Studies (see sources listed below) indicate that kelp contains more vitamins and minerals than any other foodstuff! The trace-mineral content (potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron) is among the highest of any known single source, but it's the iodine content in kelp that makes it especially good for your mental and physical health. Kelp was traditionally used as a remedy for thyroid gland diseases, caused by iodine deficiency. It is noticed, that people and animals living near the sea and consuming sea food, including kelp, are less likely to develop hypothyroidism.
Why is this? Iodine is an essential element and participates in almost all vital processes in the human body. Iodine stimulates thyroid gland function, assists in making thyroid hormones, which are necessary for maintaining normal metabolism in all cells of the body, converting food to energy, maintaining body temperature. They regulate the function of cardiovascular system, and are important for the nervous system, for the body’s growth and fertility, for its resistance to the harmful environmental agents.
DETOXIFY: Kelp and Brown algae are known to help detoxify the body, to get rid of different toxins, radioactive nuclides, salts of heavy metal; help to relieve nervous tension; are useful in reducing the symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome; help to normalize heart function; improve overall health.
MINERAL/VITAMIN SUPPLEMENT: Kelp is also a rich source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D and E. And since vitamins and minerals in this plant are in natural organic form, they are easily assimilated. Much of the mineral content in our soil today has been depleted due to aggressive farming techniques, which means the vegetables that grow in that soil may be lacking in nutrients. But the ocean is a reservoir of minerals and nutrients, and kelp contains many of the minerals needed for sustaining good health.
Kelp is an excellent source of iodine that is traditionally used as a dietary supplement. The high content of iodine helps to normalize the thyroid gland function and the production of thyroid hormones, essential for the body’s vital activity. Symptoms of iodine deficiency are often subtle. They are not specific, which means they can mimic the symptoms of many other conditions. Common symptoms include: weakened immunity, apathy, fatigue, weight gain, decreased skin elasticity, hair loss, and nail fragility. The iodine requirement depends on age and physiological state of the body.
How does it Work in the Body?
Basic active ingredients of Ascophyllum nodosum are iodine, alginic acid, and fucoidan.
Iodine is an essential part of thyroid gland’s hormones. Thyroid gland produces thyroxin (Т4), which contains four iodine atoms. In peripheral tissues thyroxin is converted into triiodothyronine (Т3), which contains three iodine atoms. Iodine enters the body with food and water; it is easily picked up by thyroid gland from blood stream and used for hormone production. More than half of iodine that entered the body is removed with urine. Thyroid gland is a very small organ that weights 15-20 grams; it is located on the anterior surface of the neck. Thyroid gland with the other glands constitutes the endocrine system that produces hormones. All endocrine glands are in close interaction with each other, and this explains why with a little insignificant shift in the function of one organ, that leads to changes in the whole body. In spite of the small size of thyroid gland, the hormones that are produced there are participating in practically all metabolic processes of the body. The main function of the thyroid gland is to normalize cell metabolism. The thyroid gland’s hormones stimulate metabolism in basically all cells, and regulate all processes in the body – respiration, digestion, sleep, movement, and all inside organs’ processes – from heartbeat to reproductive system.
In healthy people the thyroid gland also participates in weight control of the body. With increased food consumption thyroid gland activity also increases, Т3 production intensifies, which speeds up metabolism. And vice versa – with decreased food consumption thyroid gland activity reduces, and metabolism slows down.
Kelp contains alginic acid, the source of dietary fiber. Alginic acid is a hydrophilic substance that is able to absorb water and increase in volume up to 25 times. Due to this property kelp fills up the stomach, regulates the appetite, helps to decrease the body’s weight, and slows down the carbohydrates and fat absorption. Besides this alginic acid has a positive effect on gastrointestinal system during constipation and diarrhea. According to the results of the clinical trials on animals, alginic acid helps decrease “bad cholesterol” level. (2)
Fucoidan - one of the active ingredients of Ascophyllum nodosum is also a source of dietary fiber. The research showed that fucoidan possesses the following qualities: decreases the cholesterol level (2), decreases the blood glucose level (3), demonstrates anti-inflammatory action (4), has anticoagulant properties (5), and antibacterial (6) effect.
Sea vegetables have been used for centuries in Japanese and Chinese medicine for treatment of cancer. The consumption of seaweed, particularly the kelps, might be a factor in the lower rate of breast cancer found in postmenopausal women in Japan. It has been noted that many sea vegetables contain significant amounts of lignans, more than legumes, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. These lignans become phytoestrogens in the body and bond preferentially to the estrogen receptor site. Thus they may have preventative value against cancers in which estrogen plays a part, such as breast cancer.
individual intolerance, hyperthyroidism, thyrotoxicosis.
thyroid gland hypofunction, residence in endemic regions, weakened immunity, inertia, apathy, increased body mass, premenstrual syndrome, decreased skin elasticity, hoof or nail fragility, hair loss, poor accsess to organic minerals.
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