Study: Alginate-enriched bread can reduce fat digestion, circulatory lipids in NAFLD patients

A study revealed today at The International Liver Congress™ 2015 has demonstrated that alginate-enriched bread has the potential to inhibit fat digestion and circulatory lipids in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Alginates are polysaccharides extracted from brown algae that are non-digestible in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Specific alginates are able to inhibit the activity of pancreatic lipase and thus reduce fat digestion and absorption. This study set out to determine if alginate-enriched bread inhibits fat digestion and circulatory lipids.

The results show that alginate-enriched bread attenuated fat digestion by up to 31%, highlighting its potential use as a therapeutic weight and metabolic management therapy in patients with NAFLD.

NAFLD is a condition in which fat builds up in the liver. In some cases this accumulation of fat can cause inflammation of the liver and, eventually, lead to permanent scarring (cirrhosis), which can seriously impair the liver's ability to function.

This is the first study to show that alginate-enriched products can reduce fat digestion in man.

Source: European Association for the Study of the Liver

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