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Life Extension Magazine

LE Magazine March 2004
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Modified Citrus Pectin
A commercially available supplement has been shown to inhibit cancer cell metastasis, lower cholesterol, and remove toxic metals from the body.
By Romy Fox

MCP for Detoxification
Cancer is not the only thing that can grow silently inside the body for some time before causing symptoms or being accidentally detected. Toxic elements such as cadmium, tungsten, lead, arsenic, mercury, and aluminum also can be ticking time bombs within the body.

The toxic effects of lead, which has been used in numerous processes and products for thousands of years, are well known. An overload of this metal damages many body systems, causing brain damage, seizures, coma, and other problems, including, in extreme cases, death. In the US, “lead poisoning is said to be the most common environmental illness of children.”10

Used in a variety of chemical and industrial processes, cadmium is another dangerous metal that finds its way into the human body via food and water. Once inside the body, it travels through the bloodstream to the liver, kidneys, and other tissues. If too much accumulates, it can trigger abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney damage, and even death.11

Practically everyone is exposed to metals at work, at home, through their diet (fish), and in the air. It is safe to assume that almost everyone has ingested or inhaled many metallic particles. Some metals, such as iron and cadmium, can trigger powerful and eventually obvious symptoms, while others may produce vague problems that can plague us for years and cannot be solved until the offending metals are removed from the body.

Pectin, which binds up radioactive and toxic metals, has been used in human detoxification as well as in environmental clean-up efforts. Unfortunately, its use in humans is limited by the fact that it is not absorbed well. But modified citrus pectin, smaller and structurally modified, can pass into the bloodstream and bind up these unwanted substances.

At the Fifth Annual Conference of Environmental Health Scientists, Dr. Isaac Eliaz and Dorena Rode described what happened when modified citrus pectin was given to a man as part of his treatment for prostate cancer.12 His urine was collected over a six-hour period before he began taking MCP, and again after he had taken it for 10 months. Analysis of the urine allowed the researchers to estimate the amount of toxic minerals in his body, and showed that his levels of arsenic, lead, mercury, and nickel had dropped dramatically.

At the same conference, the two researchers presented the results of a study of seven people, each of whom were given 15 grams of Pecta-Sol® for five days and 20 grams on the sixth day.12 Their urine was collected and analyzed before they began taking Pecta-Sol®, and again on the first and sixth days of the study. The results were striking. Within 24 hours, excretion of arsenic and tungsten increased significantly, and the amount of mercury and cadmium eliminated from their bodies also rose. By the sixth day, the amount of cadmium and tungsten eliminated from their bodies had increased significantly, as had the amount of lead excreted.

These results led Eliaz and Rode to conclude: “This preliminary work suggests that the nutritional supplement MCP may assist in the elimination of toxic elements from the body.”13

MCP for Cholesterol Control
The idea of using pectin to control cholesterol levels is not new. Several studies published in the 1990s in the Journal of Nutrition, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and other journals have examined its effects in animals and humans.14 Pectin binds to cholesterol, which enables it to be excreted. But because it is not readily absorbed into the body, it does this only in the intestines. This is helpful but, by definition, limited.

Modified citrus pectin, however, can be absorbed from the intestines into the body, allowing it to bind to cholesterol in the bloodstream. This may give it more direct and powerful cholesterol-lowering properties. It may prove to be a powerful weapon in the battle against atherosclerosis, an important risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

MCP Is Well Tolerated
When we think of cancer-fighting agents, we almost automatically think of their terrible side effects. It is natural to imagine that all cancer fighters trigger such problems, but that is not the case with modified citrus pectin. Remember, MCP does not do battle with cancer cells—it does not try to destroy anything. It simply “gums up the works,” hindering the harmful cells as they attempt to join together or latch on to healthy tissues, and possibly preventing them from hijacking the body’s blood supply for their own needs. In a sense, MCP gently disarms cancer cells, leaving them to wither on the vine. Thus, it is well tolerated. Side effects are not common, but may include loose stools on occasion.

Choosing a Brand and Dosage
You can purchase both citrus pectin and modified citrus pectin. But beware, for “modified” can mean different things, and it may only mean that vitamin C, soy, or something else has been added to the citrus pectin. Adding something may technically “modify” the citrus pectin, but not in such a way that it can be absorbed into the body.

