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Soluble Dietary Fiber Chitosan May Help With Weight Loss

Chitosan is a soluble dietary fiber that reduces fat absorption. A recent study suggests that taking supplements of chitosan derived from fungus may help lower body weight and BMI in overweight people.


96 overweight and obese people took part in the study. 32 of them were given a placebo and 64 were given five capsules of 500 mg of chitosan daily for 90 days. The researchers did not place any dietary restrictions on the participants.


At the conclusion of the study, the chitosan group showed a mean body weight reduction of 3.14 lbs and 6.13 lbs after 45 and 90 days of supplementation, respectively. The placebo group, on the other hand, had a mean reduction of 0.10 lbs over the study period. Additionally, the chitosan group had a 10.91 fold decrease in BMI when compared with the placebo group at the 90 day mark. Finally, HbA1c levels (a marker of inflammation) were reduced to below 6% in the chitosan group, while no similar reduction was noted in the placebo group.


None of the participants had any changes in dietary habits during the study period.


Researchers from Ethicare Clinical Trial Services in Ahmedabad, India, and KitoZyme in Belgium conducted the study. It was published on January 8, 2016, in Nutrition Journal.


Chitosan is a soluble dietary fiber. Research on chitosan’s health benefits are limited, although early studies suggest that it may be good at fighting fat. However, soluble dietary fiber is linked to a wide range of health benefits, including lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, regulating blood sugar for people with diabetes and breast cancer prevention.


In addition to chitosan, soluble dietary fiber can be found naturally in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium. Insoluble fiber can be found in whole wheat and grains, brown rice, fruit, broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy vegetables.

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