What is fucoxanthin a How do you even pronounce it? Biologically speaking, fucoxanthin (pronounced few-coe-ZAN-thin) is a carotenoid which is a type of vitamin A that is found in fruits and vegetables, especially those with an orange color. It is extremely plentiful in the brown seaweeds wakame and hijiki giving them their brown color. These seaweeds have been part of the Asian, particularly Japanese, diet for centuries. Almost everyone has heard of beta-carotene, a pigment essential to good vision and also an antioxidant, the most well known source of beta-carotene is of course carrots.
Since 2006, Hokkaido University in Sapporo Japan has been conducting studies on animals using fucoxanthin to see if it helps in fat burning. And in that same year this study was also presented to the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
So far it has shown promising results in burning the type of white fat that accumulates around the belly and surrounds the organs. This is the worst kind of fat as it leads to low level inflammation and hormonal dysfunction.
The way fucoxanthin works is that it stimulates a protein called UCP1 which is found in adipose tissue, that whitish-yellow belly fat. It causes fat oxidation which converts that energy to heat. So basically what it does is shrink the fat cells in your belly, and who does not need or want this? It is hypothesized that fucoxanthin’s strong fat burning properties actually increases the body’s metabolism.
Other promising results of these studies have shown that fucoxanthin may reduce glucose levels and there are suggestions that it may also have an anti-tumor effect. It is too early to tell if these promising studies that have been conducted on animals will have the same anti-cancer effects on humans.
In addition, it appears to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol by stimulating DHA production. DHA is an Omega 3 fatty acid found in fish such as salmon.
An unpublished Russian study on human weight loss reports a 20% weight loss increase when dieting is combined with fucoxanthin than just dieting alone without taking the supplement.
Based on these promising studies, many people have already started taking fucoxanthin as a weight loss supplement and people who have not been able to lose any weight are reporting weight loss on this pill. They report no side effects, no stimulant effect or nervous feeling. Fucoxanthin comes in tablet or capsule form and one tablet taken three times a day is the recommended dose.
This strong scientific evidence is extremely promising that this may be the safe, effective fat burning substance we have been longing for. Fucoxanthin stands out from other diet pills in that it is not a stimulant or an appetite suppressant but actually allows your body to work with you in burning fat, or as the scientific community would say, it “upregulates” the expression of UPC1 which may contribute to fat burning. If this is being talked about in medical journals (and it is) then this substance is a serious consideration for fighting obesity by encouraging the body to work with the dieter. Once you see these results, the pain of dieting becomes a pleasure as the weight actually drops off after years of discouragement.
Do not attempt to eat large doses of wakame which contains fucoxanthin because wakame contains iodine and in large doses may cause iodine poisoning which will actually harm your thyroid. It is best to make sure you get your thyroid function monitored while taking this pill. Do not exceed the recommended dosages. The pills that are available have fucoxanthin extracted from the seaweed but some still contain some iodine. Fucoxanthin is sold in pill form and can be ordered over the internet.