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September 12, 2006

Fight Fat With - Miso Soup?

Topics: Health Issues

brown seaweed.jpgAccording to researchers at the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences in Japan, the brown seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida, a type of kelp called wakame that is widely consumed in Japan and is in Miso soup, just might be your ticket to loosing weight:

They found that fucoxanthin, the brown pigment in the seaweed, promoted a 5 percent to 10 percent weight loss in mice and rats by shrinking abdominal fat. The compound appeared to stimulate a protein that causes fat oxidation and conversion of energy to heat. This protein is found in white adipose tissue -- belly fat -- and that means fucoxanthin might be particularly effective at shrinking oversized guts, the researchers hypothesized.

Fucoxanthin also stimulated the animals' livers to produce DHA, a beneficial omega-3 fatty acid that reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol that contributes to atherosclerosis.

"The exciting finding is that fucoxanthin may increase metabolism and weight control," said Connie Diekman, director of University Nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. "But the downside is that this is an animal study, and we can't automatically translate from animals to humans."

And seaweed isn't the only food promising medicinal powers...

Related: Fucoxanthin is also a possible cancer fighter - Cancer prevention by carotenoids.

Posted by Richard at September 12, 2006 6:55 AM

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