Pectin and Your Prostate

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Natural pectin, you are probably familiar with: It's that sugary carb found in ripe fruits such as berries, peaches and most citrus fruits. Modified pectin, you are less familiar with: It's obtained from the pulp and seeds of citrus fruits and is extracted by a chemical process that results in its powdered, more easily digestible form. We predict that more men will be getting to know modified citrus pectin (MCP) however, as it is proving an effective weapon in the fight against recurrent prostate cancer.

Scientists at the Meir Medical Center in Kfar-Saba, Israel, have just released the results of a clinical trial that demonstrated the ability of MCP to slow the PSA doubling time (PSADT) in prostate cancer patients with non-metastatic biochemical relapse.

The PSADT figure serves as an accurate measurement for recurrent prostate cancer growth in patients whose prostate has been locally targeted with surgery and/or radiation. When the PSA doubling time is less than three months, the patient has a significantly shorter life expectancy.

The scientists learned that, based on PSADT, 79 percent of patients treated with MCP had a slowing down of their prostate cancer growth, and in 62 percent of patients the cancer didn't grow or got smaller. The results were based upon 6 months of data tracked for the first 35 patients enrolled in the trial.

"This study confirmed the results seen in two previous smaller studies," Says Dr. Moshe Frenkel, co-investigator of the trial and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch, as well as being the director of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Unit in the Institute of Oncology in Meir Medical Center. "We are constantly looking for natural options that affect cancer progression with minimal side effects. Based on the intermediary findings of the study, MCP has the potential to fall into this category with patients affected by prostate cancer."

The pectin found in MCP is extracted from the pith of citrus fruit peels that undergoes a modification process that facilitates it entering the bloodstream. MCP has been used in the treatment of inflammatory and fibrotic diseases that affect multiple organs, and is found in more and more pharmacies and health food stores as it has become a popular daily supplement.

The research has been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in conjunction with the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago.