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Mary Shomon is the nation's leading thyroid patient advocate, and author of a number of best-selling books on thyroid disease. Mary has also been Guide to the Thyroid Site -- part of the New York Times Company -- for 10+ years. Talk to her now.


Can Fucoxanthin Help Your Weight Loss Efforts?

This natural supplement may be a
fat-burning powerhouse

Brown Seaweed Derivative, Fucoxanthin, Promising for Fat-Burning and Weight Loss Support

fucoxanthin fucothin supplement for diet and weight loss I try to stay on top of the latest recommendations regarding natural and herbal help for those of us who are trying to lose weight. (And believe me, as a thyroid patient, I am every day engaged in the process of losing weight -- or trying to avoid gaining weight.)

This summer, I've been following The Thyroid Diet especially carefully, and have successfully taken off some extra pounds I'd picked up last winter and spring due to lazy eating. My summer shape up was going fine, but lately, my weight loss started to actually speed up to the extent that it really surprised me. (I'm usually the slow, slow, slow type who rejoices when I've lost 3/4 of a pound in a week!)

So what's the difference? I'm crediting my addition of a new supplement --fucoxanthin -- to my diet and weight loss regimen.

Fucoxanthin is derived from an edible brown kelp/seaweed known as undaria pinnatifida, and known in Japan as wakame. A Japanese study was published late last year that is especially interesting in that it shows that fucoxanthin can promote fat burning within fat cells in animals. And apparently, the type of fat most affected is "white adipose tissue" -- the kind of fat that concentrates around organs -- such as abdominal fat.

"I hope that our study [points to a way to] help reduce obesity in the U.S. and elsewhere," says study leader Kazuo Miyashita, Ph.D., a chemistry professor at Hokkaido University in Hokkaido, Japan.

According to Miyashita, the compound appears to fight fat through two different mechanisms. First, fucoxanthin appears to stimulate a protein, UCP1, that causes fat oxidation and conversion of energy to heat. The protein is found in white adipose tissue, the type of fat that surrounds internal organs. Second, fucoxanthin also appears to stimulate the liver to produce a DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. DHA supplementation can, in some people, help reduce low density lipoprotein (LDL) -- the bad cholesterol. No adverse side effects from fucoxanthin were reported in the mice and rats used in the study.

Usually, I rotate weight loss supplements over time and as needed. I don't take CLA, hoodia, caralluma, etc. every day, as any of them seem to lose effectiveness when taken constantly.) But lately, the only weight loss supplement I've been taking is the fucoxanthin. I've been taking it for about a month, and it truly does seem to pump up the rate of weight loss for me.

fucothin fucoxanthin weight lossI'm using Garden of Life/Living Seas Fucothin, which is a proprietary formula of fucoxanthin that also includes pomegranate seed oil, an antioxidant and antinflammatory. You can get Fucothin at local health food stores, or get it where I buy mine, online retailer They have it at a substantial discount from retail stores.) I'm taking one, three times a day. I don't notice any side effects -- except that I've been losing about a pound a week more than usual, AND my abdominal "pooch" seems to be shrinking more than usual (faster even than when I first start back on CLA.) It doesn't have any stimulant effect, so there's no buzzy, nervous feeling.

I'm sticking with this for the time being, because it really does seem to be working well. (I realize it's not scientific, but to informally see if fucoxanthin can help other thyroid patients or people trying to lose weight, if you try Fucothin, drop me a line and let me know how it's going for you, and I'll share an update about this down the line.)

Source: Maeda H, et. al. "Fucoxanthin from edible seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida, shows antiobesity effect through UCP1 expression in white adipose tissues." Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Jul 1;332(2):392-7.

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"Nothing else has worked in the past and I was more than a little skeptical that anything would work at this point. But I have already lost about 14 pounds in less than two months! It is amazing. I feel wonderful...I almost don't feel like I'm doing anything that deprives me at all. Thank you Thank you Thank you, a million times. Thank you.
Carrie R.

I couldn't wait any longer to thank you for your help and book "The Thyroid Diet". I have been hypothyroid since 1998 and have battled my weight for years. I've weighed as much as 230 pounds. I finally decided I had to take matters in my own hands and ordered your book. I started your diet and in 3 weeks lost 15 pounds and felt and looked better than I had in months!!! SO - I just had to write and tell you that you have saved my life...THANK YOU!!!!!
Kendra G

"Exactly 9 weeks ago today I weighed in at 144 lbs. Today I weighed in at 121!!! Those twenty three pounds have been with me for almost ten years and nothing was moving them. I had tried Atkins and after some weight loss I would stall on the scale, as soon as I ate again I would gain all the weight back and then some. I loved the diet plans and modified them to my benefit. I just want to say thank you for all your effort in thyroid information. I receive your newsletters and love the updates and am thrilled with the weight loss."

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