A new review by researchers has suggested modified citrus pectin (MCP) could work against cancer.
The study also examines MCP's synergistic relationship with chemotherapy, as well as its ability to modulate immunity, safely remove heavy metals and block the pro-inflammatory protein galectin-3.
Integrative medicine researcher and MCP co-developer, Isaac Eliaz, M.D said that the review, in particular, identifies MCP's different mechanisms of action against metastatic cancer, heavy metal toxicity and chronic, life threatening illnesses related to excess galectin-3.
While plant pectins have long been known to support digestive and immune health through their actions in the GI tract, the main obstacle preventing them from exerting systemic benefits throughout the body has been their bio-availability.
The long complex soluble fibers in regular pectin are simply too large to be absorbed into the circulation. This problem was solved with the development of MCP, which is prepared from regular citrus pectin using a modification process to reduce the size and cross branching of the pectin molecules.
The modification allows MCP to easily absorb into the circulation and exert numerous therapeutic effects throughout the body, now demonstrated in multiple peer reviewed studies.
For example, the review discusses MCP's ability to control metastatic melanoma, as well as prostate, breast and colon cancers. These outcomes have been confirmed in multiple published studies, which have also shown MCP's ability to suppress angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth to tumors). Blocking angiogenesis is a key factor in preventing cancer metastasis.
MCP has also been shown to induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Apoptosis, known as programmed cell death, is suppressed in tumors, allowing them to grow uncontrollably.
Numerous studies show MCP supports apoptosis in cancer, including a 2010 study from Columbia University which found that MCP induced apoptosis in both androgen dependent and androgen independent prostate cancer cells. This is particularly significant because androgen independent prostate cancer is a highly aggressive, difficult-to-treat cancer.
Other important findings demonstrate MCP's abilities to make chemotherapy more effective. Co-administering MCP with cisplatin, etoposide or doxorubicin makes cancer cells more sensitive to these frontline treatments. MCP is also useful during radiation therapy, helping to protect organs from the damaging inflammatory effects of radiation.
The study has been published in the American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology.