Search Term: " Chitosan "
Chitosan: A more environmentally friendly food packaging materialthan plastic
April 12, 2019 04:08 PM
Itsaso Leceta, an academic researcher from the University of Basque Country has developed a biodegradable polymer, hoping to change packaging standards. Chitosan, made from crustacean chitins, prevents fungi and bacteria from infecting whole foods. It does not, however, block gas, water, or vapor. On the plus side, this new environmentally conscious food packaging is completely biodegradable, even edible. Everyone can make a difference, and consumers can start by choosing alternative means in their lives, like Chitosan.
"It is a biodegradable, biocompatible (not harmful to living tissue) polymer that can be used to wrap vegetables and fruits. Its purpose is to prevent bacteria and fungi from infecting whole foods, and prolonging their shelf life."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-17-chitosan-environmentally-friendly-food-packaging.html
Can diet pills help you lose weight?
January 06, 2017 02:59 PM
There is a small minority of people that find diet pills helpful along with a diet and exercise program. When it comes to diet pill options, some of the limited prescription options include two drugs that are FDA approved for longer term use for weight loss in general. Some of the over counter remedies include Ephedrine, Chitosan, as well as a few others. However when it comes down due it while drugs offer an answer to part of the weight loss problem, exercise is also a crucial part of weight loss.
"Everyone knows that a combination of diet and exercise is the best way to lose weight. But many of us have tried this, over and over again, without lasting success."
What is chitosan and how effective is it for weight loss?
Chitosan is a compound extracted from the hard shells of shrimps and other crustaceans. While it has many uses, it also claims that it aids in the elimination of excess fat in our bodies which makes it a perfect candidate for inclusion in any weight loss program. It can be ingested in the form of capsules, powder and pills.
How does it work?
Chitosan works by preventing the absorption and storage of fat before it is metabolized in the stomach. Basically, it is a fiber that absorbs fats when they enter the body. Therefore, the fat is broken down and does not get absorbed into the blood stream. Instead, fat and Chitosan go through your small intestine or the ileum where they bind with bile acids. They then form an insoluble gel that passes through the large intestine and is excreted out of your body. This means that instead of the fat being absorbed into the blood stream, it is excreted out of the body and no fat absorption means no weight gain.
There is still another way that Chitosan helps in weight loss. Since Chitosan is a fiber, it promotes cleansing which is important in the process of losing weight.
Another reason this compound seems to work for weight loss is that it makes the body not to crave for fattening foods. It neither starves nor does it make you feel hungry; this is simply because you continue eating fat, the only thing is that the fat does not get absorbed into your blood stream.
Now, since less amounts of fat are entering the blood stream, the body is able to burn the existing fat present in your body. Therefore, your body burns the fat in the body and you constantly lose weight.
Chitosan products contain vitamin C which makes it swell up. This promotes appetite suppression which is very important for weight loss.
Can Chitosan Really Absorb Fat?
June 06, 2014 05:11 AM
What is a Chitosan
Chitosan is a naturally produced supplement that is recommended by nutrition experts and doctors as a great remedy for weight loss and high cholesterol, which results in a lower risk to develop bothersome cardiovascular problems and facilitates a better looking physique. Chitosan is made from the outer shell of crustaceans, such as shrimp or lobster. The outer shell is processed and a special form of "sugar", also known as a polysaccharide, is obtained. Unlike other types of artificially created sugars, Chitosan possesses unique properties that make it a great addition to a healthy diet for individuals who want to manage their weight and prevent obesity.
Loose Weight By Cutting Dietary Fat Absorption
December 08, 2007 06:24 PM
You can lose weight by cutting dietary fat absorption, although in order to understand the need for this you have to appreciate the effect that fat has on your weight. Not only fat, but any form of calories.
The word ‘calorie’ appears to have a bad press, and there have been a lot of ill informed comments made about calories and whether calorie controlled diets are effective or not. Quite frankly, it is all said in ignorance. Whether you agree or not, the calorie is a measurement of energy and the calorie content of foods is what is calculated to be the energy value of these foods.
Once inside your body, that energy is either used up or converted to body mass. It is not necessarily converted to fat, since that extra weight could be in the form of muscle tissue. However, it is converted to body mass and so you can put on weight. The basic equation is that if you take in more energy than you use, then you add weight, and if you use more energy than you take in, then you lose weight. It is slightly more complex than that, but it is basically true.
