Pectins are soluble fibers made of complex carbohydrates which are anti-oxidant, cholesterol-lowering, and anti-cancer. Citrus pectin improves immunity in human blood. Modified citrus pectin (MCP) from citrus fruit peels is treated to increase absorption into circulation. MCP has anti-cancer effects, removes toxic metals from the body, and reduces the effects of kidney injury.
The ability to stimulate lymphocytes is a measure of the immunostimulatory effect of any treatment. The researchers tested whether various lymphocytes are stimulated by MCP, such as T-cells, B-cells, and NK-cells (natural killer cells). Blood from healthy volunteers was incubated for 24 hours, and on the second day antibodies were added to stimulate immune cells. Some cultures contained MCP, and some did not. The activation of immune cells was compared between the two sets of cultures. MCP does activate T-cytotoxic cells and B-cells; however, there is stronger activation of NK-cells. MCP does not have a significant effect on T-helper/inducer activation.
In a second series of tests, leukemia cells were used to test the effects of MCP on the development of NK-cells. At a strong dose, MCP causes a more than 50% increase in NK-cell activity against chronic myeloid leukemia cells, and NK cells caused cell death to the leukemia cells.
The mechanism by which T and NK cells are increased is not known. Human clinical studies using 15 grams/day orally have been shown to favorably alter tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis. This dose also reduces the body load of metals by blood and urine testing, and protects against kidney injury. Lower doses may be adequate for immune stimulation.
CONCLUSION: MCP is an immune stimulator and activates NK cells against leukemia cells. MCP appears to be a treatment for leukemia.
NOTE: Lymphocytes are one type of white blood cell and include T cells, B cells, and NK cells. T helper cells aid other cells, such as B cells. T cytotoxic cells destroy virus-infected cells and cancer cells, while NK cells recognize and eliminate cancer cells.
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NOTE: Read about dietary fiber and health.