Bladderwrack: What is it good for and when to avoid it

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Bladderwrack is a type of brown seaweed and there are many reasons why it is good for you. It is mostly used in medicines to treat a variety of conditions. These conditions include an underactive thyroid, oversized thyroid gland, and iodine deficiency.

In this post, we will mostly focus on what Bladderwrack is, its health benefits, uses and side effects. We will also take a look at any medical interactions and provide appropriate recommendations.

What is Bladderwrack?

Bladderwrack is a type of brown seaweed that grows along the northern Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States. It also grows on the northern Atlantic coast and the Baltic coast of Europe. This sea plant can grow up to 90cm in height, and its nutritional profile is very impressive. It contains vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium. However, just like any other sea plant, it is a great source of Iodine. The Iodine content of this type of seaweed is a major component of the thyroid hormone which is responsible for regulating the metabolic rate.  

This supplement can be purchased in Holland and Barrett as well as on online stores like Amazon and other retailers. Nooshield Nutraceutical Organic SEA MOSS with Bladderwrack Capsules is highly nutritional for the cells in the entire body. Bladderwrack, like many sea plants, contains varying amounts of iodine, which is used to prevent or treat some thyroid disorders. Take 2 sea capsules a day.

How does Bladderwrack work?

There are three active components to these algae that make them such a benefit-full plant. These three components include iodine, alginic acid, and fucoidan.

Iodine is an important mineral that supports thyroid function. The thyroid function is responsible for a person’s metabolic rate. People with thyroid disorders may experience symptoms like tiredness, weight gain, constipation, and depression. With adequate levels of Iodine in the body, the risk of thyroid disorders may be lowered.

An alginic Acid is a form of dietary fibre that can relieve constipation and diarrhoea. Fibre is well known for slowing down digestion and promoting regular bowel movements. A double-blind study has reported a significant reduction in symptoms of heartburn too [1]. Although there are no studies that include people who regularly suffer from heartburn, this is a great start. Besides that, it is also rich in calcium alginate which has shown to speed up wounds healing too.

Fucoidan, the third active component provides a variety of benefits. Early studies show a reduction in cholesterol [2], reduction in blood sugar levels [3], anti-inflammatory [4], and anti-coagulant (prevents blood clots) properties [5].

Health benefits of Bladderwrack (evidence-based)



Hypothyroidism is a condition that can be caused as a result of Iodine deficiency. If the body lacks Iodine, the thyroid becomes swollen and it cannot produce enough thyroid hormone. Therefore, Bladderwrack may counteract Iodine deficiency and reduce the risk of thyroid disorders. Consequently, reducing the risk of gaining weight as the body has the natural ability to use up calories at rest instead of storing them. It is important to speak to a doctor before using a supplement because if your thyroid gland is working correctly, it can have adverse effects. A 2011 study has reported Bladderwrack to induce hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) in an elderly man [6].

Heartburn and digestive health

The soluble fibre found in Bladderwrack may help with indigestion, stomach cramps, constipation, diarrhoea and heartburn. During digestion, the soluble fibre swells up into a gel-like mass. This mass slows down digestion and cleans the digestive tract of any bad bacteria, toxins as well as food residue.

In addition, the gel-like mass coats the digestive tract and protects it from acid reflux. This is the reason why Bladderwrack is often included in medicines to treat acid reflux. However, it is important to note that this plant can also cause diarrhoea and stomach cramps as it acts as a mild laxative [1].

Anti-inflammatory properties

A 2019 study reported fucoidan, a compound found in Bladderwrack, to significantly improve ear swelling and overall reduced inflammation [7].

Skin conditions

There are studies that show a significant reduction to dermatitis (eczema) [7] as well as an improvement to under-eye circles [8]. If you’re looking for something to improve your skin, you should take a look at Marine collagen.

May reduce the risk of certain cancers

Early studies show that this supplement may have anti-cancer properties by reducing cancer cell formation and growth. A 2019 study reported that Bladderwrack inhibited new cell formation and significantly reduced breast tumour size [9]. Another study conducted in 2011 reported that Bladderwrack inhibited cancer cells from spreading in skin and lung cancer [10].

Moreover, another study performed in 2014 reported a significant reduction to the progression of colo-rectal and breast cancer cells [11].

How much Bladderwrack to take daily?

The dosage varies depending on a person’s age, health and other conditions. However, most commonly used dosage in studies used 500mg. However, it is make sure to speak a doctor or a healthcare professional before using this product.

Side effects and dangers

This sea plant taken by mouth may contain very high levels of Iodine which may actually worsen thyroid problems. In addition, taking high levels of Iodine for a lengthy period of time may lead to thyroid cancer. Also, it may contain a lot of toxins due to pollution of waters it may live in.

  • Avoid taking this supplement with any medication that you currently take to treat an overactive thyroid as this may worsen your condition.
  • Any medication that is prescribed to slow down blood clotting may interact with this supplement.
  • This supplement should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • Some research suggests this supplement may delay fertility
  • Avoid taking it 2 weeks prior to any surgery

Always consult a doctor or seek medical advice before taking any supplement or if you experience any side effects.

Most commonly asked questions

Can I take Bladderwrack with Burdoch?

Burdoch is a plant that is usually used to treat inflammation, kill bacteria and germs. It can also be used to reduce blood pressure, gout pain and bladder infections. But, this supplement should not be taken with Bladderwrack as both slow down blood-clotting. This may cause easy bruising and excessive bleeding. Speak to your doctor before taking it.

Can I take Bladderwrack with Sea moss?

Sea moss belongs to the family of red algae. It is mostly used in medicines to treat coughs, bronchitis and certain intestinal problems. Sea moss should not be taken with medicines that reduce blood pressure or slow blood clotting. Therefore, it is important to consult your doctor before taking this combination unless both ingredients are placed into the same supplement as this ensures appropriate dosage for both. Check out these Bladderwrack and sea moss capsules that are vegan, GMP approved and quality assured.

Is Bladderwrack the same as Kelp?

These are not the same plants and may also vary in benefits and nutrition aspects.


In summary, Bladderwrack is a type of brown seaweed that contains a huge number of benefits that are still under investigation but early research seems to be very positive. Our recommendation is to try 100% pure powder that can be purchased on Amazon. Powder form is much better than capsules as you can include it into your smoothies, shakes and soups so you don’t have to taste it. It’s taste isn’t for everybody, it tastes like a salty fish.

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