In a study from the University of South Carolina, researchers found dietary seaweed could help reverse metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
Incidence of the metabolic syndrome is increasing worldwide, with notable exceptions in some Asian countries where seaweeds are commonly consumed.
In the study, the team examined 13 men and 14 women with at least one symptom of metabolic syndrome.
These people were assigned to either Group 1 (1-month placebo, followed by 1 month of 4 g/day seaweed) or Group 2 (1 month of 4 g/day seaweed, followed by 1 month of 6 g/day of seaweed).
The team examined the blood pressure, weight, waist circumference, inflammation biomarkers, and lipids in these participants monthly.
They found in Group 2 (seaweed group), systolic blood pressure decreased by 10.5 mmHg after a month of 6 g/d seaweed, mainly in the people with high blood pressure.
Waist circumference changed only for women participants, with a 2.4 cm decrease in Group 1 after treatment with a placebo.
In Group 2, women had a mean decrease of 2.1 cm after 4 g/d and a further 1.8 cm decrease after 1 m 6 g/d seaweed.
The team suggests that consumption of 4 to 6 g/d seaweed, typical for most people in Japan, may be linked to metabolic syndrome risk.
The study is published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition and was conducted by Jane Teas et al.
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