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Seakelp benefits on human health

To understand many of the anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anticoagulant, antithrombotic, and antiviral properties of sea vegetables, you need to look no further than their sulfated polysaccharides. These unique compounds (also called fucoidans) are starch-like molecules that are unusual in their complexity. Unlike many other types of polysaccharides, the fucoidans contain many chemical “branch points,” and they also contain sulfur atoms. Multiple studies show anti-inflammatory benefits from consumption of the sulfated polysaccharides in sea vegetables. Some of these benefits appear to take place through the blocking of selectins and from inhibition of an enzyme called phospholipase A2. Selectins are sugar-protein molecules (glycoproteins) that run through cell membranes. During inflammatory responses by the body, selectins are important in allowing inflammatory signals to be transmitted through the cell. By blocking selectin function, some of the inflammatory signaling can be lessened. In case of chronic, unwanted inflammation, this blocking of selectin-related signals can provide important health benefits. Interest in this aspect of sea vegetable intake and anti-inflammatory benefits has received special focus in the area of osteoarthritis. More widely present in unwanted inflammatory problems is overactivity of the enzyme phospholipase A2 (PLA2). This enzyme is important for creation of the omega-6 fatty acid called arachidonic acid (AA), and AA is itself the basic building block for a wide variety of pro-inflammatory messaging molecules. Many corticosteroid medications lower inflammation by blocking PLA2, as does licorice, turmeric, and the flavonoid quercetin. The association of sulfated polysaccharides with decreased PLA2 activity may be especially important in the anti-inflammatory benefits of sea vegetables.

Alfalfa & Kelp Health Benefits | Healthy Eating | SF Gate

In a taste and nutritional triumph we’ve paired hand harvested sea kelp straight from the beaches of southern New South Wales with our hand harvested Pink Lake salt. The addition of sea kelp provides amazing health benefits as the it is a rich source of organic iodine, which Australian soil is completely lacking. That organic Iodine is vital for human health, especially in the function of the thyroid gland, body development and metabolism. This blend boosts the natural balance of minerals in our salt with the added health benefits from the iodine.

Organic Sea Kelp (Icelandic)

In a taste and nutritional triumph we’ve paired hand harvested sea kelp straight from the beaches of southern New South Wales with our hand harvested Pink Lake salt. The addition of sea kelp provides amazing health benefits as the it is a rich source of organic iodine, which Australian soil is completely lacking. That organic Iodine is vital for human health, especially in the function of the thyroid gland, body development and metabolism. This blend boosts the natural balance of minerals in our salt with the added health benefits from the iodine. Think of using this salt with Japanese style food, on roasted vegetables, fish, chicken, steak and more – use your imagination!

