Pectin
Pectin

Background

Pectin is a soluble fiber (polysaccharide) found in fruits. It is used as a thickener in cooking and baking. It is also sometimes used to make medicine.

Pectin binds substances in the intestines and adds bulk to the stools. It might also reduce how much cholesterol the body absorbs from foods.

People use pectin for high cholesterol, prediabetes, heartburn, diarrhea, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Pectin was used for years together with kaolin (Kaopectate) to control diarrhea. But in 2003, the FDA found that evidence doesn't 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. Kaopectate no longer contains pectin and kaolin.
When taken by mouth: Pectin is commonly consumed in food amounts. It is possibly safe when used in larger amounts for up to one year. It's usually well-tolerated. Side effects might include diarrhea, gas, and stomach cramps.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Pectin is commonly consumed in foods. It is possibly safe when taken by mouth in larger amounts.

Children: Pectin is commonly consumed in foods. It is possibly safe when taken by mouth in larger amounts, short-term.

Allergy to cashew: Pectin might cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to cashew.

Effectiveness

Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
  • High cholesterol. Taking pectin by mouth seems to slightly lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in people with high cholesterol.
There is interest in using pectin for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Pectin has most often been used by adults in doses of 15 grams by mouth daily for up to one year. Speak to a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Pectin is high in fiber. Fiber can decrease the amount of tetracycline antibiotics that the body absorbs. This might reduce the effects of these antibiotics. To avoid this interaction, take pectin two hours before or four hours after taking tetracycline antibiotics.

Digoxin (Lanoxin)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Pectin is high in fiber. Fiber can decrease the amount of digoxin that the body absorbs. This might reduce the effects of digoxin. To avoid this interaction, take pectin four hours before or one hour after digoxin.

Lovastatin (Mevacor)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Pectin is high in fiber. Fiber can decrease the amount of lovastatin that the body absorbs. This might reduce the effects of lovastatin. To avoid this interaction, take pectin at least one hour after lovastatin

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Beta-carotene: Using pectin along with beta-carotene might reduce the amount of beta-carotene that the body absorbs.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
Per 15 g (Rich Chocolate):
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This monograph was last reviewed on 27/01/2023 20:06:27 and last updated on 16/11/2020 23:31:03. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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