Seaweed may harbour slimming secrets

Melbourne, Mar 1: Fat-busting seaweed could be the future of slimming, as scientists have identified a natural seaweed fibre that prevents the body from absorbing fat.

Tests show that alginate, found in sea kelp, can suppress the digestion of fat in the gut, News.com.au reported.

Researchers investigated the ability of alginate to reduce fat breakdown by a digestive enzyme, pancreatic lipase.

Blocking the action of the enzyme results in lower amounts of fat being absorbed by the body.

Professor Jeff Pearson, from the University of Newcastle’s Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, said that they have already added alginate to bread and initial taste tests have been extremely encouraging.

The researchers found that alginates containing more of a sugar molecule called guluronate were best at blocking fat digestion.

They compiled a list of the most promising seaweeds, including a brown sea kelp known as “tangle” or “cuvie”, bladderwrack, and bull kelp.

The findings showed that a four-fold increase in one type of tangle alginate boosted anti-fat absorption activity by 75 per cent.

The research is published in the journal Food Chemistry. (ANI)