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Biosea Health Health Benefits Pain Reduction

Natural Medicine for Joint Pain

Want a natural medicine for joint pain? One that is more effective than conventional analgesics or anti-inflammatories. In fact, medical practitioners advise against long term use of regular analgesics for joint pain. There are numerous remedies but the following 10 have proven trials. How much do you need? Most of these require a reasonable quantity consumed each day.

Joint pain, usually called arthritis (which means swollen joint) – in the back, hands, pelvis knees or ankles may be due to multiple causes. Some say that weight from obesity is the major cause – but more recently understanding is arthritis is primarily and inflammatory response. With over 104 different types of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. (Read more here) it is not surprising that studies show various levels of pain relief. Not just with artificial drugs but also natural medicines.

Seaweed

Seaweed extracts such as fucoidan are effective. The fucoidan comes from brown seaweed, but red seaweed is effective and there is good evidence in animals and in humans that whole seaweed is even more effective. Should you take the whole plant or just an extract? Prof Lindsay Brown says the whole plant has various other nutrients and vitamins that have other benefits so you should eat the whole plant and forget the extracts. Customers have experienced remarkable reduction of arthritis from Pacific Seamoss.

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SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine)

SAM-e acts as an analgesic (pain reliever) and has anti-inflammatory properties. It may stimulate cartilage growth and also affects neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which reduce pain perception. Two studies have shown that it relieves OA symptoms as effectively as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with fewer side effects and more prolonged benefit.

Indian frankincense – Boswellia serrate

The active components (Boswellic acids) have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. It also may help prevent cartilage loss and inhibit the autoimmune process. In a 2008 study, the extract, also known as Loxin 5, significantly improved OA pain and function within seven days. An Indian study also revealed it slowed cartilage damage after three months of use.

Osteo arthritis versus rheumotoid arthritis – courtesy of Grace and Able.

Capsaicin – Capsicum frutescens

Capsaicin temporarily reduces substance P, a pain transmitter. Its pain-relieving properties have been shown in many studies, including a 2010 study published in Phytotherapy Research, which revealed a 50 percent reduction in joint pain after three weeks of use. It is available as a topical cream, gel or patch

Tumeric/Curcumin –Curcuma longa

Curcumin is the chemical in turmeric that can reduce joint pain and swelling by blocking inflammatory cytokines and enzymes. A 2010 clinical trial using a turmeric supplement showed long-term improvement in pain and function in patients with knee OA. A small 2012 study using a curcumin product, BCM-95, showed more reduced joint pain and swelling in patients with active RA when compared to diclofenac sodium.

Avocado-soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU)

ASU blocks pro-inflammatory chemicals, prevents deterioration of synovial cells, which line joints, and may help regenerate normal connective tissue. A large three-year study published in 2013 showed that ASU significantly reduced progression of hip OA compared with placebo. A 2008 meta-analysis found that ASU improved symptoms of hip and knee OA, and reduced or eliminated NSAID use.

Cat’s Claw – Uncaria tomentosa

Cat’s claw is an anti-inflammatory that inhibits tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a target of powerful RA drugs. It also contains compounds that may benefit the immune system. A small 2002 trial showed it reduced joint pain and swelling by more than 50 percent compared with placebo. Look for a brand that is free of tetra-cyclic oxindole alkaloids.

Fish Oil (Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA)

Omega-3s block inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins, and are converted by the body into powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals called resolvins. EPA and DHA have been extensively studied for RA and dozens of other inflammatory conditions. A 2010 meta-analysis found that fish oil significantly decreased joint tenderness and stiffness in RA patients and reduced or eliminated NSAID use. Recent studies have shown it is little better than placebo.

Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA)

GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid that the body converts into anti-inflammatory chemicals. In one trial, 56 patients with active RA showed significant improvement in joint pain, stiffness and grip strength after six months and progressive improvement in control of disease activity at one year. A smaller study found that a combination of GLA and fish oil significantly reduced the need for conventional pain relievers.

Ginger – Zingiber officinale

Ginger has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen and COX-2 inhibitors. In a 2012 study, a specialized ginger extract reduced inflammatory reactions in RA as effectively as steroids did. Earlier studies showed that taking a certain extract four times daily reduced osteoarthritis pain in the knee after three months of treatment, and another taken twice daily worked about as well as ibuprofen taken three times daily for hip and knee OA pain

Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD is recent addition, and data is not yet clear. Cannabinoids are thought to influence the body’s own endocannabinoid system, which regulate biological functions such as metabolism, pain sensation and nervous system functions. Animal studies show CBD reduces pain and inflammation, and it may ease anxiety and improve sleep, but human research is needed. One study found synthetic-derived CBD was effective for knee OA pain. The FDA has approved CBD-derived drugs for rare childhood epileptic conditions.

Other Natural Products

There are many other natural medicines for relief of pain, and these include pine back extract, rosehips, and green lipped mussel extracts.

References

[1] Makkar, F & Chakraborty, K 2017, Antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory potential of sulphated polygalactans from red seaweeds Kappaphycus alvarezii and Gracilaria opuntia, International Journal of Food Properties, vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 1326-37.

[2] Kumar, S.A., Brown, L. Seaweeds as potential therapeutic interventions for the metabolic syndrome. Rev Endocr Metab Disord 14, 299–308 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11154-013-9254-8

[3] John O, Mouatt P, Prasadam I , Xiao Y, Panchal S, Brown L 2019 The edible native Australian fruit, Davidson’s plum (Davidsonia pruriens), reduces symptoms in rats with diet-induced metabolic syndrome, Journal of Functional Foods, (56) Pages 204-215, ISSN 1756-4646,
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2019.03.018.

[4] Kumar M & Sharma S (2020) Toxicological effects of marine seaweeds: a cautious insight for human consumption, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2020.1738334

[5] D’Orazio, N.; Gemello, E.; Gammone, M.A.; De Girolamo, M.; Ficoneri, C.; Riccioni, G. Fucoxantin: A Treasure from the Sea. Mar. Drugs 201210, 604-616.

[6] Tirtawijaya, G., Haque, M. N., Choi, J. S., Moon, I. S., Meinita, M. D. N., Choi, J.-S., & Hong, Y.-K. (2019). Spinogenesis and Synaptogenesis Effects of the Red Seaweed Kappaphycus alvarezii and Its Isolated Cholesterol on Hippocampal Neuron Cultures. Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, 24(4), 418. (PubMed)

[7] Wanyonyi, S., Du Preez, R., Brown, L., Paul, N. A., & Panchal, S. K. (2017). Kappaphycus alvarezii as a food supplement prevents diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats. Nutrients, 9(11), 1261.(Pubmed)

[8] du Preez, R.; Paul, N.; Mouatt, P.; Majzoub, M.E.; Thomas, T.; Panchal, S.K.; Brown, L. Carrageenans from the Red Seaweed Sarconema filiforme Attenuate Symptoms of Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Rats. Mar. Drugs 202018, 97.

