September 25/Tokyo/Natural Standard -- According to new research, a brown seaweed carbohydrate may increase feelings of fullness.

Algin is the purified carbohydrate product removed from brown seaweed. Algin is often used to normalize bowel function. Algin has been used in combination with dietary fibers in rat models to evaluate their effects on lipids. However, this application has not been confirmed by human studies.

In a new study, researchers evaluated the effects of algin in 20 subjects of a normal weight. Subjects were randomly placed into a low volume or high volume group. In the low volume group, subjects consumed either 330 milliliters of an algin beverage or 330 milliliters of a placebo beverage thirty minutes before eating. In the high volume group, subjects consumed either 500 milliliters of an algin beverage or 500 milliliters of a placebo beverage thirty minutes before eating. Neither the researchers nor the subjects were aware of the group assignments.

Individuals who drank a low volume of the algin beverage consumed a significantly lower calorie intake during the meal compared to the placebo group. Feelings of fullness were the same between those who consumed the low volume of algin beverage and those who consumed placebo.

Researchers concluded that algin may help individuals reduce their total calorie consumption. However, more research on this topic is still warranted.