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Kelp is an edible seaweed and an excellent source of Iodine. It also contains Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. Often used as a substitute for salt, kelp is widely used in Japan for its health giving properties.
5-7.5 g daily for health maintenance.
Research suggests that high consumption of kelp may be responsible for lower breast cancer rates. It may therefore help prevent breast cancer. Studies using lab animals have shown an anti-tumour effect. (1,2)
Kelp consumption can be good for the heart. Kelp has cardiotonic action as well as a hypotensive property (3,4). Consumption is also correlated with lower rates of heart disease. Several components of kelp, including laminine, are responsible for this effect.
Thyroid Gland Health:
Kelp can help keep the thyroid gland healthy (5).
Studies have shown that kelp contains antibacterial properties (6). It displays activity against many pathogenic microorganisms. It is effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, including Staph and Strep, brucella, bacillus, Klebsiella, proteus, E. coli, salmonella, etc. This antibiotic property may be due to brominated phenolic compounds contained in kelp.
In addition to being an excellent source of Iodine, kelp contains an abundance of essential nutrients, including protein, Essential Fatty Acids, carbohydrates, fibre, trace Elementss, Sodium and Potassium salts, alginic acid, Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, barium, Boron, Chromium, lithium, nickel, silicon, silver, strontium, titanium, Vanadium and Zinc. These nutrients boost overall health and strengthen the Immune System.
Kelp has no known toxicity. Some species are known for arsenic content (7). Although arsenic is present, it is in a biologically unavailable form.
INTERACTIONS AND CONTRA-INDICATIONS
There are no known drug interactions or contra-indications for kelp.
1. Hirayama, T. Epidemiology of breast cancer with special reference to the role of diet. Preventive Medicine, 7, 173-195, 1978.
2. Suzuki, Y., I. Yamamoto & I. Umezawa. Antitumor effect of seaweed: partial purification and the antitumor effect of polysaccharides from laminaria angustata kjellman var. longissma miyabe. Chemotherapy (Tokyo), 28(2), 165-170, 1980.
3. Searl, P. B., T. R. Norton & B. K. B. Lum. Study of a cardiotonic fraction from an extract of the seaweed, undaria pinnatifida. Proceedings of the Western Pharmacology Society, 24, 63-65, 1981.
4. Takemoto, T., K. Daigo & N. Takagi. Studies on the hypotensive constituents of marin algae. I. A new basic amino acid 'laminine' and other basic constituents isolated from laminaria angustata. Yakugaku Zasshi, 84(12), 1176-1179, 1964.
5. Konno-N et al: Association between dietary Iodine intake and prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism in the coastal regions of Japan. J-Clin-Endocrinol-Metab. 1994 Feb; 78(2): 393-7.
6. Mautner, H., G. Gardner & R. Pratt. Antibiotic activity of seaweed extracts. Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, 42(5), 294-296, 1953.
7. Shimokawa, K., N. Horibe, M. Teramachi & H. Mori. Arsenic content in edible seaweeds on the market. Shokuhin Eiseigaku Zasshi, 12(4), 330-332, 1971.
Yamamoto,T. & M. Ishibashi. The content of trace Elementss in seaweeds. Proceedings of the Seventh International Seaweed Symposium. Wiley & Sons. New York, 1972. pp. 511-514.
Johnson, H. Composition of edible seaweeds. Proceedings of the Seventh International Seaweed Symposium. Wiley & Sons. NY, 1972. pp. 429-435.