Chitosan is derived from shellfish, such as crabs or shrimp. It is often used in many different brands of cosmetics and is also found in foods, medical products, and even prescription drugs. It has even been known to be used to make sutures, thanks to the fact that it is antimicrobial and compatible with the human body. Lately, it has been used a lot to help aid in weight loss, but does it really work?
How Does Chitosan Affect Your Body?
In an effort not to get too scientific with things, because not everyone understands the science behind how things work, chitosan helps to lower cholesterol and aid in weight loss by binding to phospholipids and fatty acids in the body.
So what does that actually mean? Chitosan attaches to the fats that you eat and delivers them to your bowel without allowing them to be absorbed into your body through your bloodstream. It does this without affecting the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals that the body needs to be healthy.
Did you know that chitosan can bind to up to 6 times more fat than its weight? This means that it can help to reduce your caloric intake, and in some people has led to a good amount of weight loss.
Who Can Take Chitosan?
Chitosan is not recommended for everyone. If you have an allergy to shellfish, it can be dangerous. This is because it comes from shellfish, and can lead to allergic reaction. It is also not safe for those that take prescription blood thinners because it can increase the effects of the blood thinners and make the blood too thin.
If you are pregnant or nursing, it may not be a good idea to take chitosan. This is due mostly to the fact that it has not been studied enough to be able to tell the safety of it in pregnant or nursing women. As with any supplement, you will want to talk to your doctor to see if it will be something that is suitable for you. This is especially true if you take other medications on a regular basis. You don’t want to take it and end up having it interfere with other things that you take.
Is it Really Effective for Weight Loss?
So, just how effective is chitosan when it comes to weight loss? The truth is that it is not a miracle supplement that will make weight loss a breeze for you, which is what a lot of people think when they take it. Most of the studies that have been conducted regarding chitosan for weight loss pair it with a healthy diet and exercise. It doesn’t matter what it is; nothing is going to offer an overnight solution to weight loss. It is going to take hard work and determination.
The good news is that most of the studies have shown that chitosan has been moderately effective at boosting weight loss results in people that take it on a long-term basis. It isn’t going to be something that offers such drastic results that you notice a difference within just a few days. Most people take it for a few months, or up to six months to really get the most out of it.
Chitosan is also often used by people with Type 2 diabetes. Obesity is the number one cause of Type 2 diabetes, so losing weight can sometimes help this condition to go away entirely. The supplement is not only good at helping people lose weight, but it also can help to reduce blood sugar levels. It does this by increasing the effectiveness of the insulin in your body. This is great news for people who have diabetes.
While chitosan can be something good to add to your daily supplement regimen to aide with weight loss; it can tend to have some pretty vile side effects. People have reported that they began having loose stools, sometimes with an oily texture. This can be gross, and you don’t want to wear white pants if you are going to take it. Also, make sure that you can make it to the bathroom quickly if you need to.
It can also cause you to be gassy, and can even make your stomach hurt. Some people have also reported that it gave them a headache, made them tired, increased anxiety, and even lead to abnormal periods. All of these potential side effects could make you want to steer clear of chitosan, even though it has had a good track record when it comes to aiding weight loss.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, chitosan does have the potential to be a good natural weight loss supplement. It just may not be ideal for everyone. Aside from helping with weight loss, it can also help you make your skin healthier and can help tissue to heal faster. It can even help to promote better heart health by reducing the build up in your arteries. It is also great if you have broken bones because it helps the bones to heal faster. These are just a few of the other added benefits of chitosan.