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Using Seaweed Supplements

Viewed 169 times12-9-2021 10:24 AM |Personal category:business| seaweed extracts

Seaweed is often cited as having numerous health benefits. The Japanese are particularly fond of eating seaweed. It has long been known to have a myriad of positive effects on health including anti-inflammatory properties, improvement in cardiovascular health, protection against various diseases, etc. However, it is now being realized that seaweed contains an incredibly diverse range of beneficial ingredients and it is sometimes difficult to determine the best sources of these ingredients.

Most of the seaweed extracts available in industry as biostimulant are derived from marine species of brown seaweed (phyte), most specifically Phaeophyceae; particularly the species Emblica ribes (Emblica officinalis). As such high levels of dietary supplementation are not required to experience these health benefits. However, there are certain aspects that need to be considered prior to consuming these products, especially if one suffers from high levels of cholesterol and/or blood pressure. As such, it is recommended that seaweed extracts are consumed in moderation.

It is important to note that seaweed extracts are used as food supplements in western countries; for example in Japan, it is commonplace to consume these products as part of a healthy diet. Therefore, the presence of 'estergenic' components in these products needs to be determined. Unfortunately, there is very little information concerning the source of these elements and the extent to which they might be allergens. It is noteworthy that even if some seaweed extracts are derived from allergenic species, these products are likely to have a very low level of activity and the amounts may even be too low to cause any health risk to consumers. As such, further research needs to be undertaken to determine the safety of these types of seaweed extracts.

While the extraction of this bioactive protein is straightforward, determining the levels of activity and concentration in seaweed extracts will prove to be a different story. Fortunately, there is no shortage of research in this area. For example, Ayurvedic medicine in India has used seaweed extracts for the treatment of several diseases over the years. Similarly, studies in China have documented effective reductions in blood glucose levels among children following consumption of rice bran oil.

While the primary use of seaweed extracts from plants has been as a food supplement, recent studies have indicated that they may also be used to address some key issues in agriculture. For example, some researchers have indicated that biostimulant crops such as maize, canola and sorghum can be effectively addressed by feeding crops derived from these plants. The logic behind this is that these plants increase crop production by increasing the rate of photosynthesis, leading to a marked rise in the volume of carbohydrates extracted from the plants.

In terms of direct relevance to current debates concerning the regulation of climate change, the researchers suggest that seaweed should be considered a "good source of amino acids." As important as it is to consider how seaweed can be incorporated into diets, the most important point is that the algae can be reliably sourced from natural sources, without the use of industrial fertilizers and pesticides. In addition to providing a good source of amino acids, other components of the seaweed food, which include antioxidants and minerals, are also beneficial to health. In fact, some of the compounds contained by the seaweed are known to stimulate the immune system, enhance digestion, and provide protection against certain types of cancer.

Among the other key compounds included in the seaweed extracts studied, betaine was found to be the most highly active, with the highest content noted in Japanese seaweed. At present, the concentration of betaine in Japanese seaweed products is very low. But studies have shown that there is a substantial contribution to the overall value of eating the algae, especially when taken in supplement form. Nodosum can be identified in a number of Asian countries, including Japan, Korea and China, and has been traditionally used as a health tonic for people living in those areas for hundreds of years.

The researchers found that although using seaweed extracts did not lead to an increase in weight loss, the plant development process did lead to an increase in muscle mass and to reduced body fat. They also noted a reduction in markers for insulin resistance, heart disease and inflammation. However, while the long-term effects of these compounds are not known, they do offer promise for improved health, including the prevention of certain types of cancer. More research is needed to evaluate the safety of using seaweed extracts, especially in combination with other ingredients.

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