[9] Zakaria, A, Jais, MR & Ishak, R 2018, Analgesic properties of Nigella sativa and Eucheuma cottonii extracts  Journal of natural science, biology, and medicine, vol. 9, no. 1, p. 23.

[10] Myers SP, O’Connor J, Fitton JH, et al. A combined phase I and II open label study on the effects of a seaweed extract nutrient complex on osteoarthritis. Biologics. 2010;4:33-44. Published 2010 Mar 24. doi:10.2147/btt.s8354

[11] Sekar, S., Shafie, S., Prasadam, I. et al. Saturated fatty acids induce development of both metabolic syndrome and osteoarthritis in rats. Sci Rep 7, 46457 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep46457

[12] 10 Supplements for Arthritis Arthritis Foundation

Categories
Biosea Health FAQ

Is Seaweed Vegan

Seaweed is generally thought to be vegan, but the encapsulation means that the Pacific Seamoss gel capsules are not, whereas the Pacific Seamoss Powder is vegan and is in the process to formally certified organic and halal.

We will have a product available as a compressed tablet in 2021 to enable the capsule to be both vegan and halal.

If you are vegan then we suggest Pacific Seamoss powder is the solution fo you. The amount to take daily is 1/2 to1 teaspoon per day or about 3 grams of dry seaweed. The powder is vegan / organic – harvested from the sea, dried, milled, and packaged for freshness.

Overcoming the Taste of Seaweed

Dark Chocolate Treat

Some of our customers do not use capsules but Pacific Seamoss Powder. Add powder at 20% to dark chocolate. So it becomes a treat – bit like salted caramel. The chocolate recipe is here. (Chocolate).

Sourdough

Alternatively customers like sourdough and the recipe is here. They substitute the salt with Pacific Seamoss Powder. (Sourdough Recipe)

Au Natural

We have some customers that just apply the powder to their cereal or mashed spuds and say it is fine.
My cofounder says 2 of his kids are fine with fruit smoothies, but one notices and says its a bit gritty.

Is Seaweed Vegan?

Seaweed are technically not plants, but a type of algae. Algae are photosynthetic creatures, but are neither plant, animal or fungi. Being photosynthetic, algae, in the form of chlorella or spirulina, are widely accepted as suitable for supplementation in a vegan diet.

However, there is controversy in plant-based vegan communities regarding the composition of nori. Nori is a red algae genus Pyropia, including P. yezoensis and P. tenera, and Pacific Seamoss is also a red seaweed. Nori is often used to make sushi. The nets used in the harvesting process of nori are believed to scoop up small fish. Following this, seaweed, shrimp, crabs, snails, barnacles and small fish are ground together and made into nori sheets. The industry is so large that it often does not take the time to remove the sea animals.

In our harvesting methods, we grow seaweed on ropes, and in harvesting remove all visible sea creatures, but there will be small crustacea potentially in the dried product. Hence why we say do not consume seaweed if you have seafood allergies. The risk is small. For details see this blog on allergies.

Summary of Is Seaweed Vegan

Yes. For all practicable purposes.

Categories
Biosea Health Parkinsons Disease

Seaweed reduces Parkinson’s Disease Effects

There is no evidence seaweed can cure Parkinson’s Disease, but there is some good lab research showing that seaweeds may improve Parkinson’s Disease (PD) outcomes and anecdotal evidence from customers says seaweed reduces Parkinson’s Disease effects and improves the quality of life.

What is Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. (Parkinson’s Foundation)

Image from Biolegend about the area of the brain affected.

Parkinson’s Disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease (AD), affecting 1–2% of the population over age 60 estimated at over 10m globally. Individuals with genetically-linked familial forms of PD, represent less than 10% of the patients, and have an earlier onset of disease; occurring before the age of 40 or 50. PD is characterized by the progressive degeneration and loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra of the midbrain and defined in part by the presence of intracytoplasmic inclusions called Lewy bodies (LBs).

Symptoms generally develop slowly over years. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease. People with PD may experience:

  • Tremor, mainly at rest and described as pill-rolling tremor in hands. Other forms of tremor are possible
  • Slowness of movement or bradykinesia such as getting out of a chair
  • Limb rigidity
  • Gait and balance problems

Standard Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

With no cure, treatment options vary and include medications and surgery. Levodopa, the most effective Parkinson’s disease medication, is a natural chemical that passes into your brain and is converted to dopamine. Standard medication is levodopa is combined with carbidopa, which protects levodopa from early conversion to dopamine outside your brain.

PD itself is not normally fatal but disease complications can be serious. 

Moreover, carers of PD patients can be very concerned that if they get unwell they will be unable to care for the PD sufferer.

What Causes  Parkinson’s Disease

There’s no single cause of PD. A variety of factors with complex interactions are thought to be responsible for both the disease’s development and progression. Years of research, suggests that while exact causes are unknown, the disease is caused by some combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors, such as exposure to certain pesticides and heavy metals. Some genetic mutations appear to be inherited, such as in early-onset PD, but these affect only a small number of families, and not everyone who inherits the genetic mutation will develop the disease.

Populations that eat seaweed have less incidence of PD and other major diseases. (Cotas et al. 2020) (Peñalver et al. 2020) Some studies have shown that phycobiliproteins extracted from red algae (phycoerythrin) could be beneficial in the prevention or treatment of neurodegenerative diseases caused by oxidative stress (Alzheimer and Parkinson’s) due to their antioxidant effects (Bleakley and Hayes 2017) Some studies have looked at brown seaweeds (Silva et al. 2019) and the role of antioxidants in vitro. 

