Chitosan is a compound formed from chitin by partial deacetylation with alkali. [1]


Chitosan the unique natural biopolymer is commercially originated from chitin. Although usually manufactured by de-acetylating chitin trough chemical processes. Chitosan is likewise discovered in nature, for instances as a key component in fungal cell walls.

Its chemical structure can most simply be referred to as a co-polymer of glucosamine and acetyl-glucosamine. As a natural cationic biopolymer in its dissolved kind (ph<< 5,7), Chtitosan has a positive charge, triggering flexible usages based upon tis chlating, anti-microbioal, gelling and film-forming homes. Chitosan consist of a family of products, differing in polymer length, chemical series and product purities. [2]

What are other typical names?

  • Chitin
  • Chitosan Ascorbate
  • Chitosane
  • Deacetylated Chitosan
  • Enzymatic Polychitosamine Hydrolisat
  • HEP-30
  • Mono-Carboxymethylated Chitosan
  • N,O-Sulfated Chitosan
  • N-Carboxybutyl Chitosan
  • N-Carboxybutyl Chitosane
  • O-Sulfated N-Acetylchitosan
  • Poliglusam
  • Sulfated N-Carboxymethylchitosan
  • Trimethyl Chitosan Chloride [3]


Chitosan has an extra prospective advantage than most other types of fiber, discusses Health Services at Columbia. When taking a trip through the intestines, chitosan binds to a percentage of dietary fat and takes it along out of the body, avoiding this fat from being soaked up. This action accounts for the theoretical impacts of chitosan on cholesterol levels and weight, but chitosan might not bind with adequate fat to trigger substantial effects.

Mixed Research Study Outcomes

An evaluation of research studies released in a 2008 issue of the “Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews” examined the effectiveness of chitosan for health advantages in individuals with obese and ovesity. The 15 studies included 1,219 participants. Typically, chitosan consumption led to considerable weight loss, reduced overall cholesterol and decreased high blood pressure as compared to placebo. The authors cautioned that when they narrowed the studies to those of higher quality with bigger numbers of participants and longer duration, the improvements were much smaller.

Factors to consider

Research appearing in the June 1999 concern of “Approaches and Findings in Speculative and Scientific Pharmacology” discovered that otherwise healthy ladies with weight problems taking chitosan supplements did not experience significant declines in cholesterol or triglyceride levels when compared to women taking a placebo. In fact, the group taking chitosan experienced slightly increased triglycerides. Neither group dropped weight. The females taking chitosan taken in 3 400mg capsules two times per day for 8 weeks.


On the other hand, a study published in the Winter 2003 problem of the “Journal of Medicinal Food” discovered benefits of chitosan supplements for people with type 2 diabetes and unusual amounts of blood lipid levels. Individuals ate either a specific everyday quantity of bread consisting of 2 percent chitosan or they consumed regular bread. Individuals eating the chitosan bread experienced lower levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol, and considerable increases in high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, cholesterol, the great cholesterol. No considerable weight decrease or changes in triglyceride levels took place.


The fat-absorption activity of chitosan likewise prevents some absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as phytochemicals that help to prevent illness, cautions Health Solutions at Columbia. In addition, some medications such as birth control pills are fat-soluble, and chitosan could affect their absorption. [4]

How Does Chitosan Work?

Chitosan works in more than one method, which is reflected in its diverse uses.

For beginners, it’s used in health care, cosmetics, dentistry, and for targeted drug shipment.

Its sturdiness and unique chemical structure grant chitosan prospective health benefits. Individuals mainly utilize it for boosting weight reduction and lowering cholesterol, but it can also form protective movies on damaged skin and aid its healing.

What makes chitosan so special?

The majority of its various usages cover from its physical homes: chitosan is a “biopolymer”– it forms a network of tightly bound big particles that offer mechanical integrity.

Binding Fats

Chitosan is a non-digestible dietary fiber. When taken in, its network of big particles binds to toxic substances, fats, and cholesterol in the gut. These get performed of the gut and removed with the stool.

In other words, chitosan may lower the absorption of fats and contaminants in your gut by binding to them, a mechanism observed in rat research studies.

Its ability to bind excess fats is thought to underlie its weight-loss action as well.

Regrowing the Skin

When chitosan is applied to the skin, it frees active substances that reduce swelling and boost renewal.

In cells, chitosan reduced the action of several inflammatory substances (such as IL-1b); it likewise increased the action of anti-inflammatory ones, such as IL-10– a cytokine essential for skin regrowth and injury recovery.

