Fucoxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that gets rid of free radicals and singlet molecular oxygen. It also works as an anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown that fucoxanthin may help prevent chronic diseases like cancer, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and liver disease.

Fucoxanthin is found in brown seaweeds, diatoms, and dinoflagellates. It has a unique structure, with an allenic bond, an epoxide, and a conjugated carbonyl group in the polyene chain (Figure 1), which makes it different from plant carotenoids like -carotene and lutein.

Fucoxanthin is an orange pigment that is found in Chromophyta (Heterokontophyta or Ochrophyta), such as brown seaweeds (Phaeophyceae) and diatoms. It is also found in chlorophylls a and c and -carotene (Bacillariophyta)

Fucoxanthin may help people lose weight, according to one study done on people. Obese women who took 300 mg of pomegranate seed oil and 300 mg of brown seaweed extract with 2.4 mg of fucoxanthin for 16 days saw a big drop in their body weight and the amount of fat in their livers.

Fucoxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that gets rid of free radicals and singlet molecular oxygen. It also works as an anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown that fucoxanthin may help prevent chronic diseases like cancer, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and liver disease.

Fucoxanthin has been shown to have no negative side effects and is easy to get from both large and small algae.

Even though only one human study has been published, it seems to be a promising non-stimulatory fat loss agent that needs time to work (5-16 weeks).

Fucoxanthin is naturally found in wakame and other types of brown seaweed. It is also sold as a dietary supplement after it has been cleaned up.

Fucoxanthin and chlorophyll are held together by proteins in diatoms like Phaeodactylum tricornutum to make a light-harvesting protein complex.

Metabolic syndrome affects more than a billion people in the world, or about a quarter of the world’s population.

Metabolic Syndrome is the biggest health risk in the modern world. It is a disease that happens when at least two or three of the following conditions happen at the same time: abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It is caused by eating foods that are high in calories but low in fibre and not being as active, which can lead to heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

Obesity and conditions that lead to metabolic syndrome can be prevented or treated by living a healthy lifestyle, eating a balanced diet, getting more exercise, and reducing stress. Also, there is evidence from science that some dietary supplements can also be helpful.

Fucoxanthin is an orange carotenoid that is found naturally in seaweed and microalgae like Phaeodactylum tricornutum. It is a powerful antioxidant because it has a very unique structure and chemical properties.

In addition to being a great antioxidant, fucoxanthin in the form of a dietary supplement may help with metabolic health, such as keeping glucose and lipid levels in check and keeping the liver healthy.

It is a safe food that has been a part of the Japanese diet for hundreds of years.

Metabolic Syndrome and the Fucoxanthin
The Good for Your Body Effects of Fucoxanthin

Healthy Liver

Metabolic syndrome is one of the main reasons why people are more likely to get Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver (NAFL), which is a dangerous buildup of fat in the liver. NAFL is the most common liver problem. One in four people have it. If NAFL isn’t treated, it can lead to very bad liver damage.

Fucoxanthin can stop lipids from building up in the liver. In fact, an in vitro study showed that a microalgae-derived fucoxanthin extract, FucoVitalTM by Solabia – Algatech Nutrition, significantly inhibits lipid accumulation in liver cells. Fucoxanthinol, which is a fucoxanthin metabolite found in the human plasma after oral consumption of fucoxanthin, was also found to be an effective inhibitor of

A 16-week, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study looked at how fucoxanthin and pomegranate seed oil helped obese women control their weight. The 151 people who took part in the study were split into two groups: 113 had more than 11% of their liver fat (NAFL) and 38 had less than 6.5%.

The group that took fucoxanthin and pomegranate seed oil supplements had less fat in their livers and their livers worked better.

Glucose Management

A bad diet and being overweight often cause problems with how glucose is used and taken in, as well as how insulin works. All of these problems can lead to diabetes, which is a metabolic syndrome disease.

The level of HbA1c, which is linked to sugar, is often used as a biomarker for the start of diabetes.

A study of 40 adults with a BMI of over 22 kg/m2 showed that taking an oil supplement with 1 or 2 mg of fucoxanthin per day for 8 weeks significantly lowered HbA1c levels. The amount of fucoxanthinol metabolite in the plasma was linked to the amount of HbA1c.

