Chitosan (pronounced CHIT-uh-san) is a fiber composed of chitin, which is a component of the shell of shellfish. The strong positive charge carried by the chitosan molecule causes it to bind negatively charged substrates such as fat.
Chitosan effectively binds fat in the intestine, blocking absorption, and it has also been shown to lower blood cholesterol in animals and humans. As a result, dietary supplementation with chitosan may not only assist with weight loss and normalization of cholesterol levels, it may also help inhibit the formation of atherosclerotic plaque (deposit of fat and other substances that accumulate in the lining of the artery wall).
Strictly regarding weight loss, one study involved 150 overweight men and women. One group was given 3 grams of chitosan daily, while the other was given a placebo. Both groups were provided with the same self-monitored behavior-modification program. After 60 days, the chitosan group lost an average of 2.8 pounds, while the placebo group lost 0.6 pounds.
The chitosan group also had greater reductions in fat percentage and fat mass than the placebo group, along with an improvement in body composition.
N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an amino acid and, like all forms of l-carnitine, it is THE nutrient that transports fatty acids into cells for the production of energy. Without adequate supplies of l-carnitine, fatty acids cannot be effectively burned as a fuel source. Exercise depletes carnitine levels, as does the aging process.
Vitamin C helps activate chitosan in the stomach and intestine into a fat-absorbing gel, increasing the fat-binding effects of chitosan. Research on pigs using either chitosan, or a chitosan/vitamin C combination concludes, “Vitamin C increased the fecal fat excretion by chitosan in guinea-pigs, thereby reducing body weight gain.”