By Yael Brender
The sneaky way to fight fat may be at the bottom of the ocean
A finding published in the journal Food Chemistry this year suggests that alginate, usually found in sea kelp, can prevent fat from being digested into the stomach. The alginate reduces the breakdown of fat by a digestive enzyme know as pancreatic lipase. Stopping the action of the enzyme means that the body absorbs less fate overall.
Professor Jeff Pearson from the University of Newcastle’s Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences assure the media that the results have been “extremely encouraging”. The experiment involved adding alginate to bread and conducting a taste test. The next step is clinical trials to examine the effect of incorporating alginate into a normal diet.
There are a number of seaweeds that contain the sugar molecule guluronate, including brown sea kelp, bladderwrack and bull kelp. Initial testing on different types of seaweed suggests that a combination of different types of algae can boost anti-fat absorption by as much as 75%.
The statements released by researchers to the journal thus far have been cautious but hopeful; “The inclusion of alginate into foods…has the potential to reduce the intake of dietary [fat] and could greatly help in weight management.”
By Bondi Beauty Intern Yael Brender
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