KiOtransine®: Chitin-glucan Complex for Cardiovascular, Liver, Gastrointestinal Tract and Immune System Health


Chitin-glucan (CG) is an insoluble dietary fiber extracted from the cell wall of fungi.  CG is the main component of the cell walls of the Aspergillus niger mycelium, a biomass that remains after the manufacture of food grade citric acid.  CG is a purified insoluble fiber (∼80–85% fiber according to AOAC 991.43 modified), composed of chitin (poly-N-acetyl–glucosamine) and β (1,3)–glucan chains.

KiOtransine® is a unique and innovative prebiotic fiber based on animal-free Chitin-glucan. It is developed and patented by KitoZyme based in Herstal-Belgium.  It is 100% natural, non-GMO, allergen-free, and safe. This product is appropriate for use in Kosher, Halal, and vegetarian products/diets.

KiOtransine®  has shown some unique qualities in a prebiotic fiber:

  • It is able to withstand stomach acids and pass though the upper gastrointestinal system largely intact.  Since KiOtransine® is water insoluble and resistant to acid digestion in the stomach, it is broken down by the probiotic bacteria in the large intestine.  As a result the fatty acids trapped by this fiber in the digestive tract are transported to the colon and excreted.
  • It bonds to free fatty acids in the digestive tract for safe elimination, reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thus supporting clean and healthy arteries important for cardiovascular health.
  • It protects against harmful LDL oxidation by binding to free iron molecules that can trigger free-radical formation.  This binding to iron molecules spares the antioxidant liver enzymes glutathione and superoxide dismutase.

There have been a number of studies that have demonstrated the above health benefits.  These studies have been both in vitro and in vivo.  A summary of these studies are listed below:

In vitro Studies

In vitro evaluation of the prebiotic properties of KiOtransine® in the gastrointestinal tract, SHIME® platform, Prodigest, 2013

SHIME = Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem


  • KiOtransine® treatment led to an increased production of propionate and butyrate
  • The absence of change in ammonium concentration may be a sign of specific fermentation of the product
  • KiOtransine® is slowly fermented all over the colon as shown by the increased distal acidification, positive net SCFA production and low gas production.
  • KiOtransine® reduces the fractions of bioavailable iron and bile salts and has a strong capacity of water retention.

In vivo Studies

Study 1

The aim of the present study was to investigate the ability of chitin-glucan (CG) from a fungal source to modulate both the gut microbiota and glucose and lipid metabolism in high-fat (HF) diet-induced obese mice. Supplementation of the HF diet with fungal CG (10% w/w) induced caecal enlargement with prominent changes in gut microbiota: it restored the number of bacteria from clostridial cluster XIVa including Roseburia spp., which were decreased due to HF feeding. Furthermore, CG treatment significantly decreased HF-induced body weight gain, fat mass development, fasting hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, hepatic triglyceride accumulation and hypercholesterolemia, independently of the caloric intake.

In conclusion, our findings support the view that chronic consumption of CG has potential beneficial effects with respect to the development of obesity and associated metabolic diabetes and hepatic steatosis, through a mechanism related to the restoration of the composition and/or the activity of gut bacteria, namely, bacteria from clostridial cluster XIVa.  

Neyrinck et. al., Dietary modulation of clostridial cluster XIVa gut bacteria (Roseburia spp.) by chitin-glucan fiber improves host metabolic alterations induced by high fat-diet in mice. Journal of Nutritional Biochem. 2011

Study 2

The effects of chitin-glucan (CG) on early atherosclerosis, cardiac production of superoxide anion, and hepatic antioxidant enzymes were studied in an animal model of atherosclerosis. Three groups of 12 hamsters were fed an atherogenic diet for 12 weeks. They received by gavage either water (control group) or CG in water at a dose of 21.4 mg/kg BW x d-1 of chitin-glucan (CG ld) or 42.8 mg/kg BW x d-1 (GG hd). CG did not affect plasma cholesterol but lowered triglycerides. It also strongly reduced the area of aortic fatty streak deposition by 87-97%, cardiac production of superoxide anion by 25% and liver MDA by 77-85%, and enhanced liver superoxide dismutase activity by 7-45% and glutathionne peroxidase activity by 38-120%. These findings support the view that chronic consumption of chitin-glucan has potential beneficial effects with respect to the development of atherosclerosis. The underlying mechanism is related mainly to improving the antioxidant status.

Berecochea-Lopez et. al., Fungal chitin-glucan from Aspergillus niger efficiently reduces aortic fatty streak accumulation in the high-fat fed hamster, an animal model of nutritionally induced atherosclerosis. J. Agr. Food Chem. 2009, 57, 1093-1098

Study 3

The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of chitin-glucan (CG), alone and in combination with a potentially anti-inflammatory olive oil (OO) extract, for reducing OxLDL in subjects with borderline to high LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) levels.

This 6-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of a novel, insoluble fiber derived from the Aspergillus niger mycelium, CG, evaluated 130 subjects free of diabetes mellitus with fasting LDL-C 3.37-4.92 mmol/l and glucose ≤ 6.94 mmol/l.

At the end of study, CG was associated with lower LDL-C levels relative to placebo, although this difference was statistically significant only for the CG 1.5 g/day group (P=0.019). CG did not significantly affect high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, insulin or F2-isoprostane levels.

In this 6-week study, CG (4.5 g/day) reduced OxLDL, an effect that might affect the risk for atherosclerosis.

Bays H.E. et. al., Chitin-glucan fiber effects on oxidized low-density lipoprotein: a randomized controlled trial.  European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2013 Jan; 67(1): 2–7.  Published online 2012 Sep 5. doi:  10.1038/ejcn.2012.121

Informational References: 

European Food Safety Authority – Scientific Opinion on the safety of ‘Chitin-glucan’ as a Novel Food ingredient EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA)2, 3 European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy


KitoZyme – Mechanism of action of chitosan – a natural fat binder  (Video)


Swanson Health Products – Artinisan KiOtransine

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