Other Name(s):

Acide Pectinique, Acide Pectique, Apple Pectin, Citrus Pectin, Fruit Pectin, Grapefruit Pectin, Lemon Pectin, MCP, Modified Citrus Pectin, Pectina, Pectine, Pectine d'Agrume, Pectine d'Agrume Modifiée, Pectine de Citron, Pectine de Fruit, Pectine de Pamplemousse, Pectine de Pomme, Pectinic Acid.


Pectin is a fiber found in fruits. It is used to make medicine.

People use pectin for high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and to prevent colon cancer and prostate cancer. It is also used for diabetes and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Some people use pectin to prevent poisoning caused by lead, strontium, and other heavy metals.

Pectin was used for years in combination with kaolin (Kaopectate) to control diarrhea. However, in April 2003, the FDA found ruled that scientific evidence does not support the use of pectin for diarrhea. Since April 2004, pectin has not been permitted as an anti-diarrhea agent in over-the-counter (OTC) products. As a result, Kaopectate no longer contains pectin and kaolin.

Some people apply pectin to the skin to protect raw or ulcerated mouth and throat sores.

Pectin is used as a thickening agent in cooking and baking. In manufacturing, pectin is an ingredient in some denture adhesives.

How does it work?

Pectin binds substances in the intestine and adds bulk to the stools.


What is cholesterol? See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Effective for...

  • High cholesterol. Taking pectin by mouth seems to lower cholesterol. Taking it along with guar gum and small amounts of insoluble fiber lowers total and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. However, the combination doesn't seem to affect “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or triglycerides.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Diarrhea in young children. Pectin seems to shorten bouts of diarrhea and vomiting and lessen the need for replacement fluids in children aged 5-12 months from developing nations who experience ongoing diarrhea.
  • Prostate cancer. Early research suggests that taking a specific modified citrus pectin product (Pectasol by Econugenics) after prostate surgery or radiation might lengthen the time to prostate cancer recurrence.
  • Colon cancer.
  • Diabetes.
  • Infection.
  • Mouth and throat sores.
  • Damage from radiation.
  • Heartburn.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate pectin for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

In most people, including adults, children, and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, pectin is LIKELY SAFE when taken in food amounts and POSSIBLY SAFE when used in larger medicinal amounts.

When taken by mouth in combination with guar gum and insoluble fiber (the combination used to lower cholesterol and other blood fats), pectin can cause diarrhea, gas, and loose stools.

People who are exposed to pectin dust at work, such as in manufacturing, may develop asthma.


How to Lower Your Cholesterol & Save Your Heart See Slideshow


Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Pectin might decrease the amount of tetracycline antibiotics that can be taken in and used by the body. Taking pectin with tetracycline antibiotics might decrease the effectiveness of tetracyclines. To avoid this interaction, take pectin two hours before or four hours after taking tetracycline antibiotics.

Some tetracycline antibiotics include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).

Digoxin (Lanoxin)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Pectin is high in fiber. Fiber can decrease the amount of digoxin (Lanoxin) that the body takes in and uses. This can decrease the drug's effectiveness. Take pectin four hours before or one hour after digoxin (Lanoxin) to prevent this interaction.

Lovastatin (Mevacor)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Pectin is high in fiber. Fiber can decrease the amount of lovastatin (Mevacor) that the body takes in and uses. This can decrease the drug's effectiveness. Take pectin at least one hour after lovastatin (Mevacor) to prevent this interaction.

Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Pectin is high in fiber. Fiber can stick to some medications in the stomach and intestines. Taking pectin at the same time as medications that you take by mouth might decrease how much medication your body absorbs. This can decrease how well these drugs work. Take pectin at least one hour after medications you take by mouth to prevent this interaction.


The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For high cholesterol: 15 grams of pectin per day.

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