- What other names is Agar known by?
- What is Agar?
- How does Agar work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Agar.
People take agar to lose weight, especially in Japan. In Japan agar is called "kanten," and it is the main ingredient in "the kanten plan" or "the kanten diet."
Agar is also used to treat diabetes and constipation.
In dentistry, agar is used to make dental impressions.
In manufacturing processes, agar is used as an ingredient in emulsions, suspensions, gels, and certain suppositories.
Possibly Effective for...
- Obesity. Taking a product containing agar gel (Slim Kanten) by mouth daily while following a traditional Japanese diet for 12 weeks appears to reduce body weight and body mass index in obese people with type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance more effectively than following a traditional Japanese diet alone.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Diabetes. Taking a product containing agar gel (Slim Kanten) by mouth daily while following a traditional Japanese diet for 12 weeks does not improve pre-meal blood sugar levels or insulin resistance in obese people with type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance more effectively than following a traditional Japanese diet alone. However, agar seems to help lower body weight and body mass index in these individuals.
- High levels of a chemical called bilirubin in the blood of newborns (infant jaundice). Most early research suggests that giving agar by mouth for 5 days does not reduce bilirubin levels in infants with newborn jaundice. However, when given by mouth along with light therapy, agar seems to increase the bilirubin-lowering effects of light therapy and reduce the length of time that light therapy is needed.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Next: How does Agar work?
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