In studies on obese rodents, fucoxanthin was shown to lower blood glucose, HbA1c levels, plasma resistin, and make insulin work better.

Triglycerides management

Most of the fat in the body is made up of triglycerides. Normally, they move through the bloodstream to give energy to cells and are stored as a backup source of energy in body fat.

Hypertriglyceridemia is a condition in which there are too many triglycerides in the blood.

In a 13-week pre-clinical study with rats, it was shown that rats who ate FucoVitalTM had much lower levels of triglycerides in their blood.


Since 1975, the number of obese people in the world has almost tripled. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that with more than 1.9 billion obese people over 18 years old, obesity is the most ignored public health problem.

WHO also says that obesity is a major risk factor for diseases linked to diet, like diabetes mellitus, heart and liver diseases, high blood pressure, stroke, and even cancer.

Several clinical studies have shown that fucoxanthin can help people lose weight, lower their body mass index (BMI), and lose belly fat (visceral and subcutaneous fat).

In a few pre-clinical studies, animals were fed either a normal high-fat diet (HFD) or an HFD with fucoxanthin added. This was done to see how fucoxanthin affected their weight. When fucoxanthin was added to a high-fat diet (HFD) for animals, they gained less weight and had less fat.

Fucoxanthin is an antioxidant that is found in brown seaweed. It is a carotenoid. It is said to help with health problems like obesity, diabetes, and inflammation, but there haven’t been any clinical tests to prove this. Read on to find out what fucoxanthin might help with and what it might hurt.

What’s fucoxanthin?

Fucoxanthin is a type of plant chemical called a carotenoid. Carotenoids are what give yellow, orange, or red colour to plants. Fucoxanthin is different from other plant carotenoids because of how it is made (it has an unusual allenic bond, a 5,6-monoepoxide, and 9 conjugated double bonds).

Because of its unique structure, fucoxanthin is unstable, which makes it hard to study. But because of its structure, it may be able to help with health problems like obesity, diabetes, and inflammation.

How It Does It

The anti-obesity effects of fucoxanthin are thought to come from its ability to change the expression of fat-metabolizing genes. This was seen in studies with rats.

Acetyl-CoA carboxylase is an enzyme that breaks down acetyl-CoA. (ACC)
Fatty acid synthase is an enzyme that helps make fatty acids (FAS)
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase is an enzyme that breaks down sugar (G6PDH)
Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA)
Acyl-CoA cholesterol acyltransferase is an enzyme (ACAT)

Sources from nature

Fucoxanthin can be found in nature.

  • Seaweed
  • Microalgae
  • Brown algae
  • Kelp
  • Snapshot
  • Proponents
  • May help you shed pounds
  • intake has been linked to a lower rate of depression in pregnant women.
  • Skeptics
  • There was only one clinical trial.
  • Never judged on your own.
  • Not sure if it’s safe

Good for your health

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Insufficient Evidence

The following alleged benefits are only backed up by a small number of low-quality clinical studies and research on animals and cells. Fucoxanthin can’t be used for any of the things listed below because there isn’t enough evidence to support it. Fucoxanthin supplements should only be taken after talking to a doctor, and they should never be used in place of medical treatments that have been proven to work.

1) Weight Loss

Fucoxanthin (0.8–4.0 mg) and pomegranate seed oil helped 151 overweight, non-diabetic women with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease lose weight and cut body and liver fat.

Fucoxanthin also helped mice lose weight, especially when it was combined with fish oil. The mice were overweight because they ate too much fat and had diabetes.

A single clinical trial (which looked at fucoxanthin with pomegranate seed oil) and some research on animals are not enough to say that fucoxanthin helps people lose weight. These preliminary findings need to be confirmed by more clinical trials.

2) Depression

In a survey of more than 1,700 pregnant women, eating more fucoxanthin-containing seaweed was linked to less depression during pregnancy.

One study isn’t enough to prove that fucoxanthin works to make people feel less depressed. Most importantly, the study was correlational, which means that a cause-and-effect link could not be found. There could have been other dietary, environmental, or genetic factors that led to the effects seen.

The study of animals and cells (Lack of Evidence)

Fucoxanthin can’t be used to treat any of the conditions listed in this section because there is no clinical evidence to back it up. Here is a summary of the animal and cell-based research that has already been done, which should help guide future research. But the studies shouldn’t be taken as proof that anything is good for your health.