Seaweed reduces Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

  • Fatigue
    • Seaweed increases energy – everyone reports more energy –
    •  Nutrient boost –  Potassium and other minerals.  
  • Constipation
    • Seaweed is 16% Soluble Fibre – feeds good gut bacteria  
    • Seaweed is 4% Insoluble fibre – bulk, helps reduce constipation  
    • Seaweed moderates smooth muscle action, making bowel movements easier . More information? Check out a blog on poo.
  • Dopamine availability  
    • Tyrosine is a precursor for dopamine –  makes more dopamine in the brain and seaweed has lots of these amino acids.
  • NADH availability  
    • NADH is necessary for energy production in the powerhouse (mitochondria) of the cells.   
    • Niacin (B3) is the precursor to NADH  
    • There is some theories that cells die because of the breakdown in these power systems  
    • Theory that increased Niacin in the diet slows cell death. 
    • Seaweed at 2.5g has 20% of daily Niacin – increasing seaweed intake is SAFE because it is a whole food. Full vitamin analysis is here. 

Seaweed is good for Parkinson’s Disease

  • Cell Regeneration  
    • Theory in vitro –  Increased Numbers of neurons in brain  
    • Theory in vitro –  Increase Connections between neurons  
    • Reduces cognitive decline associated with accelerated ageing in the brain. Japanese population studies.   
  • Liver Cleanse   
    • Seaweed reduces liver build up  
    • Makes metabolism of both medicines and nutrients easy   
    • Better delivery of nutrients to cells  
    • Reduce build up from secondary products found in medication fillers  
  • Packed with Natural Nutrients  
    • Bioavailable and not toxic  
    • High in antioxidants  
    • High in plant sterols   
    • Reduce secondary effects of disease and medications – inflammation in cells and joints.   
  • Seaweed Is Safe  
    • All studies show NO adverse effects  
    • No behavior changes  
    • No psychological changes  
  • Iodine   
    • Natural form of iodine  
    • In amounts that are GOOD for thyroid function   
    • Restore thyroid function = healthy metabolism.

Conclusion – Seaweed is Very Promising

Bioactive compounds isolated from red, green and brown seaweeds possess immense immune potential with commendable medicinal activity and high nutritive value contributed by their unique chemical structures and molecular integrity. Venkatesan et al 2016 strongly suggest the importance of seaweed bioactive compounds in health and diseased conditions and the future exploration of seaweeds for neurological diseases, especially Parkinson’s Disease.

References

  1. Bleakley, Stephen, and Maria Hayes. 2017. ‘Algal Proteins: Extraction, Application, and Challenges Concerning Production’. Foods 6 (5). https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6050033.
  2. Cotas, João, Adriana Leandro, Diana Pacheco, Ana M. M. Gonçalves, and Leonel Pereira. 2020. ‘A Comprehensive Review of the Nutraceutical and Therapeutic Applications of Red Seaweeds (Rhodophyta)’. Life 10 (3): 19. https://doi.org/10.3390/life10030019.
  3. Peñalver, Rocío, José M. Lorenzo, Gaspar Ros, Ryszard Amarowicz, Mirian Pateiro, and Gema Nieto. 2020. ‘Seaweeds as a Functional Ingredient for a Healthy Diet’. Marine Drugs 18 (6). https://doi.org/10.3390/md18060301.
  4. Silva, Joana, Celso Alves, Rafaela Freitas, Alice Martins, Susete Pinteus, Joana Ribeiro, Helena Gaspar, Amparo Alfonso, and Rui Pedrosa. 2019. ‘Antioxidant and Neuroprotective Potential of the Brown Seaweed Bifurcaria Bifurcata in an in Vitro Parkinson’s Disease Model’. Marine Drugs 17 (2): 85. https://doi.org/10.3390/md17020085.
  5. ‘What Is Parkinson’s? | Parkinson’s Foundation’. n.d. Accessed 17 December 2020. https://www.parkinson.org/understanding-parkinsons/what-is-parkinsons.
  6. Venkatesan, Manigandan, Karthik Ramachandran, Saravanan Ramachandran, Subburaj Jayachandran, and Barath TR. 2016. ‘Ameliorative Role of Marine Seaweed Bioactives against Parkinson’s Disease’. In Food and Parkinson’s Disease.
Categories
Biosea Health Pain Reduction

Seaweed Reduces Back Pain

Seaweed reduces back pain was not something we were told about when we introduced Pacific Seamoss in 2019. But then we had many customers of Pacific Seamoss come back and tell us they had reduction of back pain. They had other benefits, but reduction in pain was widely reported and in particular natural arthritis relief.

Inflammation in joints occurs for many reasons, the two most common being overuse and arthritis. Both conditions interfere with normal function and stop us from leading a healthy active life. With Pacific Seamoss our customers are reporting pain and inflammation is reduced in arthritic or injured joints. They say they are active again, and greatly appreciate the better quality of life. Even our more athletic customers tell us their niggling training injuries have disappeared.

Reasons for less back pain

A seminal Nature publication by Professors Brown and Xiao in 2019 [11] said that the rats in a functional food study was related to the reduction in inflammation rather than obesity that the experiment studied. Along with the large reduction in inflammation in liver and gut, changes in microbiome, the animals fed functional food had additional cartilage. There are many reasons that Pacific Seamoss reduce back pain.

  • Pacific Seamoss contains plant sterols and other macronutrients that interfere with the chronic inflammation process.
  • It is a pre-biotic – up-regulating your healthy gut bacteria that pump inflammation-reducing short-chain fatty acids into the bloodstream.
  • It has a high daily level of nutrients and trace elements such as potassium, Zinc, Selenium and Calcium
  • With high levels of Vitamins including A, B1, B2, and B6
  • Good levels of Sulphur

In addition in animal studies, it was more effective than aspirin as an analgesic. [9]

There are clinical trials with seaweed from the brown seaweeds and extracts of fucoidans, and show reduction in arthritis with extracts of kelp [10] but Pacific Seamoss is whole food, is available, has vitamins and minerals and consumers report outstanding results.

Seaweed reduces back pain testimonials

For some testimonials for back pain check out testimonials on this site here. Here are just 4 simple ones. It seems it takes 4 to 6 weeks before people notice, and it will be because the body gets used to pain. It takes a while to realise that pain is not there.

  • Chris – a 65 year old ex parquet flooring business owner could not stand up without hanging onto a support and with pain. After 3 months of seaweed he realised when he stood up, the creak and crack were still there, but the pain had gone.
  • Wayne, a printer realised when he stood up, knees bent, with a box of paper the pain had reduced. Took 4 weeks
  • Gray realised after a month that he woke up without knee pain. After 2 months he could do a fun run with his kids – something he had been unable to do for 10 years.
  • Lindsay had a back pain for over 15 years. Realised after 3 weeks that he had no more pain.

These customers were consuming about 4 grams of seaweed per day. Some have reduced down to 2.5 g and finding that pain relief continues. Stopping for a couple of weeks means the pain returns.