2.4. The Role of Fucoidan in Skin Diseases TreatmentMarine macroalgae are considered as dietary components and also as alternative medicine in Asian countries like Japan, Korea and China . Marine algae are reported to produce different polysaccharides, including alginates, laminarans, and fucoidans. They usually contain large proportions of L-fucose and sulfate, together with minor amounts of other sugars such as xylose, galactose, mannose, and glucuronic acid . Especially fucoidans from marine algae have been reported to exhibit outstanding biological activities that aid human health . Fucoidans are sulfated polysaccharides that are exclusively found in seaweeds in their cell walls (Figure 7) . This polysaccharide ingredient is composed a polymer of α1→3-linked 1-fucose with sulfate groups on some of the fucose residues at the 4 positions .Open in a separate windowFigure 7Chemical structure of fucoidan unit.Fucoidan is being studied extensively due to potential antitumor, antiviral, anticomplement and anti-inflammatory activities . In the skin-related diseases, UV-B reduces type I procollagen levels and increases MMP-1 levels in human skin and plays a major role in the process of photoaging . Fucoidan inhibits UVB-induced MMP-I expression at the protein and mRNA levels in human skin fibroblasts (HS68). Fucoidan treatment also increased type I procollagen mRNA and protein expression in a dose-dependent manner compared to the control. Our data indicate that fucoidan may prevent UVB-induced MMP-I expression and inhibit downregulation of type I procollagen synthesis. We suggest that fucoidan may be a potential therapeutic agent to prevent and treat skin photoaging .Brown algae-derived fucoidan has been reported to show strong inhibition ability on UVB-induced MMP-1 expression in vitro. In an investigation by Moon et al. , human skin fibroblast (HS68) cells were pretreated by various concentrations of fucoidan and then subjected to UV-B irradiation (100 mJ/cm2). It is known that ultraviolet (UV) B irradiation induces the production of MMPs by activating cellular signaling transduction pathways, which are responsible for the degradation or synthesis inhibition of collagenous extracellular matrix in connective tissues, causing skin photoaging. Their results have suggested that fucoidan from algae has successfully inhibited the expression of MMP-1 by the suppression of extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK). Moreover, in fucoidan treated cells, the expression of MMP-1 mRNA has been significantly reduced . As brown edible algae are considered dietary food stuff, the consumption of brown algae rich in fucoidan could be beneficial in reducing the risk of MMP-related diseases. Similarly, another research group reported the MMP inhibitory effect of a 16 kDa fucoidan fraction from seaweeds on the parameters involved in the connective tissue breakdown. It was observed that this 16 kDa fucoidan was able to successfully inhibit the gelatinase with a secretion and stromelysin 1 induction by interleukin-1β on dermal fibroblasts in vitro. In addition, ex vivo studies using the tissue sections of human skin have revealed that this polysaccharide was able to minimize human leukocyte elastase activity, resulting in the protection of human skin elastic fiber network against the enzymatic proteolysis due to this serine proteinase . These findings clearly suggest the potential role of seaweed fucoidans in reducing the risk of some inflammatory pathologies that involves extracellular matrix degradation by MMPs. Usually, high molecular weight (HMW) fucoidans are known to bind growth factors, such as fibroblast growth factor (FGFs), and protect them from proteolysis . The therapeutic ability of fucoidans is thought to be that they can release the glycosaminoglycan-bound stromal-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) from its tissue storage sites. SDF-1 mobilizes medullary progenitors which could participate in angiogenesis with vascular endothelial growth factor and FGF . A fraction of low-molecular-weight fucoidan (7 ± 2 kDa) obtained by radical depolymerization of HMW extracts from brown seaweed have been reported to promote therapeutic revascularization in a rat model of critical hind limb ischemia . Normally, MMP-9 plays an important role in both animal models of cerebral ischemia and human stroke. The expression of MMP-9 is elevated after cerebral ischemia, which is involved in accelerating matrix degradation, disrupting the blood–brain barrier, increasing the infarct size, and relating to hemorrhagic transformation . The therapeutic ability of seaweed fucoidans would be a best option in managing the MMP-associated cerebral ischemia. Carrageenan (Figure 8) is also one of the most extensively studied sulfated polysaccharides from marine algae for cosmeceuticals. Open in a separate windowFigure 8Structure of carrageenan.

8 best IODINE BENEFITS images on Pinterest | Vitamin e, Home ...

Many of the cardiovascular benefits of sea vegetables can also be attributed to their sulfated polysaccharide content. Extracts from sea vegetables are sometimes referred to as “heparin-like extracts” because they exhibit some of the same properties as this widely used anticoagulant medication. In fact, heparin itself can be described as a sulfated polysaccharide, and like the sulfated polysaccharides found in sea vegetables, it can decrease the tendency of blood platelet cells to coagulate and form clots. (A blood clot can also be called a “thrombus”—thus giving rise to the term “antithrombotic” in description of sulfated polysaccharides.) In addition to their anticoagulant and antithrombotic benefits, however, sea vegetables have also been shown to help lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and to improve cardiovascular health in this way. Anti-Cancer Benefits of Sea Vegetables

Did you know that tons of your favorite beauty products are loaded with algae? But don’t run shrieking to your bathroom to throw it all out. The green, slimy gunk–which ranges in size from single cell organisms to giant sea kelp–has tons of potential benefits for your skin. “There are a few studies that indicate algae (and seaweed) have cosmetic benefits. One says that algae can stabilize minerals that aid in skin moisturization,” Randy Schueller, a cosmetic chemist and editor-in-chief of The Beauty Brains told me. “Another claims that seaweed provides anti-acne properties without the irritation of over the counter drugs. And yet another type of seaweed may help with skin lightening.” (Go here for the scientific explanation of algae’s benefits. It’s fascinating. No, truly.)ADVERTISEMENTThanks for watching!Visit WebsiteAlgae, often interchangeably called seaweed, has been a hot topic lately in the cosmetics ingredient world. One company,