Health Advantages of Chitosan

Wound Recovery & Surgical Treatment Recovery

Chitosan gels can assist accelerate wound recovery and help in surgical treatment recovery. In a meta-analysis of three medical studies, chitosan gel dressing lowered swelling and helped stop bleeding after sinus surgery. The dressing did not affect crusting or infections.

In 25 patients, a gel with chitosan, 0,2% chlorhexidine, allantoin, and dexpanthenol boosted wound recovery after third molar extraction. However, it didn’t alleviate postoperative discomfort.

In one research study, topical chitosan stimulated collagen production, increased the local immune action, encouraged tissue regeneration, and avoided scarring.

High Blood Pressure

Scientists have actually been studying chitosan as a binding representative for salt for the management of high blood pressure (high blood pressure).

In two trials of 81 patients with prehypertension or moderate high blood pressure, taking a particular product (Symbiosal) with 3% chitosan in table salt for 8 weeks reduced systolic high blood pressure, compared with salt alone.

Insufficient Evidence:

No legitimate scientific evidence supports using chitosan for any of the conditions in this section. Below is a summary of updated animal research studies, cell-based research study, or low-grade clinical trials which need to trigger further investigation. However, you should not translate them as encouraging of any health advantage.

Weight reduction

Chitosan forms connective movies, connecting to bile and fatty acids in the gut. The films then go through your gastrointestinal system, potentially increasing the amount of fat eliminated in the stool.

In one scientific study, chitosan supplements lowered participants’ weight by up to ~ 7 pounds over three months. However placebo alone helped individuals lose approximately 4 pounds. In turn, chitosan’s practical contribution was just about 3 lbs (1.36 kg), usually.

A Cochrane database evaluation consisted of 15 clinical trials of 1,219 total individuals. Chitosan supplements a little improved weight loss (1.7 kg on average). However, this evaluation failed to confirm increased fat excretion. The authors concluded that “the impact of chitosan on body weight is minimal and not likely to be of scientific significance”.

Even if chitosan did bind and eliminate dietary fats, there’s a prospective disadvantage to this result. By attaching to and enhancing the elimination of excess fats, it might likewise increase the elimination of essential minerals such as calcium and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D and vitamin A.

More clinical trials need to investigate long-term safety and effectiveness of chitosan supplements for weight-loss.

High Cholesterol

According to a review of human studies, including chitosan to a regular diet plan can decrease overall blood cholesterol levels by ~ 6-40% and LDL cholesterol levels by 15– 35%.

In one trial of 84 ladies, chitosan worked to lower overall cholesterol levels much better than placebo. In a subgroup of ladies over 60 years of age, it likewise decreased LDL and total cholesterol.

On the other hand, chitosan failed to improve cholesterol levels in 3 studies of 247 individuals in the lack of dietary changes.

It might be a safe option for people with borderline-high cholesterol levels, together with suitable dietary and way of life changes. More research study is required.

Kidney Illness

Chitosan supplements may assist people with kidney disease or kidney failure, but the research to-date is sporadic.

In one older trial, chitosan provided to 40 people with kidney failure improved strength, cravings, and sleep after 12 weeks. It also increased hemoglobin and minimized blood creatinine and urea levels, which points to its potential to enhance kidney function.

Additionally, high phosphorus levels are strongly linked with a higher risk of passing away in people with chronic kidney disease. In rats, an iron-chitosan complex lowered blood phosphorus levels. This complex can bind phosphorus more powerful than many other offered phosphorus binders.

Oral Health

More just recently, chitosan found its method into dentistry and oral health.

It can be formulated into products for battling cavities and increasing oral health. Some individuals chew chitosan gum to prevent or lower gum inflammation, though no research studies verified their effectiveness.

In one clinical study, a chitosan mouth-rinse reduced plaque accumulation and bacterial growth that causes gum disease.

Chitosan’s microbe-fighting impacts in humans are still an active location of research study.

Animal and Cellular Research Study (Lacking Proof)

No clinical proof supports making use of chitosan for any of the conditions noted in this section. Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based studies; they ought to direct further investigational efforts however must not be interpreted as encouraging of any health advantage.


Chitosan oligosaccharides reduced tiredness in sleep-deprived rats. It likewise suppressed other undesirable fatigue-triggered effects, such as weight reduction and immobility.

Furthermore, chitosan reduced excess levels of the stress hormone cortisol in tired mice and raised their levels of a crucial antioxidant called superoxide dismutase (SOD).


