Should You Take Pectin to Lower Cholesterol -- Or Just Eat Apples?

Cleveland Clinic experts evaluate this supplement for reducing high cholesterol

Pectin is a soluble fiber concentrated in the peel and pulp of citrus fruits (lemons, oranges and grapefruits) and apples. Like other foods high in fiber, it can bind cholesterol in the gut, preventing its absorption into the bloodstream. Which is why researchers are exploring pectin’s use -- in supplement form -- as a cholesterol-lowering agent.

Should you take this supplement? Experts on the Cleveland Clinic Prescriptive Wellness Committee weigh in on the pros and cons:

On the Pro Side
To lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, Sara Spagnuolo, MD, of the Department of General Anesthesiology at the Cleveland Clinic, thinks taking pectin in supplement form is fine. She points out that it’s generally recognized as safe and that the supplement actually costs less than buying apples and citrus fruits. Dr. Spagnuolo also likes pectin for weight management because it can be used to limit food intake. It can slow the passage of food from the stomach to the small intestine, increasing the sensation of satiety, or fullness, explains Dr. Spagnuolo.

What about the Con Side? Read on...

 

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