Kelp / Seaweed

Seaweeds are used principally in human food, animal food, fertilizer and nutritional supplements. The nutritional seaweed supplement most readily found on health food store shelves is a brown seaweed named kelp. Kelp is a concentrated source of iodine, but also contains important trace minerals necessary for human existence. Marine plants, such as the brown seaweed plant that is the source of kelp tablets and powder, live and flourish because of sunlight and the nutrients so plentiful in the sea.

The brown seaweed group is usually found in cold waters, although a number of varieties are harvested in the warmer waters of the Pacific off the coast of California. So fantastic is their growing ability, deriving nutrients only from the sun and surrounding water, that when they are harvested four feet from the surface, they grow back within ten days. Seaweeds do not have any roots, but cling to rocks with grippers strong enough to survive the action of waves.

Kelp tablets may contain up to 500mg of kelp powder which provides between 150µg and 500µg of iodine. Tablet contents and iodine concentration vary significantly so you should read the label on any particular product. The adult RDA is about 150mcg per day.

As a food seaweed is primarily used in certain salads, sushi and other ethnic oriented cuisines around the world. But, food is not the only way to enjoy the benefits of seaweed. Beauty products are also a sure fire way of introducing the superb qualities of this oceanic herb to the largest organ of the human body, your skin.

Seaweed has a wonderful effect on the thyroid because it normalizes and stabilizes its function. Blood pressure can also be stabilized, cholesterol can be lowered, and seaweed promotes a healthy intestinal tract. The best nutritional aspect is, however, that various cancers among those that regularly consume seaweed are low. A seaweed extract has also been found to increase the metabolic rate and can contribute significantly to weight loss.

 


Kelp / Seaweed can help with the following

Autoimmune  

Hyperthyroidism

Please see the link between Hyperthyroidism and Iodine.



Circulation  


Environment / Toxicity  

Heavy Metal Toxicity

Some kelps concentrate arsenic. There have been cases where kelp supplemention resulted in blood cell abnormalities.



Hormones  

Hypothyroidism

Kelp is a large, leafy brown edible seaweed rich in vitamins and minerals that grows along colder coastlines. Kelp is an excellent source of iodine, a major component of thyroxine and triiodothyronine, hormones that affect weight gain and cellular metabolic rates. One to two milligrams of iodine per week are required to prevent goiter. Based on epidemiological studies, thyroid disease is practically unknown in people who regularly eat kelp.



Infections  

Lyme Disease

Helps in the treatment of the disorder by strengthening the immune system. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals and aids in detoxifying the body.



 

Tuberculosis

From an Oriental Medicine point of view, kelp has a history of use in TB.



Lab Values  


 

Low Platelet Count

It is noted that kelp can concentrate heavy metals, and that some kelp preparations contain substantial levels of arsenic. It has been noted that urinary arsenic excretion in patients with peripheral neuropathy, who have been taking kelp tablets, has increased, and seaweed ingestion has been linked with chronic thyroiditis. Arsenic intoxication can cause bone marrow depression and megaloblastic changes. Physicians need to be aware of the potential dangers of contaminants in some kelp preparations.[Severe Dyserythropoiesis and Autoimmune Thrombocytopenia Associated With Ingestion of Kelp Supplements, Pye, Kathryn G., et al, The Lancet, June 20, 1992;339:1540]



Metabolic  

Problem Caused By Being Overweight

fücoTHIN is a natural, whole food based supplement that is made with a proprietary concentration of fucoxanthin combined with pomegranate seed oil, for a patent-pending formula that is naturally thermogenic. fücoTHIN has been studied by scientists for many years and is the only formula that has human clinical research to confirm its thermogenic effect.



 


Risks  


Key

May do some good
Likely to help
May have adverse consequences

Glossary

Iodine

A essential mineral that is an integral part of the thyroid hormones, thyroxin and triiodothyronine which have important metabolic roles and govern basal metabolism. The best known iodine deficiency symptom is goiter. Other iodine deficiency problems are reduced vitality, hypothyroidism, inability to think clearly, low resistance to infection, loss of control of the muscles of the mouth resulting in mouth contortion and drooling, defective teeth, tendency to obesity and cretinism which is a congenital abnormal condition marked by physical stunting and mental deficiency.

Mineral

Plays a vital role in regulating many body functions. They act as catalysts in nerve response, muscle contraction and the metabolism of nutrients in foods. They regulate electrolyte balance and hormonal production, and they strengthen skeletal structures.

Milligram

(mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.

RDA

Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamins or other nutrients as determined by the FDA. U.S. RDAs are more widely used than RDAs, and focus on 3 age groups: Infants of 0-12 months; Children of 1-4 years; Adults and children of more than 4 years.

Microgram

(mcg): 1/1,000 of a milligram in weight.

Herbs

Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with one teaspoon herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Tinctures may be used singly or in combination as noted. The high doses of single herbs suggested may be best taken as dried extracts (in capsules), although tinctures (60 drops four times per day) and teas (4 to 6 cups per day) may also be used.

Thyroid

Thyroid Gland: An organ with many veins. It is at the front of the neck. It is essential to normal body growth in infancy and childhood. It releases thyroid hormones - iodine-containing compounds that increase the rate of metabolism, affect body temperature, regulate protein, fat, and carbohydrate catabolism in all cells. They keep up growth hormone release, skeletal maturation, and heart rate, force, and output. They promote central nervous system growth, stimulate the making of many enzymes, and are necessary for muscle tone and vigor.

Cholesterol

A waxy, fat-like substance manufactured in the liver and found in all tissues, it facilitates the transport and absorption of fatty acids. In foods, only animal products contain cholesterol. An excess of cholesterol in the bloodstream can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.

Metabolism

The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.

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