Cancer Therapy: Eat An Orange?

Citrus pectin, found in the white, fleshy part of limes, lemons, oranges, and grapefruit, is a soluble fiber composed of mostly indigestible carbohydrates. However, citrus pectin exposed to alkaline conditions offers substantial promise for cancer therapy.

Modified citrus pectin is more water soluble and absorbable than its larger, unmodified parent. It takes on a stealth role against spreading tumors, cutting off the lines of communication between healthy cells and cancer cells. Studies of mice fed modified citrus pectin showed that the supplement reverses cancer cell growth. Only one human study has appeared to date. Researchers found five of 23 colon-cancer patients fed modified citrus pectin experienced stabilization of tumor growth over a period of two to six months, and one patient showed tumor reduction. Although the numbers are less than striking, additional studies are warranted to explore modified citrus pectin's effects over a longer period of time and on other cancers.

Nutrition and exercise biochemist Anthony Almada, MS. He has collaborated on more than 45 university-based studies, is cofounder of Experimental and Applied Sciences (EAS), and is founder and chief scientific officer of IMAGINutrition.