Background: Since 2011, Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital, which is
located 23 km north of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, acquired a whole-body
counter (WBC) and began measuring the internal contamination levels of local residents.
Objective: To examine whether or not the intake of apple pectin decreases the level of
radioactive Cesium (Cs) in the body.
Methods: Eighteen participants (sixteen males and two females aged 44–81 years), in
whom more than a total of 20 Bq/kg of radioactive Cs-137 and Cs-134 were detected using
the WBC, were screened. We measured internal radioactive Cs levels in the participants
and compared the change in Cs levels between the observation and intervention periods
with the intake of apple pectin. Initially, the participants received dietary education to
avoid increasing levels of radioactive Cs through daily food consumption. After four
weeks, the participants in whom more than 10 Bq/kg of radioactive Cs had been detected
were instructed to eat a jelly with 3 grams of apple pectin, daily, for a period of four weeks.
Results: Although the decrease in the radioactive Cs level in participants during the apple
pectin intake period exceeded the decrease during the observation period (-9.6% and
-11.7%, respectively), no significant difference in the decrease was observed between
the two periods.
Conclusion: This pilot study did not reveal any significant effects of apple pectin. This
result may have been caused by low internal contamination levels of the participants and
the distribution of food free from radioactive contamination in Fukushima.