Chitosan oligosaccharide might lower swelling, however medical trials are still lacking.

In rats, this oligosaccharide reduced swelling in the brain, reducing the release of inflammatory cytokines (such as IL-1b and TNF-alpha).

In cells, it blocked swelling triggered by a bacterial toxin– LPS (by reducing IL-6). LPS can set off a strong inflammatory action and may slip into the blood in people with leaky gut.

Crohn’s Illness and Leaky Gut

There is a strong link between inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1b and TNF-alpha and Crohn’s disease. High levels of these cytokines might increase cell death (apoptosis) in the gut, jeopardizing the gut’s integrity and potentially leading to what is frequently called leaky gut.

According to animal research studies, chitosan oligosaccharide may enhance IBD symptoms (consisting of Crohn’s) and reduce the death of gut cells. This impact may assist reinforce the gut barrier.

In another current study, piglets consuming a chitosan oligosaccharide-enhanced diet experienced minimized gut swelling.

Brain Protection

Chitosan oligosaccharide may have some brain-protective homes. Supplements with the oligosaccharide type lowered brain damage in rats with Alzheimer’s and enhanced their memory and learning.

Extra research is underway, exploring its potential to prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Binding Toxins & Heavy Metals

Chitosan may bind to and help eliminate toxins. Considering that it removes bacteria (such as E.coli) and heavy metals from water, similar gain from supplements are a possibility. In spite of this, its results on cleaning contaminants in people have yet to be explored.

In rats, chitosan protected against the buildup of a poisonous heavy metal called cadmium. It lowered cadmium levels and safeguarded the animals versus damage.

In one cell-based study, chitosan might bind to and filter out mold toxins.

Effects on Cancer (Limited Evidence)

The impacts of chitosan on cancer are still unclear.

On the one hand, it activates genes that assist damage damaged cells that could become cancer.

On the other hand, chitosan triggered the growth of liver and colon cancer stem cells in test tubes. These results have not been observed in animals or human beings.

Lastly, chitosan can likewise be used to provide cancer drugs. Medications latch onto its large matrix of particles and are carried through the body up until reaching the intended shipment website.

Chitosan Bandages

Chitosan is an outstanding natural material for making plasters. It has all the following advantages:.

  • Stops or slows down excessive bleeding
  • Reduces the danger of infection
  • Reduces swelling
  • Non-toxic and compatible with skin
  • Releases glucosamine to aid skin repair

Chitosan bandages are used by the military, in injury care, and throughout surgical treatment as injury dressings.

Plasters can also be made from a combination of chitosan, honey, and gelatin. These are applied to burns to assist recovery and encourage skin regeneration.

Chitosan with Glucomannan

Chitosan supplements often come with glucomannan, a dietary fiber frequently required to promote weight-loss. Because chitosan increases fat elimination, it makes good sense to assume that this combination might even more encourage weight loss.

In one medical research study, their mix minimized cholesterol levels in overweight people.

At the same time, this study casts doubt on the capability of chitosan and glucomannan to improve weight loss. Scientists exposed the mix just assists get rid of cholesterol-like compounds and bile acids, however not fats in general.

Advanced Formulations

Scientists are using chitosan to develop gels that might help provide complex immune compounds to tissues.

In one cell-based research study, chitosan gels were used as a carrier for a protein called Changing Development Element Beta 1 (TGF-β1). This protein increased the development of stem cells in the bone marrow and motivated them to develop into cartilage and joint cells that assist reconstruct connective tissue after injury.

As it turns out, chitosan formulas like this one may pave the way to a new age of regenerative medication.

Chitosan alone, however, will not have this result.

Chitosan For Cats and Dogs

Chitosan gels and plasters are most likely safe in felines and pets.

Applied to the skin, chitosan enhanced injury recovery in over 140 kinds of animals, consisting of felines and canines. It enhanced the development of new connective tissue and blood vessels, while it might also increase collagen production and reduce scarring.

Vets must beware when applying chitosan to large open wounds in animals. High dosages can be absorbed into the bloodstream and might trigger potentially deadly pneumonia in canines. [5]

Chitosan as biomaterial

Chitosan have numerous properties to be utilized in biomedical applications. It has favorable charges in acidic medium, due to protonation of amino groups, and it can bind with unfavorable residues in the mucin, that lead to enhance mucoadhesive properties.

Likewise positive charges on chitosan can bind to negative charges on red blood cells (RBC) so that chitosan used as haemostatic representative.

