Weight & Appetite: Astaxanthin and spirulina improve metabolism

Astaxanthin burned fat, improved performance

In this study, 12 recreationally trained male cyclists took a placebo or 12 mg of astaxanthin per day, in two alternating seven-day phases, with a 14-day break between the two. On day seven in each phase, the men completed a 25-mile endurance cycling time-trial, with researchers measuring metabolism continuously throughout the exercise.

Compared to the placebo phases, during the astaxanthin phases, time improved by 1.2 percent, taking nearly a full minute off the results. Whole-body fat oxidation rates also increased during the exercise, peaking towards the final stages. Cyclists taking astaxanthin also produced less carbon dioxide (CO2) per volume of oxygen they consumed, meaning they used oxygen more efficiently than those taking placebo.

Reference: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport; July, 2020, Published Online

Spirulina controlled appetite, weight

Obesity increases oxidative stress, which doctors tie to a higher level of immune cell-signaling proteins called macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1). In this study, 56 obese participants, aged 20 to 50, took a daily placebo or spirulina.

After 12 weeks, concentrations of MIC-1 were significantly lower in those taking spirulina, while the placebo group had not changed. Also, participants reported appetite levels, with the spirulina group consistently registering lower appetite scores than the placebo group.

Doctors also measured an important antioxidant in the body: superoxide dismutase, which increased significantly in the spirulina group compared to placebo and compared to the start of the study. Also, those taking spirulina saw significantly lower body-mass index scores, and lower body weight, both compared to the placebo group, and to these measurements at the beginning of the study.

Reference: Journal of Herbal Medicine; December, 2019, Vols. 17-18, 100264

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