That does not mean that if you eat a pound of dripping (the fat that drips off cooking meat) you will add a pound of weight. It is the calorific value of the dripping in terms of energy, whether measured in calories or in joules, that is the relevant factor, and if that is 4000 calories, which is about average for various types of dripping, then if you use up 4001 calories in exercise, you can safely spread your pound of lard on toast and eat it without putting on weight (you will have also to use up the calories in the toast).
It is the calorie equation that is important, and if this is negative then you will lose weight. You have to: it is a law of science! Whether your calories are in the form of cookies, candies, avocados (loads of them) or dripping, it is all the same. A meat calorie is the same as a vegetarian or vegan calorie. If you eat more than you use you put on weight.
Different foods contain different quantities of energy, or calories. If you buy a Big Mac you eat 570 calories, and 5 from your Super Pepsi. If the guy next to you has an English Muffin, he will have 140 calories. However, if he then goes home and slouches on the sofa watching TV and you go to the gym for a serious workout, he is liable to put on weight and you lose it. It’s all in the equation!
However, you don’t just use calories in exercise. Your metabolism is also important. In fact 65% - 75% of the calories you use in a day are used up by the body at rest: the metabolism that takes place 24/7 to keep you alive. The heartbeat, breathing and brain activity for example, all use up energy. So not all is doom and gloom, and you can burn up these calories even while you are sleeping.
However, there is another way to prevent the fat you eat from turning into weight. (Incidentally, if you exercise a lot, that weight will likely be in muscle mass, but if not then it will certainly be fat). You have a clue to the way that can be done in the first sentence of this article: ‘dietary fat absorption’.
If the fat is not absorbed into the body, then it is not available to be metabolized into body fat. It will pass through the body unchanged. It is not the fat you consume that makes you gain weight, but the amount of that fat absorbed through your intestines. But how is it possible to selectively prevent the fat in your diet from being emulsified by the bile and absorbed through the intestinal wall?
By means of Chitosan. This is a fiber that absorbs part of the fat from the food you have eaten and hides it away from your digestive system. It cannot be broken down into sugars and then into fat to add to your unwanted weight. However, because it works after your meal, you get to eat what you want – that ‘finger lickin’ good’ stuff you love, but don’t suffer the consequences of failing to exercise to work it off. It’s like you just ate lettuce without the fried chicken with the crispy fatty skin.
So what is this miracle substance, Chitosan? Biologists would recognize the name as being associated with chitin, the acetyl-glucosamine polymer that forms the carapaces, or shells, of crabs, lobsters and other marine shellfish. Chitosan is formed by deacetylating the chitin and is mainly used to enhance the growth of plants, and also as a filtration aid. So what does it do to help to remove some of the fat from your diet after you have eaten it?
The mechanism by which it does this is not fully understood, and in fact is still disputed in some quarters. However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and it appears to act according to the claims. There are two possible mechanisms, one of which is connected with the deacetylation of the chitin molecule. Because of this, the resultant Chitosan molecule has cationic groups on the polymer chain. Cations are positively charged, and can react with acids, not the least of which are the bile acids that break down lipids (fats) to render them into a form suitable for absorption.
It is possible for the Chitosan to react with the bile acids and prevent them from breaking down the fats into a condition that enables them to be passed through the intestinal wall. However, it has also been proposed that dietary fibers work by increasing the thickness of the boundary layer of the intestine through which the fats would have to pass. This would have the effect of reducing the lipid uptake.
It is also possible that since Chitosan is a fibrous substance, it attracts the fats through its charge and absorbs them into a swelling ball of fats and fiber that is not only impermeable by the bile acids, but also passes through the intestinal tract unchanged and eventually excreted. In fact, there is not proof for any of these projected mechanisms, and all are theoretically possible. The fact is that it appears to work, but must be taken for several weeks for the effects to be noticeable.
It is possible to lose weight by dietary fat absorption, and whatever mechanism is used by Chitosan, it is well worth trying if you like your fatty foods but also want to lose weight. Combine Chitosan with a good exercise regime and you might find that you can control your weight whatever you eat. Chitosan is available over the counter at any health food store.
