Galectin-3 and How Modified Citrus Pectin Can Help
Survival and self-preservation are our most basic hard-wired instincts. Every cell in our body is designed with one primary underlying focus – to stay alive.
And while this deeply ingrained instinct is what has allowed us to survive and thrive, sometimes our built-in survival mechanisms can end up doing more harm than good. A perfect example of this is a tiny protein designed to help our cells survive known as galectin-3.
In this blog post, we’re going to explore exactly what galectin-3 is, how it’s one of the underlying drivers in nearly every chronic disease known to man, and how a unique compound known as modified citrus pectin may be the secret to combatting the destructive effects on this complex survival protein.
What Is Galectin-3 and What Does It Do in the Body?
Galectin-3 is a protein found naturally in the cells and tissues throughout your body. Galectin-3 has been dubbed “the master survival protein” due to its unmatched ability to promote cellular survival. Galectin-3 is designed to primarily exist intracellularly or within your cells with small amounts being secreted as a sort of signaling molecule. In healthy balanced levels, galectin-3 plays a pivotal role in numerous processes including:1,2,3
- Pregnancy and embryo development: Galectin 3 is crucial, particularly in the early stages of pregnancy for things like embryo implantation, placental development, and maternal immune tolerance (the acceptance of the developing “foreign” embryo by the mother’s immune system).
- Cellular development and function: Within your cells, galectin-3 communicates amongst various signaling pathways to influence things like cell proliferation (reproduction), differentiation (specialization), apoptosis (death), migration, and survival.
- Acute injury repair: Galectin-3 is an “upstream” signaling molecule – triggering a “downstream” inflammatory cascade. In an acute injury, galectin-3 launches an inflammatory response and deploys various immune cells and pro-inflammatory chemicals to the site to start the process of repair and healing.
While galectin-3 is essential for many normal functions within your body, too much of this protein can quickly tip the scales and begin doing more harm than good.
Galectin-3 and Disease
Remember, galectin-3 is a master survival protein. Within the cell, this is a good thing – performing necessary functions to help each cell survive and thrive. But when too much of this protein is secreted outside of your cells, it can spell trouble. You see each of your individual cells must exist within a much larger community and ecosystem – interacting with millions of other cells along with the microbes that make up your microbiome.
From a survival standpoint, being a part of a larger community and ecosystem means that to survive you must compete and fight. So when there are elevated levels of galectin-3 it essentially switches cells into survival mode – pushing them to separate themselves from the larger community and to fight for their own survival.4
This intense survival mechanism is what allows galectin-3 to exert one of its hallmark affects – the ability to create a “microenvironment”. Galectin-3 is able to manipulate your body in a way that creates a small-scale microenvironment that separates and “protects” certain cells and tissues. This ability to switch your cells into “survival” mode and create distinct microenvironments is what makes galectin-3 so dangerous and a major driver in countless diseases.
Let’s explore just a few of the most concerning disease states that can be directly linked to elevated galectin-3 levels.
Galectin-3 and Heart Failure
Studies have found that galectin-3 and cardiovascular disease have a clear relationship – with elevated galectin-3 levels being directly correlated with an increased risk of heart failure and other associated cardiac conditions such as:5
- Coronary artery disease
- Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- Cardiac arrhythmias (like atrial fibrillation and atrial tachycardia)
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Arterial stiffening and narrowing
Elevated levels of galectin-3 supercharge inflammation – essentially speeding up and amplifying fibrosis and remodeling of cardiac structures and blood vessels that directly lead to these severe and life-threatening cardiac conditions. In fact, galectin-3 is such a potent regulator of cardiac health that elevated levels of this protein can be used as a biomarker to predict the likelihood of developing cardiac complications as well as disease severity.6
While galectin-3 is a highly accurate biomarker, it’s also a direct target for intervention. Studies have found that lowering galectin-3 levels can slow down the progression of cardiac inflammation, reduce fibrosis, decrease cardiac remodeling, and boost overall heart health and function.7
Galectin-3 and Cancer
Galectin-3 and cancer go together like two peas in a pod. You see, cancerous cells want to survive and replicate – and they know how to recruit galectin-3’s potent “survival” properties to do just that. By ramping up their secretion of galectin-3, cancerous cells can promote their own survival and proliferation by:8,9
- Suppressing immune system function and blocking your immune system from neutralizing these abnormal cancer cells
- Creating a “microenvironment” that gives cancer cells a survival advantage
- Promoting angiogenesis or the formation of blood vessels to better funnel nutrients and supplies to the cancer cells within this microenvironment
- Enhancing tumor progression, invasiveness, and metastatic potential (the likelihood of spreading to other parts of the body)
And similar to cardiac conditions, galectin-3 serves as not only a biomarker for cancer but also a potent target of therapeutic strategies. By blocking galectin-3 and lowering systemic levels, we can effectively flip the script and reverse these cancer-promoting effects – giving us an edge in slowing the growth and spread of cancerous cells.10
Galectin-3 and Inflammation
The common underlying theme when it comes to galectin-3 is inflammation. Galectin-3 is an “upstream” inflammatory signaling molecule. That means it functions sort of like a catalyst – setting off a chain of events that directly triggers a whole cascade of other signals and shifts within your body that creates the “downstream” result of a spike in inflammation.
While inflammation serves a crucial role, when levels are too elevated or sustained for too long, things begin to go haywire.
Elevated galectin-3 levels and the associated inflammation it triggers are the underlying root cause of nearly every chronic disease known to mankind from Alzheimer’s to periodontal disease and from diabetes to Crohn’s disease.
