Seaweed bread could be the latest weapon in fighting Britain's growing obesity crisis, according to British scientists.
A team from Newcastle University has found that seaweed added to bread, biscuits and yogurt can reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the body but up to 75 per cent.
The secret is the natural fibre alginate, found in sea kelp and already used in small quantities in food as a thickener. Early taste tests have suggested the idea of adding in greater quantities could be successful.
The findings are being presented at the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco.
Dr Iain Brownlee said:
"This suggests that if we can add the natural fibre to products commonly eaten daily - such as bread, biscuits and yogurts – up to three quarters of the fat contained in that meal could simply pass through the body."
"We have already added the alginate to bread and initial taste tests have been extremely effective. Now the next step is to carry out clinical trials to see how effective they are when eaten as part of a normal diet."
"The seaweed may be more effective than current weight loss products sold over the counter"
Dr Brownlee added:
"There are countless claims about miracle cures for weight loss but only a few cases offer any sound scientific evidence to back up these claims.
"Alginates not only have great potential for weight management - adding them to food also has the added advantage of boosting overall fibre content."
"These initial findings suggest alginates could offer a very real solution in the battle against obesity."
Source (Telegraph Online - Health)