Chitosan has 2 systems to discuss its antimicrobial activity. The first system proposed that positive charges on chitosan might bind with negative charges at the bacterial cell surface, which change permeability and leaks solutes outside the cells. The second one proposed that it might bind with bacterial DNA cell, which hinder RNA synthesis.

The polycationic nature of chitosan also allows discussing chitosan analgesic results. Undoubtedly, the amino groups of the D-glucosamine residues can protonate in the presence of proton ions that are released in the inflammatory area, leading to an analgesic impact.

Now, to discuss chitosan biodegradability, it is very important to keep in mind that chitosan is not just a polymer bearing amino groups, however also a polysaccharide, which consequently contains breakable glycosidic bonds. Chitosan is really degraded in vivo by numerous proteases, and primarily lysozyme. Till now, eight human chitinases have been identified, 3 of them having enzymatic activity on chitosan. The biodegradation of chitosan leads to the development of non-toxic oligosaccharides of variable length. These oligosaccharides can be included in metabolic pathways or be more excreted. The degradation rate of chitosan is mainly related to its degree of deacetylation, but also to the distribution of N-acetyl D-glucosamine residues and the molecular mass of chitosan.

Chitosan shows biocompatibility in biomedical applications such as stitches and artificial skins and was notably approved by the Fda (FDA) for usage in injury dressings [42] However, the compatibility of chitosan with physiological medium depends upon the preparation method (recurring proteins could certainly cause allergies) and on the DD– biocompatibility increases with DD increase. Chitosan in fact showed to be more cytocompatible in vitro than chitin. Indeed, while the number of favorable charges increases the interaction in between cells and chitosan increases as well, which tends to improve biocompatibility.

Besides, some chemical adjustments of chitosan structure might cause toxicity.

Production procedure of chitosan has excellent result on chitosan properties due to the fact that these processes control the degree of acetylation of chitosan, i.e. Complimentary amino groups that permit it to bind with negatively charged particles.

Chitosan has a number of biological properties that make it an attractive product for use in medical applications. These residential or commercial properties include: biodegradability, absence of toxicity, anti-fungal effects, injury recovery acceleration and immune system stimulation.

Applications of chitosan and chitosan derivatives

Due to chitosan’s lots of appealing properties such as biodegradability, natural origin, abundance, reactivity, and so on, it has lots of areas of application consisting of: medical, agricultural, food processing, nutritional enhancement, cosmetics, and waste and water treatment.

Agricultural applications

The abundance, biodegradability, nontoxic, and natural origin of chitosan enable it to be securely utilized in farming applications because it can be utilized without issues of contamination, disposal, or damage to consumers if ingested. Seed finishing, leaf covering, fertilizer, and time released drug or fertilizer actions are some of the applications within farming where chitosan is used. Using chitosan in these areas has revealed to increase the quantity of crops produced by improving germination, rooting, leaf growth, seed yield, and soil wetness retention, while decreasing the occurrence of fungal infections and illness.

Wastewater treatment applications

Chitosan’s practical groups and natural chelating homes make chitosan beneficial in wastewater treatment by allowing for the binding and elimination of metal ions such as copper, lead, mercury, and uranium from wastewater [4] It can also be utilized to breakdown food particles that contain protein and get rid of dyes and other adversely charged solids from wastewater streams and processing outlets.

Food industry applications

Chitosan’s chelating properties and high performance make it valuable in several applications within the food industry such as binding with and removing particular elements, particles, and products such as dyes and fats from foods. The anti-bacterial and antifungal homes found in chitosan can likewise be used throughout the storage and conservation of food.

Medical applications

Due to chitosan’s ability to operate in lots of kinds it has many areas of interest within the medical market consisting of orthopedic and Periodontal Applications. Tissue engineering, Injury Recovery and Drug Shipment.

Some examples of biomedical applications of are synthetic skin, surgical sutures, artificial blood vessels, managed drug release, contact lens, eye humor fluid, bandages, sponges, burn dressings, blood cholesterol control, anti-inflammatory, growth inhibition, anti-viral, dental plaque inhibition, bone healing treatment, wound recovery accelerator, hemostatic representative, anti-bacterial representative, antifungal representative, weight loss effect. [6]

Dangers and Adverse Effects

Chitosan is often considered “usually recognized as safe,” however there’s limited research study on its security, specifically for long-term use. It may cause adverse side effects in some people, possibly resulting in gastrointestinal problems like upset stomach, gas and irregularity.

