Chitosan is a fibrous substance that might reduce how much fat and cholesterol the body absorbs from foods. It also helps blood clot when applied to wounds.
People use chitosan for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, wound healing, and many other purposes, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- High blood pressure. Replacing table salt with a table salt product that contains small amounts of chitosan (Symbiosal) might help lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
- Obesity. Taking chitosan by mouth while on a calorie-restricted diet can improve weight loss in people who are overweight or obese, but only by a very small amount.
- Recovery after surgery. Applying a chitosan gel might help prevent scar tissue from forming in the sinuses after surgery.
Special Precautions and Warnings
When applied to the skin: Chitosan is possibly safe when used short-term.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if chitosan is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Shellfish allergy: Chitosan is taken from the outer skeleton of shellfish. People with allergies to shellfish might also be allergic to chitosan.
Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with CHITOSAN
Warfarin is a blood thinner. There is some concern that taking chitosan might increase the blood-thinning effects of warfarin. This could increase the risk for bruising or bleeding.
Acyclovir (Zovirax) interacts with CHITOSAN
Taking chitosan with acyclovir might reduce the amount of acyclovir the body absorbs. This might reduce the effects of acyclovir.
Be cautious with this combination
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.