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Fat Complex

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 lived.

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 compounds.

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 materials.

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 bowel movements.

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.

Cholesterol-Lowering Effects

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 which

Fibre and Weight-Loss Effects, Lactose Intolerance Aid, Anti-Ulcer Properties
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.

Summary

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

Chitin Today

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.

Why?

Yo-Yo, Up and Down Dieting is a Killer! More Dangerous than Excess Pounds
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 habits.

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 health deterioration.

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 non-allergenic.

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 food.

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 program.

Outline of the uses and claimed benefits of Chitin and Chitosan in the modern world:

Nutritional Uses

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.

Biomedicine

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, AIDS inhibitor.

Skin and Hair Care

Moisturizing Creams and Lotions, Hair Care Products.

Environment and Agriculture

Water Treatment, Seed Treatment, Insecticide.

Other

Undergarments, Paper, Textiles, Beverage Clarifier, Feed Additive.

 
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