Protecting the skin

When applied to the skin of mice exposed to UV light, fucoxanthin stopped the skin from ageing too quickly and kept skin cells from getting sunburned.

Protecting the brain

Fucoxanthin made mice with brain damage that mimicked Alzheimer’s disease smarter.

Fucoxanthin cut the number of brain cells that died in mice with head injuries.


Fucoxanthin decreased inflammation in mice with insulin resistance and in rats’ eyes with inflammation.

Insulin Resistance

Fucoxanthin made mice with high-fat diets more sensitive to insulin, which helped prevent type 2 diabetes.

Blood Fats Too High

Fucoxanthin lowered blood cholesterol and triglycerides in rats that ate a lot of fat.

But when mice were given a lot of fucoxanthin, their blood cholesterol went up.


In cell-based studies, fucoxanthin decreased oxidative stress and raised the amount of the antioxidant glutathione.

Bone Loss

Fucoxanthin stopped bone loss in mice that had gone through menopause. In cells, it stopped the growth of cells called osteoclasts that break down bone.

Taking Care of the Heart

Fucoxanthin may help prevent heart disease because it can lower risk factors like blood cholesterol, inflammation, obesity, and diabetes.


Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria, was stopped by fucoxanthin in test tubes.

Warnings and Limitations

There has only been one clinical trial and one observational study, and most of the possible health effects have only been tested on animals and in cells. Because the trial used fucoxanthin mixed with pomegranate oil and the observational study used seaweed instead of pure fucoxanthin, it is hard to say how much this carotenoid contributed to the effects seen.

Side Effects and Safety Measures

Keep in mind that there haven’t been many well-designed clinical studies to find out how safe fucoxanthin is. The list of possible side effects below is not complete, and you should talk to your doctor about other side effects that could happen based on your health and possible drug or supplement interactions.

In the only clinical trial that was done, no bad effects were seen.

Fucoxanthin didn’t cause more mutations in mice and didn’t hurt their kidneys, liver, spleens, or gonads. At high doses, the only bad thing that happened was that blood cholesterol went up.

How Drugs Work Together

Interactions between supplements, herbs, and vitamins and drugs can be dangerous and, in some cases, even life-threatening. Before taking supplements, you should always talk to your doctor and let them know about all the drugs and supplements you are taking or thinking about taking.

Fucoxanthin can stop the enzyme CYP3A4 from doing its job, which is to break down about 45–60% of all prescription drugs. This could make the drugs work better by raising their blood levels, but it could also make them less effective if they are given as a pro-drug that needs to be broken down before it can work.

CYP3A4 breaks down the following drugs, which means fucoxanthin may change how well they work:

Sufentanil and methadone are two types of opioids.

Immunosuppressants like cyclosporine, tacrolimus, and sirolimus are used to treat cancer.

Drugs like felodipine and nifedipine are used to treat high blood pressure.

Drugs like endoxifen, tamoxifen, and sunitinib are used to fight cancer.

Midazolam and other sleep aids

Statins, such as simvastatin, atorvastatin, and lovastatin, are drugs that lower cholesterol.

Drugs like erythromycin are antibiotics.

Corticosteroids like fluticasone propionate


Since the FDA hasn’t approved fucoxanthin for any condition, there is no set dose. Based on trial and error, users and supplement makers have come up with unofficial doses. Talk to your doctor about whether fucoxanthin could help you as a complementary treatment and how much you should take.

In the only test done on people, 0.8–4.0 mg of fucoxanthin mixed with pomegranate seed oil was given.

User Experiences

In this section, only fucoxanthin users, who may or may not have medical or scientific training, share their thoughts. SelfHacked does not agree with what they say in their reviews. SelfHacked does not recommend any product, service, or treatment in particular.

Don’t take what users say as medical advice. Never put off or decide not to talk to your doctor or other qualified medical professionals because of something you read on SelfHacked. We know that reading about people’s real-life experiences can be helpful, but it’s never a good replacement for getting medical advice, a diagnosis, or treatment from a professional.

Fucoxanthin was most often used to help people lose weight. People who took fucoxanthin pills were often happy and said they lost weight without having to exercise more.