residual waste, propelling you to vigorous physical health and clarity of mind. Fruit and vegetable juices are the cleansers, energizers, builders, and regenerators of the human system.
    Adding chlorella to the fast accelerates the detox even more, as chlorella draws waste and heavy metals out of the body.

    Submitted by Denna Millard on
    May 16, 2013 - 1:36pm

    WOW! Thanks for this article (dated 10/22/2008) . My holistic doctor gave me a canister of MetaFiber, which contains apple pectin, for my diarrhea problem following my post-colectomy cancer surgery. This helps in two ways!

    Submitted by Bill Carnahan on
    August 3, 2013 - 8:07pm

    Question? Does apple pectin work as good as MCP? Please reply to email address.Thanks and have a Great Day!

Add New Comment