Introduction to Chitin: "Natures Miracle fibre"
Never heard of chitin? Itís not exactly a household word, yet
we consume it every day. You may be surprised to learn that
chitin been a healthy part of your diet for as long as youíve
Most people, even those who have taken biology courses in college
have never heard of chitin (pronounced ("Kite-in"),
yet chitin, after wood cellulose, is the most abundant polysaccharide
on the face of the earth. Chitin is the fibre in shellfish shell
such as crab, lobster and shrimp. It is also found in common
foods we eat such as grain, yeast, bananas, and mushrooms. In
fact, you are eating chitin every day; it is part of your normal
life-long diet, only in amounts that wonít help you lose weight.
Chitin provides much of the fibre that is one of the keys to
a healthy, cancer-free diet.
History Of Chitin
Professor Henri Braconnot first found chitin in mushrooms in
1811 while he was Professor of Natural History and Director
of the Botanical Gardens at the Academy of Sciences in Nancy,
France. In the 1830s, it was isolated in insects and named chitin.
Professor C. Rouget discovered chitosan in 1859, and over the
next century, much fundamental research took place on these
An intense interest in new applications grew in the 1930s and
early 1940s, as evidenced by almost 50 patients; however, the
lack of adequate manufacturing facilities and competition from
synthetic polymers hampered commercial development. Renewed
interest in the 1970s was encouraged by the need to better utilize
shellfish shells. Scientists worldwide began to chronicle the
more distinct properties of chitin and its derivatives and understand
the potential of these natural polymers. Since then, numerous
research studies have been undertaken to find way to use these
Number One Fat Fighting Weapon
Chitin will become Your Number One Weapon in Fighting Fat. Chitin
is also going to help you live healthier and longer because of its
many other beneficial properties. Adding Chitin to your diet is
one of the wisest diet and health decisions you have ever made.
Let me explain why.
Most of you are interested in chitin as a diet aide. It certainly
is the best one youíll ever find, but more about that later. Let
me tell you about a few of the other health benefits first.
Taking chitin will not only help you lose weight but it also is
going to help you control and lower your cholesterol, blood pressure,
and alleviate stomach and bowel ulcers, indigestion and constipation.
I want you to appreciate that adding natural chitin to your diet
is going to make it possible to attain and maintain a healthy weight,
but it is also going to protect you from disease and extend your
life by many years. After you have reached your weight goals, youíll
want to continue to take chitin, not only to maintain your weight,
but also to remain healthy and disease free.
Chemically, cellulose, starch and chitin are polysaccharides, which
are large molecules consisting of small sugar molecules strung together
like pearls on a strand. Chitosan, a chitin derivative is formed
when chitin is heated with alkali. Chitin and its derivatives have
important properties that make them ideal for numerous applications
in food, nutrition, cosmetics, biomedicine, agriculture, and water
filtration and other environmental uses.
Chitin has strong anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties
that make it extremely useful in medical applications such as bandages,
wound dressings, surgical sutures, periodontal treatments, and cataract
surgery. Extensive research has shown chitin and its derivative
chitosan to be non-toxic and non-allergenic. Chitin is fully biodegradable
and therefore environmentally friendly.
Chitin and chitosan have been extensively examined and tested by
researchers world-wide in a wide range of medical applications,
food and nutrition uses, cosmetics, beauty aids and other new discoveries.
Today, mainly in the U.S. and Japan, more than two million people
take chitin and chitosan as dietary supplements. Researchers are
regularly discovering new applications for chitin and the range
of products expands yearly.
Chitin has become known as the miracle fibre. Extensive research
has demonstrated it has no known adverse side effects. Japanese
medical doctors have been recommending for at least 20 years that
their patients consume large quantities of chitin. Much of this
enthusiasm is unrelated to weight loss. In Japan medical doctors
recommend chitin as a means of helping cure such conditions as allergies,
high blood pressure, elevated blood fats, arthritis and other problems.
Recently, a best selling book "Chitin Ė Chitosan" by Koji
Asaoka (Vantage Press, NY, $11.95) has been translated from the
Japanese and is available in English. In Japan chitin is a food
supplement used in place of dangerous prescription drugs.
