How much seaweed must I eat to block fat absorption?
Asked by aimsa on Apr 20, 2010 in Nutrition



I recently saw a study published in the UK last month that showed that a fiber in seaweed can block fat absorption up to 75%, nearly as effective as Alli but without the scary side effects.  I always have nori around the house to wrap up leftovers, but how much should someone eat to perhaps see these benefits?


Answer

Alginate, a gel-like fiber in seaweed, may trap dietary fat in the intestines to reduce absorption by up to 75 percent. That's what scientists found in a laboratory study done on an artificial digestive system. The effects of alginate are being tested on humans now. Alginate does not yet definitively block fat absorption; therefore, dosing recommendations for seaweed do not exist. Ultimately, alginate may be processed as an additive to be added to bread, yogurt and other foods. In the meantime, continue to eat alginate in the form of nori for its nutritional value. Nori is loaded with vitamins and minerals, fiber, EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid fish oil) and plant protein - in addition to alginate. 


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