Pectin can be found in the cell wall of all higher plants. Hard fruits like apples, plums, oranges, and gooseberries contain much pectin.† The main raw-materials for pectin production are dried citrus peel or apple pomace, both byproducts of juice production.† The main use for pectin is as a gelling agent, thickening agent and stabilizer in processed food products.
According to Wikipedia, pectin is a natural part of human nutrition. The daily intake of pectin from fruit and vegetables can be estimated to be around 5g (assuming consumption of approximately 500 g fruit and vegetable per day).
In human digestion, pectin is not used as nutrient, but passes through the small intestine more or less intact. In the large intestine and colon, microorganisms degrade pectin and liberate short-chain fatty acids that have positive influence on health. Pectin is thus a soluble dietary fiber.
Consumption of pectin has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels. The mechanism appears to be a decrease of viscosity in the intestinal tract, leading to a reduced absorption of cholesterol from bile or food.
How does it work?
- It traps cholesterol and pulls it out of your body.† Pectin dissolves into a gel and traps molecules of fat and cholesterol in your gut before they can be digested.† Since pectin itself isnít absorbed, it goes out of the body in the stool, taking fat and cholesterol with it.
- Pectin also disrupts cholesterol production in your liver.
- Pectin reduces your heartís risk by lowering insulin resistance Ė a serious health threat often linked with diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
- It can help you lose weight because when it dissolves in your stomach; it gradually expands, taking up more room.† This helps you feel more satisfied even when you havenít had a lot to eat.
- An indigestible, soluble fiber, pectin is a general intestinal regulator that is used in many medicinal preparations, especially as an anti-diarrhea agent.
Where can you obtain pectin?
Since pectin is used for food products worldwide, it is easy to obtain.† Commercial pectin is found in powdered form and can be bought on the internet or your local health food store.† We donít know what amount of pectin is appropriate per day.† Any commercial product should state what is safe to use.
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