Sea foam: benefits and risks


  • The benefits of sea foam can include supporting thyroid health, weight loss, and gut health.
  • The unproven benefits of sea foam include hair enhancement, skin cleansing, and cancer treatment.
  • Some marine foams contain heavy metals and germs, so avoid them if you are pregnant or if you are immunocompromised.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference Library for more tips.

Sea foam is a form of edible seaweed that has become increasingly popular for its health benefits, especially among celebrities like Kim Kardashian.

You can buy sea foam in supplement form or in its raw form at specialty health stores. Remember, if you buy raw sea foam, cook it to kill any harmful microbes, says Eleana Kaidanian, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian in private practice. Long Island Nutritionist.

Although sea foam is a nutrient-dense supplement, more research is needed to understand the full extent of its health benefits and risks, according to Lon Ben Asher, MS, RDN, LDN, nutrition specialist and educator at Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa. Here are some of the potential benefits that preliminary studies have looked at so far.

1. Full of nutrients

Most of the benefits of sea foam are due to its impressive nutritional profile. For example, two tablespoons (10 grams) of raw sea foam contains :

2. Can help with weight loss

“Sea foam can support weightloss because of its carrageenan content, ”says Ben Asher.

Carrageenan is a type of fiber this slows down digestion, which can help you stay full longer and potentially reduce the total number of calories you eat each day, says Ben-Asher.

In fact, a small study from 2011 found that those who consumed a drink containing seaweed fiber reported higher levels of satiety and reduced appetite five hours later compared to placebo.

3. Supports thyroid health

“Sea foam is also a good source of iodine, which is an essential mineral for good thyroid function and the regulation of metabolism, ”says Ben-Asher.

The thyroid is a small gland at the base of the neck that produces several important hormones that regulate bodily functions such as weight management and mood.

In fact, a small 2014 study of healthy women found that those who took 0.5 grams of seaweed per day for two weeks had improved iodine levels and higher levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

TSH regulates the hormones responsible for:

  • Weight
  • Body temperature
  • Mood
  • Muscular force
  • Energy production

4. Can act as a prebiotic

In addition to filling you up, the carrageenan in seaweed also works as a prebiotic. Prebiotics nourish the healthy bacteria in your belly that to help with digestion, immunity and disease prevention.

So far, research into the role of sea foam in gut health has only been done in animals, meaning its function as a prebiotic in humans has yet to be studied. . But so far, the results of animal studies look promising.

For example, a 2020 review found that the prebiotics in sea foam promoted the growth of healthy gut microbiota in rats. In some studies this has resulted in

weightloss
and a reduction in harmful pathogens like E. coli.

Insider takeaways

Given the popularity of sea foam as a health food and supplement, the scientific community has studied the benefits and risks associated with this sea vegetable. These include its nutritional content, prebiotic properties, and thyroid health benefits.

However, more research is needed to establish a recommended dosage and use for sea foam, says Kaidanian.


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