Seaweed may fight obesity

Seaweed could hold the answer to tackling obesity, according to Newcastle University researchers. The team found alginate – a fibre found in sea kelp – reduces the body’s fat uptake by more than 75%. That is better than most anti-obesity treatments. Clinical trials are now intended to find out how effective it would be in a normal diet.

The findings have been presented at the American Chemical Society’s spring meeting in San Francisco. The scientists used an “artificial gut” to test the effectiveness of 60 different natural fibres by measuring the extent to which they affected the digestion of fat. These initial findings suggest alginates could offer a very real solution in the battle against obesity but we could only start recommending it if the scientists were able to provide good evidence based on rigorous trials.

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