All About Chitosan
Chitosan is a naturally occurring fat
inhibitor. It has the potential to revolutionize the process of losing
weight and by so doing, reduce the incidence of some of the most devastating
diseases we face today. Chitosan attracts fat and converts it to a form the
human body does not absorb. Consequently, by binding to fat, Chitosan
renders it completely indigestible, thereby negating it's caloric value.
Chitosan-bound fat leaves the intestinal tract having never entered the
bloodstream in the first place.
Chitosan is remarkable in that it has the ability to absorb 6 to 8 times
its weight in fat and oils
In addition, because it acts like a super Fiber, supplementing the diet
with Chitosan can be considered part of the cleansing process so vital to
weight loss. If these two attributes weren't good enough, Chitosan possess
many other valuable properties that work to promote health and prevent
disease. It would be a gross understatement to say that the substance is
anything less than remarkable.
CHITOSAN: A BRIEF
Chitosan has a history of about three decades
of use in processes like detoxifying water. When Chitosan is spread over the
surface of water, it literally absorbs greases, oils, heavy metals and other
potentially toxic substances. Like a "fat magnet," it attracts these
big-hazardous substances from drinking water to such an extent that a scum
forms in the water, which can be easily removed. Water purification plants
throughout the nation use Chitosan for this purpose. What this indicated to
scientists was that Chitosan can selectively absorb fats even in a water
WHAT EXACTLY IS CHITOSAN?
Chitosan is a natural product derived from
chitin, a polysaccharide found in the exoskeleton of shellfish like shrimp
or crabs. While it has been in existence for millennia, its current form has
just recently been prepared. Technically speaking Chitosan is a naturally
occurring substance that is chemically similar to cellulose, which is a
plant fiber. Like plant fibers, Chitosan possesses many of the same
properties as fiber, however unlike plant fiber, it has the ability to
significantly bind fat, acting like a "fat sponge" in the digestive tract.
The process of synthesizing Chitosan involves taking the shells of shrimp
or crabs, grinding them to a fine powder and then deacetylating this powder.
This refers to taking off specific chemical groups so that the remaining
compound is more active in its ability to soak up fats.
Like some plant fibers, Chitosan is not digestible, therefore it has no
caloric value. No matter how much Chitosan you ingest, its calorie count
remains at zero. This is a very important property for any weight loss
- ABSORBS AND BINDS FAT/PROMOTES WEIGHT LOSS
- INHIBITS LDL CHOLESTEROL AND BOOSTS HDL
- PROMOTES HEALING OF ULCERS/LESIONS
- ANTIBACTERIAL ANTI CANDIDA
- ACTS AS AN ANTACID
- INHIBITS THE FORMATION OF PLAQUE/TOOTH
- HELPS TO CONTROL BLOOD PRESSURE
- MAY TREAT AND PREVENT IRRITABLE BOWEL
- HELPS TO PREVENT CONSTIPATION
- CALCIUM ENHANCER/BONE STRENGTHENER
- REDUCES BLOOD LEVELS OF URIC ACID
- ANTI-TUMOR ACTION
Under optimal conditions, Chitosan can bind 6
to 8 times its weight with all the lipid aggregates tested. Studies in
Helsinki have shown that those individuals taking Chitosan lost an average
of 8 percent of their body weight in a week. Chitosan increased its
oil-holding capacity over other fibers.
Chitosan has the very unique ability to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad
kind) while boosting HDL cholesterol (the good kind). Laboratory tests
performed on rats showed that "Chitosan depresses serum and liver
cholesterol levels in cholesterol-fed rats without affecting performance,
organ weight or the nature of the feces". Japanese researchers have
concluded that Chitosan "appears to be an effective hypocholesterolemic
agent". In other words, it can effectively lower blood serum cholesterol
levels with not apparent side effects.
Studies show that Chitosan is as effective as cholestryramine (a
cholesterol lowering drug) in controlling blood serum cholesterol without
the deleterious side effects typical of cholestryramine.
Chitosan decreased blood cholesterol levels by 66.2 percent.
Chitosan effectively lowered cholesterol absorption more than guar gum or
Laboratory test results indicated that a 7.5% Chitosan formula maintained
adequate cholesterol levels in rats, despite a dramatic increase in the
intake of cholesterols'
ANTICANDIDA PROPERTIES OF CHITOSAN
Chitosan has been effectively used to treat acne due to its ability to
inhibit certain bacteria which cause the inflammation associated with acne.
