PECTACEA

Enhancing Nutrition Through Science - Naturally

About Pectins

Pectins - The backbone of healthy fruits and vegetables

A variety of special carbohydrates can inhibit galectin-3. These carbohydrates can be found in a range of natural food products, from plants to dairy.  Pectins are probably the most important natural source of galectin-3 inhibitors.

 

Pectins are complex carbohydrates. They may be the most complex large molecules in nature. Pectins make up an important part of cell walls and the material that can be found in between plant cells. Pectins provide structure to fruits and vegetables. On average 35% of plant cell walls are made of pectin.

 
Pectin as a Food Ingredient

Pectins have been used for centuries for gelling, thickening and stabilizing. Today, pectin is used in jam, ice cream, yogurt drinks, smoothies and desserts. Pectin is sometimes found in weight-loss products because they are low in calories and make you feel full.

 
Pectin and Health
Until recently, pectins were viewed mostly as an important dietary fiber. Pectin and other dietary fibers were believed to offer a number of health benefits due to their intestinal effects. Pectins are large molecules and only a small portion of the pectins are broken down in the small intestine where these small fragments can be absorbed. The intestinal benefits range from acting as a stool softener to reducing cholesterol absorption. Recent research findings of the effects of pectin and pectic fragments on galectin-3 and the immune system, provide new and exciting insight as to why fruits and vegetables are healthy. PECTACEA aims to determine which fruits and vegetables have the healthiest pectins and how to best prepare and consume them to get the greatest health benefit. This will enable us to enhance our diets and treat galectin-3 related health problems naturally.

 

Modified Citrus Pectin

The white material that surrounds the flesh of the orange, lemon or grapefruits is called the albedo. It acts as a kind of glue between the flesh of the orange and the peel. The orange is a popular fruit in the United States and Europe. In the US it ranks third after the banana and apple as the most consumed fresh fruit. As juice it ranks number one. Americans consume 2½ times more orange juice than apple juice, its nearest competitor.

 

Approximately 30% of the albedo of the orange consist of citrus pectin. Because of the widespread consumption of orange juice, the left-over albedo is widely available for the extraction of citrus pectin. The galectin-3 inhibition of citrus pectin can be approximately doubled through a number of simple steps in processing. The end product is a powder called modified citrus pectin or MCP. MCP is commercially available under the brand name PectaSol-C. Multiple scientific studies in animals have demonstrated the anti-galectin-3 effects of MCP. The American Cancer Society provides information about MCP, galectin-3 and cancer on its website www.cancer.org.