True kelp belongs to the genus Laminaria in the family Laminariaceae. Macroalgae belong to the genus Macrocystis, family Phyceae. Bladder kelp belongs to the genus Seaweed, family Lepidaceae.
Kelp is the common name for green leafy algae or seaweed.
Kelp needs sunlight for energy. It also needs a hard surface (not sand) on which to grow. Kelp grows quickly. In fact, giant kelp is one of the fastest growing kelp plants in the world. It can grow up to 300 feet (100 meters) a year.
Kelp contains iodine. This provides trace elements for thyroid hormones.
medically valid uses
Kelp is a staple food. It is also used to make a group of compounds called alginates. These include carrageenan. Alginates are used in the food industry to stabilize and improve the texture of foods. These include ice cream and chocolate milk. The thick, smooth texture of chocolate milk is achieved through the addition of alginate. They are also used in toothpaste to neutralize cosmetics.
Kelp is also used as a soil amendment. It adds sufficient nutrients to the soil as organic matter that is not otherwise present.
As a supplement, kelp is used as a natural source of iodine. But the average kelp-based supplement may contain large amounts of iodine. This may result in a weak thyroid function (hypothyroidism) or an increased thyroid function (hyperthyroidism). If you already have hyperthyroidism, it can make your condition worse. Some supplements may also contain arsenic. There is not enough information to know whether kelp supplements are effective and safe.
There may be benefits that haven't been proven by research.
Kelp improves sensory receptors. It also promotes healthy nails and blood vessels, aids digestion, and relieves constipation. It also reduces hair loss and aids in diabetes and weight management. Kelp can treat gastrointestinal ulcers. It is also claimed to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Kelp is available in powder and capsule forms. Follow the instructions on the package for the correct dosage.
Please consult your healthcare provider before taking any type of supplement.
Side Effects, Toxicity, and Interactions
Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism have been linked to consuming too much kelp. This is due to its high iodine content. Abnormal thyroid function is also directly related to excessive use of kelp supplements.
Kelp may contain harmful metals. These include cadmium, lead, aluminum and other heavy metals. This is more likely to happen if you eat a lot of kelp from contaminated seawater.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use kelp supplements.
You should not take kelp if you are being treated for thyroid problems. You also shouldn't use it if you take certain heart medications.
If you need an X-ray with a contrast dye, talk to your healthcare provider. You may have to stop taking kelp a month before your X-ray. You may not be allowed to take it again until the developer leaves your body.