Chitosan has exhibited the ability to kill candida in clinical tests
involving mice due to its effect on protease action. When used as a food
preservative, Chitosan exhibited stronger bactericidal activity than lactic
acid. In some tests, Chitosan even demonstrated a dramatic antiparasitic
action. Chitosan very impressively reduced the amount of bacterial
translocation which can occur after a burn injury. It is believed that by
reducing the bacterial population of the colon, the potential for a life
threatening infection to set in after a trauma is decreased.
NOTE: Chitosan also demonstrated that it has the ability to kill certain
WOUND AND ULCER
HEALING AND CHITOSAN
Tests using topical applications of Chitosan found that it promoted the
faster healing of wounds or abscesses that had become infected with staph
Topical applications of Chitosan decreased coagulation time which is
vital to the healing of wounds like bleeding ulcers.
CHITOSAN IS A
Japan has already issued a patent for using Chitosan as a very effective
and highly safe antacid.
OF CHITOSAN IN THE MOUTH
Because of its antacid action, Chitosan raises the pH in the mouth and
binds to the bacteria that cause the formation of dental plaque and
subsequent tooth decays
CHITOSAN AND HIGH
Some clinical studies have found that Chitosan worked as an
antihypertensive agent and lowered blood pressure in male subjects which
were fed a high salt diets " Chitosan has the ability to decrease blood
levels of chloride which influences the activity of an angiotensin
converting enzyme. Angiotensin is vital to the maintenance of normal blood
CHITOSAN AND URIC
High protein diets that come from animal sources can cause uric acid
levels to rise and for some people that means a bout with gout. Chitosan has
the ability to lower uric acid levels.
ACTION OF CHITOSAN
Clinical tests conducted with in vitro tumor cells found that Chitosan
showed a strong inhibitory activity on each of the tumor cells while chitin
CHITOSAN AS A FAT
While all the above properties of Chitosan are valuable, its
extraordinary ability to block or bind fats promises to be its most valuable
asset. As mentioned previously, getting rid of fat after it has been stored
as adipose tissue is much more difficult than neutralizing its effects
before it enters the blood stream. Chitosan accomplishes this very
formidable task by converting fat into a form that the body does not absorb.
It becomes an inert substance which is readily expelled from the body.
HOW DOES CHITOSAN
Chitosan affects fat in the stomach before it has a chance to become
metabolized. It dissolves within the stomach itself and converts into a gel
which "captures" fat, thereby preventing its absorption and subsequent
storage. Chitosan renders the fat useless to the body. Technically, it
creates a "grease ball" out of excess fat which is too large to be
metabolized. Both the Chitosan and the unmetabolized fat are excreted in the
- Chitosan binds excess fat molecules and
- Chitosan binds dietary cholesterol
- Chitosan reduces the absorption of all of
- Chitosan can function as a non-digestible
- Chitosan correlates with improved
THE REMARKABLE VALUE OF
Any of us who occasionally eat KFC, a Big Mac,
Whopper or a slice of cheesecake every once in a while can profoundly
benefit from the fat absorbing action of Chitosan. As a fat binder, Chitosan
can significantly reduce the amount of fat that enters our blood stream.
Chitosan binds to excess fats in the stomach and lower intestine. The foods
mentioned above are full of excess fat grams.
If you take Chitosan with a fatty meal, a good portion of these dietary
fats will be rendered useless.
CHITOSAN ENABLES THE BODY TO BYPASS THE METABOLIC PROCESSES NECESSARY TO
BIOLOGICALLY AND CHEMICALLY DEAL WITH THE PRESENCE OF FAT IN THE STOMACH AND
Remember when we discussed how the liver has to deal with excess fat?
Chitosan decreases the liver's work load which lightens the stress put on
other body organs by the presence of excess fat. In other words, Chitosan
eases the metabolic processes that kick in after we eat excess fat. As far
as our organs know, those fat grams never in the first place.
