Sea Moss, a marine vegetable with sharp, needlelike leaves, is done largely for its usage in nutritional supplements and as a bulking agent in processed foods. You may be curious about the benefits of its pills and whether or not there are alternative ways to ingest sea moss. The advantages and disadvantages of it are weighed in this article. Micronutrients can be found in abundance in it, making it a popular supplement in modern times. It’s mostly sold as a dietary supplement. In addition to its raw form, it is also available as a gel or powder, as well as in capsule or gummy form from some supplement firms. Supplements including sea moss, turmeric, and burdock root are also commercially available, with the manufacturers saying that this combination is beneficial for general health, particularly immune, thyroid, gastrointestinal, and bone health.
The usage of sea moss as a food thickener dates back thousands of years. Carrageenan, a thickening used in processed foods like ice cream, yoghurt, dairy-free glasses of milk, and even baby formula, has only one natural source: seaweed. Commonly, when people talk about it, they’re referring to Chondrus crispus, also known as Irish moss, a form of algae or seaweed. It is a seaweed that may be eaten and has a chalky appearance to kombu, dulse, and wakame. It is a type of marine algae that thrives in rocky coastal waters and tide pools, especially in the colder northern Atlantic. The most common color for common sea moss is red, but other colors can develop based on environmental and climatic circumstances.
What are the medical advantages of sea moss?
For its alleged therapeutic properties, it is used by many. Most purported advantages of sea moss, however, are based on anecdotal evidence rather than hard science. The advantages of seaweed and algae to human health have been studied more extensively than those of it. Yet, sea moss, which grows in comparable conditions, may potentially reap some of these rewards. Yet further research into its impacts is needed from scientists. As sea moss and other species of marine algae contain comparable chemicals, they both may provide health benefits. Several studies have investigated its efficacy and tolerability of it for different health issues. Potential adverse effects, drug interactions, herbal/supplement interactions, dosing, and warnings based on a wide range of medical issues are poorly understood. Yet, the advantages of sea moss in managing diseases like cancer were revealed in animal experiments and described in 2019 in the Molecules journal.
Sea moss may have a positive effect on Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2015 study published in Marine Medicines. But, once again, animal tests were used in this study. According to a research paper that appeared in Frontiers in Microbiology, scientists have been investigating the effects of sea moss on immunity in both laboratory and animal settings. The statements that Irish moss increases libido and promotes skin and reduces inflammation are unproven. Even though algae provide antioxidants that might protect the skin, these claims are still mostly conjectural. There are still many questions concerning the best way for humans to make use of it because the latest work does not employ standardized types of sea moss. However, there are gaps in the existing sea moss studies, and more evidence is needed to support any medical claims.
The following are the medical advantages
Helpful for those trying to shed pounds
It’s possible that seaweeds aid in cutting calories. Whole body fat mass and body weight were significantly reduced in a 12-week study of 78 adults who received 1,000 mg of red seaweed extract each day compared to the placebo group. Although there is some evidence that specific types of seaweed can aid in weight loss, the benefits of it as a whole have received less attention.
Promoting Thyroid Wellness
Thyroid function may be improved by eating an iodine-rich diet. Important hormones can’t be produced or utilized without this mineral, which is only produced by the thyroid. Thyroid dysfunction due to insufficient iodine intake has been linked to metabolic disorders. Categories of sea algae, such as sea moss, may be useful in preventing malnutrition since they contain iodine.
Maintaining a healthy digestive system
The gut microbiome’s health may be enhanced by the stimulating actions of sea moss. Fibre and oligosaccharides like carrageenan have been found in abundance in it. The sea moss appeared to promote intestinal health by providing a food source for beneficial bacteria. It should be noted that this was an animal experiment. Additional studies with human subjects are needed to confirm these results.
Protecting and enhancing the immune system
There is a connection between the digestive tract and the immune system. There is some evidence that eating lots of high-fiber, prebiotic foods like sea moss can support a robust immune response. Rats fed sea moss had a higher concentration of antibodies, according to the study. These results may be strengthened by future human studies.
Providing support for anti-cancer efforts
Certain algae contain compounds that may be useful in the treatment of cancer. Fucoxanthin is a pigment found in high concentrations in some algae. New research published in Cancers suggests it may inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer by targeting certain biomarkers or mitigating certain risk factors. In light of this, the studies looked primarily at fucoxanthin extracts and concentrated forms of the pigment. There has to be more investigation on sea moss itself to determine if these benefits are also there.