THE HEALTH AND NUTRITIONAL USES OF CHI-TOSAN
June 25, 2005 08:15 PM
THE HEALTH AND NUTRITIONAL USES OF CHI-TOSAN
1 . Chitosan Is A Natural Antacid Studies have shown that Chitosan is an effective and highly safe antacid.97 A U.S. patent has also been issued in this area.107
2 . Antihypert ensive Some clinical studies have found that Chitosan worked as an antihypertensive agent. It lowered blood pressure in male subjects which were fed a high salt diet.99 It also has the ability to decrease blood levels of chloride, which decreases the activity of an angiotensin converting enzyme. Angiotensin is vital to the maintenance of normal blood pressure.100
3 . Antibact erial/ Anticandida/ Antiviral Properties Of Chitosan. a) Chitosan has been effectively used to treat acne. It is able to inhibit certain bacteria which cause the inflammation associated with acne.91 b) Chitosan has exhibited the ability to kill candida in clinical tests involving mice due to its effect on protease action.92 c) When used as a food preservative, Chitosan exhibited stronger bactericidal activity than lactic acid.93 d) In some tests, Chitosan even demonstrated a dramatic anti- parasitic action.94 e) 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.95 f) Chitosan has demonstrated the ability to kill certain viruses.96
4 . Wound And Ulcer Healing And Chitosan. Tests using topical applications of Chitosan found that it promoted faster healing of wounds or abscesses that had become infected with staph infection.88 Topical applications of Chitosan decreased coagulation time which is vital to the healing of wounds like bleeding ulcers.89
5 . Anti-Plaque Action Of Chitosan In The Mouth. Because of its antacid action, Chitosan increases the pH in the mouth. Chitosan also binds bacteria that cause dental plaque and subsequent tooth decay.98
6 . Chitosan, Calcium Absorption And Bone Health. Clinical tests have found that Chitosan enhances the bioavailability of calcium. When Chitosan is added to the diet more of the dietary calcium is absorbed.105 The more calcium is available, the better bone quality will be. The prevention of osteoporosis depends on continual supplies of “absorbable” calcium. Chitosan has been used as a supplementary food for osteoporosis.
June 25, 2005 08:13 PM
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Bodwell CE, Erdman JW Jr. Marcel Dekker New York 1988. 116 Heleniak EP, Aston B. Prostaglandins, Brown Fat and Weight Loss. Medical Hypotheses 1989;28:13-33. 117 Connor WE, DeFrancesco CA, Connor SL. N-3 fatty acids from fish oil. Effects on plasma lipoproteins and hypertriglyceridemic patients. Ann NY Acad Sci 1993;683:16-34. 118 Conte AA. A non-prescription alternative in weight reduction therapy. The Bariatrician Summer 1993:17-19. 119 McCarty MF. Inhibition of citrate lyase may aid aerobic endurance. Unpublished manuscript. 120 Bray GA. Weight homeostasis. Annual Rev Med 1991;42:205-216. 121 Dulloo AG, Miller DS. The thermogenic properties of Ephedrin/Methylxanthine mixtures: Human studies. Intl J Obesity 986;10:467-481. 122 Arai K, Kinumaki T, Fujita, T. Bulletin Tokai Regional Fisheries Res Lab. 1968;No. 56. 123 Bough WA. Private communication. 124 Freidrich EJ, Gehan, EA, Rall DP, Schmidt LH, Skipper HE. Cancer Chemotherapy Reports 1966;50(4):219-244. 125 A Drovanti, AA Bignamini, AL Rovati. Therapeutic activity of oral glucosamine sulfate in osteoarthritis: A placebo-controlled double-blind investigation. Clinical Therapeutics 1980;3(4):260-272. 126 K Deuchi, O Kanauchi, M Shizukuishi, E Kobayashi. Continuous and massive intake of Chitosan affects mineral and fat-soluble vitamin status in rats fed on a high-fat diet. Biosci. Biotech. Biochemistry. 1995;59(7):1211-6. 127 . BesChitin W in Chitin Wound Healing (video), Unitika Corporation, April 1992.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
June 25, 2005 08:10 PM
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
1 . Chit osan Provides a Realist ic Approach t o Fat and Fiber Int ake.