Not fully understood but of increasing interest to researchers are the anti-cancer benefits of sea vegetables. Research interest in this area has tended to focus on colon cancer, with a special emphasis on the loss of calcium-sensing receptors (CaSRs) in colon cancer cells, and the ability of sea vegetable extracts to alter CaSR-related events. But since chronic, unwanted inflammation and chronic oxidative stress are both risk factors for development of cancer, it would be quite natural for scientists to be interested in sea vegetables are anti-cancer foods not only in the case of colon cancer, but for other types of cancer as well. Sea vegetables are well-researched as containing a variety of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, and this nutrient combination is likely to result in some risk-lowering benefits in the case of colon cancer and other cancer types. Although much more research is needed in this area, we expect the anti-caner benefits of sea vegetables to become more firmly established over time.

Description Sea Kelp nutrients supply essential minerals and iodine for metabolic health and well as hoof and skin. This is Atlantic Kelp harvested off the coast of Maine; known as Norwegian kelp, knotted kelp, knotted wrack or egg wrack. It is rich in iodine and complex minerals, and has a salty taste due to the presence of macro and micronutrients. This is granulated (like a coarse sugar), so it can be sprinkled on foods and used like table salt. Benefits of supplementing Kelp granules Supports animals with IR symptoms (insulin resistance) Helps to relieve nervous tension Promotes & supports healthy Thyroid gland function Promotes and supports a healthy immune system Promotes & supports overall health, skin, hair, hooves and nails Promotes & supports a healthy metabolism Helps to detoxify the body of heavy metal salts This Kelp is an excellent source of organic, bio-available minerals, vitamins, and proteins for your pets and livestock. It is easily accepted and eaten free choice. We recommend feeding at 1/2 -1 oz. per day for a 1000 lb horse. Our 3 lb bag is a 48 day supply. For sheep we recommend 1/2 – dry ounce per day, or 2% mixed in their grain ration. Sea kelp can also be added to chicken feed and dog food. This is a human food grade so you can enjoy it yourself sprinkled on salads and other foods.

Sea Kelp nutrients supply essential minerals and iodine for metabolic health and well as hoof and skin. This is Atlantic Kelp harvested off the coast of Maine; known as Norwegian kelp, knotted kelp, knotted wrack or egg wrack. It is rich in iodine and complex minerals, and has a salty taste due to the presence of macro and micronutrients. This is granulated (like a coarse sugar), so it can be sprinkled on foods and used like table salt. Benefits of supplementing Kelp granules Supports animals with IR symptoms (insulin resistance) Helps to relieve nervous tension Promotes & supports healthy Thyroid gland function Promotes and supports a healthy immune system Promotes & supports overall health, skin, hair, hooves and nails Promotes & supports a healthy metabolism Helps to detoxify the body of heavy metal salts This Kelp is an excellent source of organic, bio-available minerals, vitamins, and proteins for your pets and livestock. It is easily accepted and eaten free choice. We recommend feeding at 1/2 -1 oz. per day for a 1000 lb horse. Our 3 lb bag is a 48 day supply. For sheep we recommend 1/2 – dry ounce per day, or 2% mixed in their grain ration. Sea kelp can also be added to chicken feed and dog food. This is a human food grade so you can enjoy it yourself sprinkled on salads and other foods.

Why would anyone want to eat sea vegetables? Because they offer one of the broadest ranges of minerals of any food, containing virtually all the minerals found in the ocean—and not surprisingly, many of same minerals found in human blood. The also offer a variety of unique phytonutrients, including their sulfated polysaccharides (also called fucoidans). Unlike some other categories of vegetables, sea vegetables do not appear to depend on carotenoids and flavonoids for their antioxidant benefits, because in additional to these two important categories of antioxidants, sea vegetables contain several other types, including alkaloid antioxidants.Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine, vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B2. They are also a very good source of vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids) and copper as well as a good source of protein, pantothenic acid, potassium, iron, zinc, vitamin B6, niacin, phosphorus, and vitamin B1. Multiple Benefits from Sulfated Polysaccharides in Sea Vegetables

Growing up, Joe was plagued with a myriad of health issues such as gut problems, autoimmune issues, chronic fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, and general inflammation. Both conventional and alternative doctors weren’t able to help him, so he decided to fix himself. With lots of health questions and few satisfying answers, Joe decided to read every research paper he could get his hands on and conduct thousands of experiments on his own body in order to fix his health issues. Joe started SelfHacked in late 2013 when he successfully fixed all of his issues, and now it gets millions of readers a month looking to educate themselves about how they can improve their health. Joe is now a thriving author, speaker, and serial entrepreneur, founding SelfDecode & LabTestAnalyzer.

