Kelp as a Weight Loss Aid

Kelp is a seaweed with the Latin name Laminaria japonica. As such it belongs to the macro-algal family of plants and grows in high salinity conditions in coastal locations. In Japan and other countries, kelp is used as a traditional source of food. A number of studies have investigated the weight loss effects of kelp and found that it can provide significant weight loss effects in healthy individuals. For example, one study on 50 overweight Japanese subjects consumed 10 tablets of kelp 3 times per day that equated to 6 grams of kelp and 3 grams of alginate fibre. The treatment significantly reduced the body masses of the male subjects, but no significant changes were observed for female subjects. Kelp is a good source of iodine that is needed for thyroid function, but no changes in the thyroid levels of the subjects were detected. Therefore kelp led to a decrease in body fat in overweight men, but for some reason the supplement was not effective for women, and this may relate to hormonal differences. 

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Aoe, S., Yamanaka, C., Ohtoshi, H., Nakamura, F. and Fujiwara, S. 2021. Effects of Daily Kelp (Laminaria japonica) Intake on Body Composition, Serum Lipid Levels, and Thyroid Hormone Levels in Healthy Japanese Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind Study. Marine Drugs: 19(7)

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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