Chitosan for Weight Loss and Cholesterol Management

Kelly M. Shields, Pharm.D., Nick Smock, Pharm.D., Cydney E. McQueen, Pharm.D., Patrick J. Bryant, Pharm.D., FSCIP


Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2003;60(13) 

In This Article

Interactions and Conclusion

No drug interactions involving chitosan have been reported, but caution may be warranted when administering chitosan concurrently with highly lipophilic drugs.[8] There are theoretical concerns about chitosan decreasing the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, although clinical trials have not shown this to be the case.

The limited information currently available indicates that chitosan is not effective in weight management without concurrent lifestyle and dietary modifications. Longer-term trials are necessary to assess the utility of this agent in maintaining weight loss. Similarly, chitosan's impact on serum lipid levels, if any, needs to be confirmed by large and rigorous clinical trials. The studies performed thus far suggest that cholesterol benefits are linked more to subjects' weight loss than to chitosan.

At the time of writing, Dr. Smock was a Pharm.D. Degree Candidate, UMKC.


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