Chitin is a safe, natural substance found in the shells of crabs, in the wings of butterflies, in the cell walls of mushrooms and even in the finger tips of humans. It ranks second to cellulose as the most plentiful organic compound on earth. Chemically it is classified as a polysaccharide, which are large molecules consisting of smaller sugar molecules strung together like pearls on a strand.Unlike most polysaccharides, chitin has a strong positive charge which allows it to bind to negatively charged surfaces.
Chitin and its derivatives; Chitosan, Chitin Oligosaccharide, and Chitosan Oligosaccharide, have many properties that make them attractive for a wide variety of health applications. For example, research indicates that it is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, non-toxic and non-allergenic. Ongoing research is finding numerous uses for Chitin and its derivatives in areas such as: arthritis, heart, allergies, blood pressure, immune system, tumors, digestion, wound dressings, eye and gum treatments, sutures, and skin grafts.
For the past 20 years, chitin and its derivatives have been used for its health benefits in Korea and Japan. In 1992, Japan's Health Department approved chitin and its derivatives as a functional food. To be considered a functional food, it should contain two of the following 5 functions: fortification of immunity, prevention of illness, prevention of aging, recovery from illness, and control of biorhythm. Chitin is equipped with all 5 functions. It is no wonder that millions of people worldwide are using chitin based dietary supplements as a part of their wellness program.
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Last updated July 17, 1998
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