JOE COHEN CEO, SelfHacked About Joe Growing up, Joe was plagued with a myriad of health issues such as gut problems, autoimmune issues, chronic fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, and general inflammation. Both conventional and alternative doctors weren’t able to help him, so he decided to fix himself. With lots of health questions and few satisfying answers, Joe decided to read every research paper he could get his hands on and conduct thousands of experiments on his own body in order to fix his health issues. Joe started SelfHacked in late 2013 when he successfully fixed all of his issues, and now it gets millions of readers a month looking to educate themselves about how they can improve their health. Joe is now a thriving author, speaker, and serial entrepreneur, founding SelfDecode & LabTestAnalyzer. SH VIP

JOE COHEN CEO, SelfHacked About Joe Growing up, Joe was plagued with a myriad of health issues such as gut problems, autoimmune issues, chronic fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, and general inflammation. Both conventional and alternative doctors weren’t able to help him, so he decided to fix himself. With lots of health questions and few satisfying answers, Joe decided to read every research paper he could get his hands on and conduct thousands of experiments on his own body in order to fix his health issues. Joe started SelfHacked in late 2013 when he successfully fixed all of his issues, and now it gets millions of readers a month looking to educate themselves about how they can improve their health. Joe is now a thriving author, speaker, and serial entrepreneur, founding SelfDecode & LabTestAnalyzer.

About Joe Growing up, Joe was plagued with a myriad of health issues such as gut problems, autoimmune issues, chronic fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, and general inflammation. Both conventional and alternative doctors weren’t able to help him, so he decided to fix himself. With lots of health questions and few satisfying answers, Joe decided to read every research paper he could get his hands on and conduct thousands of experiments on his own body in order to fix his health issues. Joe started SelfHacked in late 2013 when he successfully fixed all of his issues, and now it gets millions of readers a month looking to educate themselves about how they can improve their health. Joe is now a thriving author, speaker, and serial entrepreneur, founding SelfDecode & LabTestAnalyzer.

Sea vegetables have been rightly singled out for their unique mineral content. You’re going to find measurable amounts of calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vanadium, and zinc in sea vegetables, and in some cases (like iodine) you can simply not find a more concentrated mineral source. Brown algae like kombu/kelp, wakame, and arame can be particularly concentrated sources of iodine, and for some health conditions – like hypothyroidism, in which the cells of the thyroid make too little thyroid hormone – increased iodine intake can provide important health benefits. The wide variety of minerals found in sea vegetables is simply not found among most other vegetable groups.

“There are a few studies that indicate algae (and seaweed) have cosmetic benefits. One says that algae can stabilize minerals that aid in skin moisturization,” Randy Schueller, a cosmetic chemist and editor-in-chief of The Beauty Brains told me. “Another claims that seaweed provides anti-acne properties without the irritation of over the counter drugs. And yet another type of seaweed may help with skin lightening.” (Go here for the scientific explanation of algae’s benefits. It’s fascinating. No, truly.)

Of special note in this area of cancer and sea vegetables is the issue of estrogen-related cancers, especially breast cancer. Intake of sea vegetables appears able to modify various aspects of a woman’s normal menstrual cycle in such a way that over long periods of time (tens of years) the total cumulative estrogen secretion that occurs during the follicular phase of the cycle gets reduced. Since overproduction of estrogen can play a role in the risk of breast cancer for women who are estrogen-sensitive, sea vegetables may offer unique benefits in this regard. It’s also important to note that cholesterol is required as a building block for production of estrogen, and intake of sea vegetables has repeatedly been shown to lower blood levels of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol. Other Benefits of Sea Vegetables Array of Minerals

3. Kelp does not contain spirulina, chlorella or blue-green algae. These common algaes are somewhat toxic for human beings. They build up in the liver, indicating they are not too compatible with human physiology, no matter what nutritional benefits they may offer.

