You probably know the prominent role of herbal supplements for human health, but have you considered kelp? Kelp is valued for its iodine content. An iodine-from-kelp supplement can play an important role in supporting thyroid health for those who need it.
The Origins of Kelp Consumption
To know the benefits of kelp-derived iodine, you should first know what kelp is and why it’s valuable. Kelp, or seaweed, is a type of algae within the Laminariaceae family of sea plants. There is a tradition of kelp consumption in Japan, where it is an ingredient in miso soup and other dishes. Kelp is a unique food, and not just because of where it comes from (the sea), or because of its uniquely flavorful taste, but because of its nutritional content.
Kelp comes from a very different environment for plant-growth than anywhere on land. The nutrient content of kelp is very high, as kelp contains roughly 10 times as many nutrients as plants that grow in soil. Iodine stands out as one of the unique nutrients present in kelp, because iodine alone provides huge nutritional benefits to some people, depending on their health needs.
The Benefits of Iodine from Kelp
Kelp, being rich in iodine, is often harvested for its iodine content alone. Iodine from kelp in its concentrated form can contribute to thyroid health, and can potentially confer other health benefits as well, depending on your health needs. Here are the potential benefits you might derive from an iodine-from-kelp supplement.
Thyroid health depends in significant part on your iodine intake. Iodine is essential, meaning that the body needs it and can’t synthesize it, so you must consume it. Without enough iodine, the thyroid will not be able to produce certain hormones, leading to hypothyroidism.
Supplementing with iodine from kelp could mitigate iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism. If you experience hypothyroidism, or have an iodine deficiency, then talk to your doctor about taking an iodine-from-kelp supplement. Taken properly, iodine from kelp could prevent hypothyroidism and its effects. However, taking too much of this supplement or taking it too frequently could actually negatively affect the thyroid. Consider the content of your diet and lifestyle when taking iodine-from-kelp for hypothyroidism.
Pregnant women can benefit from ingesting iodine from kelp. Iodine is necessary for the mother, as well as for the development of the fetus’s brain, nervous system, and thyroid. This is especially true in the first trimester, when the fetus’ thyroid has not yet developed, and so it must receive thyroid hormone from the mother. A severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy is strongly linked to various complications, and miscarriage.
Taking an iodine supplement made from kelp roughly once a week can be helpful for pregnant women. However, taking more than this can introduce excess iodine to a pregnant woman’s body. Take under the care of a medical care provider.
The need for iodine supplementation is specific to those with hypothyroidism, and sometimes pregnant women as well. If this applies to you or one of your family members, then consider an iodine-from-kelp supplement for its rich iodine content, and be sure to talk it over with your personal physician or other health-care professional.