Kelp is a brown seaweed that grows in nearly all oceans of the World. There are several varieties of Kelp including rockweed, laminaria and bladderwrack, the three most common types used in supplements. Kelp contains more vitamins and minerals than any other food. Vitamins include A, B2, B3 and choline and among the 23 minerals include iodine, calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium, magnesium, sulphur, copper and zinc.
Because it is a great source of iodine, sea kelp can improve thyroid function for those who are deficient in iodine or poorly absorb it. Absorption is of particular interest to me because I believe this is a serious health concern that is very much over-looked – people might be taking in plenty of a mineral but are they absorbing it? I believe that due to stress and poor digestive function looking at absorption is the secret to solving many people’s health problems. Thyroid function of course greatly helps with weight control and energy levels.
The minerals in kelp are easily absorbed by the body. Some experts also believe that kelp improves immunity and brain development. There is anecdotal evidence that kelp helps prevent osteoporosis and alleviates impotence and anemia but these effects have not been officially documented.
Kelp is also very alkaline and one of the big health dilemmas of today is that we are getting more and more acidic inside because of processed foods, over use of alcohol, stress and over use of prescription medication. Over acidity is proving more and more to be a key factor in serious diseases like osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer. So anything that helps swing the balance back is a serious bonus.
Because kelp can change thyroid function you need to be very carefully with the amount you take in. Follow instructions on your bottle unless recommended differently by a health professional and if you are on prescription thyroid medication always consult with a health care professional first.