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Mar. Drugs 2016, 14(12), 222; doi:10.3390/md14120222

Marine Algae as a Potential Source for Anti-Obesity Agents

1
School of Postgraduate Studies, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur 57000, Malaysia
2
Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
3
Institute of Ocean & Earth Sciences (IOES), University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anake Kijjoa
Received: 28 September 2016 / Revised: 30 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Natural Products that Target Metabolic Disorders)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [261 KB, uploaded 7 December 2016]

Abstract

Obesity is a major epidemic that poses a worldwide threat to human health, as it is also associated with metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Therapeutic intervention through weight loss drugs, accompanied by diet and exercise, is one of the options for the treatment and management of obesity. However, the only approved anti-obesity drug currently available in the market is orlistat, a synthetic inhibitor of pancreatic lipase. Other anti-obesity drugs are still being evaluated at different stages of clinical trials, while some have been withdrawn due to their severe adverse effects. Thus, there is a need to look for new anti-obesity agents, especially from biological sources. Marine algae, especially seaweeds are a promising source of anti-obesity agents. Four major bioactive compounds from seaweeds which have the potential as anti-obesity agents are fucoxanthin, alginates, fucoidans and phlorotannins. The anti-obesity effects of such compounds are due to several mechanisms, which include the inhibition of lipid absorption and metabolism (e.g., fucoxanthin and fucoidans), effect on satiety feeling (e.g., alginates), and inhibition of adipocyte differentiation (e.g., fucoxanthin). Further studies, especially testing bioactive compounds in long-term human trials are required before any new anti-obesity drugs based on algal products can be developed. View Full-Text
Keywords: obesity; algae; seaweeds; fucoxanthin; alginates; fucoidans; phlorotannins; pancreatic lipase inhibitors obesity; algae; seaweeds; fucoxanthin; alginates; fucoidans; phlorotannins; pancreatic lipase inhibitors
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wan-Loy, C.; Siew-Moi, P. Marine Algae as a Potential Source for Anti-Obesity Agents. Mar. Drugs 2016, 14, 222.

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