FUCOXANTHIN SCAM EXPOSED! The Truth About Brown Seaweed And The Fucoxanthin scam: Thin evidence for weight loss claims and no Human Research! It started in september 2006 with a BBC news story and a headline that said, "seaweed anti-obesity tablet hope" I started reading and didn't get even three words into the story when I saw the writing on the wall: Rodent study! Alas, we are not rats and rat research does not transfer to humans. So then I went to the pub med data base and found two abstracts... didnt bother to read full text studies This one came out in September 2007: (a rat study) J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Sep 19;55(19):7701-6. Epub 2007 Aug 23. Dietary combination of fucoxanthin and fish oil attenuates the weight gain of white adipose tissue and decreases blood glucose in obese/diabetic KK-Ay mice.Maeda H, et al.Faculty of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, Japan. Fucoxanthin is a marine carotenoid found in edible brown seaweeds. We previously reported that dietary fucoxanthin attenuates the weight gain of white adipose tissue (WAT) of diabetic/obese KK- A(y) mice. In this study, to evaluate the antiobesity and antidiabetic effects of fucoxanthin and fish oil, we investigated the effect on the WAT weight, blood glucose, and insulin levels of KK- A(y) mice. Furthermore, the expression level of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) and adipokine mRNA in WAT were measured. After 4 weeks of feeding, 0.2% fucoxanthin in the diet markedly attenuated the gain of WAT weight in KK- A(y) mice with increasing UCP1 expression compared with the control mice. The WAT weight of the mice fed 0.1% fucoxanthin and 6.9% fish oil was also significantly lower than that of the mice fed fucoxanthin alone. In addition, 0.2% fucoxanthin markedly decreased the blood glucose and plasma insulin concentrations in KK- A(y) mice. The mice fed with the combination diet of 0.1% fucoxanthin and fish oil also showed improvements similar to that of 0.2% fucoxanthin. Leptin and tumor necrosis factor (TNFalpha) mRNA expression in WAT were significantly downregulated by 0.2% fucoxanthin. These results suggest that dietary fucoxanthin decreases the blood glucose and plasma insulin concentration of KK- A(y) along with downregulating TNFalpha mRNA. In addition, the combination of fucoxanthin and fish oil is more effective for attenuating the weight gain of WAT than feeding with fucoxanthin alone.
Here's the original one from 2005 that was written up in the news media... you guessed it... mouse study Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Jul 1;332(2):392-7. Fucoxanthin from edible seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida, shows antiobesity effect through UCP1 expression in white adipose tissues.Maeda H, Hosokawa M, et al. Laboratory of Biofunctional Material Chemistry, Division of Marine Bioscience, Hokkaido University, Japan. Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is usually expressed only in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and a key molecule for metabolic thermogenesis to avoid an excess of fat accumulation. However, there is little BAT in adult humans. Therefore, UCP1 expression in tissues other than BAT is expected to reduce abdominal fat. Here, we show reduction of abdominal white adipose tissue (WAT) weights in rats and mice by feeding lipids from edible seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida. Clear signals of UCP1 protein and mRNA were detected in WAT of mice fed the Undaria lipids, although there is little expression of UCP1 in WAT of mice fed control diet. The Undaria lipids mainly consisted of glycolipids and seaweed carotenoid, fucoxanthin. In the fucoxanthin-fed mice, WAT weight significantly decreased and UCP1 was clearly expressed in the WAT, while there was no difference in WAT weight and little expression of UCP1 in the glycolipids-fed mice. This result indicates that fucoxanthin upregulates the expression of UCP1 in WAT, which may contribute to reducing WAT weight. That's it. All this internet hype based on two mouse studies that reference the "anti obesity" effect. As a source of carotenoids, it's possible that fucoxanthin may provide some legitimate health benefits. If you look up my reviews on krill oil, you will see that there are some very powerful antioxidants in the krill, (which feeds on algae). If algae products may provide some valuable nutrients, it makes sense that seaweed could as well. So if you want to call this a "health food," go ahead - I won't complain. However... I know there is at least one "guru" promoting this fuco stuff like crazy as a fat burner, but not a single human study has been published in a peer reviewed journal of as of today's date. That's not the way it works in real science folks. You make a claim after you have proof, not before! One advertisement on a popular health site says, "human study to be published in 2007." Okay, well 2007 has come and gone, so where is this human study? Apparently, a manufacturer of fucoxanthin commissioned a human study back in 2006 and it has never seen the light of day in a journal where it would be subject to the scrutiny of peer review. Even if this human study gets published and shows promising results, I would want to see it replicated by an independent (unbiased) research group before I would ever recommend it. It's astonishing to see how many supplement-company sponsored studies are never replicated by any other research group. Or, other research groups refute the findings of the first study after addressing flaws in the original study design.
If fucoxanthin provides similar potential anti obesity effects as the EPA and DHA in fish oil does, keep in mind that those are very very small effects, and you might as well just take fish oil instead, as that has plenty of human research backing up its efficacy. See my Fish Oil Review So far, there's no proof that fucoxanthin will do anything for you in the weight loss department. However, based on the two existing published studies, if you have an overweight hamster or guinea pig, it might help your furry pet slim down. There is no miracle weight loss pill. It doesn't exist. If you're not satisfied with your results, it's NOT because you have a "diet pill deficiency." If you'd like to learn how to burn fat naturally - without drugs or so called fat burner pills - visit the Burn The Fat home page. Train hard and expect success, Tom Venuto, fat loss coach author of Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle Burn The Fat
About Bodybuilding & Fat Loss Coach, Tom Venuto Tom Venuto is a fat loss expert, natural (steroid-free) bodybuilder, nutrition researcher and author. His #1 best-selling diet e-book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle, teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using secrets of the world's best bodybuilders and fitness models. Tom has written hundreds of articles and been featured in IRONMAN, Natural Bodybuilding, Muscular Development, Men's Exercise, Men's Fitness, First for Women, The Wall Street Journal and Oprah Magazine. To get more information about Tom's e-book about natural fat loss, visit the home page at: Burn The Fat