What is Fucoxanthin?
Fucoxanthin is a xanthopyll, a yellow pigment compound. Similarly to chlorophyll it assists with the absorption and regulation of light to be used as energy in plants, but is more similar in structure to carotenoids such as beta-carotene. However, it does not act as a vitamin in the body and is not digested into Vitamin A as many carotenoids are.
Where Does Fucoxanthin Come From?
Fucoxanthin is commonly found in brown algae. This group of plants is found in seawater, is generally multicellular, and includes the large seaweeds such as kelp.
Benefits of Fucoxanthin
Fucoxanthin has some anti-cancer properties. These are both anti-proliferation and initiating apoptosis of the cells. It also has benefits for heart health, hindering cholesterol absorption and preventing increase in production, as well as affecting lipid levels in the blood, and reducing blood pressure. It also has general anti-inflammatory effects, possibly including anti-Alzheimer effects in the brain, as well as increasing macrophage production throughout the body. Other effects include anti-osteoporosis, anti-oxidant, and protective against DNA damage.
Benefits of Fucoxanthin for Bodybuilding
Being a fairly potent fat burner, fucoxanthin could be used during cutting phases. One of the mechanisms in which it achieves this is stimulation of AMPK phosphorylation, which plays a role in the mobilisation of fat from adipocytes, as well as increasing circulating amounts of adiponectin, an enzyme excreted from fat cells. In addition, it hinders the absorption and therefore subsequent storage of triglycerides in the gut. Its main method of fat loss it its ability to increase the consumer’s metabolic weight over time, as it builds up in the fat tissue. It increases the activity of an enzyme named uncoupling protein 1, which interferes with a step in mitochondrial respiration, indirectly increasing metabolic rate. Fucoxanthin also has effects on the musculoskeletal system. Glucose uptake into the muscles has been demonstrated to be increased in diabetic mice, and may extend to benefits for athletes with further research.
Side Effects, Safety & Negatives of Fucoxanthin
There are currently no known side effects of fucoxanthin, despite it’s ability to accumulate in the body, a trait normally associated with higher toxicity levels. Levels of up to 2g/kilo in rodents were unable to cause any negative effects.
Fucoxanthin Recommended Doses and Ingredient Timing
A range of 2.4 – 8mg has shown to have effect in human studies. This needs to be taken over an extended period of time, since the effects are accumulative.
Fucoxanthin is generally taken as a stand alone supplement, or as a powdered form of kelp. If the kelp form is purchased, it is necessary to calculate the intake of fucoxanthin as a percentage in order to achieve the right dose.
It may be that taking fucoxanthin with fat burners will hinder its absorption, although this is not known for sure. Stacking with fish oil however will highly increase its bio availability and increase uptake.