Chitosan for Weight Loss
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Chitosan for Weight Loss

Chitosan is thought to prevent the absorption of fat in your body and might promote feelings of satiety, which may aid weight loss efforts. However, studies indicate clinically insignificant weight reductions and the substance might prevent vitamin and healthy fat absorption.

Alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise, it is believed that supplements may help you to drop a few pounds and achieve a slimmer figure. There are many supposed fat burning supplements available in health stores that claim to help you lose weight fast. For many years, it has been thought that chitosan may help to prevent the absorption of fat in the body. Can chitosan really help you to lose weight? It is important to examine what chitosan is, how it might aid weight loss, analyse clinical studies and look at the side effects to try and answer this question.

What is Chitosan?

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It is thought that chitosan is a sugar substance derived from chitin. This is supposedly extracted from the outer skeleton of shellfish and crustaceans, such as lobster, squid and crab. Chitosan is said to be an indigestible fibre and is thought to bind to fat as it moves through the digestive system and out of the body.

It is claimed that chitosan is used as medicine for many illnesses. It is said to help treat obesity, high cholesterol and Crohn’s disease.

Although it is thought to be a sugar, it is believed that chitosan supplementation may help you to lose weight. It has supposedly become a popular ‘quick fix’ supplement for those looking to drop a few pounds.

How Might Chitosan Aid Weight Loss?

It is thought that chitosan may act as a ‘fat blocker’ in the body. It is supposedly used in weight loss supplements, as it is believed to prevent the absorption of fat in the digestive system. Chitosan is said to be a fibre substance, which supposedly binds to fat and this may prevent fatty foods we eat being absorbed by the body. This may mean that it could prevent weight gain. Chitosan may also aid in weight loss efforts if it is included in a calorie-restricted diet with regular exercise. As it is supposedly a fibre substance, it may assist the digestive system and this might help to flush toxins from the body. Thus, chitosan may act as a detox supplement, which might allow you to achieve a flatter stomach.

Also, it is thought that chitosan may help you to feel full and satisfied if it is taken after a meal. As it is thought to be a fibre substance, this might allow you to suppress your appetite and feel less hungry. This may allow you to eat fewer calories during the day, which might aid in weight loss efforts. It is believed that eating fewer calories than your body needs in a day may allow your body to burn fat as fuel.

However, if chitosan is able to block the absorption of fat from your diet, it might block goods fats from supposedly healthy foods such as salmon, nuts and oils. It is thought that some fats may be good for your health and the body might need a certain amount of fats to perform at its best. If this is true, this may affect weight loss efforts.

In addition, if chitosan has the ability to excrete fat that is consumed from the body then it might prevent fat-soluble vitamins from being absorbed. This may mean our body does not get the vitamins that are needed for the body to work properly. This might include vitamins A, D, E and K, which are supposedly stored by the body for when they are needed. It may also affect how certain medications are absorbed such as oral contraceptives that are supposedly fat-soluble.

Therefore, chitosan may aid in weight loss by potentially preventing the absorption of fats from your diet. It might also help you to feel full during the day, which may prevent snacking or overeating. However, it may mean that the body does not absorb goods fats, fatty acids and vitamins from healthy foods. This may have an effect on your health and might jeopardise weight loss efforts. It may help to examine clinical studies on chitosan to get an indication of its effectiveness.

Clinical Studies

Clinical studies on chitosan have reached different conclusions on its effectiveness for weight loss. One study found that chitosan might reduce up to 3kg of body weight during a 90-day period without any changes to the diet. This may suggest that just taking chitosan alone might help you to lose weight.

However, the results from supposedly high quality trials indicate that the effect that chitosan has on body weight may be minimal. For example, a 24 week trial found that chitosan did not result in a clinically significant loss of body weight. Another study found that it might take more than seven months for men taking chitosan supplements to lose one pound of body fat. They also thought that women would not lose any weight with chitosan supplementation.
Thus, some studies find it may help you to lose weight, whilst other research suggests it might not induce any significant changes to body weight. More clinical studies may be needed to assess the effectiveness of chitosan for weight loss.

Side effects

It is thought that chitosan may be safe for most people to consume for up to six months. One study where body weight was reduced reported that chitosan was supposedly safe and well tolerated by all of the subjects. However, effects after taking chitosan for more than six months has not been discussed and there does not seem to be much information available about the safety of chitosan beyond this time.

Chitosan may not agree with everyone and might cause some side effects. It is believed that it may cause an upset stomach, abdominal pain, headaches, constipation or flatulence.

A study thought that chitosan was well tolerated but could not be recommended for those that were allergic to crustaceans. It is said that if you have an allergy to shellfish, chitosan might be safe to consume. Although it is supposedly the meat that people are allergic to, it may potentially cause an allergic reaction and might not be worth taking.

It is also thought that chitosan may interact with some medications such as warfarin or any blood thinning medication. If you are in doubt as to whether chitosan is safe for you to consume, it is advised that you seek advice from your doctor and discuss any concerns with a professional.

How to use/where to Buy

It is claimed that chitosan is a popular weight loss supplement available in tablet, powder and capsule form. It is supposedly taken once or up to three times a day depending on the strength of the supplement.

It is said that chitosan can be bought as an individual supplement or may be included as an ingredient in a general fat burning supplement. It is thought to be available from health stores, bodybuilding retailers and online marketplaces. Price may depend on the brand, size and strength of the supplement.


In conclusion, chitosan is believed to be a weight loss supplement that is supposedly well tolerated by most people for short periods of time. It might help you to slim down and lose a few pounds as it is thought to prevent the absorption of fat and might help you to feel satisfied after meals. Together, this may allow you to reach your weight loss goals alongside a healthy and balanced diet and regular exercise. However, some clinical studies indicate that chitosan may not be as effective for weight loss as previously thought. It may affect the absorption of healthy fats and vitamins and also might not be totally free from side effects.

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