With the rise in popularity of sea moss, many people are using this superfood as a supplement or adding it to their nutrition drinks to reap its benefits.
The truth is, sea moss can be a very beneficial supplement, but some of the minerals in this sea plant can create issues for those who take too much.
In this article, you will discover why sea moss should be used mindfully, side effects to watch for, and safety information so you can make an informed decision if you are considering adding it to your daily supplement routine.
Can Sea moss be Bad for You?
Anything can be bad for you if it isn’t taken in moderation. Since sea moss is a rich source of iodine, it can have a negative effect on the body if you are already getting iodine from your diet or other supplements you take.
Those who suffer from thyroid conditions and take iodine prescribed by their physician may have issues taking sea moss because they might be exposing themselves to more iodine than their body needs.
Because sea moss is such a rich source of iodine, it has been shown in studies to directly affect iodine levels in those who do not have sufficient levels –even when taken in small amounts.
This definitely lends to its potency when it comes to iodine, but also shows how easy it might be to overdo it with this plant.
Sea moss can also cause unwanted side effects for those who just begin taking it. The body may not be used to the iodine it can provide. For this reason, it is recommended to start taking it in very small amounts and eventually work your way up to one or two tablespoons of sea moss daily.
Starting small and slow gives your body a chance to adjust and gives you a chance to see if you have any allergies or side effects.
How is Sea moss Beneficial?
Sea moss is beneficial in many ways. It has been shown to support thyroid health (due to iodine content), as well as gut health, heart health, blood sugar management, weight management, and immune function.
Our bodies need iodine for the thyroid to function properly, and iodine is not a mineral that the body can make on its own. We rely on what we eat to get the iodine we need.
Iodine deficiency is very common, so sea moss can help get iodine levels where they need to be for those who need help.
Sea moss is a source of prebiotics. Because of this, they may be beneficial for gut health. Prebiotics encourage the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. This beneficial microbiota can be found in our gut and help keep the digestive system functioning properly.
The heart can benefit from sea moss because of its anticoagulant properties. Thinning of the blood has been linked to reduced risk of stroke and heart attack.. In addition, sea moss may help lower LDL cholesterol, which is the bad cholesterol that negatively impacts the cardiovascular system.
In studies with pigs, sea moss was shown to prevent blood sugar spikes due to a compound called alginate. Additionally, another study showed that a compound in sea moss called fucoxanthin can reduce elevated blood sugar levels.
Fucoxanthin has also been studied for its ability to promote weight loss, making sea moss a promising weight loss supplement. Because it is rich in fiber, it can also help provide a “full” feeling, making you less hungry.
Scientists have studied sea moss’s ability to enhance immune function in salmon and found that it helped improve both immune modulation and response. However, more studies need to be conducted in humans to see how far the immunomodulatory benefits extend.
Does Sea moss Have Side Effects?
Sea moss can cause side effects, but these side effects can often be avoided by taking sea moss in moderation. It is recommended to start taking it in small doses and if needed, work your way up to one or two tablespoons daily.
Any possible side effects as a result of sea moss supplementation are rare, especially when sea moss is taken as directed. Below is a comprehensive list of side effects that sea moss may cause:
Read our article on 14 Side Effects of Sea Moss to Watch Out for.
Possible Side Effects of Sea moss
One of the most common side effects of sea moss is gastrointestinal issues like gas, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. Although rare, it may also cause dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and thyroid inflammation. Sea moss is said to have mild laxative effects and is often taken by those who have issues with constipation. That said; if you find you are having gastrointestinal issues after taking sea moss, it may be best to reduce the amount you are taking or stop taking it for a while until the digestive balance is restored.
Because sea moss has been shown to lower blood pressure, it may cause dizziness and fatigue in those who already have low blood pressure. If you notice any of these side effects, discontinue taking sea moss and check your blood pressure regularly.
Sea moss is a natural diuretic. This means that it can help the body get rid of excess water. This can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing if you are prone to dehydration and do not drink enough water. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids when taking sea moss to avoid dehydration.
Iodine can be a good thing for thyroid function if your body needs it, but it can be a bad thing if your body doesn’t need the extra iodine. Too much iodine can affect the thyroid negatively and result in thyroid inflammation, hypothyroidism, or autoimmune thyroiditis. These side effects can be avoided by taking sea moss mindfully (one to two tablespoons daily) and not overdoing it.
Some people are allergic to iodine. If you are allergic to iodine, it is best to avoid sea moss and other types of seaweeds. They may trigger an allergic reaction.
Read more on 14 Side Effects of Sea Moss to Watch Out for
Who Should Not take Sea moss?
Anyone who is already taking iodine supplements should avoid taking sea moss due to its high iodine content. In addition, those who have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or any other hypothyroidism condition should avoid taking sea moss. Those who are allergic to iodine should also avoid taking sea moss.
While sea moss is often tolerated well by most people, those who are sensitive to mild laxatives should use caution if taking sea moss.
If you are on blood pressure medication for high blood pressure, use caution when taking sea moss, as it may lower blood pressure even more. Since sea moss may thin the blood, use caution if you are taking blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder.
There is no scientific evidence that sea moss may be harmful to the kidneys.
However, there is evidence that sea moss may act as a mild diuretic, so this may make the kidneys work harder to expel excess water from the body.
If you have a kidney disorder, you might avoid sea moss or any other diuretic supplements just to be on the safe side.
Sea moss can be harmful to those who do not need extra iodine in their diet, but it would likely need to be taken in large doses over a long period of time to see serious harm done.
If sea moss is taken mindfully and in moderation, it is unlikely to cause harm.
Sea moss is safe to eat in moderation with the recommended daily intake being one to two tablespoons. It can be added to nutrition shakes, smoothies, or other dishes to reap its therapeutic benefits.
However, if you happen to be allergic to iodine or have consistently low blood pressure, eating sea moss may not be safe. Each person is different, so pay attention to your body and any side effects after consuming sea moss.
Like many foods, sea moss may cause an allergic reaction, especially if you are allergic to iodine. If you have an iodine allergy, it is best to avoid sea moss, seafood, and other sea plants.
There is no scientific evidence that sea moss may cause acid reflux. In fact, many people take sea moss for its ability to help calm stomach acid and prevent acid reflux.
This is because sea moss is demulcent and has a thick, mucilage consistency that helps to coat the stomach and intestines. Additionally, sea moss is an alkaline plant, so there is no acidity associated with it.