An increased interest in natural therapies to treat the body has led to exciting research into a variety of supplements. One common pantry staple in particular is gaining attention as a powerful ingredient for overall health. This FAQ for Modified Citrus Pectin, also known as MCP, explores 10 common questions about this fascinating plant-derived powder.
Pectin is a type of carbohydrate that’s found on the cell wall of certain plants. Citrus pectin, found in the peels of a variety of citrus fruits, is jelly-like when re-hydrated, and usually used to thicken commercially made foods. Regular pectin offers a number of health benefits, however, its molecules are too large to absorb into the circulation. By processing citrus pectin with a proprietary, pH controlled modification process, the resulting ingredient—Modified Citrus Pectin—has much smaller molecules that are able to enter the bloodstream from the GI tract, and exert a wide range of powerful, total-body benefits.
This Modified Citrus Pectin FAQ guide can help you better understand how this supplement supports key systems in the body, and offers some research-backed answers to the top questions that people ask about this increasingly popular supplement.
Modified Citrus Pectin FAQs
1. How is Modified Citrus Pectin different from regular citrus pectin?
In its natural form, pectin is a fiber that is not digestible, so it passes through the GI tract. In order to enable it to penetrate the walls of the intestines—and provide health benefits to other areas of the body—the pectin needs to be reduced to a much smaller molecular size and structure. This is achieved by exposing the pectin to carefully controlled pH, enzyme and temperature changes, that work to break down the pectin fibers into a much smaller size that the gut can absorb. This enables the MCP to enter the bloodstream and provide support throughout the body, via multiple unique mechanisms of action. (1)
2. Does it matter which type or brand of Modified Citrus Pectin I choose?
Absolutely. Not all Modified Citrus Pectin is created equal. The original and only MCP that has been positively researched and clinically proven is PectaSol. This researched form of MCP has been rigorously researched and studied, with over 65 published papers—many of them by independent, third party research groups.
Other MCP products regularly come onto the market. However, due to proprietary modification and processing of PectaSol, these other MCP products don’t contain the precise molecular specifications that make PectaSol so effective, as shown in a growing number of studies. Furthermore, when tested, some of these MCP products contain solvent residues and adulterants. When choosing MCP, only PectaSol can safely and scientifically live up to its potential, delivering results similar to what is repeatedly observed in published studies and extensive clinical use. (2)
3. Can Modified Citrus Pectin enhance the immune system?
Promising research indicates that it can. A study published in the journal BMC Complementary And Alternative Medicine found that PectaSol MCP supported specific cells essential in a healthy immune response. Researchers observed that MCP promoted the production and function of NK (Natural Killer) cells that defend the body against invaders.
This can be helpful in supporting the immune system and increasing beneficial activity among immune cells. Additionally, the reaction of the immune system to MCP was dose-dependent. This means that the higher the dose of MCP, the greater the effect. (3)
4. Is taking Modified Citrus Pectin good for brain health?
In addition to enhancing immune function, MCP has important cognitive support properties. For example, numerous studies show that PectaSol blocks extracellular galectin-3, a protein that contributes to unhealthy inflammation in the brain and causes cognitive and neurological impairment. One study showed PectaSol MCP inhibited galectin-3 activity in the brain, providing promising support to cognitive health. (4)
5. Can I use Modified Citrus Pectin as a prebiotic?
Yes. PectaSol MCP is made of soluble fiber, an essential food of the good bacteria that live in the gut. When combined with a probiotic supplement, MCP can increase the population of these microbes to support a healthy microbiome. Since the microbiome plays key roles in the body’s immune function and overall health, maintaining a diverse and thriving community of bacteria is important. (5)
6. What about detoxing with Modified Citrus Pectin?
Numerous clinical studies have examined MCP’s ability to assist the body in flushing out harmful substances. When toxic substances and heavy metals accumulate, the body disposes of them through a variety of systems. However, if this build-up overwhelms the body, negative effects can result.
Several clinical studies have shown how PectaSol MCP helps detox heavy metals from the body by binding to these harmful substances and safely eliminating them through the urine and bowel movements.
For example, in one study, participants taking PectaSol MCP excreted 130% more arsenic through their urine than normal in just the first 24 hours of the study. After 6 days, 560% more lead was excreted from the body. This study provides an example of how PectaSol can support safe, gentle detox therapy. (6)
7. Does Modified Citrus Pectin contain vitamin C?
No. PectaSol MCP, while being derived from citrus, isn’t a vitamin C supplement. The highly purified citrus pectin is modified for easier absorption and is a type of fiber. It shouldn’t be confused as a source of vitamin C.
8. Is taking Modified Citrus Pectin safe?
MCP is a naturally-derived supplement, and is considered safe to take in the recommended dosages of up to 15 grams per day. With 25+ years of research and supportive clinical use, and more than 65 scientific studies, no toxicity has been reported. Women who are nursing, pregnant, or considering pregnancy should consult their healthcare provider before starting a MCP regimen. Additionally, because it contains an amount of sodium and potassium, anyone who is restricted in their intake of these minerals should also check with their physician first and take these amounts into account of their other intake.
9. Are there any side effects when taking Modified Citrus Pectin?
At the most, mild stomach upset—including gas and bloating—may result when taking higher doses of MCP. This is generally attributed to the prebiotic activity that MCP encourages, as it’s high in dietary fiber. Any stomach upset or loose stools usually resolve after taking the supplement for a short period of time.
10. Where can Modified Citrus Pectin be purchased?
ecoNugenics PectaSol is the original MCP supplement and the only one that is backed by published research—over 65 studies to date. It can be purchased in capsule form, as a powder, or as chewable tablets. These vegetarian/vegan, nut-free, and dairy-free supplements provide the purest and most bioavailable form of MCP available on the market.
PectaSol is the most advanced and effective Modified Citrus Pectin available. Over 60 published studies show PectaSol delivers unparalleled support for total-body health and aging, with critical benefits to key organs and systems.*
- Fracasso AF, Perussello CA, Carpiné D, Petkowicz CL de O, Haminiuk CWI. Chemical modification of citrus pectin: Structural, physical and rheologial implications. Int J Biol Macromol. 2018;109:784-792.
- Modified citrus pectin formula. Dreliaz.org. Published January 13, 2020. Accessed December 11, 2020. https://www.dreliaz.org/formulas/modified-citrus-pectin/
- Ramachandran C, Wilk BJ, Hotchkiss A, Chau H, Eliaz I, Melnick SJ. 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. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011;11(1):59.
- Yin Q, Chen J, Ma S, et al. Pharmacological inhibition of galectin-3 ameliorates diabetes-associated cognitive impairment, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in vivo and in vitro. J Inflamm Res. 2020;13:533-542.
- Odun-Ayo F, Mellem J, Reddy L. The effect of modified citrus pectin-probiotic on faecal lactobacilli in Balb/c mice. Food Sci Technol. 2017;37(3):478-482.
- Eliaz I, Hotchkiss AT, Fishman ML, Rode D. The effect of modified citrus pectin on urinary excretion of toxic elements: MODIFIED CITRUS PECTIN AND HEAVY METAL CHELATION. Phytother Res. 2006;20(10):859-864.