Seaweed Extract: is a general nomenclature used for a number of species of algae and marine plants that breed in varied water bodies like rivers and oceans. They grow in a wide range of sizes from minuscule to gigantic. Most of the seaweeds are medium-sized and are available in multiple colors like red, brown, and green. They can be spotted ubiquitously on the seashores or coastlines.
- Used for its numerous health benefits.
- Cancer: Seaweeds contains cancer-fighting agents that may prove useful in curing tumors and other cancer conditions like colon cancer and leukemia. Brown seaweed such as kelp, wakame, and kombu contain glycoprotein and sulphated polysaccharides called fucoidans that possess immuno-stimulant, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties. Research studies on the effectiveness of dietary seaweed on breast cancer have shown promising results in reducing the production of cancer-promoting hormones, including estrogen, and have the ability to inhibit the proliferation of malignant cancer cells.
- Source of Iodine: Seaweed is a rich source of iodine, which it absorbs in ample amounts from the sea water. Iodine is a vital nutrient required for proper growth for all age groups. It is essential for the normal regulation of thyroid function, which also involves the brain and pituitary gland. The thyroid hormone also plays an essential role in the process of myelination of the central nervous system in newborns. A deficiency of iodine in the body can result in abnormalities such as thyroid enlargement or goiter, hypothyroidism, and mental retardation. Iodine is extremely crucial in pregnancy and breastfeeding for the normal development of the brain cells of the baby. Deficiency during these periods or early childhood can lead to weak intellectual growth and abnormal development of the brain.
- Obesity: Scientific research has shown that edible seaweed possesses anti-obesity effects. The compound fucoxanthin present in it helps in reducing the accumulation of fats and aids weight loss. Due to its ability to promote the oxidation of fats, it is used in making prescription diet pills and gastric banding pills. These pills should always be considered after consultation with a medical professional.
- Digestive Health: Seaweed has a mild laxative effect and is quite useful in maintaining healthy digestion. It aids in stimulating the release of digestive enzymes, supporting the absorption of nutrients, and facilitating the metabolism of fats. Studies have shown that polysaccharides exert prebiotic effects on the gut, which helps in normal functioning of beneficial stomach bacteria and shields the stomach wall against harmful bacteria.
- Diabetes: The Fucoxanthin compound present in brown algae has been proven effective in exerting anti-diabetic effects. Along with this, the triglyceride absorption of seaweed Laminaria japonica, also known as kombu, has been praised for its effect on diabetes. As stated by the research, the anti-diabetic effect can be attributed to the presence of alginic acid in the seaweed kombu.
- Dental Health: Seaweed extracts have long been appreciated for their preventative effect in the growth of dental cavities. The anti-inflammatory properties are responsible for the improvement in the functioning of salivary glands and making the oral tissues more resistant to damage. Alginate, a salt of alginic acid extracted from seaweed, is quite useful in the fabrication of dental molds.
- Anti-Coagulant: Laboratory research has made it evident that seaweed possesses antioxidant and anti-coagulant properties. Anti-coagulants, also known as blood thinners, prevent the formation of blood clots and decrease the threat of stroke, cardiac failure, and obstruction in the veins and arteries. The polysaccharides called fucoidans, which are present in brown algae, such as Turbinaria ornate, kelp, and bladderwrack exert this beneficial effect.
- Detoxification: Seaweed possesses the ability to detoxify and cleanse the body and facilitates the excretion of toxic waste. The binding property of the natural absorbent, alginate, which is present in it, makes toxic materials, including heavy metals like lead, mercury, and other pollutants indigestible and eliminated them from the body through bowel movements.
Source: OrganicFacts, https://www.organicfacts.net/seaweed.html