Author(s): Wuolijoki E, Hirvel T, Ylitalo P
Peroral microcrystalline chitosan (MCCh; 3 capsules, each 400 mg b.i.d.) or placebo was given for 8 weeks in a double-blind manner to 51 healthy obese women just before routine hospital and home meals. Weight records, serum lipids (total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, triglycerides) and safety laboratory parameters were monitored before the trial and at 4, 6 and 8 weeks of treatment. In a subgroup of subjects with a body mass index > or = 30 who had not changed their eating habits, serum LDL cholesterol decreased 0.57 +/- 0.72 mmol/l (n = ll) at 4 weeks in the MCCh group and 0.10 +/- 0.60 mmol/l (n = 14) in the placebo group (p < 0.05). At 8 weeks, LDL cholesterol reduction was 0.48 +/- 0.91 mmol/l in the MCCh group and 0.26 +/- 0.57 mmol/l in the placebo group (p > 0.1). In all subjects, the reduction in LDL cholesterol at 4 weeks was 0.48 +/- 0.72 mmol/l (n = 24) in MCCh subjects and 0.18 +/- 0.58 mmol/l (n = 27) in placebo subjects (p = 0.057), and 0.52 +/- 0.69 mmol/l and 0.31 +/- 0.63 mmol/l, respectively, at 8 weeks (p > 0.1). MCCh did not significantly alter serum total and HDL cholesterol (p > 0.1), but slightly increased serum triglycerides compared to placebo (p = 0.015-0.06). No reductions in weight were observed in any treatment group. Chitosan was well tolerated and no serious adverse events or changes in safety laboratory parameters were noted including serum fat-soluble vitamins A and E, and serum Fe++ and transferrin.