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Nutr Res Pract. 2016 Feb;10(1):42-8. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2016.10.1.42. Epub 2016 Jan 15.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic effects of brown seaweeds in high-fat diet-induced obese mice.

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Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Jeju National University, 102 Jejudaehak-ro, Jeju 63243, Korea.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Jeju National University, 102 Jejudaehak-ro, Jeju, 63243, Korea.



Seaweeds have been reported to have various health beneficial effects. In this study, we investigated the potential anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory effects of four types of domestic brown seaweeds in a high-fat diet-induced obese mouse model and bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM).


Male C57BL/6N mice were fed low-fat diet (LFD), high-fat diet (HFD) or HFD containing Undaria Pinnatifida, HFD containing Laminaria Japonica (LJ), HFD containing Sargassum Fulvellum, or HFD containing Hizikia Fusiforme (HF) for 16 weeks.


Brown seaweed supplementation did not affect long-term HFD-associated changes in body weight or adiposity, although mice fed HFD + LJ or HFD + HF gained slightly less body weight compared with those fed HFD at the beginning of feeding. Despite being obese, mice fed HFD + LJ appeared to show improved insulin sensitivity compared to mice fed HFD. Consistently, we observed significantly reduced blood glucose concentrations in mice fed HFD + LJ compared with those of mice fed HFD. Although no significant differences in adipocyte size were detected among the HFD-fed groups, consumption of seaweeds decreased formation of HFD-induced crown-like structures in gonadal adipose tissue as well as plasma inflammatory cytokines. BMDM from mice fed HFDs with seaweeds showed differential regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and IL-6 compared with BMDM from mice fed HFD by LPS stimulation.


Although seaweed consumption did not prevent long-term HFD-induced obesity in C57BL/6N mice, it reduced insulin resistance (IR) and circulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, seaweeds may ameliorate systemic inflammation and IR in obesity partially due to inhibition of inflammatory signaling in adipose tissue cells as well as bone marrow-derived immune cells.


BMDM; Seaweed; anti-diabetic; anti-inflammation; high-fat diet

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