Newsletters - September 1997

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Chitosans are polysaccharides derived from fungal or crustacean chitins. They are polycationic copolymers of N-acetylglucosamine and glucosamine in various proportions and in random sequence.

Chitosan is used as a dietary fiber, and is proven to accelerate wound healing, stimulate the immune system and to be effective in the treatment of ulcers, osteoporosis, hypercholesterolemia and hypertension. The biological activity of Chitosan is linked to its degree of deacetylation (DD), viscosity and molecular weight. DD is defined as the molar ratio of N-acetyl glucosamine units to all units and determines the content of free amino groups. DD influences the binding of cholesterol, fats, metal ions, proteins and tumor cells by Chitosan. Studies revealed that fat-binding by Chitosan was improved as the viscosity or DD was increased and when the average molecular weight was greater than 10,000 Da.

Fig.1 Structure shows repeating unit in Chitosan

The degree of deacetylation in Sabinsa's Chitosan is 90+%.

Reference:

  • Muzzarelli, R.A.A. (1996). Carb. Polymers. 29:309-316

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