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Sea kelp helps stop fat absorption

Mar. 3, 2014

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U.K. researchers have pinpointed the types of seaweeds that are best at preventing the human body from absorbing fat.

Alginate, a natural fibre found in sea kelp, can reduce the amount of fat available for absorption by around 75%, the researchers from Newcastle University said.

Alginates are made up of long chains of sugars: guluronate and mannuronate. Seaweeds that contain more guluronate are better at stopping the digestion of fat.

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The researchers said alginates are already used in some foods, such as stabilizers in jam or to maintain the head on a beer, but could be used to supplement other foods, like bread.

"As they are already used in the food industry in small amounts, we are looking at increasing their levels in foods which could reduce the amount of fat that we get which could help in weight management," researcher Matthew Wilcox said in a press release.

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