Do you want to lose a few pounds but you love fatty foods? Chitosan is the ideal solution for you! Although it has been known for many decades, only in 1980 began to discover the actions and benefits of its use in slimming and reducing cholesterol.
What is Chitosan?
Chitosan is a polysaccharide belonging to the fibers. It consists of glucosamine and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine molecules and derives from chitin. Chitin is the second most abundant polysaccharide of nature after cellulose and forms a structural component of the outer shell of crustaceans, lobsters, crabs.
Thanks to the unique properties of its molecule, chitosan has been used in slimming, reducing blood pressure, lowering serum glucose levels, treating dyslipidemia, as well as in biological and biomedical applications such as wound healing and as a drug carrier.
Chitosan and slimming
It is also known as a fat binding agent. Chitosan cannot be absorbed by the intestine, so it passes intact from the gastrointestinal tract. It has the property of binding fat molecules from food in the duodenal, as well as inhibiting the action of pancreatic lipase, As a result, fat cannot be absorbed and not even stored in the body. Reduced calorie intake leads to weight loss of about 3-4kg.
Chitosan and saturation
Chitosan, as an insoluble plant fiber, has the property of swelling in the stomach. By this, it offers an increased sense of satiety, reduces the appetite for food as well as the rate of emptying of the stomach, indirectly helping to lose weight.
Chitosan and cholesterol
In addition to fat binding, chitosan has the property of changing bile acid composition and inhibiting the action of pancreatic lipase. It reduces the absorption of dietary cholesterol from the gastrointestinal tract and increases the sterol excretion. It helps reduce total and LDL cholesterol thus offers a mild cardiovascular protection.
Chitosan and blood pressure
Taking chitosan, due to its chemical structure, also contributes to lowering blood pressure. According to a meta-analysis of studies, supplemental administration of chitosan helps to reduce diastolic blood pressure within 12 weeks, but it does not affect systolic pressure.
Who can get chitosan
Chitosan supplements are for those who want to lose weight and consume a lot of fat as well as for those who want to improve cholesterol and blood glucose levels.
The recommended daily dose is 2.4gr. daily, in 2 to 3 doses and in the presence of a meal.
Undesirable effects and contraindications
According to the FDA, chitosan has been approved and can be safely used by consumers. Rare side effects may be swelling, drumming or constipation. Chitosan does not reduce the absorption of iron, zinc, and copper in comparison with other fat-binding agents. However, its long-term use may reduce the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. People who are allergic to shellfish, pregnant and nursing women, and people with malabsorption syndrome should not use chitosan supplements.