A carotenoid isolated from brown seaweed (such as Undaria pinnatifida, also known as “wakame” in Japan). Fucoxanthin is touted as a weight loss nutrient, on the strength of several studies in rodents that found it reduced body fat when taken alone, as well as with medium chain triglycerides or fish oil. Human studies, however, are lacking – although there is one that shows dietary fucoxanthin is poorly absorbed.
Since carotenoid absorption is enhanced by fat, however, co-ingestion with a source of dietary fat (such as MCTs or fish oil, as suggested by the above animal experiments), could improve bioavailability. Nonetheless, more research needs to be done before fucoxanthin can be given a solid “thumbs up” for weight loss.