What Causes Back Pain

Causes of Back pain (from VeryWell Health) are varied, and more study will be needed to understand where seaweed may assist in the natural management of back pain.

Natural Medicines

The Arthritis Foundation says that there are 10 vitamins and supplements, backed by science, that help relieve arthritis pain. You can read more on natural medicine for joint pain here.

Knee and Back Pain Prevalence

It is just not back pain. Knee pain is the second most common chronic pain condition in the U.S. behind back pain. Over one-third of all Americans will have a knee pain issue at some point in their lives. Between 15% and 20 % of men will encounter knee pain, and almost 20% of women will have knee pain.

References

[1] Makkar, F & Chakraborty, K 2017, Antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory potential of sulphated polygalactans from red seaweeds Kappaphycus alvarezii and Gracilaria opuntia, International Journal of Food Properties, vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 1326-37.

[2] Kumar, S.A., Brown, L. Seaweeds as potential therapeutic interventions for the metabolic syndrome. Rev Endocr Metab Disord 14, 299–308 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11154-013-9254-8

[3] John O, Mouatt P, Prasadam I , Xiao Y, Panchal S, Brown L 2019 The edible native Australian fruit, Davidson’s plum (Davidsonia pruriens), reduces symptoms in rats with diet-induced metabolic syndrome, Journal of Functional Foods, (56) Pages 204-215, ISSN 1756-4646,
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2019.03.018.

[4] Kumar M & Sharma S (2020) Toxicological effects of marine seaweeds: a cautious insight for human consumption, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2020.1738334

[5] D’Orazio, N.; Gemello, E.; Gammone, M.A.; De Girolamo, M.; Ficoneri, C.; Riccioni, G. Fucoxantin: A Treasure from the Sea. Mar. Drugs 201210, 604-616.

[6] Tirtawijaya, G., Haque, M. N., Choi, J. S., Moon, I. S., Meinita, M. D. N., Choi, J.-S., & Hong, Y.-K. (2019). Spinogenesis and Synaptogenesis Effects of the Red Seaweed Kappaphycus alvarezii and Its Isolated Cholesterol on Hippocampal Neuron Cultures. Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, 24(4), 418. (PubMed)

[7] Wanyonyi, S., Du Preez, R., Brown, L., Paul, N. A., & Panchal, S. K. (2017). Kappaphycus alvarezii as a food supplement prevents diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats. Nutrients, 9(11), 1261.(Pubmed)

[8] du Preez, R.; Paul, N.; Mouatt, P.; Majzoub, M.E.; Thomas, T.; Panchal, S.K.; Brown, L. Carrageenans from the Red Seaweed Sarconema filiforme Attenuate Symptoms of Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Rats. Mar. Drugs 202018, 97.

[9] Zakaria, A, Jais, MR & Ishak, R 2018, Analgesic properties of Nigella sativa and Eucheuma cottonii extracts  Journal of natural science, biology, and medicine, vol. 9, no. 1, p. 23.

[10] Myers SP, O’Connor J, Fitton JH, et al. A combined phase I and II open label study on the effects of a seaweed extract nutrient complex on osteoarthritis. Biologics. 2010;4:33-44. Published 2010 Mar 24. doi:10.2147/btt.s8354

[11] Sekar, S., Shafie, S., Prasadam, I. et al. Saturated fatty acids induce development of both metabolic syndrome and osteoarthritis in rats. Sci Rep 7, 46457 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep46457

Categories
Biosea Health Health Benefits Period Pain

Graves Disease and Seaweed

Can you eat seaweed if you have graves disease

Our advice is to not consume seaweed. The recommended diet for Graves Disease is to minimise iodine in your diet. While Pacific Seamoss is only about 15% RDI, that may accentuate the growth of the thyroid.

Will seaweed make Graves Autoimmune disease better or worse

The causes of autoimmune diseases are multiple and complex. Seaweed will likely to have an effect as it may change gut microbiome. Gut microbiome affects auto-immune diseases.

What is Graves Disease

It is an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid. With this disease, your immune system attacks the thyroid and causes it to make more thyroid hormone than your body needs.

Graves’ disease is named after the doctor who charactertised it. With the overactive thyroid, there can be multiple issues.

  • Growth and development
  • Body temperature
  • Heart rate
  • Weight
  • Fertility
  • Mental health
  • Sleep
Fast facts from Endocrineweb [2].

Graves’ Disease and Seaweed

Eating seaweed if you have Graves’ Disease has complications and is generally not recommended.

  • Iodine Levels. While red seaweed is only about 15% RDI (or Dietary Intake %) in comparison to kelp species that may be 2 to 20 times, most dietary recommendations are strict regarding avoidance of iodine containing foods. Seaweed is full of healthy minerals and vitamins but the level of additional iodine would tend to rule out consumption of any seaweed.
  • Autoimmune Disease Graves is a nasty autoimmune disease. There is poor data on specific causes of autoimmune flares, and how seaweed may or may not mitigate.
  • Oligomenorrhea is a range of menstrual abnormal conditions. Too much or too little thyroid hormone can make your periods very light, heavy, or irregular. Thyroid disease also can cause your periods to stop for several months or longer, a condition called amenorrhea which generally results in painful periods (dysmenorrhea).

Summary

Having Graves’ Disease with painful periods is a terrible dilemma and a “Catch 22”. While consuming seaweed may reduce dysmenorrhea, it may come with a potential increase in severity of Graves. Basically humans are a chemical soup. Sorting out interactions will be a challenge.

From Wikipedia

Support Organisations

There are many support organisations globally – select one in your local country. Generally Graves’ disease is not classified as a disability, but for many sufferers it is life changing.

Further Reading

[1] Graves’s Disease from Endocrineweb.com (Google 2020-Nov)

[2] Graves’ Disease. Wikipedia

[3] Brent GA. Clinical practice. Graves’ disease. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jun 12;358(24):2594-605. doi: 10.1056/NEJMcp0801880.

Categories
Biosea Health Period Pain

Seaweed Improves Fertility

Some say seaweed improves fertility? Or do the estrogen receptors in seaweed act against improved fertility? Should one consume seaweed if you are planning a family or pregnant? The short answer is there appears to be no reason not to eat seaweed as part of a balanced diet, but this ignores that various researchers have seen some responses as seaweed as a functional food. I.e. Seaweed is food. But seaweed has some properties that are drug-like; such as having preventative breast cancer properties, or dysmenorrhea reduction.

