What is chitosan?

What is chitosan? And why do so many supplement companies claim that chitosan can help you lose weight?

Chitosan is derived from the shells of “shrimp and other sea crustaceans”. It’s known to act as a “fat attractor” because many health food stores and supplement manufacturers claim it can bind fat and block it from being absorbed by your body.

Unfortunately, clinical studies have shown that any fat loss due to the use of chitosan was insignificant. The use of chitosan for weight loss comes out of the idea that if you can stop your body from absorbing fat, you can lose weight. And to some degree, this could be true except that you must combine use of any weight loss supplement with a healthy diet and exercise program.

A better "fat binder"?

One ingredient that has recently been discovered to do a better job of absorbing fat than chitosan is a patented extract of the Opuntia ficus indica cactus called NeOpuntia. Key scientific studies support the claim that NeOpuntia absorbs 28% more fat than chitosan.

NeOpuntia works in a two step process where the fibers in NeOpuntia attract the fat particles through lipophilic (fat-liking) interactions Then the fibers form a protective gel that stabilizes these attractions, binding the fat particles and ultimately eliminating them through the digestive system.

A "carb blocker"?

Many people who are on low carb diets or believe that carbohydrates are to blame for their weight problem are looking for an ingredient that can stop carbohydrates from breaking down into simple sugars and being absorbed by the body. One ingredient that I have found inhibits alpha-amylase, the enzyme responsible for breakdown of carbs into simple sugars. It’s called Alpha Trim – W Wheat extract.

There is a product available that has both of these ingredients in it. If you use it along with a healthy diet, exercise program and proper supplementation, you can lose weight. But there are so many to choose from, it is hard to know which one is the best.

How to choose the right product for you

After I researched what is chitosan, I did a search for these two products – NeOpuntia and Alpha Trim - and I found many products with these ingredients but not together. There is only one product that has both of these products in the same capsule.

The FDA has very little control over supplements. It is very hard to tell how much of what is chitosan is in the supplement unless you take it to a lab and have it tested. The only thing you can do to protect yourself and your wallet is to choose a company with a solid reputation for quality. And yes, you usually do get what you pay for so cheaper is not necessarily better.

You can choose to take two different capsules with these ingredients or you can choose a product that has both together in the same capsule.

If you want to know more about how to best use supplements to lose weight, fill out the form below.

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