The health benefits of seaweed according to experts – Forbes Health

“Although seaweed has been harvested and consumed either as food or for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, there is limited scientific evidence to support many of these claims,” ​​says Dr. Kari Lam, a family medicine physician and anti-aging and regenerative medicine at The Lam Clinic in Tustin, California. However, new research into its benefits shows promise in seaweed’s ability to treat inflammation and related disorders, she adds.

There are more studies on the benefits of seaweed in general than on seaweed itself. Preliminary research on seaweed has so far been based on small studies. Large-scale clinical trials are needed to confirm the findings listed below.

May promote thyroid health

“Your thyroid gland [a small gland located at the base of your neck] needs iodine to make thyroid hormones,” says Dr. Lam. “These hormones, important for proper thyroid function, also play a role in metabolism,” she explains. Iodine must be obtained through diet, as the body cannot produce it on its own.

Iodine deficiency can lead to an enlarged thyroid gland (or goiter), hypothyroidism, and intellectual disability in infants and children whose mothers were iodine deficient during pregnancy, according to the American Thyroid Association.

Although iodine deficiency has been virtually eliminated in the United States since the introduction of iodized salt, even a small deficiency can cause adverse effects on the thyroid gland.

In the marine environment, seaweed is the largest supplier of iodine. However, iodine content varies between species, with brown algae generally having a higher amount than green and red algae. Sea moss in particular contained an average of 3.86 ± 1.49 milligrams of iodine per kilogram of dry weight.

Most adults need about 150 micrograms of iodine per day, with pregnant and lactating individuals needing slightly more — 220 micrograms and 290 micrograms, respectively, according to the National Institutes of Health.

May support gut health

Unhealthy guts have an imbalance of gut bacteria. This imbalance, or gut dysbiosis, is linked to disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.

Prebiotics are a group of fibers that are resistant to digestion. They help stimulate the growth and/or activity of “good bacteria” in the gut.

Review of studies on the effects of seaweed (including seaweed) in general in humans, animals and IVF (microorganisms), suggests that certain components unique to seaweed have the potential to act as prebiotics and support gut health. The review authors note that while these trials demonstrate the prebiotic potential of seaweed components, large-scale human clinical trials are needed to confirm findings.

May aid muscle recovery

“The various nutrients in seaweed not only help build muscle and maintain muscle health, but also help maintain a healthy bone structure,” notes Dr. Lam. “This is of great importance for those on a rigorous exercise regimen or the elderly who tend to see muscle and bone loss due to the aging process,” she says.

A small observational study from 2018 looked at the effects of seaweed supplements in 80 patients with musculoskeletal disorders and joint-related symptoms. The subjects were divided into two groups treated with different seaweed supplements.

Some of the study participants in both groups reported beneficial effects such as more strength and energy and less fatigue and pain after supplemental treatment. The researchers concluded that this could be due to the high protein content of the seaweed. Of note, the subjects taking the higher protein seaweed supplement had higher muscle energy recovery.

Additional health benefits of seaweed

There are other potential health benefits of seaweed. However, since these benefits have only been seen in animals and IVF studies, additional human clinical trials are needed.

  • Neuroprotective activity observed in worms given seaweed extract.
  • Compounds from red algae (including seaweed) show anticancer activity in mice.
  • Enhanced immune response seen in worms given seaweed extract.
  • Anti-inflammatory effects observed in cells treated with extracts from red algae (including seaweed).

Tap into the health benefits of magnesium

Akasha Naturals Magnesium Glycinate promotes muscle relaxation and antioxidation, optimizes calcium utilization, improves nerve conduction and offers superior absorption.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *