Prostate Cancer Cells Killed By Pectin In Fruits And Vegetables

A new University of Georgia study finds that pectin, a type of fiber found in fruits and vegetables and used in making jams and other foods, kills prostate cancer cells.

The study, published in the August issue of the journal Glycobiology, found that exposing prostate cancer cells to pectin under laboratory conditions reduced the number of cells by up to 40 percent.

Pectin even killed cells that aren’t sensitive to hormone therapy and therefore are difficult to treat with current medications.

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Pectin, a polysaccharide, is found in primary cell wall of plants. Sugar residue is the composition of pectin, which is also called as D-galacturonic acid.

Food sources in which pectin is present! Pectin is available in all plants, but the availability of the content differs depending on the variety, tissue, species, plant part, growing condition and maturity. The content of pectin is more in citrus fruits and legumes than cereals.

The fruits that contain high levels of pectin are grapes, oranges, apricots and apples. In citrus fruits, sixty to seventy percent of dietary fiber is pectin. Pectin is also found in cabbage, banana, carrots and beets.

Advantages of pectin for health! As pectin is a soluble dietary fiber, there are many health advantages to the human beings. Pectin lowers LDL (low density lipo-protein) cholesterol, relieves from diarrhea, improves resistance of insulin, stimulates immune system, and acts as anti-ulcer.

Pectin promotes satiety and helps in preventing a rush in glucose levels thereby helping diabetic patients. Pectin also helps in reducing gall stones and heart disease. Pectin is a vital component in making jellies and jams. Pectin can also be used for medicinal purposes such as an anti-diarrhea agent. To manage diarrhea, it is used in combination with clay kaolin.

Effects of pectin! Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid pectin supplementation. Pectin can cause gastro-intestinal symptoms such as cramps, diarrhea, gas and flatulence. Pectin can decrease the absorption of minerals such as copper, zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron when used in parallel. When pectin is used in parallel with lovastatin, it can increase the LDL cholesterol.

Before taking pectin in the form of supplements, consult doctor and discuss how to use the dosage and when you should not use it. Instead of supplements, get pectin in the natural form.

“By simply increasing your intake of fruits of vegetables, you’re going to get a lot of pectin and you’re going to get all of the other beneficial phytochemicals at the same time.”