The role of modified citrus pectin as an effective chelator of lead in children hospitalized with toxic lead levels

Altern Ther Health Med. 2008 Jul-Aug;14(4):34-8.


Context: Lead toxicity is an ongoing concern worldwide, and children, the most vulnerable to the long-lasting effects of lead exposure, are in urgent need of a safe and effective heavy metal chelating agent to overcome the heavy metals and lead exposure challenges they face day to day.

Objective: This clinical study was performed to determine if the oral administration of modified citrus pectin (MCP) is effective at lowering lead toxicity in the blood of children between the ages of 5 and 12 years.

Method: Hospitalized children with a blood serum level greater than 20 microg/dL, as measured by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS), who had not received any form of chelating and/or detoxification medication for 3 months prior were given 15 g of MCP (PectaSol) in 3 divided dosages a day. Blood serum and 24-hour urine excretion collection GFAAS analysis were performed on day 0, day 14, day 21, and day 28.

Result: This study showed a dramatic decrease in blood serum levels of lead (P = .0016; 161% average change) and a dramatic increase in 24-hour urine collection (P = .0007; 132% average change).

Conclusion: The need for a gentle, safe heavy metal-chelating agent, especially for children with high environmental chronic exposure, is great. The dramatic results and no observed adverse effects in this pilot study along with previous reports of the safe and effective use of MCP in adults indicate that MCP could be such an agent. Further studies to confirm its benefits are justified.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Chelation Therapy / methods*
  • Child
  • China
  • Citrus*
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lead / blood*
  • Lead Poisoning, Nervous System, Childhood / diagnosis
  • Lead Poisoning, Nervous System, Childhood / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Pectins / administration & dosage*
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Plant Extracts
  • Lead
  • Pectins