Naturally found in nearly all plant life, pectin is a water-soluble substance that is converted from an insoluble substance known as protopectin as the fruit ripens (via Comprehensive Natural Products II). Pectin can be found in the cell walls of lemons, apples, and oranges, with citrus fruit housing a pectin content of anywhere between 0.5% and 3.5% within the peel.
Pectin is thought to have a number of health benefits. This includes boosting our glucose metabolism, gastric emptying, and the ability to ward off various health conditions such as cancer, obesity, intestinal infections, and more. So what is pectin’s relationship to cholesterol? Pectin has been shown to improve the body’s lipid metabolism and cholesterol levels due to its ability to boost fibrin quality in the body, which plays an important role in blood clotting. In one study, more than 20 participants ate 15 grams of pectin-enriched biscuits every day for 21 days. By the end of the three weeks, participant total cholesterol levels dropped by an average of 5%.