Here at Supplement Reality we like to take science for a ride into the truth of supplements. We know that most of the supplements advertised don’t work as advertised. Especially when it comes to fat burners. It really makes the new fad of fat burners using Chitosan extremely interesting. This is why I got skeptical when the new type of fat burners came out. We all know that fat burners don’t target any specific fat. For instance, those that say that belly fat can be almost instantly ruled out as using false advertising.
In previous articles___, we have gone over the two types of ways that fat burners work. The first way is to increase your temperature. By creating a thermogenic response that increase the amount of heat you produce, it can lead to a higher rate of calories burned to maintain and keep that temperature up.
The other main way for fat-burners to work is to increase your energy. If you start fidgeting more, or moving about because a substance like caffeine gives you energy, the amount of calories burned within a whole day can increase by as much as 200-300 calories. This is why an athlete who spends 3 hours working out can literally eat as much as they want compared to your average Joe.
Chitosan is actually the shell of crustaceans such as crab, lobsters, and shrimp. Have you ever eaten a deep fried shrimp and gotten those bits and fragments stuck in your teeth? Those are called Chitin. Chitosan is actually the sugar that is derived from the Chitin. Many tests were done of chitosan aver it was discovered to have the ability to absorb fat and oils. Interesting right?
How Does Chitosan Work?
Chitosan is indigestible just like any other fiber. Since it can’t be absorbed, what the Chitosan absorbs is taken in and moved on a long the digestive tract. So let’s assume that you just ate a prime ribeye with all the fat. It was delicious, but that fat is going to be digested right? We know that Fat isn’t the enemy, but it is very calorically dense compared to carbs or protein. If you take chitosan before or right after eating a meal, its fat absorbing effects actually absorb fat while in your digestive tract. Since Chitosan is a non-digestible fiber, this means that the fat absorbed gets passed right through the body without being turned into energy!
Although almost any fiber will help you feel fuller quicker with less calories, Chitosan actually can take the fat out of food. This also has the added benefit of taking the cholesterol out of food, which means that your body will have lower levels of cholesterol as well as fat intake. Its makes chitosan interesting, because technically it gets of fat, just not targeting the fat you already have. Instead it targets the fat your about intake. It’s like an appetite suppressant and a fat burner all together. Let’s name it an appetite fat inhibitor for fun.
For usage of any supplement that contains Chitosan, we recommend that it’s consumed about 5 minutes before a meal. The reason behind this is that it takes about two hours for the Chitosan to reach your small intestine, where the fat absorption really begins. If you take it after eating your food, it might not be in as optimal a position to catch up to the fat and absorb it.
There was a study that took together all the reviews of Chitosan in 2008, “Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews”. It went over 15 different studies and found that the average result was significant weight loss compared to the placebo. It showed that the longer the subjects took the Chitosan, the less pronounced the results were. This meant that as time went on, the effectiveness of the Chitosan went down. This shows that the best way to take Chitosan is to cycle it. Taking it for 6 weeks at a time with a 2 week break is the best way to get the most for your money.
Another study that was published in 2003 shows that those if type 2 diabetes had a significant effect on LDL. It actually was shown to significantly reduce the amount of LDL and a significant increase in the HDL, or what’s considered the good cholesterol. Again, it was shown that there wasn’t a significant weight loss effect caused by Chitosan.
So researchers say that although Chitosan does have fat absorbing effects, the amount it can actually absorb isn’t enough to make a difference in someone’s calorie intake. A single study published in 1999 “”Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology” showed that women who took this over a placebo didn’t have a significant decrease in cholesterol levels. It was also shown that neither group showed any significant weight loss. This research also stated that if it was taken with every meal, the amount of vitamins absorbed significantly decreased. This is because some of the vitamins we eat are fat soluble, while others are water-soluble. The fat soluble vitamins A,D,E,K were all shown to be absorbed by the Chitosan as well, which meant there was decreased absorption by the body.
Dosage and How to use:
Chitosan comes in both a liquid type and a solid powder. The FDA states that Chitosan can be sold as a weight loss supplement solely or together with other ingredients. An important thig to recognize is that if Chitosan is served in liquid form by itself, it should be clear in color. They both work in the same way, but the liquid chitosan will leader to smaller clumps of fat compared to the tablets and pills.
It’s best to take Chitosan right before consuming a meal. Take it with a glass of water and take fat soluble supplements a couple hours before to have the best chance of getting fat soluble fats.
Allergies When Using Shellfish!
If you can’t eat shellfish, you shouldn’t try this product. It may cause you the same problems as if you just at a shellfish, since it’s the derived from them. If you do take it, get emergency treatment.