Studies in Japan, the U.S. and Europe have shown that chitin and
its derivatives help the digestive process and promote the growth
of beneficial intestinal bacteria necessary for proper digestion
and excretion of wastes. These studies have shown chitin to be helpful
in better bowel health and the prevention of tumors or intestinal
polyps that are often the precursor to cancers of the bowel and
colon. Chitin has also been shown to have anti-gastritis, anti-toxin,
anti-diarrheal, and anti-constipation properties. Indeed, one of
the first effects youíll notice when you add chitin to your diet
is an immediate improvement in the quality and regularity of your
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
A set of symptoms occurring together is called a syndrome.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is caused by irritability in
the digestive system. IBS is also known as "irritable colon"
or "spastic colon." The last five to seven feet of
you bowel is called the large intestine or colon. It main purpose
is to store food that cannot be digested. When the bowel becomes
irritated, there is a change in bowel habit and you may experience
periods of diarrhea, constipation and/or stomach pains. Other
symptoms are nausea and a swollen stomach caused by trapped
gas within the colon. Stomach pain is usually relieved by a
bowel movement or passage of gas and may be described as crampy,
aching, stain, piercing or excruciating. Whatever the case,
the pains usually interfere with sleep and cause severe discomfort.
The cause is usually poor eating habits with too many fatty
foods not being properly digested. Stress is also recognized
as a cause.
Diet is the chief culprit. People who eat excess fats usually
lack the fibre and bulking foods that are required by the colon
to regulate bowel function. Smoking is also a cause, as nicotine
is known as an irritant of the colon.
Chitin and its derivatives provide the fibre necessary to relieve
symptoms of IBS. Chitin has been shown to produce soft, bulky
stools (waste material) which pass more easily through the colon.
It is also very important to avoid the fatty foods that cause
symptoms to flare. It is also important that when one is suffering
from IBS and taking chitin or any other high fibre material
that they drink plenty of liquids and not delay bowel movements.
For years, chitin and its derivatives have been used for nutritional
and medicinal purposes in the Far East. In fact, many people
take dietary supplements made from chitin and chitosan to improve
their health. Many of those individuals help them combat a number
of ailments, including high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure,
allergies and arthritis. They also cite improvements in skin,
hair and nail health.
Studies have suggested that chitin and chitosan have a number
of health benefits, including the ability to promote the growth
of Bifidobacteria, healthy intestinal bacteria that help ward
off disease. Chitin derivatives such as chitin oligosaccharides
and chitosan oligosaccharides (smaller components of the chitin
and chitosan molecules) also are believed to have many important
health dividends, including promotion of bowel health, anti-tumor
properties and promotion of these same beneficial Bifidobacteria.
Research has shown that chitin and its derivatives may be effective
in reducing blood cholesterol levels. In 1980, Japanese scientists
demonstrated that incorporating chitosan into diets designed
to raise blood cholesterol levels in rats, led to decreased
blood cholesterol levels in animals. Subsequent animal work
showed that chitosan also may bind cholesterol in the bowel.
Preliminary results of a supplementation trial conducted in
Norway showed that blood cholesterol levels decreased about
25 percent in adults who consumed chitosan daily for eight weeks
in addition to their self-selected diets. Although the mechanism
for lowering blood cholesterol is not completely understood,
it is thought that chitosan molecule acts as fat scavenger in
the digestive tract, trapping both fat and dietary cholesterol
Fibre and Weight-Loss Effects, Lactose Intolerance Aid, Anti-Ulcer
Since chitin acts like a fibre, it is largely indigestible and
passes through the gut mostly unchanged. These fibre-like properties
can be used to replace calories in foods. Research has shown
that chickens fed a form of chitin with their feed were leaner
than chickens fed regular feed.
As an added benefit, the study also found that chitin relieved
the lactose intolerance caused by feeds containing whey, a cheese
by-product containing 70 percent lactose, says Dr. John Zikakis,
professor emeritus of the University of Delaware, who performed
much of the research of chitin-fed chickens.
