Ascorbate de Chitosane, Chitosan Ascorbate, Chitosane, Chitosane Déacétylé, Chitosane Mono-Carboxyméthylé, Chitosan-N-Acetylcysteine, Deacetylated Chitin, Deacetylated Chitosan, Enzymatic Polychitosamine Hydrolisat, HEP-30, Hydrolisat Enzymatique de Polychitosamine, Mono-Carboxymethylated Chitosan, N-Carboxybutyl Chitosan, N-Carboxybutyl Chitosane, N,O-Sulfated Chitosan, O-Sulfated N-Acetylchitosan, Poly-D-Glucosamine, Poly-N-Acetyl-Glucosamine, Quitosano, Sulfated N-Carboxymethylchitosan, Sulfated O-Carboxymethylchitosan, Trimethyl Chitosan Chloride.
Overview InformationChitosan is a sugar that is obtained from the hard outer skeleton of shellfish, including crab, lobster, and shrimp. It is used for medicine.
Chitosan is used for obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and Crohn disease. It is also used for issues caused by kidney failure, including high cholesterol, "tired blood" (anemia), loss of strength and appetite, high phosphorous levels (hyperphosphatemia), and trouble sleeping (insomnia).
Some people apply chitosan directly to their gums for inflammation that can lead to tooth loss (periodontitis), or chew gum that contains chitosan to prevent "cavities" (dental caries). It is also used in the eyes to treat dry eyes.
In an effort to help "donor tissue" rebuild itself, plastic surgeons sometimes apply chitosan directly to places from which they have taken tissue to be used elsewhere. Chitosan is also used to stop bleeding after some surgeries.
In pharmaceutical manufacturing, chitosan is used as a filler in tablets, to improve the way certain drugs dissolve, and to mask bitter tastes. It is also used to help make foods last longer.
How does it work?Chitosan is extracted from the shells of shrimp, lobster, and crabs. It is a fibrous substance that might block absorption of dietary fat and cholesterol. When used on wounds, chitosan helps blood to clot.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- High blood pressure. People with slightly high blood pressure are often told to reduce their intake of table salt. Early research shows that replacing table salt with a table salt product that contains small amounts of chitosan (Symbiosal) can decrease blood pressure more than just reducing table salt intake.
- Recovery from surgery. Scar tissue can sometimes form in the sinuses after surgery. Early research shows that using a chitosan gel can prevent the scar tissue from attaching. However, the chitosan gel doesn't seem to reduce swelling or infections.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Bleeding. Early research shows that using a gel made with chitosan can help bleeding to stop after sinus surgery. This gel works within 2 minutes. But not all research agrees.
- Crohn disease (an intestinal disorder). Early research shows that taking a combination of chitosan and ascorbic acid by mouth might help people with Crohn disease.
- Dental cavities. Chewing gum containing chitosan or using a mouthwash containing chitosan might decrease the number of cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. However, there is no reliable data that these products actually prevent cavities.
- Dental plaque. Early research shows that rinsing with a chitosan mouth wash for 2 weeks helps to stop plaque from forming on the teeth.
- Gum disease (periodontitis). Some early research shows that applying chitosan ascorbate directly to the gums might help treat gum disease.
- Dry eyes. Early research shows that using eye drops containing chitosan helps to make the eyes feel less dry in people who normally have dry eyes.
- High cholesterol. It is not clear if chitosan can help to lower cholesterol levels. Some research shows that taking chitosan does not lower total cholesterol or "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in people with high cholesterol. But other research shows that chitosan lowers cholesterol in people with or without high cholesterol. Some combination products containing chitosan also seem to lower cholesterol levels in obese people with or without high cholesterol.
- High phosphorous levels (hyperphosphatemia). It's unclear if chewing gum containing chitosan can help lower phosphorus levels in people on hemodialysis. Research results are conflicting. More research is needed.
- Kidney failure. Early research shows that taking chitosan by mouth may reduce high cholesterol, help to correct anemia, and improve physical strength, appetite, and sleep in people with kidney failure that are on hemodialysis.
- Plastic surgery. Early research shows that applying a specific form of chitosan directly to a surgery site helps the wound to heal and reduces scar formation after plastic surgery.
- Weight loss. It is not clear if chitosan can help with weight loss. Some research shows that combining chitosan with a low-calorie diet result in a small amount of weight loss. But taking chitosan without cutting calories, doesn't improve weight loss.
- Wound healing. Early research shows that applying chitosan to skin grafts might improve wound healing and help nerves to grow back. Also, using a gel that contains chitosan and other ingredients might increase healing after getting teeth pulled.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyChitosan is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth for up to 6 months or when applied to the skin for a short time. When taken by mouth, chitosan might cause mild stomach upset, constipation, or gas. When used on the skin, chitosan can cause irritation.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking chitosan by mouth if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Shellfish allergy: Chitosan is taken from the outer skeleton of shellfish. There is a concern that people with allergies to shellfish might also be allergic to chitosan. However, people who are allergic to shellfish are allergic to the meat, not the shell. So some experts believe that chitosan may not be a problem for people with shellfish allergy.
Be cautious with this combination
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 (Coumadin). Taking chitosan with warfarin (Coumadin) could increase the chance of bruising or bleeding. If you take warfarin, avoid taking chitosan.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For high blood pressure: Up to 3 grams daily of a table salt product containing chitosan (Symbiosal) has been used instead of regular table salt.
- For recovery from surgery: Chitosan gel has been applied by a healthcare professional into the sinuses for ten minutes following sinus surgery.
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- Wuolijoki, E., Hirvela, T., and Ylitalo, P. Decrease in serum LDL cholesterol with microcrystalline chitosan. Methods Find.Exp Clin Pharmacol. 1999;21(5):357-361. View abstract.
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