Can modified citrus pectin help treat prostate cancer?
By Pure Matters
Modified citrus pectin has putative anticarcinogenic activity.
Mechanism of Action
Modified citrus pectin, when administered orally to rats, was found to inhibit spontaneous prostate carcinoma metastasis. It had no effect on the growth of the primary tumor. Injected modified citrus pectin was found to inhibit metastasis of melanoma cells in mice. The mechanism of these anticarcinogenic effects is not clear.
Galectins comprise a family of galactoside-binding mammalian lectins. Lectins themselves comprise a group of hemagglutinating proteins found in plant seeds, which bind the branching carbohydrate molecules of glycoproteins and glycolipids on cell surfaces, resulting in agglutination or proliferation, among other things. Galectins are proteins that can bind to carbohydrates via carbohydrate recognition domains (CRDs). At present, the galactin family includes 10 members. Apparently, galectins are secreted from cells via nonclassical secretory pathways. Galectin-3, one of the members of the family, is thought to be involved in mitosis and proliferation. On the cell surface, galectin-3 mediates cell-cell adhesion and cell-matrix interaction via binding to its complementary glycoconjugates, such as laminin and fibronectin, and thereby is thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of cancer metastasis.
Some metastic events may involve cellular interactions that are mediated by cell surface components, including galectins. The galactose-containing carbohydrate side chains of modified citrus pectin may interfere with these cellular interactions by competing with the natural ligands of the galectins and by doing so, inhibit the metastatic process. It is thought that galectins may play a role in human prostate cancer, and in particular, human prostate cancer metastasis.
There is little on the pharmacokinetics of modified citrus pectin in humans. Based on rat studies, modified citrus pectin is probably absorbed to some degree following ingestion. However, research is necessary to determine its absorption efficiency, as well as its distribution, metabolism and excretion.
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