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We’re at a point where nobody can claim ignorance about the obesity epidemic. Government agencies, First Ladies, primary care physicians, health and wellness bloggers, and others regularly remind us that almost 40% of Americans and 28% of Canadians are obese. Yet rather than prompting people to reduce their BMI, waist line and cholesterol levels, these constant warnings have proven mostly ineffective.

Clearly, telling people to use willpower against their genes and the prevailing conditions of modern life (e.g. low physical activity, high-fat/low-fiber diets and urban food deserts) isn’t working. Yet studies are showing that a particular all-natural supplement can simplify weight management for millions of North Americans – we’re talking about seaweed.

Here’s the buzz behind seaweed or kelp dietary supplements and the science to back up their health benefits.

Inhibited Fat Absorption

When the enzyme lipase found in our bodies does what it’s programmed to do, we digest and absorb fat, storing it for any future energy shortages. Yet, since these shortages are no longer much of a biological concern for Westerners, the high amounts of fat in our diets are quick to accumulate and increase our BMI. But what if we didn’t digest the fat we ate? That’s one of the possibilities researchers have explored in seaweed.

Studies show that specific seaweed species that are high in alginates (especially those with elevated guluronate levels) reduce the amount of fat absorption by about 75%. This helps the fat that people consume pass through their GI systems much the way fiber does, reducing the prolonged impact it has on human bodies. In other words, by offering consumers kelp dietary supplements, you make their weight management a whole lot easier.

Increased Appetite Control

Data shows that within less than fifty-years, Americans have increased their daily caloric intake by 24%, from 2,880 calories in 1961 to 3,600 calories in 2013. As a result of this imbalanced energy intake, we’ve seen a steady rise in unhealthy weight gain. The ready availability of fast food and sugary beverages has played a major part, but if fewer of those empty calories were consumed due to increased satiety from the start, Americans might have better luck reining in their appetites.

Proteins and high-fiber foods are the bellwether food choices to increase satiety, and seaweed is another food gaining in popularity. Studies show that eating alginate-based preloads (e.g. seaweed pills) before meals helps increase satiety and reduce energy intake by delaying gastric emptying and then facilitating a smooth transition through the lower gut, minimizing excess nutrient absorption. In short, these kelp dietary supplements resulted in weight loss in the obese subjects, as they felt fuller for longer. These particular studies were short-term but future long-term studies bring the hope of even better results for consumers.

Ready to learn how kelp dietary supplements can help your customers manage their weight? Schedule some time to talk at Supply Side West!


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