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

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Bladderwrack is a type of brown seaweed that grows along the coastlines of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the North and Baltic Seas. It is a one-of-a-kind alga that contains a number of nutrients and natural compounds that provide a vast number of health benefits.

There is plenty of scientific evidence and human clinical trials that prove bladderwrack is effective for treating conditions like underactive thyroid, joint pain, aging skin, oversized thyroid glands, and thyroid immunological abnormality, and iodine deficiency.

In this post, we will take a look at what bladderwrack is, its health benefits, and how to use it as well as its side effects and medical interactions.

This is the most comprehensive guide that thoroughly examines its health claims so you can make the best decision for you and your health.

Let’s get started.

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. This type of iodine is a major component of the thyroid hormone which is responsible for regulating the metabolic rate.  

Dietary bladderwrack can be purchased in Holland and Barrett as well as 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.

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.

As mentioned previously, bladderwrack is a rich source of iodine that supports thyroid function. The thyroid health and function are responsible for a person’s metabolic rate.

People with thyroid dysfunction 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 significantly lowered since it regulates the thyroid hormones.

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 human 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 been 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].

So, as you can see, all three active components together with the seaweed minerals can provide an all-around health boost.

In the next section, we will take a look at all the health benefits associated with bladderwrack.

Health benefits of Bladderwrack (evidence-based)

bladderwrack

The list of bladderwrack benefits is extensive as there is enough scientific evidence that proves its effectiveness in a number of health conditions.

Hypothyroidism

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 hormones.

Since Bladderwrack is rich in iodine, it can counteract the deficiency. In turn, this restores the proper thyroid function.

Asa result, it can boost weight loss since it improves the metabolism and the body’s natural ability to use up calories at rest instead of storing them as fat.

However, It is important to speak to a doctor, health care professional, or pharmacist before purchasing any bladderwrack products. If your thyroid gland is working correctly, it can have adverse effects. These professionals are the best people to provide medical advice.

A 2011 study has reported Bladderwrack to induce hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) in an elderly man [6]. Other clinical studies show similar results if a person has good thyroid health.

If you’re considering using bladderwrack for the purposes of improving your thyroid health then seek professional medical advice to discuss thyroid medications that may be more suitable for you.

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. As it moves through the digestive tract slowly, it collects 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 traditional medicine to treat acid reflux.

However, it is important to note that these brown seaweeds can have adverse reactions as it acts as a mild laxative. So taking the bladderwrack supplements can also cause diarrhoea and stomach cramps as it acts as a mild laxative [1].

Anti-inflammatory properties

Limited evidence supports the health claims that bladderwrack reduces inflammation. Bladderwrack is high in antioxidants such as phenols, fucoxanthin, alginic acid, fucoidans and vitamins C and A.

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

As bladderwrack contains powerful antioxidants, it is also well known for fighting against oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance of healthy cells and damaged cells. Your cells can get attacked by free radicals, multiply and damage more cells. Oxidative stress can cause joint pain, thyroid disorders, and premature skin aging.

The anti-inflammatory effects of bladderwrack can significantly reduce or delay the onset of certain age-related problems.

Skin health

One of the other bladderwrack benefits is that it may improve your skin health.

You see, many skin problems arise as a result of a weak immune system, oxidative stress, and lack of collagen.

Researchers have discovered that bladderwrack contains antioxidants such as fucoidan, which may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite, improve wound healing, and delay premature aging of the skin.

One study which used bladderwrack supplements on the skin reported a 228% increase in collagen production.

Another study demonstrated a significant reduction in dermatitis (eczema) [7] as well as an improvement to under-eye circles [8]. This makes this alga a good option to treat eczema or a skin rash.

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].

Supports heart health

It has been found that bladderwrack can support cardiovascular health.

Thanks to the antioxidants and natural compounds, limited studies have reported that drinking a bladderwrack tea or a supplement can lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of blood clots.

You see, cholesterol can build up in the blood vessels and limit the blood flow to the heart. This can lead to heart attacks and stroke. Blood clots work in a similar principle, they can starve the heart from oxygen and blood flow.

May promote weight loss

Many people can struggle with weight loss due to thyroid disorders and slow metabolisms.

People who suffer from thyroid disorders are at a greater risk of weight gain too.

Since the thyroid function and metabolism encourage the burning of calories at rest, when these are dysfunctional, a person may not be able to use all the calories that they’ve consumed.

As a result, a number of hormones can signal the body to store these calories as fat. This can really inhibit weight loss and cause a number of complications.

However, since bladderwrack restores metabolism and improves thyroid function, it can be easier for people to lose weight.

How much Bladderwrack to take daily?

The dosage varies depending on a person’s age, health, and other conditions. However, the most commonly used dosage in studies used 500mg. However, it is making sure to speak to 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 the pollution of the waters it may live in.

  • Avoid taking this supplement with any medication that you currently take to treat an overactive thyroid as this may have adverse effects
  • 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
  • Some research suggests that t can prolong the menstrual cycle in pre-menopausal women.
  • 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.

Interactions

Do not use bladderwrack for hyperthyroidism. Bladder-wrack contains high quantities of the oesterobutyric acid iodide (I2O2). Iodine can interfere with the thyroid gland in combination with other medications. Some medications reduce thyroid too much.

Some medicines that slow blood clotting include aspirin (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren Kataflam, others), and ibuprofen. Using bladderwrack while taking other drugs to reduce a blood clotting cycle can also increase the likelihood of bleed. Aspirin warfarin (Columadin), as well as some other drugs, may help prevent blood loss from developing.

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.

Summary

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. The 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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