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Chitosan Fat Blocker Benefits and Side Effects – Do Such Pills Work for Weight Loss?

Chitosan Fat Blocker Benefits and Side Effects – Do Such Pills Work for Weight Loss?

Chitosan is a dietary supplement promoted as a common fat blocker similar to garcinia cambogia. Chitosan is made from chitin, found in the skeleton of shrimp, crab, and other shellfish. Chitosan cannot be digested; therefore it passes through the intestinal tract unabsorbed without adding any calories. The chemical nature makes it bind with fatty foods, removing some of the fat from the intestinal tract rather than allowing it to be absorbed. The results of studies with chitosan fat blocker have been mixed. Some studies showed chitosan dietary supplement to be helpful, while others did not.

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Source Naturals – Diet Chitosan, 500 mg, 240 Caps


Chitosan, a fiber derived from chitin in shell-fish, is a nondigestible aminopolysaccharide. Chitosan is synthesized by removing acetyl groups from chitin, through a process called deacetylation. This process enhances the activity by improving its solubility in the acidic environment of the stomach.

Supplement Facts:

Chitosan (minimum 90% deacetylated chitin) 1 gram

Suggested Use: Two chitosan capsules before lunch and two capsules before dinner.

Chitosan Fat Blocker for Weight Loss

Evaluating efficacy of a chitosan product using a double-blinded, placebo-controlled protocol.

J Am Coll Nutr. 2006. Kaats GR, Michalek JE, Preuss HG. Health and Medical Research Center, San Antonio, TX, USA.

These researchers at Health and Medical Research Center in San Antonio, Texas, looked into the effectiveness of a chitosan fat blocker dietary supplement on body composition. In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled dietary intervention protocol, subjects were assigned to a chitosan fat blocker treatment group, a placebo group (P) and a control group (C). The chitosan fat blocker treatment group took six 500 mg chitosan capsules per day and both chitosan fat blocker treatment group and P groups wore pedometers during their waking hours and recorded daily step totals. The C group followed weight loss programs of their choice, and took the same baseline and ending tests. Compared to C, the chitosan fat blocker treatment group lost more weight (-2.8 lbs vs. +0.8 lbs) and fat mass (-2.6 lbs vs. +0.1 lbs). Compared to P, the chitosan fat blocker treatment group lost more weight (-2.8 lbs. vs. -0.6 lbs), % fat (-0.8% vs. +0.4%, fat mass and had a greater body composition improvement index. These data provide evidence for the efficacy of a chitosan fat blocker compound to facilitate the depletion of excess body fat under free-living conditions with minimal loss of fat-free or lean body mass.

Chitosan: antimicrobial activity and potential applications for preserving minimally processed strawberries.

Food Microbiol. 2008. Campaniello D, Bevilacqua A, Sinigaglia M, Corbo MR. Campaniello D, Sinigaglia M, Corbo MR. Department of Food Science, Faculty of Agricultural, Foggia University Foggia, Italy.

In this research the possible use of chitosan coating on fresh-cut strawberries was investigated. Manually sliced strawberries were treated with a solution of 1% chitosan, packaged in modified atmosphere with high (80%) and low (5%) percentage of oxygen and then stored at 4, 8, 12 and 15 degrees C. A chitosan coating inhibited the growth of microorganisms and affected significantly and positively the stability time of the products, above all when the samples were packaged in modified atmosphere (with low and high percentage of oxygen). Besides, the presence of high percentage of oxygen, combined with chitosan coating, seemed to affect positively the colour. The data revealed that applying a chitosan coating prolonged effectively the quality and extended the shelf life of fresh-cut strawberries.