Pectins are soluble Polysaccharides composed primarily of Uronic Acids such as Galacturonic Acid.  They are a form of Soluble Fiber.  Pectins differ in structure according to the Food from which they are derived.



Health Benefits of Pectins


Digestive System


Pectins may help to suppress the Appetite (by delaying the emptying of the Stomach). 


Pectins may bind to Bile Acids in the Small Intestine and may facilitate their elimination from the body. 


Pectins may alleviate Diarrhea. 


Pectins may help to prevent Gallstones. 


Immune System


Pectins may help to prevent (carcinogen-induced) Breast Cancer.  references


Pectins may help to prevent Colon Cancer by counteracting carcinogens in the Colon. 




Pectins may lower total serum Cholesterol levels by binding to and causing the excretion of Cholesterol.


Pectins may help to normalize Blood Sugar levels in Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 patients. 


Pectins may lower serum LDL Cholesterol levels.  references


Pectins may Enhance the Function of these Substances




Acetic Acid is formed in the Colon from the fermentation of Pectins by Beneficial Bacteria.


Pectins may Counteract these Toxic Substances




Pectins may reduce the absorption of Cadmium. 

Pectins may reduce the absorption of Lead. 


The effect of modified citrus pectin on urinary excretion of toxic elements.

Eliaz I, Hotchkiss AT, Fishman ML, Rode D.

Source--Amitabha Medical Clinic and Healing Center, 7064 Corline Ct. Ste A, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA.



This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of modified citrus pectin (MCP) on the urinary excretion of toxic elements in healthy individuals. MCP is a reduced molecular weight pectin (weight-average molar mass = 15,400) that is mostly linear homogalacturonan with a 3.8% degree of esterification and approximately 10% rhamnogalacturonan II based on the presence of 2-keto-3-deoxy-octonic acid. Subjects ingested 15 g of MCP (PectaSol, EcoNugenics Inc., Santa Rosa, California 95407) each day for 5 days and 20 g on day 6. Twenty-four hour urine samples were collected on day 1 and day 6 for comparison with baseline. The urine samples were analysed for toxic and essential elements. In the first 24 h of MCP administration the urinary excretion of arsenic increased significantly (130%, p < 0.05). On day 6, urinary excretion was increased significantly for cadmium (150%, p < 0.05). In addition, lead showed a dramatic increase in excretion (560%, p < 0.08). This pilot trial provides the first evidence that oral administration of MCP increases significantly the urinary excretion of toxic metals in subjects with a 'normal' body load of metals. It is suggested that systemic chelation of toxic metals by MCP may in part be attributable to the presence of rhamnogalacturonan II, which has been shown previously to chelate metals.




The Swiss Medical Weekly published a report in 2004 confirming that apple pectin was seen to reduce the 137Cs cesium uptake in Ukrainian children after the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. A study led by V.B. Nesterenko at the Belrad Institute of Radiation Safety was performed to see if orally administered apple pectin was effective in binding 137Cs in the gut for food contaminated by radiation, or if eating "clean," non-contaminated food was enough. The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving children from contaminated villages near the disaster area.-- Radiation levels were measured at the beginning of the study and one month later. At the end of the trial, 137Cs cesium levels in children who were given apple pectin were reduced by 62%. Children who had received "clean" food and a placebo had reduced radiation levels by only 13.9%. The results were determined to be statistically significant.


These Substances may Enhance the Function of Pectins




Galacturonic Acid (the Uronic Acid of Galactose) is an essential component of Pectins.


Galacturonan (a Polysaccharide of Galacturonic Acid) is a constituent of some types of Pectins.


Dietary Sources of Pectins  (mg of Pectins per 100 grams)


Cereal Grains














Apples                        Grapes          

Bananas                     Prunes           

Lemon                        Plums

Grapefruit                 Oranges


Peppermint               Raspberry Leaf        

Hawthorn                  Tea     6,100


Cabbage                     Carrots          

Potatoes                     Squash          

Okra                            Fennel





Wash seven to ten large tart apples (Granny Smith’s will work well) and then cut them into chunks, leaving the peeling on. You will then need to add four cups of water and two tablespoons of lemon juice for acidity. Boil this mixture for 40-45 minutes, and then strain it through a cheese cloth. Next you will boil the extracted juice for another 20 minutes. While doing this, sterilize jars, you can do this by boiling them or by putting them in the dishwasher on the ‘antibacterial’ mode. Pour the extracted juice into your sterilized jars and seal them with new lids.