5. Thyroid Supplements Can Hinder Treatment for a Thyroid Condition Thyroid problems can be diagnosed easily through blood tests, but taking supplements that can alter the level of thyroid hormones in your blood can mask thyroid issues. And because supplements aren’t regulated the same way drugs are, they can contain varying amounts of active ingredients. “If your doctor can’t establish how much thyroid hormone your body needs, he can’t prescribe the correct amount, and that can cause health problems,” Lipman says. The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association that represents the dietary supplement industry, acknowledges that thyroid supplements can interact with prescription medications. And, says Duffy MacKay, N.D., CRN’s senior vice president for science and regulatory affairs, “It is important to talk to your doctor before starting thyroid supplements.” Yet Stephanie Lee, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Thyroid Health Center at Boston Medical Center and a spokeswoman for the Endocrine Society says a well-informed physician would never advise a patient to purchase an over-the-counter thyroid support supplement. “If the thyroid functions were abnormal, we would prescribe the FDA-approved medication because, among other issues, there’s no evidence that thyroid support products improve thyroid function, and they can cause health complications and confuse a diagnosis,” Lee says. Bottom line: Do not take thyroid supplements. If you suspect that you have a thyroid condition, head to your doctor’s office instead of the vitamin or natural-foods store. Getting the right diagnosis and treatment is the key to combating weight gain, exhaustion, and brain fog.

Thyroid problems can be diagnosed easily through blood tests, but taking supplements that can alter the level of thyroid hormones in your blood can mask thyroid issues. And because supplements aren’t regulated the same way drugs are, they can contain varying amounts of active ingredients. “If your doctor can’t establish how much thyroid hormone your body needs, he can’t prescribe the correct amount, and that can cause health problems,” Lipman says. The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association that represents the dietary supplement industry, acknowledges that thyroid supplements can interact with prescription medications. And, says Duffy MacKay, N.D., CRN’s senior vice president for science and regulatory affairs, “It is important to talk to your doctor before starting thyroid supplements.” Yet Stephanie Lee, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Thyroid Health Center at Boston Medical Center and a spokeswoman for the Endocrine Society says a well-informed physician would never advise a patient to purchase an over-the-counter thyroid support supplement. “If the thyroid functions were abnormal, we would prescribe the FDA-approved medication because, among other issues, there’s no evidence that thyroid support products improve thyroid function, and they can cause health complications and confuse a diagnosis,” Lee says. Bottom line: Do not take thyroid supplements. If you suspect that you have a thyroid condition, head to your doctor’s office instead of the vitamin or natural-foods store. Getting the right diagnosis and treatment is the key to combating weight gain, exhaustion, and brain fog.

Similarly, another research group reported the MMP inhibitory effect of a 16 kDa fucoidan fraction from seaweeds on the parameters involved in the connective tissue breakdown. It was observed that this 16 kDa fucoidan was able to successfully inhibit the gelatinase with a secretion and stromelysin 1 induction by interleukin-1β on dermal fibroblasts in vitro. In addition, ex vivo studies using the tissue sections of human skin have revealed that this polysaccharide was able to minimize human leukocyte elastase activity, resulting in the protection of human skin elastic fiber network against the enzymatic proteolysis due to this serine proteinase . These findings clearly suggest the potential role of seaweed fucoidans in reducing the risk of some inflammatory pathologies that involves extracellular matrix degradation by MMPs. Usually, high molecular weight (HMW) fucoidans are known to bind growth factors, such as fibroblast growth factor (FGFs), and protect them from proteolysis . The therapeutic ability of fucoidans is thought to be that they can release the glycosaminoglycan-bound stromal-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) from its tissue storage sites. SDF-1 mobilizes medullary progenitors which could participate in angiogenesis with vascular endothelial growth factor and FGF . A fraction of low-molecular-weight fucoidan (7 ± 2 kDa) obtained by radical depolymerization of HMW extracts from brown seaweed have been reported to promote therapeutic revascularization in a rat model of critical hind limb ischemia . Normally, MMP-9 plays an important role in both animal models of cerebral ischemia and human stroke. The expression of MMP-9 is elevated after cerebral ischemia, which is involved in accelerating matrix degradation, disrupting the blood–brain barrier, increasing the infarct size, and relating to hemorrhagic transformation . The therapeutic ability of seaweed fucoidans would be a best option in managing the MMP-associated cerebral ischemia. Carrageenan (Figure 8) is also one of the most extensively studied sulfated polysaccharides from marine algae for cosmeceuticals.

