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Fucoxanthin and Metabolic Syndrome

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Over a billion people in the world, i.e., about one quarter of the world population, suffer from metabolic syndrome [1].

Metabolic Syndrome, the major health hazard of the modern world, is a pathological condition, which results from a clustering of at least 2-3 of the following conditions simultaneously: abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. It is caused by the Consumption of high calorie, low fiber foods and  decreased physical activity, which can potentially lead to cardiovascular diseases or type 2 diabetes.

Obesity and conditions that cause metabolic syndrome can be fought by adopting a healthy lifestyle, eating a balanced diet, increasing physical activity and reducing stress levels. Moreover, scientific evidence shows that some dietary supplements can also have a beneficial effect.

Fucoxanthin is an orange-colored carotenoid, found naturally in seaweed and microalgae such as Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Its highly unique structure and chemical properties make it a powerful antioxidant.

In addition to its excellent anti-oxidative benefits, fucoxanthin in the form of a dietary supplement may  promote metabolic health including management of glucose and lipids levels and liver health.

It is a safe ingredient that has been present in the Japanese diet for generations.

Fucoxanthin and Metabolic Syndrome

The Health Benefits of Fucoxanthin

Liver Health

Metabolic syndrome is a key risk factor in developing Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver (NAFL) condition, a dangerous build-up of lipid deposits in the liver. NAFL is the most common liver abnormality, affecting 1 out of 4 people. Untreated NAFL may progress to severe liver damage.

Fucoxanthin can reduce the accumulation of lipids in the liver, and in fact, it was shown in an in vitro study that a microalgae-derived fucoxanthin extract, FucoVitalTM by Solabia – Algatech Nutrition, significantly inhibits lipid accumulation in liver cells Moreover, even fucoxanthinol, which is a fucoxanthin metabolite found in the human plasma after oral consumption of fucoxanthin, was also found to be an effective inhibitor of cellular lipid accumulation.

The effects of fucoxanthin coupled with pomegranate seed oil on the weight management of obese women was examined, in a 16-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. The study included 151 subjects divided into two groups, 113 with a liver fat content above 11%, i.e., with NAFL, and 38 with a liver fat content below 6.5%.

The group that was treated with the fucoxanthin and pomegranate seed oil supplements showed reduced liver fat and improved liver function [2].

Glucose Management 

Improper diet and obesity often lead to abnormalities in glucose metabolism and intake, as well as in insulin regulation, all of which can lead to a metabolic syndrome disease, in the shape of diabetes.

HbA1c (hemoglobin that is linked to sugar) levels is considered to be a common biomarker for the onset of diabetes.

A study with 40 adults with a BMI of over 22 kg/m2, has shown that an oil supplement rich in fucoxanthin (1 or 2 mg/day) significantly reduced HbA1c levels after 8 weeks of consumption. HbA1c levels correlated with the level of the fucoxanthinol metabolite in the plasma [3].

Fucoxanthin was shown to lower blood glucose, HbA1c levels, plasma resistin and improve insulin sensitivity in rodent obesity studies [4]

Triglycerides management 

Triglycerides  are the main constituent of the body fat. Normally, they circulate in the bloodstream to supply energy to cells and are stored in body fat as an emergency source of energy.

High levels of triglycerides (Hypertriglyceridemia) in the blood have been linked to metabolic syndrome.

In a 13 weeks pre-clinical study with rats, it was shown that FucoVital™ consumption led to significantly lower levels of blood triglycerides.

Obesity 

Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975 and is considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be the most neglected public health problem with more than 1.9 billion obese individuals aged over 18 years.

WHO also identifies obesity as a significant risk factor for diet-related diseases such as diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular and liver diseases, hypertension, stroke, and even cancer [5]. 

Several clinical studies have shown that fucoxanthin consumption reduced body weight, BMI and abdominal fat (visceral and subcutaneous fat) [2,6].

The effect of fucoxanthin on overweight was also evaluated in several pre-clinical studies in which animals were fed with either normal, high fat diet (HFD) or HFD with the addition of fucoxanthin . Animals that were fed HFD and supplemented with fucoxanthin showed a reduction in body weight gain and adipose tissue weight [7-8].

Why the Solabia-Algatech Nutrition Fucoxanthin is the best?

Fucovital™ by Solabia-Algatech Nutrition is an innovative composition comprising of 3% fucoxanthin, derived from the Phaeodactylum Tricornutum microalgae. 

Fucovital™ is the only fucoxanthin extract that has obtained a New Dietary Ingredient Notification (NDIN) by the US-FDA.

Fucovital™ is manufactured in an eco-friendly closed system cultivation technology, fully controlled and exposed to the natural sunlight of the Israeli Arava desert.

Microalgae is the most ecologically friendly and sustainable method to produce fucoxanthin, and it contains concentrations of fucoxanthin that are several hundred times higher when compared to seaweed.

 

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References:

  1. Mohammad G. Saklayen  The Global Epidemic of the Metabolic Syndrome. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2018; 20(2): 12
  2. M. Abidov, Z. Ramazanov, R. Seifulla, and S. Grachev, “The effects of Xanthigen in the weight management of obese premenopausal women with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and normal liver fat.,” Diabetes. Obes. Metab., vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 72–81, 2010.
  3. N. Mikami, et al, “Reduction of HbA1c levels by fucoxanthin-enriched akamoku oil possibly involves the thrifty allele of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1): A randomised controlled trial in normal-weight and obese Japanese adults,” J. Nutr. Sci., vol. 6, 2017.
  4. M. N. Woo et al., “Fucoxanthin supplementation improves plasma and hepatic lipid metabolism and blood glucose concentration in high-fat fed C57BL/6N mice,” Chem. Biol. Interact., vol. 186, no. 3, pp. 316–322, 2010
  5. https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight
  6. S. Hitoe and H. Shimoda, “Seaweed fucoxanthin Supplementation Improves Obesity Parameters in Mild Obese Japanese Subjects,” Funct. Foods Heal. Dis., vol. 7, no. 4, 2017.
  7. Andrea Gille A Lipophilic Fucoxanthin-Rich Phaeodactylum tricornutum Extract Ameliorates E_ects of Diet-Induced Obesity in C57BL/6J Mice. Nutrients 2019, 11, 796.
  8. Song Yi Koo, Anti-Obesity E_ect of Standardized Extract of Microalga Phaeodactylum tricornutumContaining Fucoxanthin. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 311