Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Modified Citrus Pectin as Chelator & Cancer Fighter

Physicians at the University School of Medicine in Hangzhou, China reported encouraging news in their recent article: The Role of Modified Citrus Pectin as an Effective Chelator of Lead in Children Hospitalized with Toxic Lead Levels. According to the research team:

"Lead toxicity is an ongoing concern world wide, and children, the most vulnerable to the long lasting effects of lead exposure, are in urgent need of a safe effective heavy metal chelating agent to overcome the heavy metals and lead exposure challenges they face day to day...The dramatic results in this study show that modified citrus pectin could be such an agent."

I recently wrote about the role of lead toxicity in inner city children and the link to lives of crime (due to changes in brain development and associated neural circuitry for impulse control, etc.).

While not exactly looking out for heavy metal toxicity studies, I landed on the modifid citrus pectin research because of my interest in fibers and general detoxification (yep, that familiar TOIL or toxicity, oxidation, inflammation, and lack of cellular energy thing Dr. Rodier has drummed into my thinking!).

As it turns out, modified citrus pectin (MCP), which is derived from the white pulpy stuff inside a citrus peel, is typically considered residues or waste from citrus product processing. As an aside, I just love innovative uses for things formerly considered waste.

Meanwhile, research continues to show the value of MCP, which through molecular alteration becomes absorbable in contrast with regular pectins that are insoluble and thus cannot be absorbed.

Studied Benefits of Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP):
  1. Fighting cancer - in particular, prostate and breast cancer and melanoma, by reducing DNA damage, immune suppression, oxidative stress, and inflammation.
  2. Preventing cancer - according to an article by Paris Kidd, Ph.D., A New Approach to Metastatic Cancer Prevention: Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP), A Unique Pectin that Blocks Surface Lectins: "MCP's apparent safety and proven anti-metastatic action, and lack of proven therapies against metastasis, ould justify its inclusion into comprehensive orthomolecular anticancer regimes."
  3. Chelating heavy metals safely & cost-effectively - MCP treatments significantly reduce blood levels of mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic without the side effects associated with costly intravenous EDTA treatments. EDTA side effects can include depletion of essential minerals and worse -- redistribution of heavy metals into vital organs such as the brain. MCP treatment has the added benefit of far lower cost than EDTA treatments.
  4. Increasing friendly bacteria in the gut - the lead chelation study in China also yielded new understanding of how MCP "enhances the growth of health-promoting gut bacteria."

Hmm...I may have to add a modified citrus pectin product to our line-up, as it is generally pricey stuff that our members would not be so able to afford.

If you have used a modified citrus pectin product, let me know what your experience has been (or comment on this blog entry)!


Anonymous said...

This is to see if a product called Phosphatidylserine is real.
I have been a customer many years & believe that I can trust your opinions.

larry said...

How would this work for heart patients? Chelation is also used for destroying arterial plaque.

Cindy Marteney, CEO, Our Health Co-op said...

All of the research I've looked at directly tested modified citrus pectin for chelating heavy metals and for anti-cancer therapies. Some vendors do make claims about plaque reduction and it's not clear to me how differently modified citrus pectin works in cholesterol management compared to regular soluble fibers. If anyone has a good reference, please leave it here! Thanks! Cindy

Cindy Marteney, CEO, Our Health Co-op said...

Re the phosphatidylserine question I never answered (sorry!), yes it's a real product and valuable to brain health and healthy moods. See our product page:

Thanks for your loyalty and also for trusting us!

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if there have been any updates on the usefulness of MCP? I'm specifically interested in it's effects on cancer (in humans preferably, not animals) but any update would be interesting :-)

Cindy Marteney, CEO, Our Health Co-op said...

No updates on modified citrus pectin or MCP yet but I will post if I come across new studies. Thanks for asking.

I welcome comments from others who more closely follow research on modified citrus pectin.

Raw material costs, by the way, are extraordinarily high, as modified citrus pectin is still proprietary, thus it's not something we're likely to carry any time soon.

Anonymous said...

Check out this editorial critiquing MCP used for heavy metal chelation:

Despite the dubious results, I am taking a chance on it -- bought 3 454g jars of powder from Allergy Research Group that should last me about three months with the recommended 15g per day regimen. Along with daily FAR saunas, I hope to reduce my elevated lead levels without having to resort to the heavier duty chemical chelators (tried them but couldn't handle the associated fatigue).

I'd love to hear from others who have used MCP for chelation.

Anonymous said...

I have high levels of mercury and lead from past exposure, and given the side effects of oral DMSA I was willing to try anything. Seeing the studies on PectaSol, I was very hopeful, and had my urine tested by itself, while on full dose PectaSol, and while on DMSA. The results were highly disappointing -- urine levels of the two heavy metals in question went up a mere 5% (and I am being generous) with Pectasol over the base levels, which is probably not even statistically significant. In comparison, levels excreted while on DMSA were up more than 300%.
Given the cost of PectaSol, it is certainly not worth it for heavy metal detox, and I have grave doubts about those studies that report its success.

Just sayin', beware.

Anonymous said...

I recently purchased a 10 pound sack of MCP from a firm using eBay...wish me a clean bill of health!