Seaweed Extract Diet Drug Gets Go Ahead
A new diet pill, called Appesat, will be available without prescription in UK pharmacies from April.
There is always a rush of media hype when a new drug hits the market but Appesat is set to cause even more of a storm, as it is not classed as a pharmaceutical.
In other words, it doesn’t actually enter the bloodstream and instead goes straight to the gut. Many of its recent predecessors in the fight against obesity have been pharmaceuticals but some have come under attack for their range of side effects.
As it is derived from a plant extract, Appesat is likely to attract many people who have been put off by the traditional negative image of diet pills.
How Does the Appetite Suppressant Drug Work?
Appesat is made from a type of seaweed called laminaria digitata, which is harvested on the French Atlantic coast. The pill works by essentially tricking the brain into believing that the stomach is full.
It does this by physically stretching the walls of the stomach. The pill is taken about half an hour before eating a meal and it’s then flushed out of the body later on as waste. The idea is that dieters use the pill until they have become accustomed to eating less food.
WLR says . . .
Although it’s encouraging that there is a move towards more natural products to help fight obesity, diet pills really only serve to disguise the real cause of the problem.
Poor diet and a lack of understanding about nutrition, portion sizes and physical activity are some of the major contributors to weight issues. An appetite suppressant will indeed help to curb excess eating but what it can’t do is dictate the food that’s consumed the rest of the time.
Appetite Suppressant Only Combats One Aspect of Healthy Weight Loss
Whilst training yourself to eat less is indeed one important aspect of weight loss, it is far more important is to get into healthy eating habits.
Taking a diet pill and then eating a bar of chocolate instead of a full meal is a false economy. Far better to fill up on nutritious, wholesome food that will provide your body with the energy, goodness and nutritional diversity that it requires.
Herbal Diet Pills are not a One Stop Shop
A diet pill should not be treated as a one-stop solution to obesity. A number of lifestyle choices need to be addressed before successful and long-term weight loss can occur and most people need to go back to basics in order to understand the importance of sensible eating habits.
By relying on pills, people can lose a sense of responsibility and control when it comes to making sensible choices about their weight, health and lifestyle.
Further Research on Seaweed for Weight Loss
Research has also shown that fucoxanthin, a compound found in brown seaweed, may help in the fight against obesity.
Brown seaweed – also known as wakame – is often used in traditional Asian dishes such as miso soup to add flavour. But Japanese scientists also believe it could help burn fat.
Sharing their findings at a scientific conference in San Francisco, the researchers from Hokkaido University in Japan revealed that when rats and mice were fed fucoxanthin they lost around 10 percent fat.
The researchers believe this compound works its magic by triggering a protein in the body, which burns fat accumulated around the internal organs.
This is an interesting piece of research but a lot more work needs to be carried out before any definite conclusions can be made.
To start with, fucoxanthin may not have the same fat-burning effects in humans so until studies have been carried out in adults, it’s impossible to say whether this compound is effective as a slimming aid.
Meanwhile, eating more seaweed in the form of miso soup is unlikely to be beneficial as the researchers say that fucoxanthin is not easily absorbed in its natural form.
It’s certainly a case of watch this space. But in the meantime, if you want to burn fat safely and effectively, it’s better to stick with your diet and exercise programme.
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