WHY CHITOSAN IS
CALLED THE FIBER OF THE FUTURE
After years of fiber "hyping" most of us are well aware of the profound
benefits that fiber has for human health and longevity. Fiber is considered
a dieter's best friend. The International Journal of Obesity has stated that
adding dietary fiber to a low fat diet can help reduce hunger and increase
the number of bowel movements; two actions which greatly enhance weight
loss. Fiber has also been linked to slower rises in blood glucose which also
profoundly affect how we store excess calories and when we feel hungry. In
some respects, Chitosan is superior to plant fibers in that it forms a gel
that is both more fluid and more stable. Imagine a fiber that can do all of
these things and binds fats in the process. Chitosan is just such a
substance. Chitosan is a positively charged fiber that binds to negatively
charged fatty acids. Technically speaking, this means that Chitosan is "lipophilic"
meaning that it "loves fat" or is chemically attracted to it.
A fiber that attracts fat is unique to say the least. Most fibers are
hydrophilic which means they repel fat and attract water. Psyllium, for
example, is used for its bulk forming action. This type of fiber absorbs
water and is easily passed through the intestine, helping to maintain a
Chitosan is different. While it possesses many of the same benefits as
plant fibers like psyllium, it can inactivate fats. For this reason,
combining Chitosan with fibers like psyllium is highly recommended and can
only serve to further support the weight loss process. Chitosan will bind
the fat and the psyllium will speed its journey through the intestines where
it will be expelled.
Chitosan is considered a crude fiber that can also improve the bulk of
the stool. Stool samples tested in people who have taken Chitosan confirm
that an increased absorption of fat has occurred.
PROPERTIES OF CHlTOSAN EXPEDITE WEIGHT LOSS BY:
1. INCREASING SATIETY
Chitosan creates a sense of fullness in the
stomach which serves to inhibit the appetite and discourage eating.
2. INCREASING DIETARY
The fact that fiber is the key to good health
cannot be stressed enough. Experts have been touting the incredible health
benefits of fiber for years now. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts,
many of us are still fiber depleted.
3. NEUTRALIZING EXCESS
If you visualize your stomach as a small waste water system, you can more
easily understand that Chitosan works in the stomach much the same way that
it helps to purify water supplies. Frequently we add alcohol, fats, salt,
carbohydrates, minerals and fats to our stomach mixture. Chitosan begins
immediately to gather together excess fats from this blend of substances
which initially gives our bodies an advantage we would normally not have.
POTENTIATE THE ACTION OF CHITOSAN
Plant fibers can be likened to a bundle of string that can resemble a
tangled mass. In order for the human body to utilize the benefits of fiber,
it must "unravel." Chitosan is similar to other fibers in that it too must
unravel to produce its maximum benefit. Chitosan can absorb 6 to 8 times its
weight in lipids.
When certain substances are added to Chitosan,
its remarkable fat binding ability can be significantly enhanced. Ascorbic
acid is one of these substances.
1. THE SYNERGISTIC
EFFECT OF ASCORBIC ACID WITH CHITOSAN
Ascorbic acid, which is a source of vitamin C, serves to enhance and
augment the adsorbability of lipids. In other words, it makes the fat
binding action of Chitosan more complete. Clinical studies have discovered
that supplementing Chitosan with ascorbic acid resulted in even less fat
digestion and absorption in the intestines.
The addition of ascorbic acid almost doubles Chitosan's effectiveness as
a fat blocker.
2. CHELATED MINERALS ARE VITAL
TO EXPEDITE THE WEIGHT LOSS PROCESS
The very best approach to weight loss is to nutritionally augment food
choices with nutrient supplementation. Certain biochemical compounds are
essential to promoting vigor during the process of thermogenesis. Certain
specific chelated minerals act to bolster, support and protect the organ
systems of the body.
For example, when fat is burned heat and energy are released. If a lack
of certain minerals exists, energy levels will drop. Minerals help to
transport needed nutrients to depleted areas of the body, thereby stemming
off the fatigue we so often experience after eating a fatty meal. Even more
importantly, free radicals are released whenever fat is consumed and burned
and the presence of chelated minerals helps to expedite the removal of these
metabolizes and facilitate the availability of fuel for energy.
Chitosan may seem too good to be true. Can one product really accomplish
all of the marvelous things Chitosan does and still be safe for human
consumption? Chitosan has been safely used for more than two decades.
CHITOSAN IS A SAFE
FOOD INGREDIENT THAT IS BIODEGRADABLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY BIOCOMPATIBLE.
