Science always keeps searching for new natural compounds that would help in treating diseases and this is definitely the case for obesity. New natural foods with anti-obesity property are identified in leaps and bounds.
However not each one of these are potent, so their active compounds are isolated to prepare dietary supplements. One such supplement is brown seaweed extract and this study suggests that brown seaweed can promote weight loss.
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What happened in this study?
This study was conducted over a period of 16 weeks. 151 obese premenopausal women, some suffering from non alcoholic fatty liver disease and others healthy were recruited. They were given brown seaweed extract with different doses of active compound, fucoxanthin.
What were the results of this study?
Statistically significant reductions in body weight were observed. Average weight loss was 5.5 kg in NAFLD group and 4.9kg in normal fat liver group. Body fat loss was around 3.5 kg and decrease in waist circumference was also observed.
Improvement in liver fat content, liver enzymes and blood lipids occurred. The extract also caused an increase in metabolic rate in individuals suffering from NAFLD.
How did this occur?
Fucoxanthin is the active compound of brown seaweed and contributes to the color of brown algae. This compound has anti-obesity potential.
It raises metabolism and impacts fat metabolism. It suppresses diet induced obesity. It restricts accumulation of fats in the fat tissue and improves cholesterol and blood lipids. It also helps in maintenance of normal blood sugar levels.
All these mechanisms together favour good metabolic health and impact body weight.
What does this mean?
It was concluded that brown seaweed extract promotes weight loss and normalizes liver fat content which is therapeutic for obese individuals suffering from metabolic conditions. Brown seaweed extract is thought to be a promising weight loss supplement.
Apart from taking supplements, certain cuisines also include brown seaweed for example the Korean cuisine, which you could try if you are up to it.
Read paper here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19840063
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