Because galectin-3 essentially “flips the switch” and sounds the initial alarm that sets off the whole cascade of inflammation, lowering levels of this fascinating protein can have some seriously positive implications for your health. So what steps can we take to lower galectin-3 levels?
How to Lower Galectin-3
Lowering galectin-3 requires a two-pronged approach that includes minimizing the secretion of galectin-3 while simultaneously blocking galectin-3’s effects. Minimizing the secretion of galectin-3 requires addressing the things that induce inflammation and trigger your cells to begin producing galectin-3 in the first place. Some ways to reduce galectin-3 secretion include:
- Avoiding inflammatory foods
- Supporting a healthy and balanced microbiome
- Reducing your exposure to environmental toxins
- Taking steps to minimize stress
Just making some small shifts can add up in a huge way when it comes to decreasing galectin-3 levels. But the truth is, with our modern-day lives, it can be challenging to adequately lower galectin-3 levels with lifestyle shifts alone. That’s why blocking and neutralizing galectin-3 is a crucial second step.
And hands down the best way to block and neutralize galectin-3 is through the use of a compound known as modified citrus pectin.
What Is Modified Citrus Pectin?
Modified citrus pectin is a type of starch or carbohydrate obtained from the peels, seeds, and pulp of citrus fruits. Once extracted from the fruits, the pectin is broken down or “modified” into smaller chains of carbohydrates. This step of modifying the pectin into shorter carbohydrate chains is important because without breaking down these chains, your digestive tract is unable to digest and absorb pectin.
The real magic of modified citrus pectin benefits happens once it reaches your digestive tract and is absorbed into your bloodstream. Once within your bloodstream, these modified chains of pectin are able to bind to the carbohydrate receptors on molecules of galectin-3 – safely disarming them.11
Because pectin must be broken down to a specific molecular weight and structure in order to be properly absorbed into your bloodstream, not all forms of modified citrus pectin are created equally.
Pectasol Modified Citrus Pectin
In nearly every study published highlighting the powerfully positive effects of modified citrus pectin against the health-disrupting effects of galectin-3, the specific form being used was a brand known as PectaSol, also sometimes referred to as PectaSol-C. You see, Pectasol has a very unique and specific molecular weight and structure that allows for unmatched absorption in the gut.
The unique form of modified citrus pectin found in PectaSol is the original and only clinically proven fruit pectin that can effectively block galectin-3 and deliver total-body health benefits. Not only is PectaSol the only clinically proven form of fruit pectin, this one-of-a-kind product was formulated by Dr. Isaac Eliaz, one of the most brilliant minds driving the research behind galectin-3.
Dr. Isaac Eliaz (Pioneer in Galectin-3 Research)
Dr. Isaac Eliaz is an integrative medical doctor, licensed acupuncturist, lecturer, product formulator at EcoNugenics, and the leading expert in research surrounding galectin-3 and modified citrus pectin. Dr. Isaac Eliaz has dedicated countless hours of research over 3 decades to understanding galectin-3. His research on galectin-3 and his unique discovery of PectaSol C benefits have been called the “best-kept secret” when it comes to health and longevity.
To dive deeper into the science behind Galectin-3 and PectaSol, you’ve got to check out our interview with Dr. Isaac Eliaz: New Partner Spotlight: EcoNugenics with Dr. Isaac Eliaz. Dr. Eliaz’s PectaSol is the only clinically-backed form of modified citrus pectin available on the market and the only one we trust and recommend here at Rebel Health Tribe.
PectaSol is available in multiple forms to make it even easier to get your daily dose:
You can get these supplements and more through our online shop – and you can even get 10% off your first order by clicking right here.
Ready to Experience the Galectin-3 Fighting Power of PectaSol for Yourself?
The impact of galectin-3 and PectaSol’s potent healing properties truly are the best-kept secrets when it comes to human health and longevity. While PectaSol can be a powerful tool in our tool chest, it works best when combined with some strategies and lifestyle tweaks to help you create a truly solid foundation of health.
If you want a shortcut to creating a rock-solid foundation of health, you’ve got to download our Health Foundations & Optimization Quick Start Guide. Think of it like a “start here” guide with a compilation of the most essential actions you can implement right now all in one place.
And once you’ve downloaded your free guide, don’t forget to head over and browse through our blog and our podcast – we’ve got loads of value-packed resources with the world’s leading experts to help you create the abundant health and happiness we all deserve.
- Galectins in Early Pregnancy and Pregnancy-Associated Pathologies – PMC (nih.gov)
- Galectin-3: a key player in microglia-mediated neuroinflammation and Alzheimer’s disease | Cell & Bioscience | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)
- Galectin-3 regulation of wound healing and fibrotic processes: insights for chronic skin wound therapeutics – PMC (nih.gov)
- Galectin-3: A New Target For Inflammation with Dr Isaac Eliaz | FX Medicine
- Galectin-3 as a novel biomarker for disease diagnosis and a target for therapy (Review) – PMC (nih.gov)
- Galectin-3: a novel biomarker for the prognosis of heart failure – PMC (nih.gov)
- The role of galectin‐3 in heart failure and cardiovascular disease – Zhong – 2019 – Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology – Wiley Online Library
- Galectin-3 as a Potential Target to Prevent Cancer Metastasis – PMC (nih.gov)
- Roles of galectin‑3 in the tumor microenvironment and tumor metabolism (Review) (spandidos-publications.com)
- The role of Galectin-3 in modulating tumor growth and immunosuppression within the tumor microenvironment – PMC (nih.gov)
- Modified citrus pectin inhibits galectin-3 function to reduce atherosclerotic lesions in apoE-deficient mice – PMC (nih.gov)