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New Study Shows Modified Citrus Pectin Activates Powerful Immune Responses

SANTA ROSA, Calif., Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Groundbreaking research demonstrates the ability of a specific form of Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) to greatly enhance immune function. The study found that MCP activated B-cells in a dose-dependent manner, and induced a highly significant dose-dependent activation of T-cytotoxic cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells. The NK-cell's cancer killing activity was demonstrated against live leukemia cancer cells. The study is published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The research focuses on MCP's immunostimulatory properties in human blood samples, resulting in modulation of different arms of the immune system. Immune researchers at the Dharma Biomedical LLC (Miami, FL) are excited. "The dramatic ability of MCP to activate different components of both the innate (NK-cells) and adaptive (T-cytotoxic) arms of the immune system, demonstrates that MCP can be used in a very strategic manner to support immune function, which may prove useful for a variety of immune compromised health situations," says lead researcher Dr. Steve Melnick.MCP induced an increase in B-cells, T-cytotoxic cells, and NK-cells in a dose dependant manner, meaning the higher the dosage, the greater the effect. Researchers demonstrated that MCP induced a dramatic ten-fold increase in NK-cell activation, and furthermore a significant 53.6% increase in the NK-cells' functional ability to identify and destroy leukemia cancer cells.

Mechanism of Action (How MCP Works)

Melnick further explains, "The Modified Citrus Pectin used in this study consists of various polysaccharides that come in contact with different receptors or proteins on the membranes of immune cells. The immune cells become activated as a consequence of this very specific interaction." Melnick continues, "What I found impressive was the selectivity, and in those cases the magnitude of the effect. For example, polysaccharides derived from mushroom species are known for their immunomodulatory effect. However, in my experience, those effects are considerably lower than observed in the case of T cytotoxic and NK cell activation with this Modified Citrus Pectin." USDA scientists that co-authored the study analyzed the specific structure of this MCP.

Critical Information for Optimal Immune Support

There are two important aspects to the end results of this study when it comes to NK cells. The first one is how many of our NK cells, a specialized subset of T-lymphocytes that destroy infected and cancerous cells are activated by MCP. In other words, how many are awakened from their "sleep" and ready to fight harmful invaders and cancer. MCP exerted a dramatic 10 fold increase in their activation, greater than the positive control Interleukin-2 (IL-2). Additionally, once the NK cells were activated, their actual functional activity level, and specifically against cancer, was demonstrated to be statistically significant. Dr. Isaac Eliaz, study author and MCP expert says, "I have seen first-hand the transformative power of MCP in helping to fight disease and restore health. While I was recommending MCP in my clinical practice for the treatment of cancer and heavy metal toxicity, I had always known that the benefits reached far beyond what had been scientifically proven at the time. After all, many of my patients who came to me for solutions to their chronic diseases became the vibrant examples of how MCP, used as part of an integrative and holistic health program, had not just added years to peoples' lives, but quality as well.  Thanks to this recent landmark immune study, we now know that the powerful immune supporting actions offered by Modified Citrus Pectin represent a significant factor of this vibrant health equation."

Source: Ramachandran, C., Wilk, B.J., Hotchkiss, A.,Chau, H., Eliaz, I., Melnick, S.J. Activation of Human T-Helper/Inducer Cell, T-Cytotoxic Cell, B-Cell, and Natural Killer (NK)-Cells and induction of Natural Killer Cell Activity against K562 Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Cells with Modified Citrus Pectin. BMC Complem. Altern. Med. 2011, 11:59.

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