Protecting nerve cells
Algae’s antioxidant capabilities may offer protection from degenerative neurological disorders. Extract from it showed protection from Parkinson’s disease biomarkers, according to research published in Marine Medicines. The research was conducted on roundworms. It would be helpful to investigate the possible neuroprotective benefits of it in people through additional human studies.
Aiding in the restoration of strength and stamina
It has been linked to potential benefits including assisting with post-workout recovery and reducing weariness. Eighty adults over the age of 40 suffering from musculoskeletal complaints were included in studies, and those who were given specific varieties of sea moss reported decreased tiredness, stress, and discomfort. Perhaps the plant’s strong amino acid and protein content has a role in this.
While some people believe that taking sea moss can increase fertility, this claim is not strongly supported by scientific evidence. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that sea moss may be used as a part of medical intervention in traditional medical systems, and some reports suggest that the algae assist them to conceive. This issue needs to be researched formally further.
What are the side effects of sea moss?
The lack of studies on the advantages and nutritional composition of sea moss is one of its key potential drawbacks. Similar to seaweed, sea moss can have widely varying nutritional value, making it hard to determine precisely what it possesses and in what quantities. The micronutrients and lipids composition of sea veggies is highly dependent on the conditions in which they are grown. While sea moss and other seaweeds can be a useful source of iodine, the amount varies widely from one species to the next. Because of this, people may consume too much iodine, which is potentially harmful. Consuming an excessive amount of iodine might result in hypothyroidism. The thyroid, a vital gland in the neck’s anterior front, is a key organ. It regulates development and metabolic rate.
In addition to the risk of ingesting heavy metals, eating sea moss can pose a risk because seaweed can absorb and store large quantities of these substances. There is little chance of toxicity, but it is still something to be aware of. In one study, scientists looked at how much 20 different heavy metals were found in 8 different varieties of seaweed collected from European and Asian oceans. The researchers concluded that the levels of heavy metals did not constitute a significant risk to human health. Due to these uncertainties, it’s likely advisable to ingest sea moss in limit. Sea moss nutrient content can change depending on where it was cultivated. There is a chance that it is rich in iodine or other heavy metals. Yet, modern studies have not discovered any hazardous amounts in sea moss. To learn more, scientists must conduct additional studies.
What are the various methods of preparing sea moss?
There are several methods for preparing sea moss. It can be found in its natural, dried form in many health food stores and on the internet. There is a gel that can be made at home using this. Perhaps this is the most common way to enjoy it. Sea moss gel can be made by soaking raw sea moss in water overnight, then rinsing it and blending it with fresh water until smooth. Put it in a jar with a lid to prevent air from getting in, and let it gel in the fridge overnight. Sea moss gel is an option provided by some supplement manufacturers.
The makers claim that this form can be taken either by itself or mixed into other foods and drinks. The powdered form of sea moss can also be sprinkled on top of yogurt or muesli, or added to other foods. A sea moss’s viability after purchase is proportional to the packaging it came in. A lack of reliable scientific data hasn’t stopped many people from claiming that sea moss gel can be stored in the fridge for weeks or even frozen.
The Bottom Line
As it naturally thickens, it’s safe to use it occasionally in plant-based puddings and smoothies. The nutritional value of sea moss is being investigated. So don’t overuse it, expect it to solve all your problems, or believe everyone who says it will help you. Before adding supplements to your daily regimen, you must speak with your doctor first. Dried, ground, tablet, and dropper forms of it are all available to consumers. It’s important to keep in mind that dietary supplement items containing it are not subject to the same rigorous oversight as pharmaceuticals. There is no requirement for efficacy or safety testing of its supplements before commercial release. Yet, you shouldn’t avoid taking supplements just because of how the government controls them.
Several supplements have positive effects. Nonetheless, caution is warranted, and using supplements under the supervision of a healthcare professional is recommended. A dietician can advise on the best preparation, dosage, frequency, and duration of use, as well as warn of any potential side effects. It is gathered for the carrageenan it contains. It’s also used as a natural thickening agent in industrial foods and health supplements for the general public. It’s also simple enough to add to foods and drinks, and you can use it to manufacture a gel at home. The antioxidants and various vitamins and minerals found in it may contribute to the plant’s overall health benefits. Ingesting a lot of it, however, might lead to toxic levels of iodine or heavy metals because of variations in its nutritional content.
Further studies on the effects of sea moss on human health are needed. Research on seaweed and algae has shown some intriguing health advantages.