Agar powder benefit
September 10 2017 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Agar is a red algae that is a unique vegetable substitute for gelatin. It has been used as a food ingredient in the Far East for centuries. Agar Powder is derived entirely from natural seaweed. Agar is high in fiber content and is widely used in the traditional Japanese diet.

Agar benefit
Effects of agar and pectin on gastric emptying and post-prandial glycaemic profiles in healthy human volunteers.
Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology Physiology 2007. Sanaka M, Yamamoto T, Anjiki H, Nagasawa K. Department of Internal Medicine, Tokyo Metropolitan Komagome Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.
Although long-term diet therapy with agar decreases fasting plasma glucose levels in diabetes, knowledge is lacking about the acute effects of agar on gastric emptying and the post-prandial glycaemic profiles. The present study was designed to investigate the acute effects of agar. Ten healthy male volunteers were studied on three occasions with three different test meals (450 kcal/500 mL): (i) a fibre-free meal; (ii) a meal with 2.0 g agar; or (iii) a meal with 5.2 g pectin. In healthy adults, agar and pectin delay gastric emptying but have no impact on the post-prandial glucose response.

Agar supplement dosage
Suggested Use: Agar can be used as a vegetable substitute for gelatin. Dilute 2 tablespoons of agar powder in 1 pint of water or fruit juice. Cook for 5 minutes and then add fruit or vegetables. Pour into mold and refrigerate until hard.

Can I take agar in pill form or simply sprinkle it on food and still get the nutritional and weight loss benefits? How much should a person consume per day?
   Yes, it would seem all forms are beneficial. As to the amount, each person is different regarding how much would benefit them and the total fiber content of one's diet.

Cooking, cuisine
Agar is used in Japanese cuisine (Wagashi) in anmitsu, a dessert made of small cubes of agar jelly and served in a bowl with various fruits or other ingredients. It is the main ingredient in mizu yokan, a popular Japanese food.