The researchers sent the samples to the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory in Davis, which operates in partnership with UC Davis, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and others to provide specialized testing that helps protect both human and animal health. It is the same laboratory currently being used to check for melamine contamination in the nation’s pet food supplies.

Eaten as a food, kelp contains low enough arsenic levels to be safe for human consumption; but some kelp supplements have potentially toxic concentrations of arsenic. A 2007 report in “Environmental Health Perspectives” analyzed nine brands of kelp supplements commonly sold in health food stores. All but one contained levels of arsenic higher than the Food and Drug Administration tolerance level of 0.5 to 2 parts per million. (See Reference 5) Symptoms of arsenic toxicity include rash, debilitating fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

Arsenic in Supplements Eaten as a food, kelp contains low enough arsenic levels to be safe for human consumption; but some kelp supplements have potentially toxic concentrations of arsenic. A 2007 report in “Environmental Health Perspectives” analyzed nine brands of kelp supplements commonly sold in health food stores. All but one contained levels of arsenic higher than the Food and Drug Administration tolerance level of 0.5 to 2 parts per million. (See Reference 5) Symptoms of arsenic toxicity include rash, debilitating fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

“It’s unfortunate that a therapy that’s advertised as contributing to ‘vital living and well-being’ would contain potentially unsafe levels of arsenic,” said Schenker, who is a professor of Public Health Sciences and a leading authority on occupational and environmental diseases and respiratory illness. “Concentrations of materials contained in herbal supplements, including both the expected benefits and potential side effects, should be studied, standardized, monitored and accurately labeled.”

According to scientists in Japan, a study that was undertaken on kelp had proven to give long life to the subject, in spite of the subject (mice) being fed on carcinogenic substances. Hence, it is factual that kelp has phenomenal elements to provide us with many health related benefits .

Another potential concern regarding kelp is the potential to overconsume iodine. While iodine has incredible health benefits, too much of it can lead to issues like hyperthyroidism and certain thyroid cancers. If you’re at risk for these conditions, you should moderate your kelp intake to low levels.

Immune modulation: Fucoidans also provide an array of health benefits via their ability to modulate the immune system. Immune modulating substances have the ability to increase immune function when it is depressed, as in conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, and to reduce it when it is over-stimulated, as in auto-immune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, etc.

Since inflammation and stress are considered risk factors for many chronic diseases, Stasio Costa says including kelp in one’s diet could have numerous health benefits. Kelp is naturally high in antioxidants, including carotenoids, flavonoids, and alkaloids, which help to fight against disease-causing free radicals.

Antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C, and minerals like manganese and zinc, help to combat oxidative stress and may offer benefits to cardiovascular health. There have been many claims regarding kelp’s abilities to fight chronic disease, including cancer.

Kelp has been an essential component of East Asian diets for centuries. In fact, this diet introduced kelp into different regions across the world. The health benefits of kelp are wide-ranging — it can help reduce blood pressure, fight iodine deficiency, and may even be an effective treatment for hepatitis C and certain types of cancer. Read on to find out more.

Nutrients from seaweed carry important health benefits. Dietary fiber, peptides, lipids, and minerals protect the heart. Sea algae reduce markers of heart disease, protects the cells (reducing oxidative stress), reduces inflammation in blood vessels, reduces high blood pressure, and decreases blood clotting .

The antioxidant content of sea vegetables also deserves mention with respect to its health benefits. While sea vegetables do contain measurable amounts of polyphenols like carotenoids and flavonoids, they also contain other phytonutrient antioxidants, including several types of alkaloids that have been shown to possess antioxidant properties. Coupled with measurable amounts of antioxidant vitamins (like vitamins C and E) and antioxidant minerals (like manganese and zinc), sea vegetables can be expected to help us reduce our risk of unwanted oxidative stress and many types of cardiovascular problems that are associated with poor antioxidant intake. Description

Yet Stephanie Lee, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Thyroid Health Center at Boston Medical Center and a spokeswoman for the Endocrine Society says a well-informed physician would never advise a patient to purchase an over-the-counter thyroid support supplement. “If the thyroid functions were abnormal, we would prescribe the FDA-approved medication because, among other issues, there’s no evidence that thyroid support products improve thyroid function, and they can cause health complications and confuse a diagnosis,” Lee says.

1. Thyroid Supplements Might Have Actual Thyroid Hormones It isn’t possible to know if a supplement contains thyroid hormones from reading the label, but a 2013 study published in the journal Thyroid found that nine out of 10 supplements marketed for thyroid health and support contained real hormones. Four of those that tested positive listed the ingredient “bovine thyroid tissue,” which might naturally contain hormones. But five supplements that tested positive listed only herbal ingredients, such as ashwagandha, guggul, and Coleus forskohlii. “Since plants cannot produce the hormones the researchers found, thyroid hormones from an animal or synthetic source must have been deliberately added to these supplements,” says Consumer Reports’ senior scientist Michael Hansen, Ph.D. That is concerning because healthy thyroid hormone levels are very precise and taking supplements that contain these hormones can alter those levels in unpredictable ways. “Thyroid hormone levels even slightly above or below where they should be can lead to health complications,” Lipman says. “For example, taking more thyroxine than you need can cause erratic heart beats and bone thinning.” It’s also impossible to know how much thyroid hormone a supplement might contain. Several of the supplement samples the researchers tested contained doses of thyroid hormone that were higher than 25 mcg—the lowest dose of levothyroxine available by prescription. And one contained more than 90 mcg—slightly less than a doctor would prescribe for a patient whose thyroid gland had been removed.

It isn’t possible to know if a supplement contains thyroid hormones from reading the label, but a 2013 study published in the journal Thyroid found that nine out of 10 supplements marketed for thyroid health and support contained real hormones. Four of those that tested positive listed the ingredient “bovine thyroid tissue,” which might naturally contain hormones. But five supplements that tested positive listed only herbal ingredients, such as ashwagandha, guggul, and Coleus forskohlii. “Since plants cannot produce the hormones the researchers found, thyroid hormones from an animal or synthetic source must have been deliberately added to these supplements,” says Consumer Reports’ senior scientist Michael Hansen, Ph.D. That is concerning because healthy thyroid hormone levels are very precise and taking supplements that contain these hormones can alter those levels in unpredictable ways. “Thyroid hormone levels even slightly above or below where they should be can lead to health complications,” Lipman says. “For example, taking more thyroxine than you need can cause erratic heart beats and bone thinning.” It’s also impossible to know how much thyroid hormone a supplement might contain. Several of the supplement samples the researchers tested contained doses of thyroid hormone that were higher than 25 mcg—the lowest dose of levothyroxine available by prescription. And one contained more than 90 mcg—slightly less than a doctor would prescribe for a patient whose thyroid gland had been removed.

2. They Can Contain Iodine We need only 150 mcg of iodine per day in our diet, according to the Institute of Medicine. “That tiny amount of iodine enables the thyroid to manufacture just the right amount of the thyroid hormone thyroxine,” Lipman says. But ingesting excess iodine can cause health problems. It is particularly worrisome for people with thyroid nodules—bumps on the thyroid glands that can be very small and often go unnoticed. “If you have a nodular thyroid—and chances are that 50 percent of us will develop one or more nodules by the time we’re 60—even a slight excess of iodine can cause your thyroid to go into overdrive and produce excess thyroxine,” Lipman says. “An overactive thyroid can cause sudden weight loss, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, and nervousness or irritability.” Conversely, studies also show that too much iodine (more than around 400 mcg per day) can cause the thyroid to slow down or even stop producing hormones in certain people—the opposite effect of what many people hope these supplements will do for them. That can result in weight gain and fatigue, and can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease,” Lipman says. Yet many supplements contain more than 150 mcg of iodine. For example, both Enzymatic Therapy’s Metabolic Advantage and Whole Foods’ Thyroid Complete contain 200 mcg per two-capsule serving. Follow the recommendation on the labels and swallow two capsules three times a day and you’ve ingested 600 mcg of iodine—enough to cause health problems in certain people if taken long term.

