Pectin: A Bioactive Food Polysaccharide with Cancer Preventive Potential

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Pectin is an acidic heteropolysaccharide found in the cell walls and the primary and middle lamella of land plants. To be authorized as a food additive, industrial pectins must meet strict guidelines set forth by the Food and Agricultural Organization and must contain at least 65% polygalacturonic acid to achieve the E440 level. Fruit pectin derived from oranges or apples is commonly used in the food industry to gel or thicken foods and to stabilize acid-based milk beverages. It is a naturally occurring component and can be ingested by dietary consumption of fruit and vegetables. Preventing long-term chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease is an important role of dietary carbohydrates. Colon and breast cancer are among the diseases for which data suggest that modified pectin (MP), specifically modified citrus pectin (MCP), has beneficial effects on the development and spread of malignancies, in addition to its benefits as a soluble dietary fiber. Cellular and animal studies and human clinical trials have provided corroborating data. Although pectin has many diverse functional qualities, this review focuses on various modifications used to develop MP and its benefits for cancer prevention, bioavailability, clinical trials, and toxicity studies. This review concludes that pectin has anti-cancer characteristics that have been found to inhibit tumor development and proliferation in a wide variety of cancer cells. Nevertheless, further clinical and basic research is required to confirm the chemopreventive or therapeutic role of specific dietary carbohydrate molecules.

Keywords: apoptosis; cancer; food polysaccharide; modified citrus pectin; pectin.

. 2022 Oct 31;27(21):7405.
 doi: 10.3390/molecules27217405.
Free PMC article


Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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