Only citrus pectin that has been properly shortened and structurally altered so as to be absorbable will have the effects described earlier. And only one brand of commercially available MCP—Pecta-Sol®—meets the chemical specifications used in all of the scientific studies. It also is the only brand that has been used and validated in clinical trials.

Dr. Isaac Eliaz, who designed Pecta-Sol® and conducted several of the studies on its use, suggests the dosages in table 1 below.

As he looks back on the MCP studies and modified citrus pectin’s use in patients and potential for the future, Dr. Eliaz notes: “For the past 20 years, I have been treating people using integrative methods. MCP is one of the most versatile supplements I have encountered for supporting health in a wide variety of conditions. I expect research to continue to confirm its benefits.” For further information on modified citrus pectin, turn to the next page.

TABLE 1  

MCP Application

Use (take on an empty stomach)

Active Cancer

15 grams/day (5 grams three times a day)

Biopsy

15 grams/day (5 grams three times a day)
Take one week before procedure
and two weeks after.

Heavy Metal Chelation

High body burden levels:
15 grams/day (5 grams three times a day)
Lower body burden levels:
15 grams/day for 5 days a month,
5 grams/day the rest of the month

View additional commentary on modified citrus pectin by prostate oncologist Stephen Strum, MD.

References

1. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Jellin J, ed. Stockton, CA: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database;2000:811.

2. American Cancer Society. Detailed guide: prostate cancer. What are the key statistics about prostate cancer?” Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/con tent/CRI_2_4_1X_What_are_the_key_ statistics_for_prostate_cancer_ 36.asp?sitearea=. Accessed December 9, 2003.

3. Raz A, Lotan R. Endogenous galactoside- binding lectins: a new class of functional tumor cell surface molecules related to metastasis. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 1987;6(3):433-52.

4. Bresalier RS, Yan PS, Byrd JC, Lotan R, Raz A. Expression of the endogenous galactose- binding protein galectin-3 correlates with the malignant potential of tumors in the central nervous system. Cancer. 1997 Aug 15;80(4):776-87.

5. Pienta KJ, Naik H, Akhtar A, et al. Inhibition of spontaneous metastasis in a rat prostate cancer model by oral administration of modified citrus pectin. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995 Mar 1;87(5):348-53.

6. Strum S, Scholz M, McDermed J, McCulloch M, Eliaz I. Modified citrus pectin slows PSA doubling time: a pilot clinical trial. Paper presented at: International Conference on Diet and Prevention of Cancer; May 1999; Tampere, Finland.

7. Guess BW, Scholz MC, Strum SB, Lam RY, Johnson HJ, Jenrich RI. Modified citrus pectin (MCP) increases the prostate-specific antigen doubling time in men with prostate cancer: a phase II pilot study. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2003;6(4):301-4.

8. Eliaz I. Modified citrus pectin in the preven- tion and treatment of cancer: recent promis- ing results. Better Health Pub. Research Update; Feb 2003.

9. Nangia-Makker P, Hogan V, Honjo Y, et al. Inhibition of human cancer cell growth and metastasis in nude mice by oral intake of modified citrus pectin. J Nat’l Cancer Inst. 2002 Dec 18;94(24):1854-62.

10. Marcus S. Toxicity, lead. eMedicine website. Available at: http://www.emedicine.com/ emerg/topic293.htm. Accessed December 2, 2003.

11. Risk Assessment Information System. Toxicity profiles: toxicity summary for cadmi- um. Available at: http://risk.lsd.ornl.gov/tox/ profiles/cadmium.shtml. Accessed December 2, 2003.

12. Eliaz I, Rode D. MCP lowers body burden of toxic metals. Paper presented at: Fifth Annual Conference of Environmental Health Scientists: Nutritional Toxicology and Metabolomics; August 2003; University of California, Davis.

13. Eliaz I, Rode D. The effect of modified cit- rus pectin on the urinary excretion of toxic elements. Paper presented at: Fifth Annual Conference of Environmental Health Scientists: Nutritional Toxicology and Metabolomics; August 25, 2003; University of California-Davis.

14. Fernandez ML, Sun DM, Tosca MA, McNamara DJ. Citrus pectin and cholesterol interact to regulate hepatic cholesterol homeostasis and lipoprotein metabolism: a dose-response study in guinea pigs. Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 Apr;59(4):869-78.