Test Homemade Pectin


 To test your homemade pectin pour some rubbing alcohol into a glass, and drop in a spoonful of homemade pectin, it will congeal into a ‘jelly-like’ mass, if it can be pulled out with a fork and forms a big gob on the tines, it is perfect. If not, you will need to boil your mixture for longer. Do not test pectin while hot as the alcohol test will not work.--- You can store your pectin for up to six months at a time, if you choose to use jars, or if you choose to freeze it. If you chose to freeze it, make sure to leave at least one inch of headroom for expansion. Now you’ve got your own homemade pectin!



Pectin Recipes--- Prepare the pectin and juice remedy by combining two teaspoons of dry fruit pectin, or one teaspoon of liquid pectin, with one to three ounces of juice. You can use any type of juice, but choosing one high in antioxidants -- like pomegranate or grape juice -- adds extra heath benefits. Mix well and drink twice daily, once in the morning and once at night.

Function--On the University of Cincinnati's Net Wellness website, Dr. Tanya Edwards states that "it's not surprising that fruit pectin may be helpful in arthritis and other inflammatory conditions." Antioxidants have natural anti-inflammatory properties, and pectin is a rich source of antioxidants.--- As well, apple pectin contains antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin A and vitamin C, and these nutrients may help reduce your risk for eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Antioxidants may also help slow the breakdown of the cells in your vitreous, reducing your risk for floaters





In the back section of your eye you have vitreous humor, a gel-like substance that helps hold the shape of your eye and protect inner structures from damage. As you age the vitreous may break down, and this could form clumps that you may see if they pass through your vision. Floaters may also appear if the vitreous shrinks and tears a hole in the retina, the tissue that covers the back, inside section of your eye. This tear may bleed and the blood droplets may cause floaters, but even if you do not have bleeding from this tear, a small piece of retinal tissue may cause a floater. Apple pectin cannot reverse the breakdown or shrinking of the vitreous.




Pectin may protect against cancer


A fragment released from pectin may protect against cancer by binding to a protein that plays a role in all stages of cancer progression, suggests new research from the UK. -- Researchers from the Institute of Food Research report that galactan side-chain may bind and inhibit galectin 3 (Gal3), linked to cancer progression. ---"This first step opens the way to a new and exciting area of research in bioactive carbohydrates," said Professor Vic Morris, the lead researcher of the study. -- The researchers report their findings in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal.  Players in the pectin field are starting to eye the health ingredients market. But many remain reluctant to make any kind of health claims until more science is built up. And for pectin, the science has indicated a potential prebiotic effect, the important fibre content, and potential cardiovascular benefits by lowering LDL cholesterol. ---Pectin structure is the key --- The chemical structure of pectin is based on a chain of repeating galacturonic acid units. In this “smooth” backbone, regions where galacturonic acid is substituted by rhamnose that has lots of sidechains of various neutral sugars branching off – termed “hairy regions”. This type of pectin is called rhamnogalacturonan I (RGI). -- Alkaline and acid treatments of pectin – as is performed industrially - lead to modified pectin. Such treatments change the structure of pectin and can lead to the release of modified “hairy regions”, said the researchers, and “preferential removal of arabinose residues”. ---“The removal of arabinose appears to promote enhanced accessibility to the galactan chains and allows several individual galactan chains to bind to … Gal3,” said the researchers. --“The experimental data support the suggested molecular hypothesis for the anticancer action of modified pectin by demonstrating that bioactive fragments from pectin can bind specifically to Gal3,” they added. --- Prof Morris confirmed that the research area is ongoing, with the next stage aiming to identify how pectin can be taken up by the body and released so it can exert its effect on cancer cells.  The research could also result in functional foods with added bioactive pectin, said Prof Morris.  The research was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). --- Source: FASEB Journal

 Published online ahead of print, 2 October 2008, doi:10.1096/fj.08-106617

“Recognition of galactan components of pectin by galectin-3”

Authors: A.P. Gunning, R.J.M. Bongaerts, V.J. Morris