Chitosan may also decrease the absorption of important nutrients, including vitamins A, D, E and K and calcium, which might add to nutrient shortages.

Individuals who dislike shellfish might not endure chitosan supplements. If you experience allergy signs, like rash, throat irritation and stomach discomforts, terminate use right away.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding must not take these supplements due to the fact that there’s inadequate evidence on their safety for these groups. Chitosan ought to not be taken by people who are on blood thinners, such as warfarin, as it may increase the blood thinning effects.

When purchasing a supplement or topical, pick from a credible, reliable brand that has clear directions and shows the dosage. Do not surpass the advised dosage.

Supplements and Dose

Chitosan supplements are available online and in vitamin stores. Read the directions carefully for usage and dosage.

The majority of brand names suggest taking the supplement with a meal.

There is no standard suggested dosage for chitosan, and more evidence is needed to make a scientifically tested suggestion. Trials on weight reduction have included 3- to four-gram dosages, with insignificant outcomes.

For blood pressure, using up to 3 grams of a salt item including chitosan may work.

When it concerns weight-loss, the biggest, healthiest and most sustainable effect originates from consuming a healthy diet, moving your body and getting enough rest every night. Without these consider location, no supplement will get you to a healthy weight. [7]

Chitosan Chewing Gum

Chewing chitosan gum likewise ended up being a popular method for reducing high phosphate levels in people with kidney illness.

Nevertheless, chitosan gum is not as good as it sounds. In fact, it is most likely totally inefficient.

One 2009 research study discovered that chitosan gum reduced phosphate levels after simply 2 weeks of chewing. Current studies failed to duplicate the results.

It ends up that the quantity of chitosan in chitosan chewing gum is too low to have a phosphate-binding effect. And according to a detailed analysis, the 2009 research study was badly designed, while the advantages come down to a placebo effect.

Unique Precautions and Cautions

When taken by mouth: Chitosan is perhaps safe when utilized for as much as 3 months. It might cause indigestion, constipation, or gas.

When applied to the skin: Chitosan is potentially safe when used short-term.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t sufficient trustworthy information to understand if chitosan is safe to utilize when pregnant or breast-feeding. Remain on the safe side and prevent usage.

Shellfish allergy: Chitosan is drawn from the external skeleton of shellfish. People with allergies to shellfish may likewise dislike chitosan. [8]

What other drugs communicate with chitosan?

If your medical professional has actually directed you to use this medication, your medical professional or pharmacist may already understand any possible drug interactions and might be monitoring you for them. Do not begin, stop, or change the dose of any medication before talking to your physician, healthcare provider, or pharmacist initially.

Moderate interactions of chitosan consist of:.

  • Antithrombin alfa
  • Antithrombin III
  • Argatroban
  • Bemiparin
  • Bivalirudin
  • Dabigatran
  • Dalteparin
  • Enoxaparin
  • Fondaparinux
  • Heparin
  • Lepirudin
  • Phenindione
  • Protamine
  • Tinzaparin
  • Warfarin

Mild interactions of chitosan consist of:.

The European Food Security Authority’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition, and Allergies set the maximum recommended day-to-day intake of chitosan at 3 grams. There is presently no suggested maximum amount developed in the United States.

While research studies have actually shown chitosan supplements to be normally safe in grownups, the dosages studied range extensively, from 0.34– 3.4 grams of chitosan each day.

For that reason, there’s no consensus on the most efficient dose for chitosan. However remaining listed below that 3-gram optimum set by European security authorities might be an excellent reference.

Examine the supplement label to see how much chitosan remains in one serving (keep in mind that one serving may consist of several pills) and the number of portions are advised per day. Add everything up to see the total day-to-day dosage.

When trying to find a supplement, constantly confirm that it has actually been third-party evaluated. Third-party screening ensures that the supplement satisfies certain purity and potency standards.

Search for a seal on the packaging from an organization such as NSF International, USP, or consumerlab. These seals are typically good indications of supplement quality.

The bottom line

Chitosan is an extensively readily available supplement promoted for weight-loss. While some research suggests that it might be somewhat reliable in conjunction with a calorie-restricted diet and exercise, more research study is required.

Constantly proceed with care when starting a brand-new supplement regimen, and make sure that the benefits surpass the potential dangers. Where chitosan is concerned, its advantages for weight loss are undetermined. [10]


  1. Https://
  2. Https://
  3. Https://
  4. Https://
  5. Https://
  6. Https://
  7. Https://
  8. Https://
  9. Https://
  10. Https://
Our Score