Chitosan: How to choose the best one for you in 2021
Today we are going to talk about a dietary fiber full of health benefits: chitosan.
Supplement that helps to eliminate extra pounds in the scale, chitosan is a natural substance derived from the shell of crustaceans. Because it is full of fibers, it is able to inhibit the absorption of fat by the body.
Amid so many options of supplements, we will show in this article what you should take into account before buying the best chitosan.
First, the most important
- Chitosan improves intestinal transit, prevents the absorption of fats, helps with healing, has antimicrobial action and is still good for skin, bones and hair.
- However, its misuse can cause everything from side effects to severe vitamin deficiency in the body.
- We will show you what are the characteristics that differentiate one supplement from another and how to choose the ideal chitosan.
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It is not as simple to choose the ideal chitosan as it seems. It is necessary that you evaluate, in addition to the characteristics of each product, also its need and contraindications.
For this reason, we have created this Buying Guide with all the information you will need to make the best decision when investing in chitosan.
What is chitosan?
Chitosan is derived from chitin, which is a polysaccharide. Polysaccharides are carbohydrates composed of a large number of monosaccharide molecules (simple sugars).
Therefore, in the human body, they are a source of energy reserve. The main types of polysaccharides are: cellulose, starch, chitin and glycogen.
And the fact is that chitin is the second most abundant polysaccharide in nature, obtained from the external skeleton of crustaceans, such as crab, crayfish, shrimp and squid.
Composed of a large amount of glucose molecules and groups of amine, chitin is the direct precursor of chitosan (chitosan, in English), which today is used in supplements.
The fact is that, due to its properties, chitosan is rich in fibers and is not absorbed by the human organism.
Thus, chitosan has the power to connect with fat in the digestive tract, preventing it from being absorbed by the body.
In other words, chitosan “pulls” the fat present in our body and joints are expelled directly through the feces.
Did you know that the result of this process is that chitosan becomes a powerful ally in weight loss and fat elimination.
It is no wonder that chitosan has become one of the most used supplements worldwide because those who want to lose weight and keep their health levels up to date.
What is chitosan for in our body?
Because it is rich in fiber and expelled from the body with fat, chitosan has a wide reach in anyone’s health.
Far beyond helping in the weight loss process, this fiber can also act in the fight and prevention of serious diseases such as obesity.
For you to understand in depth the qualities of chitosan, check below an overview of its main functions:
- Intestinal transit: Chitosan contributes to a better intestinal work, since it increases the fecal bolus, providing more bowel movements and stimulates the beneficial bacteria present in the intestine.
- Antimicrobial action: Chitosan also inhibits the growth of some microorganisms that can harm health, for example, those that cause urinary tract infection (cystitis).
- Healing: The use of chitosan can also make blood clotting more efficient. Therefore, wound healing occurs more efficiently and quickly.
- Satiety: Because it is a fiber, chitosan slows digestive processing. For that reason, it elevates the feeling of satiety after you eat your meals.
- Obesity: The fact is that chitosan also absorbs cholesterol from our body and eliminates it together with feces. Therefore, in many cases, this fiber is recommended for the treatment of people who have high cholesterol levels. And all of this, together with the fact that chitosan reduces appetite, has been used as a complementary tool for the treatment and prevention of obesity.
- Diseases: Chitosan also serves to treat health problems such as Crohn’s disease, complications from kidney failure, as well as anemia, loss of strength and difficulty sleeping.
- Skin, nails and hair: Chitosan is also important in the area of beauty, being beneficial for the skin, nails and hair. This supplement influences the formation of collagen , a substance that acts to strengthen fragile nails and hair, in addition to ensuring more tone and reducing sagging skin.
- Ally of bones: Chitosan, which also has calcium in its composition, is also effective in the formation and maintenance of bone health.
Does chitosan really lose weight?
As we have seen, chitosan can be an ally for those who want to lose weight.
Because it is effective in eliminating fat and lowering cholesterol, chitosan has been recommended by nutritionists to assist the weight loss process.
