Re: chitosan prevents cardiovascular disease

eyehi (
Mon, 28 Dec 1998 20:31:29 -0500

Would anyone know...if you have an allergy to shellfish...can you take chitosan?

Doug Skrecky wrote:

  Department of Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
  Dietary chitosan inhibits hypercholesterolaemia and
  atherogenesis in the apolipoprotein E-deficient mouse model of
  Atherosclerosis.  138(2):329-34, 1998 Jun.
  Chitosan, the deacetylated form of chitin, is extracted from
  the shells of crustaceans. The strong positive charge carried by the
  chitosan molecule causes it to bind negatively charged
  substrates such as lipids. Orally administered chitosan
  binds fat in the intestine, blocking absorption, and has been shown to lower
  blood cholesterol in animals and humans. As a result it has been proposed
  that dietary supplementation with chitosan may inhibit the
  formation of atherosclerotic plaque. We have tested this hypothesis using the
  apolipoprotein E-deficient mouse model of atherosclerosis. This
  hypercholesterolaemic animal develops atherosclerosis without the need for
  dietary or surgical intervention. The apolipoprotein E-deficient mouse
  therefore provides an ideal model in which to study the effects of dietary
  chitosan on both blood cholesterol and atherosclerosis.
  Animals were fed for 20 weeks on a diet containing 5%
  chitosan or on a control diet. Blood cholesterol levels were
  significantly lower in the chitosan fed animals throughout
  the study, and at 20 weeks were 64% of control levels. When the area of
  aortic plaque in the two groups was compared a highly significant inhibition
  of atherogenesis, in both the whole aorta and the aortic arch, was observed
  in the chitosan fed animals--42 and 50%, respectively. Body
  growth was significantly greater in the chitosan fed
  animals. This study is the first to show a direct correlation between
  lowering of serum cholesterol with chitosan and inhibition
  of atherogenesis, and suggests that the agent could be used to inhibit the
  development of atherosclerosis in individuals with hypercholesterolaemia.