Kelp is a type of brown or green seaweed. A popular health supplement, it is generally marketed to help with weight loss, poor functioning of the thyroid gland, high blood pressure and arthritis. It contains a high concentration of folic acid and several other vitamins and minerals, including iodine
In some developing countries, the lack of iodine supplements linked to birth defects. But few people in the United States or Western Europe need more iodine in the diet. Also, many kelp supplements contain more than the recommended daily intake of iodine. And while kelp has been promoted as a cure or at least relief for thyroid problems, which can lead to extreme weight loss or gain, it is more likely that too much iodine can actually cause thyroid imbalance. Moreover, some studies have linked iodine overdose with acne.
Pollution or Contamination
Many parts of the ocean is contaminated with toxic metals. If seaweed is harvested from a contaminated area, these toxins be included in a supplement. According to a study, some seaweed supplements may be contaminated with arsenic, which can be lethal in large doses. Symptoms of arsenic poisoning may include memory loss, hair loss, headache, drowsiness and confusion. If you take kelp supplements and experiencing unusual symptoms, you should stop taking the supplement and contact a healthcare provider immediately.
If you are allergic to kelp or any ingredient in a supplement, you can experience shortness of breath, itching or hives on any part of your skin, or swelling in the neck, face or other parts of your body. Itchy or watery eyes and excessive sneezing or runny nose are normally symptoms of environmental allergens, but it can also indicate an allergic reaction to food or supplement. If you suspect you are allergic to any supplement, immediately stop taking it and, if symptoms persist, consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Kelp is a blood thinner. Do not take it with aspirin or other drugs to reduce blood pressure. It can also lead to a reduction in red blood cells or platelets. And while the blood thinner used to lower blood pressure, kelp also lead to high blood pressure in some people.
Kelp is thought to help with weight loss, arthritis, rheumatism and some metabolism (although it may aggravate others). It is a good source of many essential vitamins and minerals, including potassium, iodine, bromine, protein and vitamin C and vitamin B-2. It also acts as a blood thinner, which can be beneficial for people with high blood pressure.