Commonly found in many fruits such as bananas and apples, pectinase plays a key role not only in the digestive processes, but also, and perhaps more importantly, in total physical well-being and anti-aging.
Pectin is a type of fiber that makes up the cell wall of many types of fruits and vegetables. It is composed of long polysaccharides that form a gelatinous substance in the center of the plant cell wall and between plant cells. It occurs primarily in the non-woody parts of plants, which, of course, are the parts that most likely to be consumed.
Pectin is a part of our diet not only because of its presence in the fruits and vegetable, but it is also used extensively as a gelling and thickening agent in processed foods, particularly as a thickener in jams and jellies. Pectinase, along with cellulase and hemicellulase, helps with the digestion of plant-based foods, increasing their nutritional and prebiotic value.
During the ripening process plants generally use pectinase to hydrolyze (break down) some of the pectin in and between the cell walls making the cell walls weaker, and therefore soft and edible. This means that when you test an apple or tomato at the grocery store or, even better, before plucking it out of the garden, you are actually checking in part to see if pectinase has become more active indicating that the fruit is ripe and ready to eat.
Health Benefits of Pectinase
1. Promotes Growth and Health of Intestinal Microbiota
Animal research using apple pectin, a widely used type in food processing, demonstrated impressive affects on beneficial gut bacteria including an increase in production of specific short chain fatty acids that provide ideal pH conditions for these bacteria. This is particularly promising since the human gut contains the same type of beneficial bacteria as noted in the research.
2. Provides Fuel for Colon Lining
In addition to helping provide a hospitable environment for beneficial bacteria, fatty acids like butyrate help to provide a large percentage of the fuel necessary for the colon. This can positively influence mucosal blood flow, intestinal motility, and the permeability of the gut. Maintaining these aspects of intestinal health are paramount to guarding proper absorption and helping to reduce the threat of absorption of potential allergens through the gut.
3. Increases Digestibility and Absorption of Plant-Foods
Animals studies show that adding pectinase to livestock feed can aid the digestive enzymes in animals, allowing them better access to nutrients and minerals.
How to Read the Units of Measurement for Pectinase
Pectinase is measured by the FCC in AJDU’s (Pectinase Unit/ml or g). This is a measure of the hydrolysis of various hemicellulose polymers into short-chain molecules and ultimately to 5-carbon sugars. One AJDU is based on the time needed to depectinize a 0.25% pectin containing buffered solution at pH 3.5 and 45°C. The FCC notation stands for Foods Chemical Codex and is a division of USP (United States Pharmacopeia). It sets standards for ingredients. In the case of enzymes, FCC is a standard assay used to accurately determine the activity of enzymes. The current compendium is FCC VI.
Where Can I Find The Best Source of Pectinase?
VeganZyme® contains a 100% vegan form of pectinase extracted from the fermentation of Aspergillus niger. It comes from all vegetarian, non-GMO sources, is kosher certified, gluten free, contains no animal product and is completely suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
VeganZyme is the most advanced full-spectrum systemic and digestive enzyme formula in the world and is free from fillers and toxic compounds. This formula contains digestive enzymes which help digest fats (lipids), sugars, proteins, carbohydrates, gluten, fruits and vegetables, cereals, legumes, bran, nuts and seeds, soy, dairy, and all other food sources.
VeganZyme may also be used as a systemic enzyme blend to break down excess mucus, fibrin, various toxins, allergens, as well as excess clotting factors throughout your body.
- Dr. Umesh L. Apple pectin as a novel prebiotic substance, that helps the intestinal microbiota. Med-Chemist. 2010 January 25.
- Tine R Licht, Max Hansen, Anders Bergstrom, Morten Poulsen, Britta N Krath, Jaroslaw Markowski, Lars O Dragsted, Andrea Wilcks. Effects of apples and specific apple components on the cecal environment of conventional rats:role of apple pectin (PDF). Licht et al. BMC Microbiology. 2010. 10:13.
- Susan S. Lang. In flurry of studies, researcher details role of apples in inhibiting breast cancer. Cornell University. 2009 February 12.
- Sherry Baker. An apple a day keeps breast cancer away, six studies conclude. Natural News. 209 February 29.
- Leonard R. Johnson. The Physiology of the gastrointestinal tract. Elsevier Academic Press. 2006.