Kelp supplements are extracts taken from green or brown seaweed and are used for their medicinal and nutritional properties. People can take these dietary supplements in capsule, tea, tablet, powder, or dried form. Kelp extract is used to help regulate the thyroid, manage blood pressure, and offer nutritional support.
Sales of kelp supplements are generally high, as the extract is a popular supplement. As kelp is thought to help improve thyroid function, people who wish to lose weight often take kelp capsules to help stimulate their metabolism. Kelp may also help regulate iodine levels in the body, which may induce some weight loss.
Some people take a kelp supplement to help manage their high blood pressure. In Japan, many people opt to use kelp and garlic in exchange for the salt and pepper traditionally used for seasoning in the Western hemisphere. This combination of flavorings is considered much more healthful in the diet.
People with sluggish digestive systems may take kelp for improving digestion. Those who suffer from arthritis may also find relief within the herbal remedy, as it has been found to help reduce the inflammation that causes arthritic symptoms. A kelp detox is a popular way of purifying the blood and maintaining optimal kidney health. Consuming kelp regularly is also said to provide one with a clear, dewy complexion.
Nutritional benefits can be obtained from kelp supplements as well. Kelp powder is often added to special shakes or smoothies in order to provide extra minerals and vitamins. A typical dosage of kelp consists of one to three capsules twice daily, usually taken during mealtimes. Kelp tea is imbibed for the same purpose. Many Japanese foods contain kelp for these and other healthful benefits.
Though sea kelp can offer many health and nutritional benefits, many kelp side effects also exist. Blood thinning or abnormal bleeding can be brought on by taking kelp supplements. People with allergies, particularly iodine, may experience an allergic reaction while taking kelp supplements, and should stop use immediately if this occurs. Women who are pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant should avoid this supplement.
Caution should be exercised when taking kelp supplements. Some studies have found that the dietary aids contain high levels of arsenic. This is due to the high presence of toxic metals in the ocean. People who regularly consume contaminated kelp may experience arsenic poisoning, which can include memory loss, fatigue, kidney damage, and death.