Contemporary habits of eating high amounts of fats, sugars, and calories while getting insufficient exercise and activity lead to diseases, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other ongoing health issues. What people eat can be very important for preventing these lifestyle-related conditions. It is desirable to find safe and effective functional ingredients in the food that can help prevent and treat lifestyle diseases. Of the marine carotenoids, fucoxanthin stands out as a promising functional ingredient that could help address lifestyle diseases.
We have done thorough research on whether Fucoxanthin actually aids weight loss or not. Here’s what we found
Overview Of Marine Algae
Marine algae are classified into two main groups – microalgae and macroalgae (seaweeds). Microalgae include species like blue-green algae, dinoflagellates, and diatoms. They contain novel chemicals and compounds with pharmacological potential. Microalgae are considered the source of many highly bioactive compounds derived from the ocean. Among algal varieties, red algae are regarded as the most prolific producers of biologically active molecules.
Seaweeds have been used by humans for food and as sources of gums. Key gums from algae include agar, alginic acid and carrageenan, which are common in food and other industries.
Marine Algae have gained recognition for their health-promoting effects. This has driven interest in isolating novel bioactive compounds from algae. One such functional ingredient is fucoxanthin, a marine carotenoid.
The latest research focus is on functional food components that can help prevent and treat lifestyle diseases. Marine carotenoids, especially fucoxanthin, show particular promise in this regard. Fucoxanthin occurs naturally in certain macroalgae and microalgae. It has exhibited anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Fucoxanthin’s unique structure, metabolism, safety profile and significant bioactivities suggest it may be a useful nutritional and medicinal ingredient.
What Is Fucoxanthin?
Fucoxanthin is a major carotenoid found in brown algae chloroplasts. It accounts for over 10% of the estimated total natural production of carotenoids. Of around 700 naturally occurring carotenoids, about 40 contain an allenic bond. Fucoxanthin is the primary allenic carotenoid in brown seaweeds.
Fucoxanthin content in brown algae ranges from 4.3 to 243 μg/g dry weight. When consumed, dietary fucoxanthin is hydrolyzed to fucoxanthinol in the digestive system. It is also partly metabolized into amarouciaxanthin A in the liver. These fucoxanthin metabolites accumulate in marine organisms like shellfish, starfish and sea cucumbers.
Recent studies show fucoxanthin markedly decreases adipose tissue weight and regulates blood glucose. Its mechanisms differ from other anti-diabetic functional food components.
Anti-Obesity Effect Of Fucoxanthin
Long-term poor diets can disrupt lipid metabolism, leading to accumulation of visceral fat and conditions like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Finding effective strategies to prevent obesity is crucial. Fucoxanthin exhibits anti-obesity effects through several mechanisms.
Fucoxanthin markedly decreases blood and liver triglyceride levels. It also positively influences cholesterol-regulating enzymes such as HMG-CoA reductase and acyl-CoA. In rats, fucoxanthin reduced the expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), which catalyzes fatty acid synthesis.
ACC upregulates fatty acid metabolism. Its activation yields malonyl-CoA, which provides building blocks for new fatty acids while suppressing fatty acid breakdown. Additionally, fucoxanthin lowered the expression of fatty acid synthase (FAS), a multi-enzyme that catalyzes fatty acid production. FAS is being explored as a drug target for metabolic disease.
Fucoxanthin has demonstrated several beneficial mechanisms that promote weight loss and fat reduction. By decreasing triglycerides, influencing lipid enzymes, suppressing fatty acid synthesis enzymes like ACC and FAS, and enhancing fatty acid breakdown, fucoxanthin exhibits anti-obesity effects. The unique metabolic regulatory properties of this marine carotenoid point to its potential as a safe and effective functional food ingredient to help weight loss.
In the past, losing excess body fat required restrictive, often ineffective diets with modest outcomes. Some compounds could increase resting energy expenditure but had unpleasant stimulant side effects that prevented optimal or consistent use.
Fucoxanthin’s discovery revealed non-stimulating metabolic-enhancing effects. For long-term weight control, fucoxanthin provides a new tool to prompt white fat cell mitochondria to “uncouple” cellular energy transfer. This increases resting metabolism and energy expenditure without negative side effects.
Unlike other products, fucoxanthin has shown remarkable benefits like reduced heart disease and diabetes risk. Fucoxanthin can enable controlled calorie intake and more activity to produce a meaningful fat loss in ageing humans.