According to some clinical studies, chitosan is great for weight loss as it binds fat to molecules in the digestive tract, preventing the body from absorbing the fat. It also lowers the cholesterol in the blood, treat anemia, and improve the person’s strength, the immune system, as well as the appetite and sleep. Also reported is that chitosan can help treat tooth and gum infections and help tissue healing after plastic surgery.
However, whether chitosan is effective for treating such mentioned conditions or safe as a diet aid still remains controversial. It is often the subject of most debates regarding weight loss. Some say that there are adverse side effects of chitosan, while others have shown evidences that contradict such belief.
There are still no long-term studies of the side effects of chitosan on human health as most of the studies were conducted on animals. However, if we will look at those animal studies and the first published 1999 clinical trial done on humans, results suggest that chitosan could inhibit the absorption of minerals and fat soluble vitamins. Also, studies have revealed certain adverse side effects of chitosan to pregnant women, particularly on the growth of children and the outcome of pregnancy.
Experts also found out other minor side effects of chitosan. These possible side effects may include breathing problems or tightness in your chest or throat, as well as chest pain and skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin. Other possible side effects of chitosan are headaches and swollen heels and wrists.
With all those mentioned possible side effects, it’s no wonder that experts highly suggest to stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the mentioned side effects. The reason is your medicine may be causing such symptoms which may mean that you are allergic to chitosan-based products.
So perhaps the best that you can do to protect yourself and your health is to tell your health care professional before taking any chitosan-based products about your current medication. Tell your doctor if you are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine, or if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while using chitosan. This must also apply to those mothers who are breastfeeding, as well as to people who have clotting problems and have any other health problem, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease.
Talk with your caregiver about how much chitosan you should take. Note that an over dosage of chitosan-based products may lead to those possible side effects of chitosan. Just note that the amount of chitosan highly depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking it. So, if you are taking this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, then follow the directions written on the label. To ensure that you are free from the possible side effects of chitosan, do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you.