What Is Chitosan?

What Is Chitosan?
What Is Chitosan?

Studies show that an estimated one in three Americans are obese. As such, weight-loss products are some of the hottest-selling items on the shelves. With our hectic lifestyles, there is often little or no time to establish a regular exercise routine. Chitosan is one of many available supplements that help the body lose weight. This article will discuss what Chitosan is and how it works

Chitosan was first discovered in 1811 by a professor named Henri Braconnot in Nancy, France. It was found in its base form, chitin, in an experiment involving fungi. Branconnot were able to isolate chitin, discovered a substance on the walls of fungi when boiled in sulfuric acid. The ability of the material to grab fats was what attracted further attention. Later in the century, shellfish found to contain chitin as well. Further experimentation with the drug was conducted by a researcher named Ledderhose, who was looking for a way to make it more soluble. It was not until 1894 that the name of chitosan was established as a customized version of chitin.

Chitin is a polysaccharide found in the shells of shellfish such as lobster, shrimp and crab. Through a chemical refining process, the shell material is pulverized until it becomes a powder, and more versatile Chitosan is made. The chemical makeup gives it a positive charge, which accounts for its ability to attract particles with a negative or opposite charge. Oily or fatty, phosphorus and heavy metals are attracted by chitosan is positively charged.

As a dietary supplement, chitosan claimed absorb six to 10 times its weight in fat and oils. It does this by dissolving inside the stomach and binding with any fat or oil-based food that is ingested. The chitosan and fat form a gel inside the stomach, which keeps the body from processing and absorb fat. The gel is then excreted as waste. Since no extra fat content is absorbed, the body is better able to burn stored fat deposits.

Chitosan has also been reported to reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the body while increasing the level of good cholesterol. Its chemical structure is said to function as antacid well. As with all supplements, it is available over the counter and can be purchased from your local pharmacy or online.

Because of adhesive properties, chitosan is used in industrial and agricultural settings as well. Agriculture comprises treating the plants with chitosan to ward off fungal infections. It is also used to stimulate plant growth. As an industrial agent, it is assumed in water filtration to remove oils, heavy minerals and phosphorus from our water supply.

Chitosan natural properties include the ability to accelerate the clotting and provide anti-bacterial protection. Celox and Hemcon is pharmauceutical brands of chitosan. Both are currently used as field dressings to treat battlefield wounds by the US Marines and US Army

Chitosin use as a weight-loss product is advertised but there is little to no research evidence available to substantiate the allegations. Opponents stress that the possible negative influences of chitosan include preventing the body from absorbing vitamins and nutrients from digested food. Supporters of the supplement states that no side effects are caused by the chitosan, as it is easily eliminated from the body via normal systemic processes.

As with any medication, always consult your doctor before use. If you are on other medications, only a doctor could identify possible adverse interactions with chitosan. Just because there is an over-the-counter supplement does not necessarily mean it is healthy or safe.

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