What is seaweed good for?  Bella Hadid, Erehwon say it’s healthy
What is seaweed good for?  Bella Hadid, Erehwon say it’s healthy

I play

Seaweed is the latest wellness supplement craze online.

Bella Hadid showed off an extensive morning “wellness” routine that included drinking a cup of seaweed gel. Model Winnie Harlow has just launched a signature “nutrient-rich seaweed” smoothie at trendy Los Angeles-based supermarket Erehwon. Kourtney Kardashian’s vitamin brand Lemme offers cute lavender-colored bottles with liquid drops of sea moss. TikTok influencers are trying to sell seaweed gummies to viewers through the TikTok Shop, promising that they will receive a host of health benefits.

Is it actually? Here’s what nutrition experts want you to know about seaweed before you try it.

What is seaweed good for?

Sea moss is a type of algae that is often used as a supplement in the form of a gel, liquid, capsule, or gum. Many consider it healthy because it contains certain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that “may have some health benefits in certain amounts,” registered dietitian Miranda Galati tells USA TODAY.

“But I’m not convinced it’s better for you than your everyday fruits and vegetables, which have a lot more research to back up their health claims,” ​​Galati adds. “Unfortunately, the health claims behind seaweed are mostly unsupported.”

While fans of seaweed say it may offer benefits, including for digestion, thyroid health and immunity, “the research just doesn’t back it up,” notes Galati. In previous years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designated certain brands of seaweed as “unapproved” due to false claims that the product could “diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure, or prevent disease.”

Drugs must be approved by the FDA before they can be sold, but dietary supplements (including seaweed) do not require the same level of scrutiny, according to the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary supplement companies must have evidence that their product claims are not misleading, but they are not required to provide this evidence to the FDA before they can place the product on the market.

What are green powders? What you need to know about the TikTok health craze

Is it safe to take seaweed every day?

Taking seaweed can put consumers at risk for iodine toxicity, digestive problems and heavy metal poisoning, Galati says.

Types of seaweed, including kelp and seaweed, sometimes tend to accumulate heavy metals, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Food Safety. And since brands aren’t required to meet the same standards upfront as pharmaceutical companies, you could be taking a seaweed supplement high in heavy metals without knowing it.

Medical research on seaweed consumption is “limited and new,” notes Galati. Not only does this mean that experts don’t know much about its actual benefits, but they also don’t know much about the potential short- and long-term health risks it may pose to users.

“There may be some potential benefits, but I don’t think it’s worth the risk,” she adds.

Who should not take seaweed?

The moral of the story is to err on the side of caution when considering taking supplements like seaweed. But especially those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, over 65 or have thyroid problems should avoid consuming seaweed products, says Galati.

More ▼: Kourtney Kardashian sells gum for vaginal health. The experts roll their eyes.

“It’s also possible for seaweed products to interact with medications, so it’s important to proceed with caution,” she adds. “To be safe, talk to your doctor or healthcare team before adding this to your routine.”

By admin

Leave a Reply

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