Will Brown Seaweed Fight Obesity?

Scientists have discovered what could be a new treatment for obesity that may also explain why Asians eating traditional diets had little problem with the battle of the bulge. Brown seaweed, including a kind used in traditional miso soup, contains fucoxanthin, a brownish pigment that also controls photosynthesis.

In studying the effect on fucoxanthin on 200 rats and mice, scientists found this compound stimulated a weight loss of nearly 10 percent, partly by stimulating the UCP1 protein that causes fat to oxidize and converts energy to heat. Fucoxanthin also stimulates the liver's natural production of DHA, one of the body's essential omega-3 fats at levels researchers claim are comparable to fish oil.

Before you start loading up on brown seaweed, however, scientists believe you'd have to eat huge amounts before you'd notice any weight change, because fucoxanthin is so tightly bound to proteins in seaweed, your body can't absorb it easily.

Of course, it may be up to five years before somebody develops a natural extract, if one can be made at all. No need to wait until that day comes, however, to get your weight under control naturally, safely and effectively, if you follow these simple steps:

EurekAlert September 11, 2006

BBC News September 11, 2006

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