Dr. Thomas Dwan - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Thomas Dwan

Is Pectin Bad For You?



Short answer

Pectin isn’t bad for you. It’s common in jams and other high-sugar foods, however, and you should be careful about consuming too much sugar.



Long answer

Pectin is a substance that makes cell walls rigid in plants. It's most often used in the preparation of fruit preserves like jam - add pectin to jam while cooking, and you'll need less time. It'll also help to preserve the color and consistency of the jam without compromising the flavor or requiring artificial preservatives.

Pectin is a soluble fiber. Like most fibers, it can help with incontinence and re-establish regularity in your bathroom routine. If you're experiencing digestive problems, talk to your doctor about pectin as a possible solution.

In lab settings, pectin has been shown to help with diabetes and high levels of bad cholesterol in rats. That's good news if you suffer from either of those conditions or have a family history that indicates you may develop them in the future. Studies in rats, however, are insufficient - we don't yet have the evidence that proves pectin can help combat diabetes or lower cholesterol in people. Still, if you're the optimistic sort, you may want to look to pectin for help in combating diabetes or high cholesterol levels.

Pectin is often made from fruits and vegetables that are GMO or non-organic, which are still very controversial and lacking in long-term research. If you've made the choice to eat GMO-free or organic, you'll want to check the label before using pectin in your jams.

Pectin requires a lot of sugar to work - somewhere between two-thirds and one-half of the jam that you're using it in. High sugar content is standard for jams and jellies, but that sugar is still bad for you: it'll rot your teeth, increase your body weight via blood sugar spikes, and put you at risk of developing long-term diseases like diabetes. When consuming a product with pectin, be aware of your sugar intake and use your best dietary judgment. Pectin is a fiber, of course, so it'll mitigate some of that high sugar content.

Possible short-term side effects

  • gas
  • diarrhea
  • loose stools

Commonly found in

  • citrus fruits
  • jams / jellies
  • fillings
  • medicines
  • sweets
  • fruit juices
  • milk drinks

Ingredients to be aware of

  • gmos (depending on the source of the pectin)


  • promotes healthy digestion
  • may help combat diabetes
  • may help combat high cholesterol

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Sean McNulty
Published on: 10-10-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Sean McNulty
Published on: 10-10-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

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