Fucoxanthin’s Promising Weight Loss Benefits
Compounds in plants called carotenoids are essential in maintaining human health. Carotenoids are pigments produced by plants to help them absorb light and convert it into chemical energy. Many of these organic chemicals act as antioxidants including Fucoxanthin which is found in marine plants in abundance. This particular carotenoid is emerging as an effective weight-loss dietary supplement.
The Research Behind Fucoxanthin
Fucoxanthin is a metabolite produced from brown seaweeds. It has a unique structure made up of allenic bonds and distinctive oxygen groups that many believe to be the reason behind its many physiological functions . Because of its strong antioxidative properties, this carotenoid has been studied extensively. Findings on the benefits of fucoxanthin show that it has a variety of effects on the body.
For one, it may decrease the level of glucose in the blood, making it effective in treating or preventing diabetes. Fucoxanthin, as an antioxidant, also works to stabilize free radicals. By doing so, body inflammation might decrease. Plus, its effect on free radicals makes it a treatment or preventative option for other chronic diseases like cancer . Yet the fucoxanthin benefit causing the most buzz in the health industry is its potential to stimulate weight loss.
A Weight Loss Seaweed?
The reason why researchers believe fucoxanthin is a fat-burning facilitator is that it speeds up metabolism. It activates a special protein in the cells called the mitochondrial uncoupling protein (UCP1). Usually, UCP1 is only found in brown adipose tissue, but a group of Japanese marine biologists discovered otherwise. They found that by giving test subjects fucoxanthin UPC1 was expressed in white adipose tissue .
Our bodies contain both white and brown fat, but most of the fat in humans is white fat. Thermogenesis, the heat production in brown adipose, works to burn the fat. Fucoxanthin’s ability to mimic thermogenesis in white adipose tissue results in a similar effect on a higher scale. That means increased metabolism and more fat-burning.
The findings of the study done by those marine biologists support these theories. Mice and rats that received the fucoxanthin supplement showed a decrease in white adipose tissue weight in comparison to the ones that didn’t receive the fucoxanthin. In fact, those animals had no or little UPC1 expressed in their white fat tissue .
Research on fucoxanthin in humans is still in its early stages. Still, its results in animals are very promising and make it an attractive option as a weight loss supplement in addition to being an antioxidant.
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