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Home > Living Well > Health Library > Chitosan for Weight Control
Some dieters say that chitosan helps decrease appetite.
Chitosan has been shown to inhibit fat absorption in animals, although in studies in humans chitosan did not inhibit fat absorption. Some research has found that taking chitosan during a weight loss program increases the amount of weight loss. In other studies, however, chitosan was ineffective.
It is important to note that supplementing with chitosan will also cause the body to excrete the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, too.
A double-blind Polish study found that people taking 1,500 mg of chitosan three times daily during a weight loss program lost significantly more weight than people taking a placebo with the same program.1 Other studies using smaller amounts of chitosan have reported no effects on weight loss.2, 3, 4
Adverse effects on the growth of children and on the outcome of pregnancy are possible.5 In addition, although chitosan-included alterations in intestinal flora are believed to be beneficial, the possibility that these changes may have negative long-term consequences has not been ruled out. People with intestinal malabsorption syndromes should not use chitosan.
While no long-term studies of the effects of chitosan on human health have been done, animal studies suggest that this compound could inhibit the absorption of minerals and fat-soluble vitamins.
Chitosan is extracted from the shells of crustaceans, such as shrimp and crab.
Last Review: 04-30-2015
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