Algae May Boost Satiety, Help With Weight Loss
A healthy diet and plenty of exercise are the best way to maintain a healthy weight but a little extra help is always welcome. A study from researchers at the Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) at the University of Copenhagen suggests that dietary fibers from brown algae (alginates) may create a sense of satiety or fullness and promote weight loss.
The findings were published online ahead of print on July 21, 2011, in Obesity.
The three year study included 96 overweight men and women. For twelve weeks, half of the group consumed a drink with alginates before each meal every day and half the group consumed a placebo.
Throughout the course of the study, the researchers noted that the alginate group ate less than the placebo group and expressed that they were not as hungry. Eighty of the participants completed the study and the alginate group showed an average 4 lbs greater weight loss than the placebo group.
The researchers believe that the alginates form a gel inside the participants’ stomachs, taking up space that would otherwise be filled with food. The stomach then signals the brain that it is full, creating a sense of satiety and the individual stops eating.
Algae isn't just good for weight management; research has also shown that it may be effective for a wide range of health benefits including improving blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, boosting immune system, alleviating joint pain, colon and liver health, and boosting the immune system.
As algae isn't a common part of the western diet, your best bet for obtaining all of these benefits is to find a high quality supplement. Make sure your supplement is from a certified source to avoid impurities.