Chitosan Health Benefits

Published: 18th December 2009
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Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide composed of randomly distributed β-(1-4)-linked D-glucosamine (deacetylated unit) and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (acetylated unit). It has a number of commercial and possible biomedical uses.

In agriculture, chitosan is used primarily as a natural seed treatment and plant growth enhancer, and as a ecologically friendly biopesticide substance that boosts the innate ability of plants to defend themselves against fungal infections. The natural biocontrol active ingredient, chitin/chitosan, are found in the shells of crustaceans, such as lobsters, crabs, and shrimp, and many other organisms including insects and fungi. It is one of the most abundant bio-gradable materials in the world.

Degraded molecules of chitin/chitosan exist in soil and water. Chitosan applications for plants and crops are regulated by the EPA and the USDA National Organic Program regulates its use on organic certified farms and crops. EPA approved bio-degradable chitosan products are allowed for use outdoors and indoors on plants and crops grown commercially and by consumers. The natural biocontrol ability of chitosan should not be confused with the effects of fertilizers or pesticides upon plants or the environment. Chitosan active biopesticides represent a new tier of cost effective biological control of crops for agriculture and horticulture.

The biocontrol mode of action of chitosan elicits natural innate defense responses within plant to resist against insects, pathogens, and soil borne diseases when applied to foliage or the soil. Chitosan increases photosynthesis, promotes and enhances plant growth, stimulates nutrient uptake, increases germination and sprouting, and boosts plant vigor. When used as seed treatment or seed coating on cotton, corn, seed potatoes, soybean, sugar beet, tomato, wheat and many other seeds it elicits an innate immunity response in developing roots which destroy parasitic cyst nematodes without harming beneficial nematodes and organisms.

Agricultural applications of chitosan can reduce environmental stress due to drought and soil deficiencies, strengthen seed vitality, improve stand quality, increase yields, and reduce fruit decay of vegetables, fruits and citrus crops (see photo right). Horticultural applications of chitosan increases blooms, extends the life of cut flowers and Christmas trees. The US Forest Service has conducted research on chitosan to control pathogens in pine trees . and chitosan's ability to increase pine tree resin pitch-out flow by 40% to resist pine beetle infestation.

Helps kill harmful bacteria or parasites in the body Helps improve the accumulation and ability of 'good' bacteria to counter 'bad' bacteria in organs .Relieves constipation by helping to produce bulky soft bowel movements.It is helpful in balancing the levels of fat and cholesterol in the body It helps reduce the damaging effects of radiation in the cells and tissues It helps lower blood sugar levels and is useful for treating and preventing diabetes mellitus. It helps flush out metallic poison and pollutants in the body. It's a powerful cleanser It prevents metastasis (doesn't allow cancer cells to be transferred to other cells)

It combats high blood pressure naturally It prevents prostate gland infection/prostate cancer It promotes fast healing of wounds, burns and scars.It helps prevent and treat arthritis, back pain, lumbago,
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