Diabetes is a major health problem.
It occurs when your body is unable to balance your blood sugar levels over time.
By the year 2040, 642 million people worldwide are expected to have type 1 or type 2 diabetes (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5447787/).
Interestingly, seaweed has become a research focus for new ways to support people who are at risk of diabetes (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28545377).
An eight-week study in 60 Japanese people revealed that fucoxanthin, a substance in brown seaweed, might help improve blood sugar control (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5465861/).
Participants received a local seaweed oil that contained either 0 mg, 1 mg or 2 mg of fucoxanthin. The study found that those who received 2 mg of fucoxanthin had improved blood sugar levels, compared to the group who received 0 mg (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5465861/).
The study also noted additional improvements in blood sugar levels in those with a genetic disposition to insulin resistance, which usually accompanies type 2 diabetes ((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5465861/).).
What’s more, another substance in seaweed called alginate prevented blood sugar spikes in animals after they were fed a high-sugar meal. It’s thought that alginate may reduce the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10737549/), (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8941868/).Several other animal studies have reported improved blood sugar control when seaweed extracts are added to the diet (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19422873), (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17977678),( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15595413)