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Seaweed has role in weight loss
[Posted: Tue 12/09/2006 www.irishhealth.com]
New studies have suggested that brown seaweed, also known as wakame; commonly used to flavour Asian soups and salads, contains a compound that can promote weight loss.
The compound, called fucoxanthin, also has anti-diabetes effects, the research has found.
Dr. Kazuo Miyashita from Hokkaido University told the American Chenical Society National meeting in San Francisco that significant reductions in fat tissue were reported in rats and obese mice fed the edible seaweed carotenoid fucoxanthin.
Fucoxanthin induces expression of the fat-burning protein UCP1 that accumulates in fat tissue around the internal organs. Mice fed fucoxanthin showed clear signs of the fat-burning protein in fat tissue, whereas mice fed a control diet showed little sign of this protein.
Dr Miyashita and colleagues also found that fucoxanthin exhibits strong anti-diabetes effects by promoting the synthesis of DHA; this is an important fatty acid found in fish oil supplements.
Animals fed fucoxanthin plus soybean oil showed an increase in DHA levels in the liver, comparable to that seen with fish oil supplementation, the researchers said.
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