Brown seaweed extract is showing up in a growing number of diet pills, which has caused many people to wonder whether or not the claims about its weight loss promoting properties are to be taken seriously.
To start to understand this diet pill ingredient, it should be recognized that brown seaweed is a type of kelp that is found in a number of different types of food around the world, such as in miso soup. It is most commonly found in Asian cuisine but is also used in coastal areas of Europe and North America. It can be eaten either dried or fresh.
There are several different kinds of brown seaweed, many of which are used by the weight loss industry under the one label. The claims about this ingredient are based on the fucoxanthin that this type of sea plant contains. That ingredient has undergone some preliminary studies that have suggested that it may be able to be effectively incorporated into dieting and exercising programs designed for fat loss.
In 2010, the Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism journal published a human study that was conducted on women diagnosed with obesity. What they found was that those that took fucoxanthin supplements that were extracted from brown seaweed, combined with pomegranate seed oil, were able to lose more weight than their counterparts who were given a placebo, instead. Moreover, the test subjects in the group that took the brown seaweed extract and the oil combination also reduced their overall waist circumference by a greater degree, lowered their overall body fat content, reduced their liver fat content, and decreased their triglyceride levels more than their placebo taking counterparts. Some of the subjects that took the brown seaweed extracts experienced an improvement to the function of their liver.
That said, it is important to note that while the results of the study were quite promising, it was considered to be preliminary and it did not provide an examination of the impact of the use of brown seaweed extract all on its own. The benefits could just as easily have come from the pomegranate oil, or that additional substance may have somehow enhanced the impact of the fucoxanthin.
For that reason, while it has been researched to a certain degree, it has yet to receive the designation of being a proven weight loss aid. As of yet, no side effects have been linked to the use of brown seaweed extract diet pill ingredients.