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Seaweed fiber improves weight loss in overweight men and women

Seaweed fiber improves weight loss in overweight men and women

Tuesday, December 13, 2011. A doctoral thesis by Morten Georg Jensen of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark concludes that alginate, a viscous fiber derived from brown seaweed, can improve weight loss when regularly consumed by overweight adults. "Over a three-year period, we have studied the effect of taking different alginate doses," Jensen reports. "We are able to demonstrate that the healthy subjects who took alginates and were also allowed to eat as much as they wanted felt less hungry and ate less than the subjects not drinking fiber drinks with alginates."

The thesis describes a twelve week study in which 96 overweight men and women were divided to receive a drink that contained alginate or a placebo daily in combination with a reduced-calorie diet. At the end of the study, participants who received the seaweed fiber lost 1.7 kilograms (nearly 4 pounds) more on average than those who received the placebo, which was primarily due to a decrease in body fat percentage.

"A probable explanation of the weight loss is that the alginates form a gel in the stomach which strengthens the gastrointestinal satiety signals to the brain because the gel takes up space in the stomach," Jensen commented. "The overweight subjects thus ate less than usual."

The study's findings suggest that consuming fibers such as alginate could help counter the results of modern access to large quantities of calorie and fat-laden food. "Eating more than you burn results in a body energy imbalance, which may lead to weight gain in the long term," Jensen noted. "It is therefore crucial that new dietary measures improve appetite control and limit our food intake."

He concluded that "Further studies are needed in order to substantiate the usefulness of alginate in the management of obesity and the metabolic syndrome."

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Resveratrol shows preventive benefit in metabolic syndrome

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The September, 2011 issue of Diabetes published the finding of researchers at the University of Alberta of a protective effect for resveratrol, a compound found in red grapes and other plant foods, against the development of metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Jason Dyck of the University of Alberta's departments of Pediatrics and Pharmacology and his colleagues exposed pregnant rats to a normal environment or one that was low in oxygen during the latter third of their gestational periods. (Oxygen deprivation can restrict fetal growth as well as increase the risk of metabolic syndrome later in life.) The animals' offspring were given high fat diets after weaning, and some were supplemented with resveratrol for nine weeks. Glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, abdominal fat, and triglyceride and free fatty acid levels were measured at the end of the treatment period in order to evaluate the development of metabolic syndrome.

While rats that were exposed to a hypoxic environment had more severe symptoms of metabolic syndrome compared to those that were exposed to a normal environment, animals that received resveratrol had less abdominal fat, better lipid levels, lower peripheral triglyceride levels, and improvements in insulin resistance and glucose tolerance compared to those that did not receive the compound.

"There is a concept that in utero, there are genetic shifts that are occurring – reprogramming is occurring because of this strenuous environment babies are in, that allows them to recover very quickly after birth," Dr Dyck explained. "When babies are growth-restricted, they usually have a catch-up period after they are born where they catch up to non-growth-restricted groups. It might be that reprogramming that creates this kind of 'thrifty' phenotype, where they want to consume and store and get caught up. That reprogramming appears to make them more vulnerable to developing a host of metabolic problems."

Life Extension Magazine® Super Sale 2011/2012 Issue Now Available in Electronic Format

Life Extension Magazine® December, 2011 interactive version now live

This e-issue of Life Extension Magazine® is extraordinarily easy to use, easy to navigate … with the same flip-the-page feeling you get from your printed copy, plus a few extra advantages. You can choose to search out a topic or keyword. Skim quickly. Skip ahead. Even order products. Now all that convenience is right at your fingertips.

On the cover: Are we all prediabetic? By Kirk Stokel
Scientific studies confirm the risk of dying significantly increases unless you achieve optimal 24-hour-a-day glucose control.

Effective approaches to blunt blood sugar surges, by Judith Sherman
Groundbreaking findings about green coffee bean extract offer aging individuals a new opportunity to achieve optimal glucose control.

Neutralize a lethal enzyme, by Judith Sherman
A superior form of natural 5-LOX inhibitor has been developed that absorbs into the blood 52% better than previously available extracts.

Rebuild aging joints, by William Preston
Compelling data from animal and human studies show that a patented compound known as undenatured type II collagen targets the autoimmune factors behind arthritic pain, reducing swelling and restoring function in aging joints.

Why so many arthritis sufferers fail to find relief, by Tyler Chambers
For the first time, the 12 correctable causes of osteoarthritis are detailed, along with safe ways to combat them.

 

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