PECTIN 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 is also used to reduce the skin flushing associated with taking niacin.
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.
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. However, the combination doesn't seem to affect "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or triglycerides.
Possibly Ineffective for:
- Prediabetes. Drinking beverages containing sugar beet pectin does not seem to lower blood sugar levels in people with prediabetes.
- Stomach ulcers. Taking apple pectin for 6 months does not seem to reduce the recurrence of ulcers in the small intestine.
- Diarrhea in young children. Pectin seems to shorten bouts of diarrhea and vomiting and lessen the need for replacement fluids in children aged 5-12 months from developing nations who experience ongoing diarrhea.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in children with cerebral palsy. Early research shows that giving pectin along with "tube feeding" reduces some symptoms of GERD such as vomiting, cough, and wheezing in children with cerebral palsy.
- Mercury toxicity. Early research shows that taking pectin helps eliminate mercury through the urine and decreases the duration of mercury toxicity in children with this condition.
- Niacin-induced flushing. Taking pectin before using the drug niacin seems to reduce how long skin flushing lasts. But it doesn't prevent skin flushing from occurring or reduce its severity.
- Prostate cancer. Early research suggests that taking a specific modified citrus pectin product (Pectasol by Econugenics) after prostate surgery or radiation might lengthen the time to prostate cancer recurrence.
- Colon cancer.
- Damage from radiation.
- Mouth and throat sores.
- Other conditions.
PECTIN Side Effects & Safety
In most people, including adults, children, and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, pectin is LIKELY SAFE when taken in food amounts and POSSIBLY SAFE when used in larger medicinal amounts.
When taken by mouth alone or in combination with guar gum and insoluble fiber (the combination used to lower cholesterol and other blood fats), pectin can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, gas, and loose stools.
People who are exposed to pectin dust at work, such as in manufacturing, may develop asthma.
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).
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For high cholesterol: Up to 15 grams of pectin per day have been used.