Is taking chitosan for weight loss a smart move, should you believe the hype or is it a complete waste of money?
Chitosan is a heavily marketed food supplement promoted as a fat blocker and an aid to weight loss. Claims are also made that chitosan can reduce blood cholesterol levels…But does it work?
What is Chitosan ?
Chitosan is obtained from the exoskeleton of shellfish. Their shells are made from chitin, hence the name chitosan.
Chitosan is marketed as a fat blocker. The basis for these claims is that chitosan attracts fat and binds it together, preventing its digestion and absorption by the body.
So, Chitosan for Weight Loss – What’s the Evidence…?
Chitosan has been around for over 30 years and there have been several studies researching its effect on animals.
There have also been a few credible human studies carried out to assess the effectiveness of chitosan for weight loss.
None of these human studies have found any evidence to support claims that taking chitosan aids weight loss or has any significant effect on cholesterol levels. Testimonials don’t count!
A study of 15 men who ate five meals a day totalling around 25g of fat over 12 days showed little difference between the period when the group took chitosan and the period when they didn’t.
The amount of fat excreted when taking 10 capsules of chitosan a day amounted to approximately 1g a day. That’s about 9 calories and would have little effect in terms of weight loss – there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat!
In another eight weeks long study of 51 obese women, one group took chitosan, the other took a placebo.
The results? There were insignificant differences between the groups in terms of cholesterol levels. There were no differences in weight loss.
Similarly, a study of 68 obese men and women showed no effect on weight or body composition when taking chitosan.
In fact, there seem to be no reputable studies that demonstrate any support for taking chitosan for weight loss.
The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK and the FDA in the US have prohibited manufacturers from making any unsubstantiated claims about chitosan.
For instance, that it aids weight loss without a diet and exercise regime, prevents fat absorption, burns fat, increases metabolism, enables you to eat whatever you want and still lose weight…
The Bottom Line…
So, is chitosan any good for weight loss?
Well, the evidence supports no link between chitosan and weight loss. The regulatory bodies have ruled against manufacturers making unsubstantiated claims…
We would suggest that it doesn’t work.
Look, we know we’ve said it before, but the only way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat a sensible diet and to do some exercise.
Chitosan for weight loss? Save your money and take a look at our free healthy weight loss plan.