Chitosan is not only safe when ingested, it is also environmentally
friendly. Other than its fat binding action, Chitosan remains virtually
inactive in the human body. It is low in toxicity and allergic properties
and is considered safe. Some people who have taken Chitosan have softer
bowel movements, which is considered a plus for most of us. Studies in which
rats consumed a diet of up to 10% Chitosan showed that no toxic side effects
YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE
CHITOSAN IF YOU HAVE ANY KIND OF SHELLFISH ALLERGY OR ARE PREGNANT OR BREAST
NOTE: Whenever taking any form of fiber,
drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day is highly recommended.
CHITOSAN PROVIDES A
REALISTIC APPROACH TO FAT AND FIBER INTAKE
Low fat, high fiber advocates have recommended a diet that is calorically
fueled between 10 and 20 percent fat and includes 35 to 45 grams of fiber.
Unfortunately, most of us, no matter how good our intentions are, will not
be able to sustain this type of diet. Therefore, if we are going to face
facts, a diet that reduces fat intake from 20 to 30 percent and increases
fiber to 20 or 30 grams is much more feasible in controlling weight,
avoiding artery disease and promoting good colon health.
Taking Chitosan prior to eating a meal can make dietary fat goals much
more attainable while promoting a number of desirable health benefits.
Because obesity ranks among the top ten diseases (which, by the way, are
almost all related to obesity), the notion of a safe, health-promoting fat
blocker is desirable.
Weight control needs to be realistic and effective. Workable weight loss
programs are few and far between and usually involve a life style that many
of us can never incorporate. While Chitosan is not a panacea for maintaining
our youthful figures, it is a very powerful dietary complement which can
facilitate what might otherwise be unattainable. Lowering the amount of
dietary fats we eat, exercising more and making sure we get enough fiber
seems to be the winning combination for health and longevity. Chitosan will
inevitably serve as a valuable vehicle for attaining optimal nutrition and
Chitosan inhibits fat digestion (9,5,7).
Chitosan is Biodegradable and Biocompatible
Traps fat (9).
Chitosan has better lipid binding than some
prescription cholesterol-fighting drugs (1,10).
Chitosan binds with 4-6 times its own
weight of lipids, foods and blood fats (2).
Lowers cholesterol, and triglycerides (11).
- Fat inhibitor, (1,2,3,4,5,6,7).
1. Michihiro, S. et al, "Hypocholestererolemic
action of Chitosans with different viscosity in rats," Laboratory Nutrition,
Saga University 1988
2. Nauss J L, et al, "The Binding of Micellar
lipids to Chitosan," Lipids 18 (10). 1983. 714-719 Chitosan absorbs 4-6
times its own weight in fat
3. Kanauchi, K. et al. "Mechanism for the
inhibition of fat digestion by Chitosan," Bosci Biotechnol Biochem, 1995
May: 59 (5): 786-90
4. Deuchi, O. et al. "Decreasing effect of
Chitosan on the apparent fat digestibility by rats fed on high fat diet,"
Bioscience Biotechnology and Biochemistry, 1994
5. Chobot, V. "Physiotherapeutic aspects of
diseases of the circulatory system," Ceska a Slovenska Farmacie, Aug 44:
6. Chandy, T. Sharma, C.P. "Chitosan - as a
biomaterial biosurface technology division," Sree Chita Triunal Institute
for Medical Sciences and Technology, Poojandrum, India. 1990
7. Vahouny G.V. et al. American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition, Aug 1983, 38 (2) p 278-84, ISSN 2-9165, Journal Code:
8. LeHoux, J.G. et al. "Some effects of
Chitosan on liver function of rats," Endocrinology, 1993, March l078-84
9. Zochina, Z.M. et al. "Inhibition of
Chitosan of infection of t-series bacteriophages in the escherichia coli,"
Mikrobiologia, 1995 March/April: 64 (2) 211-5
10. Sugana, M Fujikawa, T. "Hiratsuji, Y.
Nakashima, K. Fukunda, N. and Hasegawa, Y. "A novel use of Chitosan as a
hypocholesterolemic agent in rats," American Journal of Cain. Nutrition,
April 1980: pages 787-793
11. Birketvedt G.S. Clinical Report, Dovre
Medical Center, Fjellhammer, Norway, May 1991
Read more about Chitosan-C with
[ TOP ]