With no definitive answers, how do we answer this question from various customers, some of whom are planning a family and wondering if seaweed as a food is good or has some risks.

  • Seaweed is a nutritious vegetable with good levels of nutrients and vitamins.
  • So what about the potential for seaweed to affect menstruation, and estrogen regulation in females.
  • Is there any potential impact for males?

Evidence For or Against?

Negatives

Seaweed is a functional food. It is just food.

  • If you have seafood allergies, avoid seaweed as the potential to have some seafood passengers included in seaweed.
  • Some foods are advised to be avoided during pregnancy to protect the embryo. E.g. Australian advice [1] is for pregnant women to avoid soft cheeses, pate, raw or partially cooked eggs. In other countries advice may differ on food consumed.

Positives

Seaweed has proven health benefits – both from a nutrition and functional food qualities. Here are some of the benefits identified relevant to fertility.

  • We have found no evidence in the literature that societies with high consumption of seaweed (Japan, China, Korea, Philippines, Welsh) have any reduction in fertility. Some societies consumed seaweed for millennia.
  • Epidemiological US studies show longer period cycles result in lower cancer rates and healthier offspring in females.
  • Breast cancer. Previous studies by Jane Teas suggests seaweed may change some estrogen markers and she proposed in [2] and [3] that changes from seaweed may reduce breast cancer.
  • Endometriosis studies by Skibola showed improvement in reproductive health, reduction dysmenorrhea and endometriosis [8] and in a followup study showed seaweed was a protective mechanism against phyto-estrogens. [9]
  • Seaweed is a very active anti-oxidant. It is also effective against osteoarthritis conditions. [11]
  • Seaweed changed gut microbiome in animals [4] and focus is now on the bacteria – gut – brain continuum.
  • In both animal [4] and human studies [3] patients consuming seaweed had a reduction in hypertension. Some have tried to isolate a specific compound, but have not been successful.
  • Animal studies have shown reduction in fatty liver and heart inflammation [4] [10]
  • Seaweed is nutritious – is the improved nutrition by way of a daily serve of fibre or some of the minerals and vitamins part of the issue. Good nutrition of minerals and vitamins is essential. Seaweed has good levels – some approaching 20% or more of RDI. Details are here for minerals and vitamins.
  • Feeding rabbits with 2% seaweed to doe rabbits improved their kindling rate, litter size, and their offspring ratio [6]
  • Seaweed improved spermatozoa counts in mice affected by malarial pesticides [7]. Improvements in male fertility may be important and whether levels of zinc or other nutrition may improve male fertility is unclear.
  • Pacific Seamoss reduced dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia in company pilot trials. This work will be repeated.

Seaweed Improves Fertility Summary

In summary, there is more positive than negative research findings to date. Seaweed is a traditional food in many cultures. Diet, health and wellbeing are complex in this area of fertility. Simply, people feel better on seaweed, it provides lots of good fibre, minerals, vitamins, protective against breast cancer, anti-inflammatory and limited data suggests it restores normal menstruation. And been eaten in many cultures for millennia without any downsides.

Proposed mechanisms are not yet defined but research is being undertaken by a number of groups globally.

References

[1] Foods to Avoid in Pregnancy Pregnancy Birth & Baby

[2] Teas, J et al  2009 Could dietary seaweed reverse the metabolic syndrome? Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 18 (2) 145-157 (Click for Abstract) (Click to download full paper)

[3] Teas, J et al 2013 The consumption of seaweed as a protective factor in the etiology of breast cancer: proof of principle. J Appl Phycol 25 771-779  DOI:10.1007/s10811-012-9931-0 (Click for Abstract)

[4] Wanyonyi, S; du Preez, R; Brown, L; Paul, N; Panchal, S  2017 Kappaphycus alvarezii as a Food Supplement Prevents Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Rats. Nutrients (9) 11 DOI:10.3390/nu9111261 (Click for Abstract)

[5] Makkar, H. P. S., Tran, G., Heuzé, V., Giger-Reverdin, S., Lessire, M., Lebas, F., & Ankers, P. (2016, February 1). Seaweeds for livestock diets: A review. Animal Feed Science and Technology. Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2015.09.018

[6] Okab, AB, Samara, EM et al 2013 Effects of dietary seaweed (Ulva lactuca) supplementation on the reproductive performance of buck and doe rabbits, Journal of Applied Animal Research, 41:3, 347-355, DOI: 10.1080/09712119.2013.783479

[7] Pringgenies, D, Ghofur, A, Azizah R, Ridho A. 2013 Effect of Red Seaweed (Euchema cottonii) Powder Administration To The Quantity and Quality of Spermatozoa of Allethrin-Exposed House Mice Managing Aquatic Resources in Blue Economy eprints.undip.ac.id

[8] Skibola, C.F. The effect of Fucus vesiculosus, an edible brown seaweed, upon menstrual cycle length and hormonal status in three pre-menopausal women: a case report. BMC Complement Altern Med 4, 10 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-4-10

[9] Skibola, C.F, Curry, J.D, VandeVoort, C, Conley A, Smith, M.T. Brown Kelp Modulates Endocrine Hormones in Female Sprague-Dawley Rats and in Human Luteinized Granulosa Cells. 2005 The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 135, Issue 2, Pages 296–300, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/135.2.296

[10]  du Preez, R. et al. Carrageenans from the Red Seaweed Sarconema filiforme Attenuate Symptoms of Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Rats. Mar. Drugs 18, 97 (2020).

[11] Myers SP, O’Connor J, Fitton JH, et al. A combined phase I and II open label study on the effects of a seaweed extract nutrient complex on osteoarthritis. Biologics. 2010;4:33-44. Published 2010 Mar 24. doi:10.2147/btt.s8354

Disclosure

This is to present our understanding to date from information published in the literature by others. This does not constitute medical advice and you should seek advice from your physician.

This is a brief review and our understanding of published information. The information is certainly worthy of further study due to the importance in society for reproduction. When natural reproduction is difficult, many face high cost and trauma.

Categories
Biosea Health Health Benefits

Seafood allergies and Seaweed

Biosea Health warns customers about seafood allergies and seaweed. The ingredients in Pacific Seamoss is listed as Kappahycus alvarezii or a red tropical seaweed in a gel capsule. In some other products it is a blend and the percentages of the seaweeds are listed. It is 100% seaweed. For the full and most recent label – check out www.bioseahealth.com/label

For more information, there is a a detailed list of nutrients and vitamins.

