Previously, we have found that the addition of L-ascorbic acid to chitosan enhanced the reduction in body weight gain in guinea pigs fed a high-fat diet. We hypothesized that the addition of L-ascorbic acid to chitosan would accelerate the reduction of body weight in humans, similar to the animal model. Overweight subjects administered chitosan with or without L-ascorbic acid for 8 weeks, were assigned to three groups: Control group (N=26, placebo, vehicle only), Chito group (N=27, 3 g/day chitosan), and Chito-vita group (N=27, 3 g/day chitosan plus 2 g/day L-ascorbic acid). The body weights and body mass index (BMI) of the Chito and Chito-vita groups decreased significantly (p<0.05) compared to the Control group. The BMI of the Chito-vita group decreased significantly compared to the Chito group (Chito: -1.0 kg/m2 vs. Chito-vita: -1.6 kg/m2, p<0.05). The results showed that the chitosan enhanced reduction of body weight and BMI was accentuated by the addition of L-ascorbic acid. The fat mass, percentage body fat, body circumference, and skinfold thickness in the Chito and Chito-vita groups decreased more than the Control group; however, these parameters were not significantly different between the three groups. Chitosan combined with L-ascorbic acid may be useful for controlling body weight.
Keywords: L-ascorbic acid; chitosan; dietary supplements; obesity; weight loss.