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 to 20-30 percent of the total caloric value and increases fiber to 20-30 grams/day is much more realistic and will help significantly 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 availability of a safe, health-promoting fat binder 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 could be a very powerful dietary complement, facilitating 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 is a valuable tool to use in attaining optimal nutrition and robust health.
2 . Chitosan Is an Effective Fat Binder.
While all the previously mentioned properties of Chitosan are notable, its extraordinary ability to bind fats promises to be its most valuable asset. To reiterate, 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 formidable task by converting fat into a form that the body does not absorb and subsequently expels.
Any of us who occasionally eat southern fried chicken, a Big Mac, or a slice of cheesecake every once in a while can profoundly benefit from the fat binding action of Chitosan. As a fat binder, Chitosan can significantly reduce the amount of fat that enters our blood stream. Consider the possibilities. The foods mentioned above are full of excess fat grams. If you take four capsules (1 gram) of Chitosan with ascorbic acid, which is generally recommended, the fat content of that food is dramatically lowered.
Remember the discussion on 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 metabolic processes know, those fat grams may as well never have existed. 4 . Why Chit osan Is Called t he Fiber of t he Fut ure. 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. It has also been linked to slower rises in blood glucose which also profoundly affects how we store excess calories and when we feel hungry. 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 normal bowel function.
Chitosan is different. While it possesses many of the same benefits as plant fibers like psyllium, Chitosan is “lipophilic” meaning that it “loves fat” It is a positively charged fiber that binds to negatively charged fatty acids. A fiber that attracts fat is unique to say the least.
HOW TO TAKE CHITOSAN
June 25, 2005 08:07 PM
HOW TO TAKE Chitosan
The best way to take Chitosan is prior to eating a high-fat meal, which is usually lunch or dinner. Do not take with essential fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins, minerals or medications with Chitosan as their bioavailability may be inhibited. In order to avoid any type of nutrient deficiency, take your other supplements in the morning, when Chitosan is normally not used. Taking one to two grams of Chitosan is adequate for most meals. (NOTE: Whenever taking any form of fiber, drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day is highly recommended.)
June 25, 2005 08:06 PM
YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE Chitosan IF YOU:
(NOTE: If you are taking medication of any kind, check with your physician before taking Chitosan. Some drugs may be bound to the Chitosan.) The delicate nature of pregnancy and breast-feeding are always approached with additional caution. Even substances as safe as Chitosan are customarily issued with a cautionary note regarding use during these times unless overwhelmingly positive results from a huge number of well-controlled tests with pregnant subjects is available. In the case of Chitosan the potential loss of essential fatty acids (which we generally are already deficient in), fat-soluble vitamins, and certain minerals needs to be taken into consideration. Unfortunately saturated fats don’t come with such a warning label. Another caution involves allergies. Nearly all food substances will trigger allergic reactions in persons with extreme sensitivies. Since Chitosan is derived from shellfish, those persons with extreme shellfish allergies are advised to be cautious. Tests with a small number of persons with extreme shellfish allergies have not demonstrated an allergic response. This is an encouraging but very preliminary result. Reasonable and sensible consumption should always be the rule.
