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PECTIN

Other Names:

Acide Pectinique, Acide Pectique, Apple Pectin, Citrus Pectin, Fruit Pectin, Grapefruit Pectin, Lemon Pectin, MCP, Modified Citrus Pectin, Pectina, Pectine, Pectine d’Agrume, Pectine d’Agrume Modifiée, Pectine de Citron, Pectine de Fruit, Pectin...
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 Overview
 Uses
 Side Effects
 Interactions
 Dosing
Overview Information

Pectin is a fiber found in fruits. It is used to make medicine.

People use pectin for high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and to prevent colon cancer and prostate cancer. It is also used for diabetes and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Some people use pectin to prevent poisoning caused by lead, strontium, and other heavy metals.

Pectin was used for years in combination with kaolin (Kaopectate) to control diarrhea. However, in April 2003, the FDA found ruled that scientific evidence does not support the use of pectin for diarrhea. Since April 2004, pectin has not been permitted as an anti-diarrhea agent in over-the-counter (OTC) products. As a result, Kaopectate no longer contains pectin and kaolin.

Some people apply pectin to the skin to protect raw or ulcerated mouth and throat sores.

Pectin is used as a thickening agent in cooking and baking. In manufacturing, pectin is an ingredient in some denture adhesives.

How does it work?

Pectin binds substances in the intestine and adds bulk to the stools.

Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:

  • High cholesterol. Taking pectin by mouth seems to lower cholesterol. Taking it along with guar gum and small amounts of insoluble fiber lowers total and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, but doesn't affect “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or triglycerides.

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Diarrhea in young children. In children age 5 to 12 months, pectin seems to shorten bouts of diarrhea and vomiting and lessen the need for replacement fluids. This is being tried in children with ongoing diarrhea in developing nations.
  • Prostate cancer. Early evidence suggests that a specific modified citrus pectin product (Pectasol, Econugenics) given after prostate surgery or radiation might lengthen the time to prostate cancer recurrence.
  • Reducing the risk of coloncancer.
  • Diabetes.
  • Infection.
  • Mouth and throat sores.
  • Reducing damage from radiation.
  • Preventing heavy metal poisoning.
  • Heartburn.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate pectin for these uses.


Side Effects & Safety

Pectin is LIKELY SAFE when taken in food amounts and POSSIBLY SAFE for most people, including children and pregnant and breast-feeding women, when used in medicinal amounts.

When taken by mouth in combination with guar gum and insoluble fiber (the combination used to lower cholesterol and other blood fats), pectin can cause diarrhea, gas, and loose stools.

People who are exposed to pectin dust at work, such as in manufacturing, may develop asthma.

Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics) interacts with PECTIN

    Pectin might decrease the amount of tetracycline antibiotics that can be absorbed. Taking pectin with tetracycline antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of tetracyclines. To avoid this interaction take pectin two hours before or four hours after taking tetracycline antibiotics.

    Some tetracycline antibiotics include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).

  • Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with PECTIN

    Pectin is high in fiber. Fiber can decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of digoxin (Lanoxin). As a general rule, any medications taken by mouth should be taken one hour before or four hours after pectin to prevent this interaction.

  • Lovastatin (Mevacor) interacts with PECTIN

    Lovastatin (Mevacor) is used to help lower cholesterol. Pectin might decrease how much lovastatin (Mevacor) the body absorbs and decrease the effectiveness of lovastatin (Mevacor). To avoid this interaction take pectin at least one hour after lovastatin (Mevacor).


Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For high cholesterol: 15 grams of pectin per day.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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