For food compliance we put a warning for seafood allergies and seaweed on the packet. Why? Seaweed grows in the ocean and that is a whole soup of plants and animals – as soon as we plant the seaweed we get tiny shellfish such as mussels and oysters. Seaweed is their food source of choice. Then little fish come along to feast on the shellfish and the seaweed. Likewise bigger fish and in some areas, turtles get involved as well.

With squid and other tropical fish it soon becomes an area where pelagic fish such as barracuda and even whale sharks. 

When we harvest seaweed in about 45 days later there is a whole community. Our seaweed farmers remove all the things they can see. But we know there will may be small creatures that get through the inspection and subsequent washing in clean fresh water. It may be just be a microscopic shellfish that got through the process and it might be in a 1 in a thousand or even one in 10 thousand capsule.

Symptoms and Signs of Seafood Allergy

Symptoms and signs of seafood allergy. About 2.3% or 6million in the USA have allergy – 2% for shellfish, 0.4% with fish, and 0.2% for both. Women are twice as likely as men to have allergies. [1]

Seafood allergies can be serious. Symptoms of fish or shellfish allergies vary and range from mild reactions to a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). The most common symptom is raised red bumps of skin (hives). Other symptoms include wheezing and trouble breathing, cramps, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting.

Hence the warning. A bit like the warning that chocolate might be made in a factory with nuts.

Seaweed Farming Creates Sustainable Ecosystems

From a sustainable ocean practice we come up against food rules that are designed for sterile glasshouses…..

References

[1] Sicherer S, Muñoz-Furlong A, Sampson H 2004 Prevalence of seafood allergy in the United States determined by a random telephone survey,
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 114, Issue 1, pp 159-165,
ISSN 0091-6749, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2004.04.018.

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Biosea Health Health Benefits

Seaweed is Full of Vitamins

Seaweed is full of vitamins, but analysis of vitamins has not been straightforward and many papers do not publish the levels. The amount of vitamins will depend on:

  • Growing conditions for the seaweed crop
  • Age of seaweed at harvest
  • Genotype or form of the seaweed
  • DNA or genotype of the seaweed
  • Conditions at harvest
  • Post harvest treatments
  • Chemical process to extract the vitamins from the seaweed as the vitamins may be tightly bound in the biological material

all lead to variation in the levels of vitamins measured.

Seaweed is full of vitamins

The data presented included:

  • Review of the quantity as measured by the researcher
  • Averaging of data where there is general agreement
  • RDI numbers are based on a 19 to 50 year old woman – rather than some RDI numbers that vary depending on sex and on age of the human

Vitamin Analysis for Pacific Seamoss

Vitamin / Or Other NameTotal in 2.50Quantity per 100gRDI (ug or mg)Serving as % of RDI
Vitamin A (retinol + Beta Carotene)131.5ug131.5ug700.0ug19%
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)0.2mg0.2mg1.0mg19%
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)0.5ug0.5ug1.7ug30%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) mg0.5mg0.5mg16.0mg3%
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic)0.0mg0.0mg5.0mg0%
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)0.0mg0.0mg1.2mg0%
Vitamin B7 (biotin)0.0ug0.0ug0.3ug8%
Vitamin B9 (folic acid)30.5ug30.5ug400.0ug8%
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)0.0ug0.0ug2.4ug0%
Vitamin C2.7mg2.7mg45.0mg6%
Vitamin D6.3ug6.3ug15.0ug42%
Vitamin E6.1mg6.1mg20.0mg30%
Vitamin K0.6ug0.6ug70.0ug1%
Choline16.9mg16.9mg400.0mg4%
Seaweeds are a good source of vitamins. The amount of vitamins does depend on when the age of seaweed, the harvesting process, drying and heating and processing. These numbers are best estimates based on previous published papers, and are subject to change,

Customers have told us they feel better, and it is probably the Vitamin B that assist. It may be trace elements, but the combination of trace elements and vitamins may complement each other.

References

Cotas, João, Adriana Leandro, Diana Pacheco, Ana M. M. Gonçalves, and Leonel Pereira. 2020. ‘A Comprehensive Review of the Nutraceutical and Therapeutic Applications of Red Seaweeds (Rhodophyta)’. Life 10 (3): 19. https://doi.org/10.3390/life10030019.

Fayaz, Mohamed. 2005. ‘Chemical Composition, Iron Bioavailability, and Antioxidant Activity of Kappaphycus Alvarezzi (Doty) | Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry’. 6 January 2005. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf0493627.

Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand Including Recommended Dietary Intakes. (Link Here)

Rajasulochana, P. & Krishnamoorthy, P.. (2013). An investigation on the neutraceutical aspects of the Kappaphycus alvarezii. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. 5. 25-33. (Link Here)

Rajasulochana, P. & Krishnamoorthy, P. & Dhamotharan, R.. (2013). An investigation on the antioxidants, antifungal and antibacterial of the Kappaphycus alvarezii. Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences. 4. 586-594. (Link Here)

Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. 13, Arsenic, Boron, Nickel, Silicon, and Vanadium. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK222322/

Categories
Biosea Health Health Benefits

Trace Elements in Seaweed

Introduction

Trace elements in seaweed and even macro nutrient analysis of seaweed Kappaphycus alvarezii used in Pacific Seamoss is not published or standardized in the USDA data. This review of data from researchers confirms seaweed is very nutritious and can provide hard to get nutrients in an easy form. We publish this in a form to be used in nutrition of seaweed.

Various sources of information are conflicting as the seaweed has been grown in different areas and authors seldom measured what we know is important in seaweed nutrition including the water quality, the age of the seaweed, the phenotype, and how it treated and stored post harvest. The various authors include:

  • Wanyoni in 20171 with seaweed from the Yasawa Islands, Fiji
  • Rajasculochana  2,3 from Tamil Nadu in India in 2010 and 2013 has differing levels in different papers.
  • Keyimu Abdullah 2016 4 used Malaysian seaweed from Langkawi and Sabah
  • Seasonal variations in nutrients were identified by Kumar 5 who collected in Gujarat in NorthWest India
  • Abriami in 2011 reviewed nutrient and nutraceutical potential in Tamil Nadu, India 6
  • Lumbessy 7 focused on amino acids from West Nusa Tenggara Indonesia
  • Fayaz 2005 8 measured some vitamins in India

What are RDI, EAR and %DI Values

There are 3 different measures for how much to eat or how much is safe.

The Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) is used to examine the probability that usual intake is inadequate. It is used to estimate the prevalence of inadequate intakes within a group. The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is used when usual intake at or above this level has a low probability of inadequacy. It is higher than the EAR sometimes as it is the daily intake level of a nutrient considered to be sufficient to meet the requirements of 97–98% of healthy individuals in every demographic in the United States. 

