Chitosan is an insoluble fiber that is chemically similar to cellulose, which is a vegetable fiber. This polysaccharide is derived from the natural substance chitin, which is found in the exoskeletons of crustaceans (mainly shrimp, crab and lobster). In a chemical sense chitin is inert and insoluble, but once it has undergone a process of alkaline deacetylation, it produces chitosan which is reactive and soluble in weak acids. It is bacteriostatic and low in toxins.

Because of its nitrogen content, chitosan has a cationic (positive) charge, which is why it has a strong capacity to bind to anionic (negatively charged) substances, such as lipids (fats). By binding with the dietary fat, chitosan forms a polymeric hydrogel with a viscous texture that cannot be absorbed by the intestines.

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