Pomegranate oil-seaweed mix may improve liver health and waist size

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Obesity Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

A blend of pomegranate oil and brown seaweed extract may produce weight loss of about five kilos, as well as improvements in liver health, says new study.

The new ingredient, marketed under the brand name Xanthigen, noted improvements in women with healthy livers and those suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to findings of a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study with obese premenopausal women.

NAFLD, almost unknown over two decades ago, is the most common liver disease in the US. Affecting over 40 million adults in the US alone, its prevalence is expected to grow worldwide as nations become increasingly obese.

The ingredient is a patent-pending, synergistic composition of pomegranate oil standardized for punicic acid and brown seaweed extract standardized for fucoxanthin.

“The results of Xanthigen-600/2.4 mg trial indicate that the formula (300 mg PSO plus 300 mg brown seaweed extract containing 2.4 mg fucoxanthin) and its individual components have clinically relevant anti-obesity properties in reducing the body weight, body fat and liver fat content in non-diabetic obese female volunteers,” ​wrote the researchers, led by Dr Musa Abidov from the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.

“Xanthigen-600/2.4 mg was particularly effective in reducing liver fat content in participants diagnosed with NAFLD.”

The findings are published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism​.

Market potential

With the World Health Organization estimating that by 2015, there will be more than 1.5 billion overweight consumers, incurring health costs beyond $117 billion per year in the US alone, the opportunities for a scientifically-substantiated weight management food product are impressive.

The market for food, beverage and supplement weight management products is already valued at $3.64bn (2009 figures) in the US, according to Euromonitor. In Western Europe, the market was worth $1.3bn in 2009.

Study details

Russian scientists, in collaboration with the late Dr Zakir Ramazanov, recruited 151 obese, non-diabetic volunteers. Three-quarters of the women had NAFLD, while the others had normal liver function. Participants from both groups were randomly assigned to receive either placebo or a daily dose of 600mg of Xanthigen for 16 weeks. Diets were restricted to 1800 kcal daily, comprised of 50 per cent carbohydrates, 30 per cent protein, and 20 per cent fat.

Results showed that body weight was significantly reduced by an average of 5.5 kg in people in the NAFLD group and 4.9 kg in the normal liver function group. Women in the placebo group lost an average of 1.4 kilos. In addition, women with NAFLD experienced improvements in waist circumference, body and liver fat content, liver enzymes, and serum triglycerides.

A second study with women from the NAFLD group only and difference doses of the ingredient, found that daily doses of 400mg may significantly increased resting energy expenditure, compared to placebo.

“To the best of our knowledge, this trial is the first clinical evidence reporting the anti-obesity effect of Xanthigen, with special relevance to obese patients with NAFLD and elevated indices of chronic inflammation,” ​wrote the researchers.

“Xanthigen 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. This study suggests that pomegranate oil may aid in promoting the resting energy expenditure -stimulating action of fucoxanthin,”​ they concluded.

The ingredient is owned by Spain’s Polifenoles Naturales SL (Polinat) and distributed exclusively in the US by PL Thomas.

Source: Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
 Volume 12, Pages 72-81
 “The effects of Xanthigen in the weight management of obese premenopausal women with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and normal liver fat”
 Authors: M. Abidov, Z. Ramazanov, R. Seifulla; S. Grachev

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