Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Modified Citrus Pectin Powde Supplement

Debra Mohnen of UGA's Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, and Vijay Kumar, chief of research and development at the Veterans' Administration Medical Center in Augusta found that exposing prostate cancer cells to pectin reduced the number of cancerous cells by about 40%. Pectin destroys cells in a process known as apoptosis. Apoptosis is programmed cell death. In apoptosis cells bind with an outside substance that causes the cell to kill itself. Cancer cells self destruct once the complex structure of pectin binds to the receptors of the cell surface. Pectin does not bind with non-cancerous cells, and has no known affect on them.

Why Modified Pectins?
Chemical treatment of the FPP using base (alkali) in order to remove
the ester linkages of the pectin structure destroyed the ability of the
pectin to induce apoptosis, said the researchers, while treatment of
the pectin with pectinmethylesterase enzymes did not affect activity,
indicating that the base-sensitive linkages played an important role in
the apparent anti-cancer benefits.

# Both citrus pectin and the pH-modified citrus pectin had no effect on
the cancer cells, reported Jackson, but heat treatment of citrus pectin
resulted in significant levels of apoptosis comparable to FPP.

# Modified citrus pectin (MCP), also known as fractionated pectin, is a complex polysaccharide obtained from the peel and pulp of citrus fruits. Modified citrus pectin is rich in galactoside residues, giving it an affinity for certain types of cancer cells. Metastasis is one of the most life-threatening aspects of cancer and the lack of effective anti-metastatic therapies has prompted research on MCP's effectiveness in blocking metastasis of certain types of cancers, including melanomas, prostate, and breast cancers.

# Modified citrus pectin powder is produced from citrus pectin via pH and temperature modification that breaks it into shorter, non-branched, galactose-rich, carbohydrate chains. These shorter chains dissolve more readily in water and are better absorbed and utilized by the body than ordinary, long-chain pectins. It is believed the shorter polysaccharide units afford MCP its ability to access and bind tightly to galactose-binding lectins (galectins) on the surface of certain types of cancer cells.

How Modified Pectins act:
Research indicates that in order for metastasis to occur, cancerous cells must first clump together; galectins on their surface are thought to be responsible for much of this metastatic potential. Galactose-rich, modified citrus pectin has a binding affinity for galectins on the surface of cancer cells, resulting in an inhibition, or blocking, of cancer cell aggregation, adhesion, and metastasis. Due to the life-threatening nature of metastatic cancer, most research on anti-metastatic therapies has either been in in vitro cell cultures or in animal studies. Although it is still unclear exactly how these study results translate to humans, MCP studies are promising.

Prostate Cancer
Pienta et al examined modified citrus pectin's effectiveness against prostate cancer metastasis in the Dunning rat model. Rats were injected with prostate adenocarcinoma cell lines and given drinking water containing various MCP concentrations. Oral MCP did not affect primary tumor growth, but significantly reduced metastases when compared to control animals.[4] In one human study, Strum et al examined the effect of MCP on prostate specific antigen (PSA) doubling time in seven prostate cancer patients. PSA is an enzymatic tumor marker, and its doubling time reflects the speed at which the cancer is growing. Modified citrus pectin was administered orally at a dosage of 15 grams per day in three divided doses. Four of seven patients exhibited more than 30-percent lengthening of PSA doubling time. Lengthening of the doubling time represents a decrease in the cancer growth rate.

Safety and Side Effects
Because it is a soluble fiber, administration of modified citrus pectin is unlikely to result in gastric intolerance, even at high doses. No pattern of adverse reaction has been recorded in the scientific literature. As with any dietary fiber, MCP at high doses may result in mild cases of loose stool, but this is usually self-limiting and does not warrant discontinuing treatment.

Dosage and Administration

Modified citrus pectin dosages are usually expressed in grams, with a typical adult dosage ranging between 6-30 grams daily in divided doses. This may be modified by the practitioner depending on the patients clinical status, type of cancer involved, and degree of metastasis. The MCP powder is usually dissolved by blending in a small amount of water, then diluting with a juice of choice.

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