The RDI values are taken from a range of sources 8 (AU / NZ standards here)

Recently, the labeling regulations in the USA has changed to % Daily Value (%DV) and is the percentage of the Daily Value for each nutrient in a serving of the food. The Daily Values are reference amounts (expressed in grams, milligrams, or micrograms) of nutrients to consume or not to exceed each day.

For chemicals to be mimimised, the acceptable daily intake (ADI) used and is defined as the maximum amount of a chemical that can be ingested daily over a lifetime with no appreciable health risk, and is based on the highest intake that does not give rise to observable adverse effects.

Amino Acid Requirements

Only the essential amino acids have requirements.  The numbers are from Recommended Dietary Allowances: 10th Edition. National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on the Tenth Edition of the Recommended Dietary Allowances. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1989. They are based on the mg per kg of weight. 9

Upper Limits

Upper limits are set for some minerals such as nickel. 10.

Trace Elements Nutrient Levels of Pacific Sea Moss

Name of ElementSymbolPer ServePer 100gRDI or %DVDaily Serve ( % RDI)
AluminiumAl0.3mg0.3mg30.0mg0.90%
ArsenicAr0.0mg0.0mg1.0mg1.07%
BoronB0.3mg0.3mg30.0mg0.98%
BariumBa0.0mg0.0mg1.0mg0.32%
BromineBr3.0mg3.0mg100.0mg3.00%
CalciumCa22.4mg22.4mg600.0mg3.74%
CadmiumCd0.0mg0.0mg0.0mg5.75%
CarbonC371.3mg371.3mg0.0mg
ChlorineCl585.8mg585.8mg10000.0mg5.86%
CobaltCo0.0mg0.0mg0.0mg26.67%
ChromiumCr0.1ug0.1ug25.0ug0.25%
CopperCu0.0mg0.0mg1.0mg0.48%
FluorineF0.0mg0.0mg2.0mg0.00%
HydrogenH0.0mg0.0mg0.0mgn/a
IodineI23.6ug23.6ug150.0ug15.70%
IronFe1.1mg1.1mg11.0mg9.65%
LeadPb0.0mg0.0mg0.0mg3.75%
MercuryHg0.0mg0.0mg0.0mg6.88%
PotassiumK500.0mg500.0mg3800.0mg13.16%
MagnesiumMg14.2mg14.2mg320.0mg4.45%
ManganeseMn0.0mg0.0mg5.5mg0.21%
MolybdenumMo0.3ug0.3ug45.0ug0.56%
OxygenO500.0mg500.0mg20000.0mg2.50%
PhosphorusP0.8mg0.8mg700.0mg0.11%
SodiumNa94.2mg94.2mg2000.0mg4.71%
NickelNi19.6ug19.6ug1000.0ug1.96%
NitrogenN1302.01302.0nana
SeleniumSe2.5ug2.5ug60.0ug4.17%
StrontiumSr0.4mg0.4mg1.5mg24.58%
SulphurS77.8mg77.8mg980.0mg7.93%
VanadiumV0.0mg0.0mg1.8mg0.57%
ZincZn0.3mg0.3mg7.0mg3.70%
The trace element nutrients values are from Wanyonyi et al 2017 for Kappaphycus alvarezii from Fiji Mar. Drugs 2017, 15 and other researchers over the past 15 years. There is varying nutrient levels depending on time of year, age of harvest of the seaweed. See the label for the values of major elements and vitamins.

Good Nutrition. Good Outcomes

Customers tell us about how good they feel from eating seaweed. Hair growth. Nail growth.

References

[1] Wanyonyi S, du Preez R, Brown L, Paul NA, Panchal SK. Kappaphycus alvarezii as a Food Supplement Prevents Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Rats. Supplementary Data. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):2. doi:10.3390/nu9111261

[2] Rajasulochana P, Krishnamoorthy P, Dhamotharan R. Amino acids, fatty acids and minerals in Kappaphycus sp. 2010;5(5):12.Rajasulochana P, Krishnamoorthy P. An investigation on the neutraceutical aspects of the Kappaphycus alvarezii. Int J Pharm Res. 2013;5:25-33.

[3] Keyimu X, Abdullah A. Determination of Element Compositions and Antioxidant Activities of Kappaphycus alvarezii Found in the Waters of Langkawi and Sabah, Malaysia. Int J ChemTech Res. Published online 2016:6.

[4] Kumar KS, Ganesan K, Subba Rao PV, Thakur MC. Seasonal studies on field cultivation of Kappaphycus alvarezii (Doty) Doty on the northwest coast of India. J Appl Phycol. 2016;28(2):1193–1205. doi:10.1007/s10811-015-0629-y

[5]Abirami RG, Kowsalya S. Nutrient and Nutraceutical Potentials of Seaweed Biomass Ulva lactuca and Kappaphycus alvarezii. :8.

[6] Lumbessy SY, Andayani S, Nursyam H, Firdaus M. Biochemical study of amino acid profile of Kappaphycus alvarezii and Gracilaria salicornia seaweeds from Gerupuk Waters, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB). EurAsian J Biosci. Published online 2019:5.

[7] Chemical Composition, Iron Bioavailability, and Antioxidant Activity of Kappaphycus alvarezzi (Doty) | Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Accessed October 26, 2020. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jf0493627

[8] Allowances NRC (US) S on the TE of the RD. Protein and Amino Acids. National Academies Press (US); 1989. Accessed October 26, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234922/

[9] Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand Including Recommended Dietary Intakes. :320.

[10] Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. 13, Arsenic, Boron, Nickel, Silicon, and Vanadium. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK222322/

Categories
Biosea Health Health Benefits Period Pain

Seaweed Helps Perimenopause

A question asked by customers is does seaweed help perimenopause (menopausal transition)? Perimenopause [1] is that transition from the reproductive phase to menopause. It normally takes 2 to 6 years, but in some cases even longer. Systemic reviews [2] say the following 5 symptoms are typical:

  • Mood swings
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Night sweats
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Sexual discomfort

The Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop (STRAW) criteria defines 4 stages of perimenopause or menopausal transition from a reproductive age through to menopause. “Premature menopause” is when the final menstrual period occurs before a woman is 40. “Early menopause” is when the final menstrual period occurs before a woman is 45. For women who experience premature or early menopause, HRT is strongly recommended until the average age of menopause (around 51 years), unless there is a particular reason for a woman not to take it.

