Pectin as a Dietary Supplement

Pectin is perhaps one of the most useful of all plant-based products. It is a soluble dietary fiber and has many health benefits for humans. If taken in the proper application, it has been found to lower serum cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, (low-density lipoprotein.) The way in which pectin may benefit in lowering LDL cholesterol is that it increases fecal cholesterol, fecal fat, sterols and bile acids.

It also helps to improve a body’s insulin resistance, meaning that due to the many applications of pectin, it can be both a pro and a con to humans. To the diabetic human, consuming pectin in the jelly, or jam form can be harmful due to the fact that it is activated with the presence of sugar, but can also help the diabetic if taken as it will aid to prevent a surge in blood glucose levels by promoting satiety and by reducing glucose uptake rates after the consumption of glycaemic carbohydrates (available carbohydrates.)

Used in traditional and modern medicine, the pectin found in panax ginseng is used in the healing of wounds. In modern medicine, it is used in wound bandages commonly, though more commonly used as an ingredient in medication for ailments such as heart burn, diarrhea and constipation. Pectin can also act as a detoxicant, and as a regulator and protector of the gastrointestinal tract. Whether taken as a pure pectin powder, or in gel capsules (which, by the way—are often made from pectin products,) or found naturally in fruits and vegetables such as apples, currants, gooseberries, and most plums, (though not the Italian varieties,) pectin can be extremely beneficial to your health.

Some other natural sources of pectin are ripe apples, very ripe blackberries, grape juice from wild grapes and the concord varieties (hence the ever popular Concord grape jam,) loquats, oranges and rhubarb. Of course if a fruit doesn’t have a high pectin level, like peaches, elderberries and pomegranates, they should not be neglected as they offer other essential nutrients and minerals.