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Pomegranate and Brown Algae for Weight Loss

Obesity is defined as weight that exceeds 15 percent of normal weight for height and body type. Morbid obesity exceeds 20 percent of optimum weight. Obesity is considered a disease state. Life expectancy may be decreased in overweight and obese individuals. An obese person is at high risk for developing a number of complications, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, varicose veins, psychological stress, osteoarthritis, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes. However, weight is not the only factor in the development of disease. Body composition, the measurement of body fat and lean muscle mass, is now recognized as an important determinant of health. Body fat has important functions, including providing readily accessible energy during short periods of fasting. Fat is a structural component of organs, the nervous system, and skeletal muscles.

Pomegranate is native to Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan but is now cultivated throughout the world. It is categorized as an exotic fruit called superfruits. The name pomegranate comes from the Latin word, pomum (apple) and granatus (seeded). It has been used for culinary purposes as well as medicinal purposes in many countries. Pomegranate has been used traditionally for eliminating intestinal parasites, to ease chronic diarrhea and dysentery. Recent research suggests the fruit may be beneficial for cardiovascular health, slowing prostate cancer and breast cancer, reducing risk of Alzheimer’s disease, alleviating pain and discomfort of arthritis, dental health and weight loss.

The purpose of a recent study was to investigate the effects of the combination of pomegranate and algae in weight management. Scientists recruited 151 obese, non-diabetic women who were randomly assigned to receive either placebo or a daily dose of the supplement of pomegranate seed oil and brown marine algae for a total of 16 weeks. Of the women included in the study, three quarters had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) while the others had normal liver function. The study participants were restricted to a diet of 1800 calories per day, which consisted of 50 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat. The researchers found that body weight was significantly reduced by an average of 12 pounds in people in the NAFLD group and 10.8 pounds in the normal liver function group. Women in the placebo group lost an average of 3 pounds. In addition, women with NAFLD experienced improvements in waist circumference, body and liver fat content, liver enzymes and serum triglycerides. The scientists believe that the combination of brown algae and pomegranate seed oil may reduce body weight and body fat in part due to the stimulation of resting energy expenditure, but also due to the broad anti-inflammatory and metabolism normalizing actions.1

 

Reference

1 Abidov M, Ramazanov Z, Seifulla R, et al. The effects of Xanthigen in the weight management of obese premenopausal women with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and normal liver fat. Diabetes Obes Metab. Jan2010;12(1):72-81.

 

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This article was published on Thursday February 11, 2010.
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