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Effects of daily consumption of pectin on cholesterol concentrations: Meta-analysis and systematic review

A review of studies published in the Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism looked at the effects of daily consumption of pectin on cholesterol concentrations.

  • Researchers from Food Standards Australia New Zealand carried out a systematic review of the effect of pectin, which is a soluble fiber, on cholesterol concentrations.
  • Soluble fibers are believed to reduce blood cholesterol levels.
  • The researchers used EMBASE, PubMed, and Cochrane CENTRAL in searching for studies to review.
  • They conducted meta-analysis with the use of generic inverse variance method.
  • The studies included were randomized controlled trials lasting for a minimum of two weeks that examined increased intake of pectin added to foods or as a supplement and reported at least total cholesterol concentrations in non-acutely ill subjects.
  • They retrieved a total of 115 articles, but only seven met all inclusion criteria.
  • The studies reviewed investigated consumption of pectin between nine and 36 grams per day (g/day).
  • The number of participants in the studies ranged from six to 66 and most studies involved individuals with high cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
  • Across all studies, there was a mean decrease in blood total cholesterol level of 0.36 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) and moderate heterogeneity.
  • The magnitudes of the effect of pectin consumption on cholesterol levels were similar in the four high-quality studies included and in the one, low quality study that involved people with normal cholesterol levels in the blood.

In conclusion, consuming a minimum of nine grams of pectin per day may lower blood total cholesterol concentrations.

Journal Reference:

Mills KE, Mackerras D. DOES DAILY CONSUMPTION OF PECTIN LOWER CHOLESTEROL CONCENTRATION? A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS. Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism. June 2016;4:11. DOI: 10.1016/j.jnim.2015.12.189

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