From Australian Menopause Society (Whitepaper at this link)

Whats Happening?

The primary change is a change in the type of oestrogen. During the reproductive phase (from adolescent to about 50 years old) every month there is changing mix of hormones – including levels of oestrogen, progesterone, Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH). During perimenopause, this cycle can be all over the place which is why women experience minor change to very large disruption to their life and health.

oestrogen hormone levels
Regulating hormones in the reproductive phase

There are 3 types of oestrogen.

  • In the reproductive age, the primary oestrogens is oestradiol 
  • Oestriol is a hormone made during pregnancy in the placentathat can be used to measure fetal health and predict when birth may happen.
  • In menopause, the predominant oestrogen is called oestrone.

It is this transition of oestrodiol oestrogen to oestrone oetrogen that is the primary cause of disruption during perimenopause.

Hot Flushes and Oestrogen

Hot flushes (or flashes) are not actually temperature changes but more like an adrenaline rush – which makes you feel hot, and also makes you wide awake (hence the issue with sleeplessness). Most research suggests that hot flushes occur when decreased estrogen levels cause your body’s thermostat (hypothalamus) to become more sensitive to slight changes in body temperature. When the hypothalamus thinks your body is too warm, it starts a chain of events — a hot flush — to cool you down. For more info on hot flushes, check out the Mayo Clinic.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

HRT, also known as hormone therapy (HT) or menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), is medication containing the hormones that a woman’s body stops producing after menopause (the oestrodial). HRT is used to treat menopausal symptoms.[7]

While HRT reduces the likelihood of some debilitating diseases such as osteoporosis, colorectal (bowel) cancer and heart disease, it may increase the chances of developing a blood clot (when given in tablet form) or breast cancer (when some types are used long-term).[7]

How Seaweed Helps Perimenopause and Menopause

There is some evidence that seaweed helps perimenopause but there has been little research focused on this. Some of the natural products include seaweed (generally kelp) and data from our Pacific Seamoss customers have commented on a large improvement. Anecdotal data is good, but what will be needed is a broader clinical trial. Remember the 5 major symptoms?

  • Mood swings. About 30 to 66 percent of menopausal people will experience menopausal depression if they have experienced previous depression, postpartum depression, premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder before menopause. Ten to 20 percent of perimenopausal people will experience anxiety and/or depression for the first time. Seaweed reduced mood swings by 50% for premenstrual symptoms of women of reproductive age. Does it also reduce mood swings for older women?
  • Urinary incontinence. Some customers reported improvement
  • Night sweats. No feedback
  • Trouble falling asleep: Most customers report better sleep
  • Sexual discomfort or dyspareunia. As estrogen levels fall as women approach and pass menopause, the resulting dryness and thinning of vaginal tissues can cause penetration and intercourse to be uncomfortable for many women. The discomfort can range from a feeling of dryness to a feeling of vaginal “tightness” to severe pain during sex. This is a very private topic, and it is unlikely customers would tell us.

Seaweed Assists General Health

Seaweed has good quantities of vitamins (Vit B1, B3, B6, B12) and minerals (K, Iodine) and is an effective pre-biotic and changes gut bacteria. [6]. It may provide some relief from osteoarthritis which may start to show up in this age group.

Seaweed May Normalise Transition

The oestrogen levels can be all over the place. Back 20 years ago there was focus on soy and phyto-estrogens which help stabilisation over the transition. These days HRT treatment is used to stabilise those changes.

Seaweed may help in the perimenopause phases by normalising hormonal swings during this transition. A pilot trial showed reduction in pain and in bleeding in younger women, and reduction in PMS symptoms in peri-menopausal participants. Teas showed reduction in oestrogen in her animal studies and in breast cancer survivors.

Seaweed Is Protective against Cancers

Prof Jane Teas from 1981 [3] to 2013 [4] looked at why seaweed was protective against a range of cancers – breast and uterine, and her conclusion was that the proposed mechanisms of action are: reduction of plasma cholesterol, binding of biliary steriods, inhibition of carcinogenic fecal flora, binding of pollutants, stimulation of the immune system, and the protective effects of beta-sitosterols. So the mechanism is unclear or complicated. It may be normalisation of oestrogen by seaweed provides some protective mechanism.

Estrogen is believed to have a positive effect on the inner layer of artery wall, helping to keep blood vessels flexible. A decline in the natural hormone estrogen may be a factor in heart disease increase among post-menopausal women.[9]

Before menopause, oestrodial is protective. Once a women moves to menopause, there no longer is that protective oestrodiol and women past peri-menopause have similar lifestyle disease (heart and cancer rates) as men.

Before You Go

Facebook is preventing a number of companies that sell lubricants for women going through menopause to advertise on its service despite allowing ads for equivalent products from brands that target men. In a post in 2019, CNBC explores the world of social media. Facebook was blocking ads that target women with menopause but allowed ads from companies selling pills for erectile dysfunction. When you investigate how much money goes into one aspect of women’s health, endometriosis, US research is less than $0.60 per person. Erectile dysfunction is 19 times that research money.

References

[1] Five Solutions for Menopause Symptoms The North American Menopausal Society 2020 (Google)

[2] Taebi, M., Abdolahian, S., Ozgoli, G., Ebadi, A., & Kariman, N. (2018). Strategies to improve menopausal quality of life: A systematic review. Journal of education and health promotion7, 93. https://doi.org/10.4103/jehp.jehp_137_17

[3] Teas J 1981 The consumption of seaweed as a protective factor in the etiology of breast cancer. Medical Hypotheses Volume 7, Issue 5, Pages 601-613, ISSN 0306-9877, https://doi.org/10.1016/0306-9877(81)90004-9.

[4] Teas, J et al 2013 The consumption of seaweed as a protective factor in the etiology of breast cancer: proof of principle. J Appl Phycol 25 771-779  DOI:10.1007/s10811-012-9931-0 (Click for Abstract) (Click to download full paper)

[6] Wanyonyi, S; du Preez, R; Brown, L; Paul, N; Panchal, S  2017 Kappaphycus alvarezii as a Food Supplement Prevents Diet-Induced Metabolic Syndrome in Rats. Nutrients (9) 11 DOI:10.3390/nu9111261 (Click for Abstract) (Click to download full paper)

[7] Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and menopause Victoria Health

[8] Hot flashes Patient Care & Health Information Mayo Clinic

[9] Heart disease and menopause American Heart Association

[10] Why everyone needs to know more about menopause — especially now. Washington Post 2020

Medical Disclaimer

This is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.