Normally, whey had limited use in animal feed, since it can
lead to diarrhea. But chickens fed a substantial level of whey
and chitin did not develop diarrhea, he notes. It is thought
that this same effect may be achieved in humans.
Research has shown that general bowel function and regularity
improve with the use of dietary chitin. In animal studies, when
gerbils were fed diets supplemented with chitin, the animals
became healthier, with improved vigor. Other experiments demonstrated
that when chitin was added to bread and then fed to gerbils,
the same health benefits resulted. Similar benefits have been
reported with chitin supplements in cattle feed.
Researchers speculate that improved regularity also would result
in humans who ingest modest amounts of chitin. Chitosan also
has been shown to have antacid and anti-ulcer activity in rats
and dogs. It is believed that chitosan has physical and chemical
properties that are similar to the natural substances which
coat the gastric tract.
The current and potential applications of chitin and its derivatives
in fields such as biomedicine, nutrition, food, processing,
pharmacology, microbiology, agriculture, and cosmetics are vast
and exciting. Nearly 1,000 research papers have been published
on chitin and its derivatives and nearly 200 patents have been
issued in the U.S., in addition to those issued in several other
countries worldwide. Chitin and chitosan have an international
following: scientists from dozens of countries, including the
U.S. and Russia, gather every three years to present the newest
research on chitin and its derivatives. Many believe these natural
compounds are poised to make waves, especially in biomedical,
nutrition and food industries.
"Chitin and chitosan are ideal biomaterials which hold
much promise for the future," notes Prodexís Joseph Nichols.
"There has been increased interest by scientists worldwide
and industry is beginning to recognize their possibilities.
They could have very well be important biomaterials in the next
decade. The day has come for these natural polymers to come
into their own." The foregoing information was taken from
Chitin: A Natural Product for the 21st Century, International
Commission on Natural Health Products, 1995
Once you start taking chitosan or chitin your bowels may be
lose because the fibre is new to your body. Diarrhea may occur,
this is only temporary. Your digestive system is merely adjusting
to the "shock" of having a proper fibre content. You
may want to start with one capsule twice a day until your system
adjusts to the chitin
Many countries already use chitin and chitosan in a variety
of products, yet a whole array of possible materials could be
made from these compounds. In Japan, chitosan was first used
for wastewater treatment because of its metal-binding properties,
but today chitin and chitosan are found in everything from antibiotics
and surgical sutures to dietary supplements, foods and cosmetics.
It also can be found in pet foods and is used to make cloth
for undergarments and socks. In the U.S., chitin and chitosan
are being used in seed treatment, animal feed supplementation
and water purification, as well as in hair care products and
dietary supplements. Natural substances such as chitin and chitosan
demand a closer look at a time when synthetic compounds are
losing their appeal. This brochure explores some of the research
and more popular applications of chitin and its derivatives.
If you are among the 55% of women and 25% of men in the U.S.
attempting to lose 5 pounds or more, chances are you will also
be among the 90% that regain the lost weight within a year.
Yo-Yo, Up and Down Dieting is a Killer! More Dangerous than
When you decrease your caloric intake by more than 1,000 calories
per day, you begin to burn muscle, not fat. And, since it was
eating too many calories-and perhaps the wrong kind of calories-
that caused the weight gain in the first place, returning to
old eating habits will lead to regaining weight. Most "quick
weight loss" schemes are too low in calories and harmful
to your health. The chitin weight loss program revealed here
helps you achieve your weight goals the ideal way: eating right,
losing fat, and improving your overall health so you look and
feel better, inside and out.
Purchasing a fat absorbing and trapping chitin supplement is
the essential first step to a healthier, slimmer you!
You will begin by filling out the simple Guide for Healthful
Eating at the back of this booklet.. Make it Your Personal Fat
Content Worksheet. You should be eating real foods and should
not be going hungry. Remember, when you take chitin supplements
you do not have to give up those foods youíve always loved,
not at all! I do ask you to eat intelligently, set realistic
goals, and, moreover, once youíve used chitin supplements to
lose weight that you do not gain it back. That is going to take
some changes. The most important of which is that you must take
your chitin regularly before each fattening meal. We urge you
to carry chitin with you like someone who uses breath mints
or gum, ready to pop them in your mouth whenever you have a
fattening meal or overwhelmed by a "Big Mac Attack."
