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Macrocystis pyrifera

What is Kelp and where does it come from?

Kelp, a type of seaweed, has gained much popularity in natural healthcare due to its nutrient-rich composition, and with good reason. There are many ways you can support your health with kelp, such as thyroid support, managing your weight, antioxidant benefits as well as benefits for digestive health and skin health. Read on to find out more.

Kelp is a nutritionally dense food source that is packed with vitamins, minerals like iodine, and antioxidants. It has the potential to promote cardiovascular health and help reduce fat absorption in the gut.

You might have come across this marine organism while visiting the beach. Kelp, a variety of large brown seaweed, thrives in shallow, nutrient-rich saltwater along coastal regions worldwide. Despite some variations in colour, taste, and nutrient composition compared to the type commonly used in sushi rolls, kelp is a versatile ingredient. It also contains sodium alginate, an ingredient you might see food manufacturers use as a thickening agent in various products such as ice cream and salad dressings.

Natural kelp can be consumed in several different forms:




In supplement form

What are the specific benefits of Kelp in nutrition and skincare?

Rich in essential nutrients

Kelp is a good source of vitamins (such as vitamin K, B vitamins, and vitamin C), minerals (including iodine, magnesium, calcium, and iron), antioxidants, and dietary fibre. These nutrients are very important for overall health and well-being.

Thyroid support

Kelp is known for its high iodine content, which is essential for proper thyroid function. The thyroid gland relies on iodine to produce thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism, growth, and development. Including moderate amounts of kelp in the diet may help support thyroid health. If you suspect problems with your thyroid, please speak to us today or see our thyroid related articles for more information on thyroid conditions and how we can help you in our nutritional therapy consultations.

Weight management

Some studies suggest that kelp may aid in weight management. It is low in calories, high in fibre, and contains a compound called alginate, which may help reduce fat absorption and increase feelings of fullness, potentially supporting weight moderation[i]. See our weight management article here.

Antioxidant properties

Kelp contains various antioxidants, including flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamins C and E. These antioxidants help protect cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases[ii].

Digestive health

The fibre content in kelp can support healthy digestion and support you to have regular bowel movements. In this way, it may help alleviate constipation and maintain a healthy gut environment[iii].

Proven benefits of kelp in skincare

Kelp is sometimes used in skincare and haircare products due to its mineral content and potential benefits for skin and hair. It may help hydrate the skin, improve its elasticity, and promote healthy hair growth.

Sea kelp, a subgroup of seaweed, is a very effective active ingredient in skincare. While it may sound unusual, sea kelp extract is a very desirable skincare ingredient due to being high in minerals like iodine, zinc, magnesium, copper, as well as key vitamins such as vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, and E. In addition, sea kelp contains amino acids. An ingredient packed with all of this nutrition will certainly have a lot of health benefits[iv].

Sea kelp is a brown algae that has particularly powerful nutrients locked inside. Biofermented kelp will ensure the structure of the kelp is broken down and the key nutrients and active components are released. That's where the term "bioferment" originates from.

Here are some ways sea kelp promotes healthy skin:

Helps the skin retain moisture and stay hydrated longer.

Increases collagen production.

Reduces the appearance of skin breakouts, caused by inflammation[v].

Kelp precautions for use

When using kelp, it is important to exercise precautions. People with iodine sensitivity or thyroid disorders should be cautious due to kelp's high iodine content, as excessive intake can disrupt thyroid function. Ensuring kelp products are sourced from reputable suppliers that test for heavy metal contamination can minimise the risk of exposure.

Kelp supplements may also interact with certain medications, so consulting with a healthcare provider is recommended for those taking medications.

Those with known allergies to seafood or seaweed should avoid kelp.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult healthcare providers due to potential risks of excessive iodine intake.

In any case, seeking personal guidance from a trained nutritional therapist can based on individual circumstances – talk to us today!

Recommended For

Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid) , Cholesterol , Hyperthyroidism , Hashimotos Thyroiditis , Stress , Dry Skin , Ageing Skin , Acne Marks/ Scars , Rosacea , Skin Support , Dermatitis

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