Saturday, January 14, 2017 by Vicki Batts
Could a simple fruit extract really help kill cancer? Recent research certainly seems to suggest just that. Modified citrus pectin may help to inhibit the expression of galectin-3 — a type of protein that has been recognized as a biomarker of cancer. Scientists have struggled to create a pharmaceutical product that can combat the overexpression of galectin-3, but evidence of modified citrus pectin’s ability to prevent it continues to mount. (RELATED: Learn more about the healing power of nutritional supplements at SupplementsReport.com)
Galectins are a group of proteins that belong to the lectin family, characterized by their galactose-specific carbohydrate recognition domain. Galectin-3 is one of the most studied galectins, and research continues to show that it is both directly and indirectly connected to cancer cell activity and may contribute to cancer progression in a number of different ways, including cancer progression and metastasis.
Galectin-3 is not all bad, though. It is produced by the human body and is necessary for tissue growth and repair. Excessive production of the protein, however, is likely to become problematic. An excessively high level of galactin-3 is a biomarker for cancer, as well as a strong indicator of heart disease and kidney disease. Researchers now believe that in addition to being an indicator of disease, galectin-3 is also capable of encouraging the growth and spread of cancer.
One of the functions of galectin-3 is to actually stoke immune system response and create inflammation, to help destroy invading pathogens after tissue damage. In cases of injury, galectin-3 serves to help “seal off” the area by causing chronic inflammation.
Galectin-3 promotes cancer growth and proliferation in a few different ways. Essentially, it makes it easier for cancer cells to adhere to the walls of blood vessels, and in this way, helps the cancer spread. The protein is also produced by cancer cells themselves, which can further their proliferation. Galectin-3 is also said to help malignant cells escape apoptosis, or programmed cell death. In turn, these cancerous cells can continue to multiply, and produce more galectin-3.
Fortunately, there appears to be a natural way to curb this vicious cycle.
Modified citrus pectin, or MCP for short, is a complex carbohydrate, similar to the natural pectin found in fruit. Pectin contains galactosides (sugar molecules), which are capable of bonding with galectin-3. The binding activity of MCP’s galactosides to galectin-3 blocks the protein’s damaging behavior and disrupts its signaling abilities. To put it simply, MCP essentially shuts down the galectin-3 protein and stops its harmful effects in their tracks. This could be useful not just in cancer treatment, but in other areas as well.
In an animal study, MCP not only inhibited the levels of galectin-3, it also reversed inflammation, fibrosis and thickening of blood vessel walls. This finding suggests that in the instance of heart disease, MCP can help to reverse the damaging effects of excessive galectin-3, and undo the changes that can often lead to heart failure. (RELATED: Learn more about the disease prevention properties of natural remedies at Remedies.news)
Studies have also shown that MCP can stimulate the immune system and boost production of natural killer cells, which can locate and destroy cancer cells. Several different studies have illustrated these potential cancer-killing effects. For example, a study published in 2015 by the journal PLOS One found that MCP induced cell death in two different types of cancer cells. Another study, published by BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2011 found that MCP activated natural killer cells that were then able to target and destroy leukemic cancer cells.
Other studies have also shown that MCP may be able to help stop cancer from spreading to other areas. In animals, MCP has been shown to prevent skin cancer from spreading to the lungs, and has also prevented colon cancer from spreading to the liver.
Perhaps citrus pectin will prove to be the next all-natural cancer cure. While this research is only the beginning, it is certainly promising. Who knows what independent science could reveal next.