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Agar



Interactions

Agar/Drug Interactions:
  • GeneralGeneral: Agar products may delay gastric emptying time and reduce the absorption of some drugs (5).
  • Antidiabetic agentsAntidiabetic agents: Based on human study, agar reduced plasma glucose levels and HbA1c (1); however, results are mixed, with no impact of agar on postprandial glucose response (5).
  • Antilipemic agentsAntilipemic agents: In human study, an agar-supplemented diet reduced cholesterol levels (1); however, in animal studies, agar elevated serum cholesterol levels (2; 3).
  • Antineoplastic agentsAntineoplastic agents: In studies that induced colon carcinogenesis in experimental animals, a number of fermentable fiber supplements, including agar, enhanced tumor development (4). The effects of agar with antineoplastic agents are not well understood.
  • Antiobesity agentsAntiobesity agents: In human study, agar reduced body weight and BMI (1). Theoretically, concurrent use of agar and antiobesity agents may have additive effects.
  • LaxativesLaxatives: Agar is a water-soluble indigestible fiber and a hydrophilic colloid, and, as such, it absorbs water and increases bulk, which stimulates large bowel peristalsis, based on secondary sources. Theoretically, concurrent use of agar with laxatives may have additive effects.

Agar/Herb/Supplement Interactions:
  • GeneralGeneral: Agar products may delay gastric emptying time and reduce the absorption of some herbs and supplements (5).
  • AntilipemicsAntilipemics: In human study, an agar-supplemented diet reduced cholesterol levels (1); however, in animal studies, agar elevated serum cholesterol levels (2; 3).
  • AntineoplasticsAntineoplastics: In studies that induced colon carcinogenesis in experimental animals, a number of fermentable fiber supplements, including agar, enhanced tumor development (4). The effects of agar with antineoplastic agents are not well understood.
  • Antiobesity herbs and supplementsAntiobesity herbs and supplements: In human study, agar reduced body weight and BMI (1). Theoretically, concurrent use of agar and antiobesity agents may have additive effects.
  • AntioxidantsAntioxidants: Various chemical assays of agaro-oligosaccharides derived from red seaweed polysaccharide have indicated that agaro-oligosaccharides exhibit antioxidant activity (14). Theoretically, agar may have additive effects when used with other antioxidants.
  • HypoglycemicsHypoglycemics: Based on human study, agar reduced plasma glucose levels and HbA1c (1); however, results are mixed, with no impact of agar on postprandial glucose response (5)
  • LaxativesLaxatives: Agar is a water-soluble indigestible fiber and a hydrophilic colloid, and, as such, it absorbs water and increases bulk, which stimulates large bowel peristalsis, according to secondary sources. Theoretically, concurrent use of agar with laxatives may have additive effects.
  • ZincZinc: In animal study, rats fed a diet supplemented with agar exhibited significantly increased absorption of zinc (15).

Agar/Food Interactions:
  • Fiber-containing foodsFiber-containing foods: In human, fecal weight was observed to increase with a high-fiber diet combined with normal- or low-protein diets, but not to increase with a semipurified low-protein diet containing agar as its only source of fiber (16). Fecal excretion of cholesterol increased markedly with the high-fiber diets but not with the agar diet. Agar is a water-soluble indigestible fiber and a hydrophilic colloid, and, as such, it absorbs water and increases bulk, which stimulates large bowel peristalsis, based on secondary sources.

Agar/Lab Interactions:
  • BilirubinBilirubin: Agar, alone and in combination with phototherapy, has been studied in clinical trials for its effects on hyperbilirubinemia in neonates, with mixed results (12; 10; 8; 17; 18; 19; 6).
  • Lipid profileLipid profile: In human study, an agar-supplemented diet reduced cholesterol levels (1); however, in animal study, agar may elevate serum cholesterol levels (2; 3).
  • Plasma glucosePlasma glucose: Based on human study, agar reduced plasma glucose levels and HbA1c (1); however, results are mixed, with no impact of agar on postprandial glucose response (5).

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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