However, in isolation, this supplement will not work miracles.
This is because, to guarantee effective weight loss, it is necessary to adopt a set of actions such as dietary reeducation and constant physical activity practices, such as running on the treadmill and practicing weight training, for example.
In addition, it is worth mentioning that the weight loss process also depends on other factors, such as hormonal and genetic conditions.
But, like any dietary fiber with a powerful satiety potential, chitosan can also act, as we have seen, in reducing hunger and portions of food on the plate.
In addition, because it is beneficial to intestinal transit, chitosan also promotes greater release of toxins and ensures a less bloated feeling.
Anyway, experts recommend that, before starting to take the chitosan supplement, it is highly recommended to follow a doctor or nutritionist.
How and how much chitosan should you use?
According to the experts, although the chitosan supplement does not need a medical prescription, the amount of fiber to be ingested must be determined by a nutritionist or nutrologist doctor.
Did you know that however, in general, the advice is to consume between 1 and 3 grams of chitosan a day.
In addition, it is recommended to take the chitosan capsules 30 minutes before lunch or dinner, accompanied by three or four glasses of water.
What are the side effects of chitosan?
As chitosan is a soluble fiber, which expands and absorbs water, it is essential that you maintain hydration.
But more than that, correct water intake can prevent even more serious problems.
The fact is that if there is not enough fluid in your body, chitosan will not be diluted and, as a result, problems will occur in your intestines and in the functioning of your metabolism.
In general, insufficient fluid intake, in conjunction with the consumption of chitosan, may cause constipation, irritability and even weight gain.
Another problem that must be taken into account is that, by reducing the absorption of fats by the body, chitosan acts even on those considered to be good fats.
In other words, chitosan does not differentiate good from harmful fat. And with that, there can also be a reduction in good cholesterol (HDL), which is essential for the proper functioning of your health.
In addition, the use of chitosan can cause other unwanted effects as you can see below:
- Gastrointestinal problems: nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and constipation.
- Headaches and swelling of the heels and wrists.
- Allergic reactions: difficulty in breathing, swelling of the lips and tongue, chest pain, hives or rash.
Therefore, if you experience any of these side effects or symptoms while using chitosan, we recommend that you immediately stop consumption and look for your medium.
What are the consequences of prolonged and excessive use of chitosan?
As we have seen, even if consumed in adequate doses, chitosan can still cause side effects.
But in addition, it is important that you know that prolonged and / or high doses can cause even more serious problems.
Among them is vitamin deficiency in the body. Vitamins are substances that the body needs so that it can function correctly and healthy.
They are acquired through food or supplements.
The fact is that the incorrect or prolonged use of chitosan can reduce the presence of some vitamins in the body.
Fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E and K, which are stored in the liver and adipose tissue, can bind to chitosan and be eliminated along with it without proper absorption by the body.
In addition, chitosan is also able to eliminate vitamin B12.
The fact is that the absence of these vitamins in the body can cause, in addition to a drop in immunity, diseases such as: anemia, heart attack, stroke, vision problems, osteoporosis, neurological changes and hemorrhages.
What are the contraindications for chitosan?
As we have seen, despite its great benefits, chitosan can have side effects and nutritional deficiencies.
In addition, according to experts, this fiber should also not be consumed by everyone.
People with allergies to any type of crustacean and seafood should not consume chitosan.
Because it is obtained from chitin, which is part of the exoskeleton of crustaceans, people with a history of allergy to any type of crustacean and seafood should not consume chitosan.
Otherwise, severe allergic reactions can occur.
In addition, as there are no more comprehensive studies on all the effects and interactions of fiber in the body, experts contraindicate the use of chitosan if you are:
- Under 18
- Pregnant and lactating
- Old man
- Person who uses medicines regularly
What are the advantages and disadvantages of chitosan?
If you made it this far, you already know that chitosan has numerous advantages as a supplement.
Because it has a high concentration of fibers, it is able to promote satiety and decrease the rate of fat and cholesterol in the body.
