Chitosan: The Marine Animal Exoskeleton’s Sugar


Chitosan: The Marine Animal Exoskeleton’s Sugar

Next to plants, exoskeletons or shells of marine animals are among the best sources of essential phytonutrients. Studies show that Chitosan, one of the compounds abundant in seashells, is highly effective in enhancing several bodily processes including metabolism and fat breakdown. Chitosan has been originally used in the field of cosmetics and fabric industry but with the discovery of its potential toxic substance-absorbing properties, several manufacturers of health supplements and medications have already included the herb in their formulations. Over the years, in-depth clinical studies have been conducted to fully understand the mechanisms of action of the herb but even with the absence of concrete clinical evidences as to pharmacodynamic patters, health benefits associated with Chitosan are clearly manifested.

What is Chitosan?

Chitosan belongs to the classification of polysaccharides or sugar elements with long chains of monosaccharide units. Although previously believed to be derived from exoskeletons alone, recent studies reveal that the compound may also be found in some species of yeasts and mushroom. There are several uses of Chitosan both in the field of medicine and commercial industries but for purposes of health care, Chitosan intake, according to experts, must be within recommended doses.

Health Benefits of using Chitosan supplements

With widespread use of Chitosan in health supplements manufacture, its health benefits are currently being subject to confirmatory researches. Studies show that the following are among the clinically-accepted health benefits of using Chitosan health supplements:

  • It may reduce cholesterol levels

Chitosan has recently become a weight loss trend with the discovery of its cholesterol-binding effects in the gastrointestinal tract and its ability to facilitate its elimination within absorption. While most individuals focus on the weight managing benefits of using Chitosan, experts are more importantly considering its cholesterol-reducing effects as it may help prevent development of several complicated health conditions such as atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction and Diabetes Mellitus. Effective control of cholesterol and triglyceride levels through Chitosan supplementation is also associated with improvement of physical figure.

  • It may control bleeding

Another landmark step on the way to understanding Chitosan is the recent finding that it may control bleeding. Experts say that the compound has been used in emergency health care settings for countless number of times to help reduce bleeding among patients suffering from moderate and severe trauma. There is very limited understanding as to whether the compound works as a platelet-like element or a fibrinogen but quantitative studies and actual clinical practice show Chitosan’s efficiency.

  • It facilitates breakdown of drugs

Aside from its proven health benefits, a lot of manufacturers of drugs and supplements include Chitosan for its effects in enhancing breakdown and absorption of therapeutic drugs. Chitosan has also been proven to protect medications from the destructive effects of acids in the stomach, thereby facilitating maximum absorption.


Due to its unique pharmacodynamic patterns, Chitosan has become a trending health supplement component. As long as formulate within prescribed doses, Chitosan is claimed to be risk-free.

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