What is Fucoxanthin?
A distinction has to be made between the product that is sold on the market and the plant from which it is extracted. The carotenoid Fucoxanthin is an active ingredient within the seaweed family of plants. Examples of these plants include Hijiki and Wakame. For quite some time now these plants have been used in Asian cuisine particularly when preparing sushi rolls and miso soup. A carotenoid is by its nature an element of brightly colored foods. Often these are critical for good health although many people consume them inadvertently. This particular carotenoid has been associated with anti-carcinogenic qualities as well as the ability to reduce the risk of contracting heart disease and stroke related complications. The other uses include the control of blood sugar and insulin particularly for people who are suffering from Type II Diabetes. Finally there is a growing industry in this product within the weight loss industry because it has been shown to bring about significant reductions in the body fat content of those that regularly consume the carotenoid.
How Does Fucoxanthin Work?
For purposes of this review, we will mainly focus on how the carotenoid helps to reduce fat. The mechanism through which this produce is able to control fat is by helping white fat cells to behave as if they were brown fat cell. In this instance the color distinction is critical because brown fat cells are able to burn energy whilst white fat cells merely store it. The fat that most people desperately want to get rid of is the stored fat. Therefore Fucoxanthin helps the body to burn more fat. It is particularly important for those people that have dangerous fat around the abdomen which can place vital organs in danger. It must be said that this carotenoid can only work if combined with a healthy diet and some level of physical activity. It is not some magic wand that will turn you into a super model the moment that you consume it. Apart from being added naturally to Japanese dishes, there are extracts that are concentrated and sold commercially in order to help those people that have been struggling with significant weight gain particularly as it relates to white fat mass. Some of the concentrations are merely added to food while others are sold as separate pills with dosages that are checked by the experts before being put on the market.
The science behind this substance is complex but has only gotten attention (outside academia at least) due to its much-vaunted ability to assist in weight control. In reality this is nothing more than a brown pigment which is in essence a non-provitamin. Its structure consists of 40 carbon organic molecules which can broadly be divided into carotenes (without oxygen) and xanthophylls (with oxygen). The structure for Fucoxanthin includes a simply sugar fucose which is fused with an unusual allenic bond. In wild life, the substance is found within the chloroplasts of the brown seaweed plant. This makes sense since seaweed use photosynthesis in order to obtain energy from their environment. In reality seaweed is not really a plant but a cyanobacterial which is a unicellular type of algae. The ingredient that has captured the imagination of everyone in the weight loss industry is indeed an antioxidant even under anoxic conditions. This particular substance is able to unusually donate electrons as part of a free radical quenching process. It is able to impact on mammalian nuclear DNA which leads to the uncoupling of proteins such as 1(UCP1) which is then produced in the cells. This is where the substance is able to affect both white and brown adipose tissue.
Benefits of Fucoxanthin
The main benefit of this product is that it helps in thermogenesis. Basically this mean producing heat of both the shivering and non-shivering variety. The shivering type causes muscular contraction in responses to changes within the environmental temperature. On the other hand the non-shivering production occurs continuously throughout the adipose tissues and muscle. That is literally what is known as “fat burning” in the weight lifting industry. The body tends to prefer fat for fat burning since it yields up to 9kcal/g per unit. However if that energy is not used then the fat is stored in the body. That is where Fucoxanthin comes in because it speeds up the process of disposing the stored fat. The importance of this product is that it is able to achieve all those complex chemical process within the body without having to resort to dangerous chemicals or additives. Many people are concerned about taking supplements that may contain long term carcinogenic material. However on the other side if the weight loss product is made from natural ingredient, the general belief is that the risk of inadvertently ingestion dangerous chemicals is significantly reduced, if not eliminated.
How to Buy Fucoxanthin
The variety of forms that this carotenoid takes on means that it is possible to purchase it in many ways. First of all you can just buy the seaweed ad consume it depending on your culinary tastes. There are powders that are effectively concentrates of the substance. Finally some companies have started producing pills that have specific dosages of the Fucoxanthin active ingredient. The starting point is to visit the main website that markets this product and look at some of the offers or specifications that are put forward. Caution is important here because inferior products are not going to do the trick.
I have been on a course of Fucoxanthin for two months now. My strategy was to use a combination of natural foods, the powder and tablets although I had been advised to select one for purposes of minimizing the risk of “over-dosing”. Anyway I somehow feel that I am losing weight. It does create flushes in the body but it is also gradually removing that feeling that I am carrying way too much fat for my own good. On the basis of my experience with this product; I think that it is worth a try, particularly for those who are not willing to go on harsh diet/exercise regimes.