June 25, 2005 08:04 PM
Chitosan is not only very useful, it is also very safe. Chitosan has been used extensively in nummerous industrial, health, and food applications.66,71 Nevertheless, all substances when taken improperly or in gross excess can be detremental to our well-being. For example, water is normally safe when swallowed. On the other hand, breathing large amounts of water can be deadly. Similarly breathing air is relatively safe whereas intraveneous injections of air are usually fatal. To determine the relative safety of various foods, scientists run experiments to determine the food’s toxic level or LD50. Chitosan has been found to have an LD50 of over 16 grams/day/kg body weight in mice.122 Chitosan is a fiber which expands to form a gel in the acidic environment of the stomach. The problems encountered with extremely high doses of Chitosan were caused by gastric dehydration and impaction due to the expansion of the fiber.123 To put these data in context, the authors compared Chitosan to common sugars stating “[I]t appears that Chitosan is less toxic than these substances.”122 Mice are not men. For safety purposes data gathered in mice is divided by 12 to get the human equivalent.124 The relative LD50 in humans then would be 1.33 grams/day/kg. Given that an average person weighs 150 pounds or 70 kg, this means that the toxic amount for a person would be greater than 90 grams per day. Conservatively, one could feel very confident below the 10% level, or 9 grams per day. Clinical studies have used amounts in the 3-6 grams per day range with no adverse effects. As with any fiber, a person is well advised to drink plenty of water. Changing our diets affects our colon function. Constipation or diarrehea may occur in some persons depending on their individ-ual constitutions and on how well the Chitosan supplement was originally formulated. Even though Chitosan is not digestible by our enzymes, it can and is degraded by soil and water microorganisms. This makes Chitosan environmentally friendly. This was recently acknowledged by the US Environmental Protection Agency when it exempted Chitosan from tolerance level testing.68 Any breakdown of Chitosan by our colon microflora would release D-glucoseamine which is itself a wonderfully beneficial nutrient for osteoarthritis sufferers.125 Because Chitosan can bind lipids and certain minerals, it is best to take essential fatty acid supplements, fat soluble vitamins and mineral supplements separate from Chitosan. Taking Chitosan with D- or L-ascorbic acid helps increase the amount of fat bound and decrease the loss of minerals. 77,126
MECHANISMS OF CHITOSAN FAT- BINDING
June 25, 2005 08:02 PM
MECHANISMS OF Chitosan FAT- BINDING
The exact way(s) that Chitosan prevents fat absorbtion is not fully understood but a number of experimental observations support two basic mechanisms. The first mechanism involves the attraction of opposite charges which can be compared to the attraction of opposite magnetic poles. The second entrapment mechanism can be compared to the effect of a net. In the first mechanism the positive charges on Chitosan attract the negatively charged fatty acids and bile acids binding them to the indigestible Chitosan fiber. This mechanism can explain why Chitosan reduces LDL cholesterol levels.
Our bodies make bile acids in the liver using the cholesterol from LDL. When Chitosan binds bile acids it increases the rate of LDL loss thus improving the LDL to HDL ratio. If enough bile acids are bound, the fats are not solublized, which prevents their digestion and absorption. The second mechanism (figure 2) describes a netting effect of Chitosan fiber.
In this model the Chitosan wraps around fat droplets and prevents their being attacked and digested by lipid enzymes. Fats unprotected by Chitosan are digested and absorbed. The “netting” mechanism has been seen to operate in vivo. 108
Substances that Enhance the Action of Chitosan
Fibers can be likened to a tangled-up chain. Fibers must “unravel” in order for them to be of maximum benefit to us. “Unraveling” is especially critical for Chitosan because each link has a hook on which to attach lipids. Chitosan can absorb an average of 4 to 5 times its weight in lipids. Reports of numbers above and below this range have also been reported and may well reflect the rate or extent of unraveling that had taken place. Fiber formulations can be prepared that unravel rapidly and swell quickly. These highly effective formulations are called superabsorbants. When certain substances are added to Chitosan, its remarkable fat-binding ability can be significantly enhanced.
D-Ascorbic acid (erythorbic acid) and L-ascorbic acid are C-vitamins which enhance Chitosan’s ability to bind lipids. Combining Chitosan with ascorbic acid results in even less fat absorption and greater fecal fat losses.77,108 In one study the addition of ascorbic acid to a Chitosan enriched diet increased fecal fat losses by 87 percent and decreased fat absorption by over 50 percent.77
Cholesterol oxides cause lesions in artery walls which predispose blood vessels to collect plaque. These dietary cholesterol oxides profoundly influence the initiation of heart disease.Free radicals can also contribute to the formation of cholesterol oxides which are even more likely to damage the heart. Cholesterol oxides have been found in deep-fried foods, powdered eggs, processed meats and in human blood itself. Consequently, taking antioxidants like ascorbic acid is vital to protect against the cellular damage this type of free radical causes.112
In feeding experiments with animals, adding citric acid to a Chitosan enriched diet resulted in a decreased feed consumption.77 The most likely explanation for this effect is that the citric acid may be enhancing the swelling action of Chitosan leading to a sense of fullness, producing satiety and appetite suppression.
Indoles are remarkable phytochemicals which have the ability to selectively activate certain Mixed Function Oxidases (MFOs).113 These MFO’s help balance estrogen metabolism and prepare dietary toxins for elimination before they are absorbed. The presence of fiber in the intestines provides a bulk agent to carry the metabolized toxins out of the body. Chelat ed Minerals 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. Chelated minerals act to bolster, support and protect the organ systems of the body.114,115
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 metabolites and facilitate the availability of fuel for energy.