Why Do I Need to Use Chitin?
If you are one of the millions of people who have dieted unsuccessfully,
or are one of the millions who need to lose weight to look and
feel good about yourself, you MUST face the fact that:
1) fad diets donít work in the long haul, and are detrimental
to your health; 2) lifestyle and eating habits must be altered
for permanent, successful weight loss; 3) good nutrition and
proper eating is the foundation of healthy weight loss. 4) yo-yo
dieting is more dangerous than being obese.
The reason you need to start taking chitin is to help you lose
weight in the correct manner: the healthy way. Taking chitin
supplements regularly encourages you to eat real and proper
foods while augmenting your diet with what it needs. You continue
to eat what you have always eaten while you adopt healthy eating
You are not alone in the quest to become lean and healthy. The
numbers are shocking. To say the least: According to the National
Institutes of Health, 38 percent of American women and 34% of
American men are overweight. I donít mean a few pounds overweight,
a few rolls of fat overweight, I mean obese. That means that
38% of women and 33% of men are 20% or more overweight.
350,000 deaths year in the United States are directly linked
to obesity. This does not include the many that die from complications
related to obesity such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes,
and pulmonary diseases. $70,000,000,000 a year in the U.S. is
spent to treat obesity and related medical conditions.
The Battle of the Bulge
In addition, Americans spend over 33 billion a year on weight
loss products and services. The money is not well spent as the
percentage of American adults who are overweight increase at
an average of 1% a year. We fight a personal battle of the bulge
and we are losing. For every step forward, two are being taken
backward and the effect is devastating on the personal lives
of the people who are suffering both short-term and long-term
Every day comes the announcement of a new weight-fighting weapon.
The problem is that most of these are psychological oriented
pills that attempt to reduce the brainís craving for fattening
foods. The reason that the battle is being lost is that we are
eating too much and not being active enough
Let me repeat the essential facts about chitin and its derivatives;
Chitosan, Chitin Oligosaccharide, and Chitosan Oligosaccharide,
have many properties that make them attractive for a wide variety
of health applications. For example, research indicates that
it is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, non-toxic and
Ongoing research is finding numerous uses for Chitin and its
derivatives in areas such as: arthritis, heart, allergies, blood
pressure, immune system, tumors, digestion, wound dressings,
eye and gum treatments, sutures, and skin grafts.
For the past 20 years, chitin and its derivatives have been
used for its health benefits in Japan. In 1992, Japanís Health
Department approved chitin and its derivatives as a functional
To be considered a functional food, it should contain two of
the following 5 functions: fortification of immunity, prevention
of illness, prevention of Ageing, recovery from illness, and
control of biorhythm. Chitin is equipped with all 5 functions.
It is no wonder that millions of people worldwide are using
chitin based dietary supplements as a part of their wellness
Outline of the uses and claimed benefits of Chitin and Chitosan
in the modern world:
Dietary Supplement, Cholesterol Reducer, fibre Source, Bifidobacteria
Promoter, Lactose Intolerance Aid, Weight-Loss Aid, Anti-Ulcer
and Antacid Food, Nutraceutical, Food Film, Flavor Preservative,
Flavor Enhancer, Texture-Enhancing Agent.
Wound Healing, Burn Healing, Bone Healing, Intraocular and
Contact Lenses, Eye and Gum Disease treatment, Plaque Reducer
and Other Dental Care Treatment, Skin Irritation Relief, Athleteís
Foot Treatment, Sutures, Clotting Agent, Anti-Clotting Agent,
Drug Delivery System, Anti-Tumor Agent, Osteoarthritis Treatment,
Skin and Hair Care
Moisturizing Creams and Lotions, Hair Care Products.
Environment and Agriculture
Water Treatment, Seed Treatment, Insecticide.
Undergarments, Paper, Textiles, Beverage Clarifier, Feed Additive.
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