Algae’s Dietary Fibers Aid In Weight Reduction

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Weight loss has always been a concern for many people nowadays, since obesity can be a source of some detriments like disease development (cardiac disease, diabetes) and disturbed self-perception. People have employed several means to lose weight like dieting, physical activity and the like. Recent studies have revealed that dietary fibers from brown algae can create a sense of satiety, which will lead people to eat less and reduce weight. This was according to the study done by the researchers at the Faculty of Life Science (LIFE) at the University of Copenhagen.

Studies in the past showed that fiber-rich diet can contribute in weight maintenance. The current research demonstrates that alginates (dietary fibers) from brown algae are excellent in boosting the artificial sense of fullness in the stomach. Furthermore, the three main groups of seaweeds were identified by scientists: (a) Phaephycecae (brown algae), Rhodophyta (red algae), and (c) Chlorophyta (green algae). The research team concentrated their study on palm seaweed fibers found in brown algae.

Morten Georg Jensen, a PhD student, cited that their study ran for three years, as they examined the effects of drinking a variety of alginate doses. Their study involved healthy participants, who drank alginate-containing fiber drinks (developed by the researchers in cooperation with S-Biotek Company) and were allowed to eat as much as they desired, as well as participants who did not take fiber drinks. They found that the former felt less hungry and ate less, compared with the latter.

Furthermore, Jensen and his colleagues performed a 12-week investigation of 96 overweight men and women. Forty-eight subjects consumed alginates-containing drink thrice daily prior to each main course, whereas, the other half drank placebo-containing drinks without alginates. The drinks served as supplement to a low-energy diet. Moreover, it was observed that among the 80 participants (who completed the study), there was more weight loss in the alginate group, due to the decrease in body fat percentage.

Jensen further elaborated how weight loss is connected to alginates. A gel, which takes up space in the stomach, is formed by the alginates. This leads to strong gastrointestinal satiety signals transmitted to the brain. Moreover, he linked energy-rich food as a factor in the rising number of obese people, since eating beyond your burning capacity results to body energy imbalance and eventually weight gain. He emphasized the necessity to investigate and develop novel dietary means to improve appetite and weight control.




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