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Pectin, the natural substance you didn't know you were taking

 pectina vegetale

What is it  Where is pectin found? Use in supplements 

What is 

Pectin is a soluble fiber found naturally in fruit and is the element that allows jams to thicken naturally. This fiber is also used as a food additive due to its gelling effect and has recently gained popularity as an ingredient in food supplements.

Where is pectin found?

Pectin is found in most fruits, making them firm and crunchy. The highest concentrations of this polysaccharide are found specifically in apple pulp and citrus peels. Furthermore, pectin is present in some vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes and radicchio.

In commercial products, pectin is used as a thickener in fruit gels, jams, and even in gummy food supplements.

Use of pectin in supplements

Supplements containing pectin are often marketed because this soluble fiber allows substances with high nutraceutical value to be conveyed.

In fact, pectin is an indigestible carbohydrate capable of swelling in the small intestine, creating a feeling of satiety that can help reduce appetite and therefore calorie consumption. 

Other types of supplements use la pectin to offer more practical ways of taking it even outside the home and without water, offering an alternative in gummy does not contain animal gelatine, suitable for vegetarians and lactose or gluten free.

Pectin can also help regulate blood sugar levels. Because it's a soluble fiber, pectin forms a gel-like mass when it comes in contact with water, slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. This means that glucose is released more slowly into the bloodstream, preventing blood sugar spikes.

Also noteworthy is the role of pectin in reducing blood concentrations of LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein), commonly known as "cholesterol bad". Soluble fiber binds to lipids in the digestive tract, preventing their absorption into the bloodstream.

Some pectin supplements may also be beneficial for digestive health. Pectin is a prebiotic fiber, which means it provides nutrition for the beneficial bacteria in your gut, helping to maintain balance in your gut flora. One last benefit of this substance, always linked to the health of the digestive tract, is the prevention of constipation, as it promotes bowel regularity.

Although pectin is generally considered safe, there are some risks and contraindications to consider.

First, an excessive intake can interfere with the absorption of some drugs, such as anticoagulants and tricyclic antidepressants. Furthermore, pectin can increase sensitivity to stimulants such as caffeine.

Finally, excess pectin can cause some side effects, such as nausea, flatulence and diarrhea. However, these symptoms are generally mild and stop when the intake decreases.

The dose considered ideal to take is around 15 grams per day, which corresponds to about 5 portions of fruit or vegetables in a balanced diet.