Several times in this newsletter I’ve talked about modified citrus pectin (MCP) and how it works to prevent and treat various kinds of cancer.
Since that time, research has continued to accumulate on the powers of this substance. It just keeps getting better!
Read on to discover more about what MCP is, how it works, and how you can harvest the benefits to reduce your risk of cancer. I especially like to recommend this one to people who have decided on conventional chemotherapy, because you can use the two together.
Continued below. . .
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What is MCP?
Citrus pectin is found in the pith of citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges. The pith is the bitter white part between the skin and “meat.” Pectin is extracted from the cell wall and made into a powder that’s commonly used as a gelling agent for jellies, jams and some desserts.
However, increasing your intake of jellies and jams will not give you the cancer-fighting power of citrus pectin. The reason is that pectin must be modified because the molecules are too large for the body to absorb.
Modified citrus pectin (MCP) is the citrus pith that’s been “shrunk” down to a specific molecular weight and structure that the digestive tract can easily absorb and send into the bloodstream.
And when modified, citrus pectin becomes powerful stuff. It can prevent you from getting cancer in the first place and treat metastatic cancer if you’ve already got it. It’s also effective against prostate cancer.
How MCP works against cancer
MCP outsmarts cancer cells in several ways. Possibly the most important one lies in its ability to block a certain “rogue protein” in our body that can cause a lot of damage as we age. It’s called galectin-3.
At elevated levels, galectin-3 causes chronic inflammation and contributes to conditions like heart disease, kidney failure, fibrosis and cancer.
Galectin-3 is involved in “tissue remodeling.” To understand tissue remodeling, think of the hierarchy of the human body: cells make up tissues, tissues make up organs, and organs make up the whole organism. Each level has its own processes and functions, yet is interrelated with the others.
Cancer has its own hierarchy: the cancer cell, primary tumor and full-on disease of the organism.
On each level, the cancer cells deregulate and damage healthy cells, which creates cancerous tumors and spreads the disease throughout. The deregulation of cell proliferation is the first step in carcinogenesis – the “birth of cancer,” so to speak.1
Galectin-3 aids this process of cancerous tissue remodeling by helping cancer cells stick to endothelium cells. These are the cells that line blood vessels, and by sticking to them, the cancer cells can “catch a ride” to other parts of the body in a process called metastasis.
Essentially, the galectin-3 protein increases the “stickiness” of cancer cells, allowing the cancer to metastasize.2 Once cancer spreads like this it becomes much more difficult to treat. (For more information on how cancer spreads, or metastasizes, read this issue.)
How MCP stops galectin-3
Big Pharma hasn’t been able to come up with anything that effectively blocks galectin-3. Fortunately, nature already has it figured out. Research shows MCP inactivates galectin-3 and blocks the destructive cellular signals it normally sends throughout the body.3
MCP can also bind to galectin-3 so that it can’t bind to healthy cells. This kind of “competitive binding” helps to halt and prevent the formation and spread of cancer in the body.4
It’s also been shown to stop angiogenesis, the development of new blood vessels that specifically nourish a tumor. MCP prevents the galectin-3 from creating that “stickiness” to the blood vessel walls so the cancer cells stay where they are.5
MCP can help conventional cancer treatments
MCP is also useful as a complementary cancer medicine, increasing the effectiveness of conventional cancer treatment.
One study found MCP could overcome galectin-3’s anti-apoptotic powers and actually increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs when treating multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer.6
A study published in 2015 also found heat-treated MCP induced apoptosis (natural cell death) and autophagy (cellular clean-up and waste management) in cancer cells in vitro.7 It did this all on its own, without assistance from chemotherapy drugs.
Aside from controlling galectin-3, a study published in 2016 in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines found that when MCP is combined with healthy probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus (beneficial gut bacteria), the bacteria lived longer than they do in the absence of MCP.
The results showed the combination of MCP and probiotics made the bacteria more effective in maintaining gut health and preventing colon cancer.8
MCP and prostate cancer
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the prostate gland. It’s usually produced in small amounts. Elevated levels indicate problems with the prostate that can range from simple inflammation to full-blown cancer.
In men who have had prostate cancer, a rising PSA level can indicate a possible relapse. The rate at which PSA increases in called the doubling time. A faster doubling time indicates a more aggressive cancer.
However, MCP has been shown to reduce the doubling rate of PSA in prostate cancer cases.
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers gave MCP to men (average age 74) with increasing PSA levels. After six months PSA levels had either stabilized or improved in about four out of five participants.9 Treatment with MCP also proved nontoxic, with no significant side effects.
How to get MCP in your diet
Because MCP is modified, it’s only available in supplement form. You can’t get it from unmodified food. The trademarked form of MCP called Pecta-Sol is reliable. It can be found in a number of formulas from various supplement companies or can be purchased directly from the maker, ecoNugenics.
Doses of MCP can vary. A common high-dose amount is 5 mg, three times daily for several months, which is then reduced to once a day. MCP should be taken on an empty stomach.
It can be taken while undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, but this should be done in consultation with your doctor (hopefully one who is receptive to alternatives.)