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Chitosan is a sugar that is obtained from the hard outer skeleton of shellfish, including crab, lobster, and shrimp. It is used for medicine.

Chitosan is used for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, wound healing, and other conditions, but there is little scientific evidence to support many of its uses.

In pharmaceutical manufacturing, chitosan is used as a filler in tablets, to improve the way certain drugs dissolve, and to mask bitter tastes. It is also used to help make foods last longer.

Chitosan is extracted from the shells of shrimp, lobster, and crabs. It is a fibrous substance that might block absorption of dietary fat and cholesterol. When used on wounds, chitosan helps blood to clot.

When taken by mouth: Chitosan is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth for up to 6 months. Chitosan might cause mild stomach upset, constipation, or gas.

When applied to the skin: Chitosan is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when applied to the skin for a short time. Chitosan can cause irritation.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if chitosan is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Shellfish allergy: Chitosan is taken from the outer skeleton of shellfish. There is a concern that people with allergies to shellfish might also be allergic to chitosan. However, people who are allergic to shellfish are allergic to the meat, not the shell. So some experts believe that chitosan may not be a problem for people with shellfish allergy.

Warfarin (Coumadin)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Warfarin is a blood thinner. There is some concern that taking chitosan might increase the blood thinning effects of warfarin (Coumadin). Taking chitosan with warfarin (Coumadin) could increase the chance of bruising or bleeding. If you take warfarin, avoid taking chitosan.

Calcium: Chitosan may reduce the body's ability to absorb calcium.
Magnesium: Chitosan may reduce the body's ability to absorb magnesium.
Selenium: Chitosan may reduce the body's ability to absorb selenium.
Vitamin A: Chitosan may reduce the body's ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A.
Vitamin D: Chitosan may reduce the body's ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D.
Vitamin E: Chitosan may reduce the body's ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin E.
Vitamin K: Chitosan may reduce the body's ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin K.

There are no known interactions with foods.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For high blood pressure: Up to 3 grams daily of a table salt product containing chitosan (Symbiosal) has been used instead of regular table salt.
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
  • For recovery after surgery: Chitosan gel has been applied by a healthcare professional into the sinuses for ten minutes following sinus surgery.

Ascorbate de Chitosane, Chitosan Ascorbate, Chitosane, Chitosane Déacétylé, Chitosane Mono-Carboxyméthylé, Chitosan-N-Acetylcysteine, Deacetylated Chitin, Deacetylated Chitosan, Enzymatic Polychitosamine Hydrolisat, HEP-30, Hydrolisat Enzymatique de Polychitosamine, Mono-Carboxymethylated Chitosan, N-Carboxybutyl Chitosan, N-Carboxybutyl Chitosane, N,O-Sulfated Chitosan, O-Sulfated N-Acetylchitosan, Poly-D-Glucosamine, Poly-N-Acetyl-Glucosamine, Quitosano, Sulfated N-Carboxymethylchitosan, Sulfated O-Carboxymethylchitosan, Trimethyl Chitosan Chloride.

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