Is Chitosan effective for weight loss?

From: The Cochrane Collaboration

Journal rating:
rating: 98%
Study Quality:
rating: 100%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
rating: 75%
rating: 50%


  • 15 trials including a total of 1,219 participants


  • The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
  • This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped together to form an overall outcome.


  • Chitosan provided greater weight loss (1.7kg), a decrease in cholesterol (-0.2 mmol/L), and a decrease in blood pressure when compared with a placebo.
  • The authors conclude that Chitosan may have a small effect on body weight but results from high quality trials indicate that this effect is likely to be minimal.


  • Yes (without confidence)


Editors Notes

  • Chitosan is a dietary supplement reported to decrease body weight. It is widely available over the counter worldwide.
  • Note that the 15 trials investigated only had a relatively short term; between 4 and 24 weeks.