Essential Fatty Acids
Prostaglandins control and balance many body functions. The dietary building blocks for making prostaglandins are the essential fatty acids (EFAs). The role of prostaglandins in weight loss has been extensively discussed in a recent review.116 EFAs exert profound lipid-lowering effects.They reduce the synthesis of triglycerides and very low density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) in the liver. EFA supplementation coupled with a low-cholesterol, low-saturated fat in diet produces a complementary effect in lowering serum lipid levels.117 Garcinia Cambogia ( Hydroxy Cit ric Acid) Garcinia Cambogia contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA). This form of citric acid inhibits the liver’s ability to make fats out of carbohydrates.118
Carbohydrates are converted to glycogen stores, not fat stores, giving the body a better energy reserve and an increase in stamina.119 Ephedra And Thermogenisis Thermogenesis means “creating heat.” This is one of the ways our bodies have of burning off excess calories and maintaining a constant weight.120 This is an area of weight management research that is being intensely studied. When we repeatedly yo-yo diet or abuse ourselves by eating too much, our thermogenic ability may be reduced. Numerous animal and human studies have confirmed the benefits of ephedra and methylxanthines in inducing weight loss and restoring thermogenic responsiveness.43,44,121
CHITOSAN: The Fiber that Binds Fat
June 25, 2005 07:55 PM
Chitosan is a natural product that inhibits fat absorption. It has the potential to revolutionize the process of losing weight and by so doing, reduce the incidence of some of the most devastating Western diseases we face today. Chitosan is indigestable and non-absorbable. Fats bound to Chitosan become nonabsorbable thereby negating their caloric value. Chitosan-bound fat leaves the intestinal tract having never entered the bloodstream. Chitosan is remarkable in that it has the abilty to absorb an average of 4 to 5 times its weight in fat.60
The same features that allow Chitosan to bind fats endow it with many other valuable properties that work to promote health and prevent disease. Chitosan is a remarkable substance whose time has come.
Chitin, the precursor to Chitosan, was first discovered in mushrooms by the French professor Henri Braconnot in 1811.61 In the 1820’s chitin was also isolated from insects.62 Chitin is an extremely long chain of N-acetyl-D-glucoseamine
glucoseamine units. Chitin is the most abundant natural fiber next to cellulose and is similar to cellulose in many respects. The most abundant source of chitin is in the shells of shellfish such as crab and shrimp. The worldwide shellfish harvest is estimated to be able to supply 50,000 tons of chitin annually.63 The harvest in the United States alone could produce over 15,000 tons of chitin each year.64
Chitin has a wide range of uses but that is the subject of another book. Chitosan was discovered in 1859 by Professor C. Rouget.65 It is made by cooking chitin in alkali, much like the process for making natural soaps. After it
is cooked the links of the Chitosan chain are made up of glucosamine units. Each glucosamine unit contains a free amino group. These groups can take on a positive charge which gives Chitosan its amazing properties. The stucture of Chitosan is represented schematically in Figure 2. Research on the uses of chitin and Chitosan flourished in the 1930s and early 1940s but the rise of synthetic fibers, like the rise of synthetic medicines, overshadowed the interest in natural products. Interest in natural products, including chitin and Chitosan, gained a resurgence in the 1970s and has continued to expand ever since. Uses of Chit osan Some of Chitosan's major uses—both Industrial and Health and Nutritional—are listed in Tables 5 and 6.
Chitosan has been used for about three decades in water purification processes. 67 When Chitosan is spread over oil spills it holds the oil mass together making it easier to clean up the spill. Water purification plants throughout the world use Chitosan to remove oils, grease, heavy metals, and fine particulate matter that cause turbidity in waste water streams.
