Fat-busting seaweed could be the future of slimming, new research suggests.
Scientists have identified a natural seaweed fibre that prevents the body absorbing fat.
Tests show that alginate can suppress the digestion of fat in the gut.
The researchers found that alginates containing more of a sugar molecule called guluronate were best at blocking fat digestion.
They compiled a list of the most promising seaweeds, including a brown sea kelp known as "tangle" or "cuvie", bladderwrack, and bull kelp.
The findings, published in the journal Food Chemistry, showed that a four-fold increase in one type of tangle alginate boosted anti-fat absorption activity by 75%.
Dietary fibre avoided the side effects of conventional anti-obesity drugs that inhibit enzyme activity, said the researchers.
Experts from Durham University have identified a new gene that could help the development of fertility treatments. The gene makes a protein that enables sperm to bind to an egg - a process essential to fertilisation.