Citrus pectin, depolymerized pectin, fractioned pectin, MCP, modified pectin, PectaSol®, pH-modified pectin.
Pectins are gel-forming polysaccharides from plant cell walls, especially apple and citrus fruits. Pectins are a type of viscous dietary fiber and vary in the length of their polysaccharide chains, from 300-1,000 monosaccharides. Although pectins are not digestible by humans, modified citrus pectin (MCP) is altered to increase their absorbability. Pectin from citrus rinds is depolymerized through a treatment with sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid. The resultant smaller molecule is comprised predominantly of D-polygalacturonates and may be more easily absorbed by the human digestive system.
Modified citrus pectin is most often used as an adjuvant to cancer therapy to prevent metastasis. Modified citrus pectin is still considered an experimental therapy for cancer and should be used as an adjuvant to standard cancer therapy under medical supervision. Pectins, including modified citrus pectin, have also been investigated for possible cardiovascular benefits, including lowering cholesterol and reducing atherosclerosis. Clinical studies are needed in these areas.
Some experts caution that citrus pectin and all "modified" citrus pectins may not have the same effects as modified citrus pectin. Citrus pectin does not have the same short polysaccharide chains as modified citrus pectin, and "modified" pectin could indicate that the pectin has been altered in some way, but not necessarily have the shorter polysaccharide chains.
Detoxification (toxic excretion):
Modified citrus pectin may increase the excretion of metals, such as arsenic, cadmium, and lead. Additional study is needed in this area before a firm recommendation can be made.
Modified citrus pectin may reduce the metastasis of certain types of cancers, including lung, prostate, and breast. More research is needed in this area, especially with other types of cancer and with other criteria for prostate cancer progression.
There is no proven safe or effective dose for modified citrus pectin. Although not well studied in human clinical trials, 6-30 grams daily in divided doses, dissolved in a small amount of water, and diluted with juice, has been used. For capsules, a dose of 800 milligrams three times a day with meals has also been used. For biopsy and cancer, a dose of 15 grams daily (5 grams three times a day) one week before procedure and two weeks after has been used. For toxic excretion, 15 grams of MCP PectaSol® (EcoNugenics® Inc.) daily for five days and 20 grams on day six has been used with some benefit.
There is no proven safe or effective dose for modified citrus pectin in children and use is not recommended.