Another advantage is that, by absorbing the water present in the body, chitosan helps to make the stool less solid, which facilitates the functioning of the intestine and intestinal microflora.
In addition, chitosan can inhibit the development of various parasites and germs, improve blood clotting and assist in wound healing.
Because it has antimicrobial action, this supplement also helps to prevent infections.
Another advantage is that chitosan is also beneficial for the skin, nails and hair, influencing the formation of collagen.
In addition, this supplement is an ally for bone health, as it contains calcium in its composition.
However, chitosan also has disadvantages. It is possible, for example, that undesirable side effects occur.
Another disadvantage is that the consumption of high doses and prolonged use can cause vitamin deficiency in the body and reduce good cholesterol.
Not to mention that this supplement is not indicated for those who are allergic to crustaceans, pregnant women, the elderly and under 18 years old.
The following are the main advantages and disadvantages of chitosan:
- Improves bowel function
- Reduces fat and cholesterol absorption
- Promotes satiety
- Weight loss ally
- It is antimicrobial
- Helps in healing
- Good for skin, nails and hair
- Good for bone health
- May cause side effects
- May reduce absorption of good cholesterol
- High doses and prolonged use cause vitamin deficiency
- Not suitable for everyone
How much does chitosan cost?
The chitosan price varies a lot according to the brand, the composition and the quantity of capsules.
In general, you will find this supplement costing between R $ 20 and R $ 200.
Of course, you don’t have to buy the most expensive of all. The ideal is to purchase a product with quality and the correct dose for you.
Where to buy chitosan?
You will find chitosan for sale in pharmacies, supplement stores, department stores and hypermarkets.
But we recommend that you make your purchase at online stores such as Amazon.
With this, you will have more options of brands, formulas and differentiated prices. In addition, of course, you will get your chitosan from the comfort of home.
Purchase Criteria: Factors to note before choosing the ideal chitosan
When you buy chitosan, you will be faced with a multitude of options.
In order for you to choose the supplement that will actually meet your needs and goals you need to understand what differentiates one product from another.
Therefore, we have selected for you the main factors that must be taken into account before purchasing chitosan:
Next, we will explain each of these factors so that you make the best decision and invest in the best chitosan.
The first factor that you must take into account before purchasing chitosan is the composition of the formula.
In general, you will find two options: the formula that contains only chitosan; and the formula that has the fiber combined with other substances.
If you choose a supplement that contains only chitosan, make sure that there is really no other element included in the formula.
In the case of the combined supplement, you can choose the one that will best meet your needs.
For example, it is very common to find chitosan combined with psyllium, which is a natural fiber that also helps in the good intestinal functioning, eliminating toxins and impurities.
Or you can choose chitosan that comes with collagen, which further reinforces its benefits for the skin, for example.
Another very popular combination of this supplement is that of chitosan with spirulina, which is an algae rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Like most supplements, chitosan can also have different forms of consumption.
You can choose the fiber in the form of capsules or powder. Here the choice is very personal.
In general, chitosan in capsules is more practical because you can use it anywhere, anytime and without the need to measure the dose.
Still, for some people, the powdered form can facilitate digestion and swallowing.
Another factor that we recommend that you take into consideration is the dosage of chitosan offered by the supplement.
In general, you can opt for daily doses ranging from 3mg to 3.5mg.
Remembering that, as we have already seen in this article, doses above 3mg consumed for long periods can be highly harmful to your health.
Also notice what the portion of each brand is. The portion refers to the amount of pills you will have to take daily.
The daily portion of chitosan can vary between two and seven tablets.
To give you an idea, the daily portion of chitosan can vary between two and seven tablets, which should be consumed at different times of the day.
If you have difficulty swallowing or digesting, we recommend that you opt for a smaller portion or chitosan powder.
Another factor that you should check before choosing chitosan is the total amount of the product. This will certainly influence the final value of the product.
If you prefer chitosan in tablets, you will find packages containing between 30 and 200 capsules. In the powder version, the quantity on sale varies between 200g and 1kg.
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