We need only 150 mcg of iodine per day in our diet, according to the Institute of Medicine. “That tiny amount of iodine enables the thyroid to manufacture just the right amount of the thyroid hormone thyroxine,” Lipman says. But ingesting excess iodine can cause health problems. It is particularly worrisome for people with thyroid nodules—bumps on the thyroid glands that can be very small and often go unnoticed. “If you have a nodular thyroid—and chances are that 50 percent of us will develop one or more nodules by the time we’re 60—even a slight excess of iodine can cause your thyroid to go into overdrive and produce excess thyroxine,” Lipman says. “An overactive thyroid can cause sudden weight loss, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, and nervousness or irritability.” Conversely, studies also show that too much iodine (more than around 400 mcg per day) can cause the thyroid to slow down or even stop producing hormones in certain people—the opposite effect of what many people hope these supplements will do for them. That can result in weight gain and fatigue, and can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease,” Lipman says. Yet many supplements contain more than 150 mcg of iodine. For example, both Enzymatic Therapy’s Metabolic Advantage and Whole Foods’ Thyroid Complete contain 200 mcg per two-capsule serving. Follow the recommendation on the labels and swallow two capsules three times a day and you’ve ingested 600 mcg of iodine—enough to cause health problems in certain people if taken long term.

× This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by our trained editorial staff. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) are clickable links to medically peer-reviewed studies. Our team includes licensed nutritionists and dietitians, certified health education specialists, as well as certified strength and conditioning specialists, personal trainers and corrective exercise specialists. Our team aims to be not only thorough with its research, but also objective and unbiased. The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

Most seafoods also contain moderate amounts of arsenic, and although they are usually consumed in much larger amounts than seaweeds, this is apparently not considered to be a health risk. If the arsenic in seaweed really was a health risk, the Japanese people, who have the world’s highest per capita consumption of seaweed, would all have chronic arsenic poisoning. They do not. As mentioned earlier, the Japanese people are some of the healthiest and longest-lived people in the world.

Seaweeds and cardiovascular health: Eating seaweeds regularly, especially the brown seaweeds, improves the quality of the blood, which is the key to cardiovascular health. Seaweed provides abundant minerals for the blood, blood vessels, heart and kidneys. It provides blood thinning, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant polysaccharides, which keeps the blood thin and easier for the heart to push through the blood vessels, prevents clots from forming, prevents free radical damage to the blood vessels and keeps plaques from clogging the blood vessels that feed the body.

1. IntroductionMarine macroalgae are taxonomically classified as algae, and they belong to four major seaweed classes, the rhodophyceae (red algae), the phaeophyceae (brown algae), the cyanophyceae (blue-green algae), and the chlorophyceae (green algae). The wide diversity in the biochemical composition of seaweeds provides an excellent choice to explore a variety of biologically active components in their bodily composition with a broad range of physiological and biochemical characteristics, many of which are rare or absent in other taxonomic groups . Marine algae are a famous delicacy in some parts of Asia, and also a well-known source of important food phlorotannins , pigments and sulfated polysaccharides . Compared to the terrestrial plants and animal-based foods, seaweed is rich in some health-promoting molecules and materials such as, dietary fiber, ω-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids, and vitamins A, B, C, and E , which is essential for cosmeceutical product development . In addition, marine algae are considered as sea vegetables not only for consumption, but also as an alternative medicine since ancient times for skin-related diseases. In other words, the marine environment is many folds richer in its biodiversity, thereby making marine organisms and their metabolites unique . The majority of the investigations on the metabolites derived from brown algae have revealed their potential antioxidant , anti-inflammatory , antidiabetic , antitumor , antihypertensive , and anti-allergic properties, as well as their role in hyaluronidase enzyme inhibition , neuroprotection , bone-related diseases and in matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) inhibition activity . In addition, marine algae-derived compounds have been recently given much importance in cosmeceutical product development . As many Asian females prefer a fairer skin tone, skin-whitening products have become, and continue to be, the best-selling skincare products in Asia . Epidemiological and clinical studies have specified that consumption of plant-derived foods and drinks, such as tea, red wine, and soya bean products could reduce the risk of oxidative-damage-related diseases such as aging and other lifestyle diseases . The marine environment is enriched with a variety of organisms that harbor a wide range of biologically important compounds that are useful for the cosmeceutical benefit of humans. Until now, only a few organisms have been exploited for the screening of cosmeceutical compounds from marine species. Presently, several studies have provided insight into biological activities of marine algae in promoting skin, health, and beauty products. Hence, marine algae have a great potential to be used for cosmeceutical application. In the present review, an attempt has been made to throw light on the cosmeceutically important ingredients—phlorotannins, sulfated polysaccharides and tyrosinase inhibitors—present in marine edible algae, by exploring and discussing them in regards to further industrial development.

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