Could This Fruit Be a Key to Cancer Treatments?

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Interviewer: Talking with Dr. Isaac Eliaz today.And, Doctor, can you talk a little bit about modified citrus pectin? That's onething that you've been pretty big on as a therapy. Can you talk about that alittle bit?

Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Of course. My journey withmodified citrus pectin started, my research started in 1995. So I've beeninvolved with  it for over 16 years. It's an interesting story. I grew upas a child in Israel, and when I was 11 years old we went on a night walk toone of our neighbors, the Cohens. Dr. Ruth and Leo Cohen. They were pioneerresearchers in the citrus industry in Israel. They were both PhD's in organicchemistry. And out of the blue, Ruth turned to me. And she told me,"Isaac, one day they will find a treatment for cancer from the peel of thecitrus fruit." And it stuck in my head. And in 1995, almost 25 yearslater, when the initial research was coming out about the benefits of MCP, Icalled her up from San Francisco and told her, "Ruth, I remembered whatyou told me when I was 11 years old, and now I need your help." And sheput me in touch with the leading researchers in manufacturing and analysis ofpectins. And that's where my journey started. That's my personal journey.

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Isaac Eliaz: So what is modified citruspectin? Citrus pectin is a long chain of carbohydrates of galacturonic acid. Itis present in the peel of many fruits, and a lot in the citrus fruits. And,usually, it's a very long molecule. Very heavy, about 300,000 Da, 300kilodalton. And it's highly esterified, which means that the galacturonic acidis attached to other carbohydrates. It's not free.

Interviewer: Mm.

Dr. Isaac Eliaz: Modified citrus pectin, youtake the citrus pectin and you specifically modify it. You cut it into smallerpieces, between five and 13,000 Da, so that it can get absorbed into thebloodstream. And you modify structure so that it becomes more biologicallyactive. The initial research of modified citrus pectin was specifically in thefield of cancer. It was really a landmark study. When it was found in 1995, themice were first injected with cancer cells to the hip joint and then thenmetastasized to the lung. When you give the modified citrus pectin, itdramatically reduced the number of metastases.

It was really the first time any agent, naturalor medication, was ever to prevent metastases. If it was a drug, it would havebeen a multi billion dollar drug. But, of course, was just something from thepeel of the orange. And that's where my journey started with modified citruspectin. What we found over the years through clinical experience and solidresearch, it's almost a miraculous compound. It works through a molecule . . .it has many functions, but one of the most important ones is that it interactswith a compound in the body called galectin-3. Galectin-3 is a combination of alectin of a protein and a carbohydrate, which is the galacturonic acid. And thegalectin-3 is produced by the body naturally. It's part of our repair system.Cancer cells communicate with each other through galectin-3. They clumptogether. They attach to the side of the blood vessel through the galectin-3.They create new metastases through the galectin-3, but they also . . . the coilwould be chemotaxis. They coil new blood vessel supply and that's how theycreate new angiogenesis, new blood vessels.

So if you can neutralize the galectin-3, you'regoing to help all these processes. You're going to help the primary tumor togrow slower. You're going to prevent this cancer from cancer. So all of thiswas known, and modified citrus pectin is a natural galectin-3 blocker. And,maybe, when we talk about modified citrus pectin, it's an important scope toemphasize that modified citrus pectin is really a generic name. Any pectin,when it's manufactured . . . in one way it's being modified to a certain way.We're talking about a very specific structure. Our modified citrus pectin isthe only one that has been subject to clinical trials. It has multiple patents.It has the same quality control. And I want to emphasize this because it's whatwe call borrowed science. You know, people borrow my science and my work, andcome up with things that don't work, unfortunately. And as I was saying, ifyou're dealing with the flu, it's okay. But when you're dealing with seriousillnesses, it's really unethical.



Dr. Isaac Eliaz has studied cancer treatments and modified citrus pectin for years. Here, he talks about how it evolved into a cancer therapy and in what ways it's been shown to be effective.

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