The effect of three Hebridean brown seaweeds on lipase activity was assessed using a turbidimetric lipase activity assay and an in vitro simulation of the upper digestive tract. The preparations of Ascophyllum nodosum, Fucus vesiculosus, and Pelvetia canaliculata were tested; whole seaweed homogenate, sodium carbonate extract, and ethanol extracts (pellet and supernatant were tested separately). All extracts showed significant inhibition of lipase, suggesting multiple bioactive agents, potentially including alginates, fucoidans, and polyphenols. Whole homogenate extract of F. vesiculosus was the most potent inhibitor of Lipase (IC50 = 0.119 mg mL-1), followed by ethanol supernatant (IC50 = 0.159 mg mL-1) while ethanol pellet and sodium carbonate extract showed relatively weaker inhibition (IC50 = 0.360 mg mL-1 and IC50 = 0.969 mg mL-1 respectively). For A. nodosum and P. canaliculata, strongest inhibition occurred with ethanol pellet (IC50 = 0.238 and 0.228 mg mL-1, respectively). These inhibitory effects were validated in a model gut system. The data presented herein suggests the use of seaweed as a potential weight management tool is deserving of further investigation.
Keywords: Alginate; Ascophyllum nodosum; Fat digestion; Fucus vesiculosus; Inhibition; Lipase; Obesity; Pelvetia canaliculata; Polyphenol.