Kelps are large seaweeds (algae) growth in the shallow oceans, belonging to the order Laminariales in the class Phaeophyceae. The herb has been used in traditional medicine to Promotes urination, reduces swelling, to stimulate the thyroid function, enhance weight loss, etc.
Health benefits 1. Thyroid function
In the investigation of the effects of of two different doses of supplemental kelp on the thyroid function found that short-term dietary supplementation with kelp significantly increases both basal and poststimulation TSH. These findings corroborate previous studies on the effects of supplemental iodide given to euthyroid subjects for a similar period. Further studies are needed to determine whether long-term kelp supplementation would cause clinically significant thyroid disease, according to "Effects of kelp supplementation on thyroid function in euthyroid subjects" by Clark CD, Bassett B, Burge MR.(1)
2. Vibrio carchariae
In the assessment of the effect of Eriobotrya japonica extracts at 0%, 0.1%, 1.0%, and 2.0% doses supplementation with feed on non-specific immune response, hematological and biochemical profile, and disease resistance against Vibrio carchariae in kelp grouper found that 1.0% and 2.0% doses supplementation diets could be advocated to enhance the immune response and production disease from V. carchariae in E. bruneus, according to "Enhancement of Eriobotrya japonica extracts on non-specific immune response and disease resistance in kelp grouper Epinephelus bruneus against Vibrio carchariae" by Kim JS, Harikrishnan R, Kim MC, Jang IS, Kim DH, Hong SH, Balasundaram C, Heo MS.(2)
3. Weight loss
In the assessment of Tororokombu, a traditional Japanese food made from edible kelp and its effect on obese mice found that tororokombu decreased the serum triglyceride level induced by oil administration to rats and had an anti-obesity effect on obese mice induced by a high-fat diet. These effects were more powerful than those of non-shaved kelp, according to "Anti-obesity effect on rodents of the traditional Japanese food, tororokombu, shaved Laminaria" by Miyata M, Koyama T, Kamitani T, Toda T, Yazawa K(3)
In the observation of Brown algae of the Laminariales (kelps) and its antioxidant effect found that on the thallus surface and in the apoplast, iodide detoxifies both aqueous oxidants and ozone, the latter resulting in the release of high levels of molecular iodine and the consequent formation of hygroscopic iodine oxides leading to particles, which are precursors to cloud condensation nuclei. In a complementary set of experiments using a heterologous system, iodide was found to effectively scavenge ROS in human blood cells, according to "Iodide accumulation provides kelp with an inorganic antioxidant impacting atmospheric chemistry" by Küpper FC, Carpenter LJ, McFiggans GB, Palmer CJ, Waite TJ, Boneberg EM, Woitsch S, Weiller M, Abela R, Grolimund D, Potin P, Butler A, Luther GW 3rd, Kroneck PM, Meyer-Klaucke W, Feiters MC.(4)
5. Human blood plasma
In the assessment of the effects of extracts of of kelp, fucus, yarrow, Saint John's wort, onion, and honey and products of their biological treatment on trans-sialidase activity in human blood plasmaextracts found that a correlation was found between the decrease in trans-sialidase activity in blood plasma and ability of blood plasma to induce cholesterol accumulation in cultured cells from the intact human aortic intima, according to "Effect of plant extracts on trans-sialidase activity in human blood plasma" by Aksenov DV, Kaplun VV, Tertov VV, Sobenin IA, Orekhov AN.(5)
6. Antiproliferative effects
In the investigation of evaluated the effect of red alga, dulse (Palmaria palmata) and three kelp (Laminaria setchellii, Macrocystis integrifolia, Nereocystis leutkeana) extracts and theirs effect on human cervical adenocarcinoma found that the antiproliferative efficacy of these algal extracts were positively correlated with the total polyphenol contents (p<0.05), suggesting a causal link related to extract content of kelp phlorotannins and dulse polyphenols including mycosporine-like amino acids and phenolic acids, according to "Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of extracts from a variety of edible seaweeds" by Yuan YV, Walsh NA.(6)
In the comparison of The prolonging effect of Japanese kelp (kombu) on life span was investigated in mice fed a diet containing the carcinogen benzo[a]pyrene (BaP). Three groups of six mice each were fed a normal diet with 0, 2 and 5%, kombu powder, while another three groups were fed those diets with 4 ppm BaP loading found that the feces of the 2 and 5% kombu groups contained 6.9+/-1.2 and 16.8+/-1.8% of the ingested BaP, respectively, mainly in forms adsorbed on kombu fibers. The BaP-alone group given cellulose as dietary fiber instead of kombu, did not show any such effects. Humans are exposed to various environmental carcinogens such as BaP, and kombu fibers probably contribute to longevity by removing them, according to "Effects of Japanese kelp (kombu) on life span of benzo[a]pyrene-fed mice" by Sakakibara H, Nakagawa S, Wakameda H, Nakagiri Y, Kamata K, Das SK, Tsuji T, Kanazawa K.(7)
8. Hormone related cancers
In the identification of populations consuming typical Asian diets have a lower incidence of hormone-dependent cancers than populations consuming Western diets, found that Kelp treatment also led to modest elevations in hLGC culture progesterone levels. Kelp extract inhibited the binding of estradiol to estrogen receptor alpha and beta and that of progesterone to the progesterone receptor, with IC(50) values of 42.4, 31.8, and 40.7 micromol/L, respectively. These data show endocrine modulating effects of kelp at relevant doses and suggest that dietary kelp may contribute to the lower incidence of hormone-dependent cancers among the Japanese, according to "Brown kelp modulates endocrine hormones in female sprague-dawley rats and in human luteinized granulosa cells" by Skibola CF, Curry JD, VandeVoort C, Conley A, Smith MT.(8)
1. Do not use the herb in children or if you are pregnant without approval from the related field specialist.
2. Do not use kelp if you have hyperthyroidism, according to "Iodine-induced thyrotoxicosis after ingestion of kelp-containing tea" by Müssig K, Thamer C, Bares R, Lipp HP, Häring HU, Gallwitz B (a)or heart problems.
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