Stories of Chitosan 10

We previously talked about chitin. Today, we would like to take this opportunity to look at chitin oligosaccharide.

About a decade ago, chitosan became a fad. The trigger was chitin oligosaccharide. At that time, professor Suzuki of Tohoku Pharmaceutical University (who is now retired) presented his study on the effect of chitin oligosaccharide hexose on the cancer regression and prevention of metastasis in mice at the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan.

To note, however, the experiment was performed by direct intraperitoneal administration of chitin oligosaccharide hexose in mice. Thus, it was unknown whether similar results could be obtained with oral administration in human.

Professor Suzuki felt a sense of responsibility, and carried out oral administration studies in mice to collect data. The results showed that the oral administration also had significant advantages.

Previously, I mentioned that chitin is a polysaccharide consisting of a long chain of N-acetyl glucosamine. Chitin oligosaccharide is a mixture of N-acetyl glucosamine that vary from 2 to 6 units long. The substance is indeed water soluble, and tastes subtly sweet that reminds us of old times.

Professor Suzuki used chitin oligosaccharide hexose, which is chitin oligosaccharide consisting of 6 units of N-acetyl glucosamine, in his experiments.