Weight Loss Benefits of Chitosan
Chitosan is a fiber extracted from the exoskeletons of shrimp and other crustaceans and has the ability to attract and expel dietary fats in the digestive system. Chitin, a constituent of chitosan, is derived from the exoskeletons of crustaceans, arthropods, fungi and yeast.
Chitosan has many benefits mainly in health and weight reduction. Chitosan is able to reduce triglycerides in the blood because of its ability to bind dietary lipids, thus reducing intestinal lipid absorption. Chitin also has the ability of soaking up fat found in the intestines and flushes this fat out of the body before the body absorbs it. In this way, Chitosan helps to lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and at the same time increase the levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Chitosan has also exhibited anti-tumor action with its inhibitory action on tumor cells.
Chitosan is sold in a tablet form at many health stores and online and is advertised as a ‘fat attractor’ or ‘fat blocker’. Chitosan can be purchased either as Chitosan supplements or as an ingredient in herbal diet pills. Chitosan is commonly used in diet pills because it has the ability to absorb six to eight times of its total weight in liquids. For this reason, Chitosan expands in the stomach and helps to suppress appetite as well as remove fats.
Clinical studies with Chitosan suggest that the process of fat extraction is boosted greatly by adding vitamin C and hence enhancing lipids absorption. For this reason, many of the products that have chitosan as their primary ingredient will also have the inclusion of vitamin C or ascorbic acid.
Like many other products available, Chitosan has some side effects, but they are relatively mild. One of the major side effects of taking Chitosan is the removal of healthy fats and some vitamins and minerals from the body. However, for a simple, inexpensive and effective method of getting rid of excess fat, the use of chitosan is recommended for people who are seeking a gentle and mild weight loss supplement.