Fat Binding/ Weight Loss
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
fibers, Chitosan’s unique properties give it the ability to significantly bind fat, acting like a “fat sponge” in the digestive tract. Table 7 shows a comparison of Chitosan and other natural fibers and their ability to inhibit fat absorption. Under optimal conditions, Chitosan can bind an average of 4 to 5 times its weight with all the lipid aggregates tested.60 (NOTE: This assessment was made without the addition of ascorbic acid which potentiates this action even further.77 Studies in Helsinki have shown that individuals taking Chitosan lost an average of 8 percent of their body weight in a 4-week period.76 Chitosan has increased oil-holding capacity over other fibers.108 Among the abundant natural fibers, Chitosan is unique. This uniqueness is a result of Chitosan’s amino groups which make it an acid absorbing (basic) fiber. Most natural fibers are neutral or acidic. Table 7 summarizes the in vivo effects in animals of various fibers on fecal lipid excretion. As can be seen from the results listed, ingestion of Chitosan resulted in 5-10 times more fat excretion than any other fiber tested. D-Glucosamine, the building block of Chitosan, is not able to increase fecal fat excretion. This is due to the fact that glucosamine is about 97 percent absorbed while Chitosan is nonabsorbable. Fats bound to glucosamine would likely be readily absorbed along with the glucosamine. Chitosan, on the other hand, is not absorbed and therefore fats bound to Chitosan can not be absorbed.
Chitosan has the very unique ability to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) while boosting HDL cholesterol (the good kind).78 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.”79 Japanese researchers have concluded that Chitosan “appears to be an effective hypocholesterolemic agent.”80 In other words, it can effectively lower blood serum cholesterol levels with no apparent side effects. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that Chitosan is as effective in mammals as cholestryramine (a cholesterol lowering drug) in controlling blood serum cholesterol without the deleterious side effects typical of cholestryramine. 81 Chitosan decreased blood cholesterol levels by 66.2 percent.82 It effectively lowered cholesterol absorption more than guar gum or cellulose.83 Laboratory test results indicated that a 7.5% Chitosan formula maintained adequate cholesterol levels in rats, despite a dramatic increase in the intake of cholesterol. 84
June 25, 2005 07:29 PM
Stated simply, Chitosan is an extraordinary fat binder. Chemically speaking, Chitosan is an amino polysaccharide that has the ability to “bind” lipids in the stomach before they are absorbed through the digestive system into the bloodstream. The presence of fats in the blood can raise cholesterol levels, contribute to cardiovascular disease and cancer, and most importantly, promote obesity. Not only does Chitosan attract and inhibit fats, it offers an array of other desirable physiological benefits that can foster optimal health and longevity. In an era where everyone is interested in decreasing their fat intake, Chitosan can act as a remarkable supplement. When taken prior to eating or during a meal, it can significantly reduce the body’s absorption of dietary fats. Of equal significance is the fact that when Chitosan is combined with other compounds such as citric acid, ascorbic acid and phytochemicals called indoles, its action is enhanced, making it far more valuable as both a fat binder and dietary health aid. Fat is responsible for more of our health “ills” than any other single substance. Chitosan provides a simple and safe complement to smart eating and exercise to control lipid levels.
June 25, 2005 07:28 PM
The lifestyles of western cultures have been determined to be major contributing factors in diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The most commonly cited factors are inadequate fiber intake, excessive consumption of fats, and a lack of exercise. Educational efforts have resulted in an increase in involvement in various exercise regimines. The consumption of fats, however, continues to increase in spite of the dire warnings that have been publicized. A reduction of fat intake, from an average of 40 percent of the diet to less than 25 percent could have dramatic effects on the health and well-being of the population as a whole. Intake of fiberous foods reduces fat consumption generally through the bulking action of the fibers which leads to a feelings of fullness. Some fibers have an ability to entrap fats in their gelatinous matrix and prevent their absorption. The most effective fiber for preventing fat absorption is Chitosan. Chitosan’s fat entrapment properties can be enhanced by combination with ascorbic acid and other dietary ingredients. Fat entrapment by Chitosan has been shown in animals and can be readily demonstrated. The use of Chitosan in nummerous environmental, agricultual, biomedical, and health-related areas is well documented. Chitosan has been found to be safe for oral consumption.
How Much CLA is the Right
June 22, 2005 09:53 PM
How Much CLA is the Right Amount?
That is one question for researchers to answer with detailed human studies, but if you extrapolate from university studies on animals, it could be between two and six grams a day. (Some animal studies were actually at higher levels, to one half of one percent in weight of a day’s calories.)
Some other things to consider: