People use agar for obesity, diabetes, constipation, yellowing of the skin in infants (neonatal jaundice), and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
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.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness
Insufficient Evidence for
- Diabetes. Early research shows that taking agar gel by mouth daily while following a traditional Japanese diet for 12 weeks doesn't improve pre-meal blood sugar levels or insulin resistance in obese people with type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance.
- Yellowing of the skin in infants (neonatal jaundice). While research is mixed, most early research shows that giving agar by mouth for 5 days doesn't reduce bilirubin levels in infants with newborn jaundice. But when given by mouth along with light therapy, agar might increase the bilirubin-lowering effects of light therapy. It might also reduce the length of time that light therapy is needed.
- Obesity. Early research shows that taking agar gel by mouth daily while following a traditional Japanese diet for 12 weeks reduces body weight by a small amount in obese people with type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance.
- Other conditions.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if agar is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Bowel blockage (obstruction): Agar might make bowel obstruction worse, especially if it isn't taken with enough water or other liquid. Get medical advice before taking agar if you have a bowel obstruction.
Trouble swallowing: Agar might swell up and block the eating tube (esophagus) if it isn't taken with enough water or other liquid. This can be especially dangerous for someone who has trouble swallowing. Get medical advice before taking agar if you have a swallowing problem.
Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs) interacts with AGAR
Agar is a thick gel. Taking agar by mouth at the same time as medications might decrease how much medication your body absorbs. This could decrease the effectiveness of your medication. To prevent this possible interaction, take agar at least one hour after taking medications by mouth.
Be watchful with this combination
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
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© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.