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Nutr Res. 2010 Jun;30(6):392-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2010.06.005.

Chitosan improves insulin sensitivity as determined by the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp technique in obese subjects.

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Medical Research Unit in Clinical Epidemiology, Specialties Hospital, Medical Unit of High Specialty, West National Medical Center, Mexican Institute of Social Security, 44349 Guadalajara, Mexico.


In accordance with obesity is associated with insulin resistance and dyslipidemia and chitosan decrease weight and lipids, but its effect on insulin sensitivity is unknown. Our hypothesis for the research was that chitosan improves insulin sensitivity estimated with the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp technique in obesity. We undertook this study with the objective to determine the effect of chitosan on insulin sensitivity using the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp technique in obese patients during a 3-month period. A randomized, double-blind clinical trial was carried out in 12 obese adults without diabetes mellitus. During a 3-month period, 6 patients received chitosan (750 mg, 3 times per day) 30 minutes before meals, and the other 6 subjects received placebo. Serum glucose, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides (TG) were measured. Insulin sensitivity was estimated with the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp technique before and after the intervention. Insulin sensitivity increased significantly with the administration of chitosan (2.4 +/- 1.4 vs 3.6 +/- 1.4 mg kg(-1) min(-1); P = .043). In addition, there was a decrease in weight (90.7 +/- 14.2 vs 84.7 +/- 13.7 kg; P = .027), body mass index (34.3 +/- 2.7 vs 31.6 +/- 2.2 kg/m(2); P = .028), waist circumference (106 +/- 12 vs 99 +/- 9 cm; P = .028) and TG (2.4 +/- 0.9 vs 1.6 +/- 0.9 mmol/L; P = .028) in the chitosan group. In conclusion, 3-month administration of chitosan increased insulin sensitivity in obese patients and demonstrated a decrease in weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and TG.

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