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Seaweed to fight obesity

22nd March 2010

Scientists at Newcastle University have said that sea kelp could be used as a treatment to fight obesity.

obesity1

The team found that a fibre in kelp known as alginate lessened the body's fat absorption by over 75% - a better result than most current obesity treatments.

Clinical trials will now be carried out to see if the product could be added to foods eaten in a regular diet. Alginate is already used in some foods to thicken or stabilise them.

The team used an "artificial gut" to measure how effective 60 natural fibres were in affecting the digestion of fat.

Dr Iain Brownlee, who co-headed the Tyneside team, said: "This research suggests that if we can add the natural fibre to products commonly eaten daily, such as bread, biscuits and yoghurts, up to three quarters of the fat contained in that meal could simply pass through the body."

"We have already added the alginate to bread and initial taste tests have been extremely encouraging."

Dr Brownlee added that many claims had been made about "miracle cures" for obesity but most did not have scientific proof to support their assertions.

"These initial findings suggest alginates could offer a very real solution in the battle against obesity," he said.

 

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Comments

George Fuentes

Wednesday 21st April 2010 @ 18:14

I'd be leery of including alginate to foods that are regularly eaten. After all, certain fatty acids are essential in nutrition. As it is people don't consume enough omega-3's in their diet, and lessening their ability to absorb "good fats" is probably not such a great idea.


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Article Information

Title: Seaweed to fight obesity
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 14453
Date Added: 22nd Mar 2010

Sources

BBC News

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