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Seaweed

Dietitian Juliette Kellow reports on initial research which shows fucoxanthin, a compound found in brown seaweed, may help burn fat.

Can Seaweed Make Us Slim?

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

This month, the papers reported 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.

WLR says:

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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