We’re busy reviewing the evidence on modified citrus pectin. While we’re working, we share the original summary from our predecessor website, Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies.

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Modified Citrus Pectin

Key Points

  • Before using this therapy, consult your oncology team about interactions with other treatments and therapies. Also make sure this therapy is safe for use with any other medical conditions you may have.
  • Modified citrus pectin (MCP) is an altered form of natural pectin, a soluble plant fiber.
  • Citrus pectin in food doesn’t seem to have the same effects as modified citrus pectin.
  • Modified citrus pectin is of interest to BCCT because of its anticancer potential, especially anti-metastatic activity, in laboratory and animal studies. Human studies are needed to verify these results.
  • MCP may lower PSA in prostate cancer.
  • MCP is used to treat diarrhea and lower cholesterol.
  • Pectin is “generally recognized as safe” in the US.
  • A few minor side effects as well as interactions with some drugs and supplements are noted. Caution and medical supervision are advised.

Pectin is a soluble plant fiber found in highest concentrations in apples and the peel and pulp of citrus fruits. Modified citrus pectin (MCP) is an altered form of citrus peel pectin that is reportedly more absorbable in the body. As a result, natural citrus pectin may not have the same effects on cancer as modified citrus pectin.1

Treating the Cancer

Working against cancer growth or spread, improving survival, or working with other treatments or therapies to improve their anticancer action

Clinical Evidence

MCP significantly increased prostate specific antigen doubling time in patients with recurrent prostate cancer in a small study.2

Lab and Animal Evidence

Click or tap to open.

Cautions

Modified citrus pectin is “generally regarded as safe” in the US. However, MCP can cause mild side effects as well as some potentially serious interactions with drugs and supplements, including digoxin, lovastatin and tetracycline. MCP may also slow or reduce absorption of some oral drugs.14 Consult with your pharmacist for interactions and discuss using MCP with your doctor.

Access

Pectin is found in common food sources, and modified citrus pectin is widely available in supplement form.

Dosing

Although clinical trials have not established an optimal modified citrus pectin dose during or post cancer treatment, suggested dosages are listed in the integrative cancer care protocols, plans and references below. Levels of active ingredients of natural products can vary widely between and even within products. See Quality and Sources of Herbs, Supplements and Other Natural Products.

More information about dosing pectin is available from these sources:

Integrative Programs, Protocols and Medical Systems

  • Programs and protocols
    • Alschuler & Gazella complementary approaches15
      • Melanoma
      • Prostate cancer
    • Block program16
      • Tips for diarrhea
      • Reduce platelet aggregation (reducing risk for clots)
    • Chang strategies17
    • McKinney protocols18
      • General cancer
      • Breast cancer
      • Head and neck cancer
      • Lung cancer
      • Myelodysplastic syndrome
      • Ovarian cancer
      • Pancreatic cancer
      • Prostate cancer
      • Sarcoma
      • Skin cancer

Note: CancerChoices has not conducted an independent review of research of modified citrus pectin. This summary draws primarily from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center About Herbs and Anticancer Fund website.

Also known by these names

  • MCP
  • Modified Citrus Pectin Power (brand name)
  • Pectin
  • Pectinic Acid

Resources

References

1.     TRC Natural Medicines. Pectin. February 16, 2015. Viewed December 5, 2017.

2.     Guess BW, Scholz MC et al. Modified citrus pectin (MCP) increases the prostate-specific antigen doubling time in men with prostate cancer: a phase II pilot study. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. 2003;6(4):301-4.

3.     Glinsky VV, Raz A. Modified citrus pectin anti-metastatic properties: one bullet, multiple targets. Carbohydrate Research. 2009 Sep 28;344(14):1788-91.

4.     Thorne Research, Inc. Modified citrus pectin-monograph. Alternative Medicine Review. 2000 Dec;5(6):573-5; McCarty MF, Block KI. Toward a core nutraceutical program for cancer management. Integrative Cancer Therapies. 2006 Jun;5(2):150-71.

5.     Jiang J, Eliaz I, Sliva D. Synergistic and additive effects of modified citrus pectin with two polybotanical compounds, in the suppression of invasive behavior of human breast and prostate cancer cells. Integrative Cancer Therapies. 2013 Mar;12(2):145-52.

6.     Glinsky VV, Raz A. Modified citrus pectin anti-metastatic properties: one bullet, multiple targets. Carbohydrate Research. 2009 Sep 28;344(14):1788-91.

7.     Glinsky VV, Raz A. Modified citrus pectin anti-metastatic properties: one bullet, multiple targets. Carbohydrate Research. 2009 Sep 28;344(14):1788-91.

8.     Jiang J, Eliaz I, Sliva D. Synergistic and additive effects of modified citrus pectin with two polybotanical compounds, in the suppression of invasive behavior of human breast and prostate cancer cells. Integrative Cancer Therapies. 2013 Mar;12(2):145-52.

9.     Conti S, Vexler A et al. Modified citrus pectin as a potential sensitizer for radiotherapy in prostate cancer. Integrative Cancer Therapies. 2018 Dec;17(4):1225-1234.

10.  Leclere L, Fransolet M et al. Heat-modified citrus pectin induces apoptosis-like cell death and autophagy in HepG2 and A549 cancer cells. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 20;10(3):e0115831.

11.  Hossein G, Keshavarz M, Ahmadi S, Naderi N. Synergistic effects of PectaSol-C modified citrus pectin an inhibitor of Galectin-3 and paclitaxel on apoptosis of human SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cells. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2013;14(12):7561-8.

12.  Glinsky VV, Raz A. Modified citrus pectin anti-metastatic properties: one bullet, multiple targets. Carbohydrate Research. 2009 Sep 28;344(14):1788-91.

13.  Ramachandran C, Wilk B et al. Activation of human T-helper/inducer cell, T-cytotoxic cell, B-cell, and natural killer (NK)-cells and induction of natural killer cell activity against K562 chronic myeloid leukemia cells with modified citrus pectin. JBMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 Aug 4;11:59.

14.  TRC Natural Medicines. Pectin. February 16, 2015. Viewed December 5, 2017; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. About Herbs: Pectin. July 31, 2013. Viewed December 5, 2017.

15.  Alschuler LN, Gazella KA. The Definitive Guide to Cancer, 3rd Edition: An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment, and Healing. Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts. 2010; Alschuler LN, Gazella KA. The Definitive Guide to Thriving after Cancer: A Five-Step Integrative Plan to Reduce the Risk of Recurrence and Build Lifelong Health. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. 2013.

16.  Block KI. Life over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment. New York: Bantam Dell. 2009.

17.  Chang R. Beyond the Magic Bullet: The Anti-Cancer Cocktail. New York: Square One Publishers. 2012.

18.  McKinney N. Naturopathic Oncology, Fourth Edition. Victoria, BC, Canada: Liaison Press. 2020.