Chitosan is an all natural product which is derived from the polysaccharide chitin. Chitin is found in the exo-skeletons of shrimp, crabs and other shellfish. The Chitosan has the unique ability to attach itself to lipids or fats. There are no calories in Chitosan since it is not digestible.
Chitosan attaches to fat in the stomach before it is metabolized. The Chitosan traps the fat and prevents its absorption in the digestive tract. The fat binds to the Chitosan fibre and becomes a large mass which the body cannot absorb. This large mass is then eliminated from the body. Neutralizing fat after it enters the stomach spares the body from having to deal with the fat. Chitosan fibre differs from other fibres in that it possesses a positive ionic charge. This positive charge gives Chitosan the ability to chemically bond with negatively charged lipids, fats and bile acids.
A 1994 report from ARS Medicina (Helsinki) reported that test subjects lost 8% of body weight in four weeks when using Chitosan. Chitosan has been used for over two decades without side effects. Other than its fat binding action, chitosan remains virtually inactive in the human body.
Another benefit of Chitosan is that it inhibits bad cholesterol and boosts good cholesterol. Chitosan acts as an antacid and is beneficial in the healing of ulcers and lesions. Chitosan also has anti-bacterial properties. People with high blood pressure or irritable bowel syndrome may also benefit from this fibre.
This dietary fibre is a valuable addition to a properly balanced weight management program. Fibres also provide important cleansing attributes which aid in the digestive process and promote digestive tract health.
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Last updated April 12, 1998
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