Source: Laboratory of Biofunctional Material Chemistry, Division of Marine Bioscience, Japan
Date: July 1, 2005

Fucoxanthin from edible seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida, shows antiobesity effect through UCP1 expression in white adipose tissues


Mitochondrial uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is usually expressed only in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and a key molecule for metabolic thermogenesis to avoid an excess of fat accumulation. However, there is little BAT in adult humans. Therefore, UCP1 expression in tissues other than BAT is expected to reduce abdominal fat. Here, we show reduction of abdominal white adipose tissue (WAT) weights in rats and mice by feeding lipids from edible seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida. Clear signals of UCP1 protein and mRNA were detected in WAT of mice fed the Undaria lipids, although there is little expression of UCP1 in WAT of mice fed control diet. The Undaria lipids mainly consisted of glycolipids and seaweed carotenoid, fucoxanthin. In the fucoxanthin-fed mice, WAT weight significantly decreased and UCP1 was clearly expressed in the WAT, while there was no difference in WAT weight and little expression of UCP1 in the glycolipids-fed mice. This result indicates that fucoxanthin upregulates the expression of UCP1 in WAT, which may contribute to reducing WAT weight.

References:
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Jul 1;332(2):392-7.