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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.

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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.

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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.

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Biosea Health Period Pain

Seaweed Reduces Period Bleeding

Periods are experienced by over 2.1 Billion women globally. Humans are only one of 84 species out of 5149 species [1] that suffer from bleeding in menstruation. Painful periods (dysmenorrhea) are experienced most women at sometime. Estimates of the numbers who experience dsymenorrhea regularly vary but best estimate is between 40 to 60%. In a 150 person trial in 2020, we found seaweed reduced period bleeding. Not only a reduction in duration but also in the heaviness, leading to lower use of feminine products and improved quality of life.

Women in 2019 will have approximately 400 periods over their lives, in contrast to a century ago when women would have about 40. Shorter lifespans, more children, more time spent in breastfeeding all contributed to the lower number.

From Critchley. Menstruation: science and society. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2020.

Therefore, abnormal uterine bleeding. (or AUB) is increasingly common. Women may experience significant anemia resulting in a poor physical quality of life. A negative financial effect occurs because of the cost of managing their blood loss and an inability to work outside the home. These costs, alongside a loss of caring ability, will have a negative effect on the wider family. The cost to society through loss of work days and healthcare costs is significant. A UK study showed that women on average have 8 days off work annually and other studies put the cost at over $9 billion direct costs and lost productivity per year.

Periods and Bleeding are Taboo Subjects

In 2020, Facebook has maintained a ban on an advert for women’s period undies despite its creators fighting the ruling three times.

Australian underwear brand Modibodi specialises in “leak-proof” undies that help women during their menstruation cycles as well as with incontinence. Unlike traditional sanitary pads and tampons, the underwear has a special lining built in that absorbs the bodily fluids and can be used, washed and re-used multiple times.

But the brand’s latest ad campaign, which discusses how women are made to feel “gross” when they have their periods, has been labelled “shocking” and “sensational” by Facebook for showing images of menstrual blood.

This taboo is not new [5]. In seventeenth-century Spain, in addition to being accused of spreading the plague, Jewish males were commonly assumed to menstruate: the Jewish body supposedly leaked impure blood. Certain important Spanish doctors—the king’s own physicians—demonstrated menstruation to be symptomatic in Jewish males. These physicians and other sources from the time typically combine the accusation of menstruation with that of hemorrhoids, classifying a blood flow from the anatomically ambiguous lower strata of the male body as a Jewish disease. While this was not a new accusation, in seventeenth-century Spain it was combined for the first time with legal language that sought to create a notion of “impure blood” as referring to one’s family or caste. In  Beusterien’s study, he argues that medical discourse about menstruation was here uniquely combined with legal discourse in order to create a notion of racial impurity.

How Is Period Bleeding Measured?

Which measure is the most relevant? The total number of days that the woman has bleeding? The number of heavy bleeding days? In a company pilot trial of 150 participants to investigate the effect of seaweed on dysmenorrhea, we asked trial participants to report on both the duration and heaviness of menstrual bleeding.

Seaweed Reduced Severity of Bleeding

Seaweed reduced the number of days of heavy bleeding. Before, 24% reported heavy bleed days, but afterwards, this had dropped to 12%. The number of women where heavy bleeding was only 1 day went from 6% to over 23%.

Data from 150 trial participants in May 2020. The number of heavy bleeding days.

Seaweed reduces Duration of Bleeding

A really interesting outcome for the women in the trial was that the duration of bleeding reduced by 2 days on average. Most women (70%) experience bleeding days of 4 or more. After seaweed, only 40% had days of bleeding greater than 4.

Pacific Seamoss seaweed reduces days of bleeding in menstruation
Data from trial October 2020. n=71, P=0.001. Before seaweed, 63% said their days of bleeding were 4 to 6 days. After seaweed, it halved. Those reporting 2 to 4 days rose from 31% to 55%.  I.e. For many, duration of bleeding drops about 2 days.

What Did Women Say?

Check out what trial participants said here

Tonnes of Waste

Pads and tampons are responsible for about 200,000 tonnes of waste per year – most of which contains plastic. Then there’s the secondary issue of flushing used products down the toilet, with nearly 0.5% of all marine plastics debris being tampon applicators.[5]

From National Geographic Sept 6, 2019 [6]

This colossal waste burden however, isn’t the only ecological impact of disposable feminine hygiene products. A Life Cycle Assessment of tampons conducted by the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, found that the largest impact on global warming was caused by the processing of LDPE (low-density polyethylene, a thermoplastic made from the monomer ethylene) used in tampon applicators as well as in the plastic back-strip of a sanitary napkin requiring high amounts of fossil fuel generated energy. A year’s worth of a typical feminine hygiene product leaves a carbon footprint of 5.3 kg CO2 equivalents. [7]

References

[1] Critchley H. et al. (2020) Menstruation: science and society . American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology available online 21 July 2020 Prepress. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2020.06.004

[2] Molina, N.M.; Sola-Leyva, A.; Saez-Lara, M.J.; Plaza-Diaz, J.; Tubić-Pavlović, A.; Romero, B.; Clavero, A.; Mozas-Moreno, J.; Fontes, J.; Altmäe, S. New Opportunities for Endometrial Health by Modifying Uterine Microbial Composition: Present or Future? Biomolecules 202010, 593.

[3] Facebook bans Modibodi period underwear ad for violating guidelines 2020 News.com

[4] Beusterien, John L. “Jewish Male Menstruation in Seventeenth-Century Spain.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vol. 73 no. 3, 1999, p. 447-456. Project MUSEdoi:10.1353/bhm.1999.0097.

[5] The environmental impact of tampons and pads. (Taboo)

[6] How tampons and pads became so unsustainable (National Geographic)

[7] The Ecological Impact of Feminine Hygiene Products 2016 (Accessed 2020)

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Biosea Health Period Pain

Period Poverty- Seaweed?

A number of countries including New Zealand and Australia have identified period poverty as a social issue to be fixed. In November 2020 Scotland announced a program as well.

Period poverty is the term used to describe the inability to purchase sanitary products and it presents a significant obstacle to health, comfort, and engagement with school and community activities.

New Zealand tackles ‘period poverty’ with free sanitary products for all schoolgirls was the headline. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, announced a trial program. More than 90,000 girls stay away from school because they cannot afford pad or tampons.

About 30% of the 1.2 billion women suffer from period pain (dysmenorrhea) and a key issue is they often suffer heavy bleeding. When they have heavy bleeding, they have to use more feminine hygiene products. When the blood loss from a period is greater than 80ml / period or the period duration is greater than 7 days the technical medical term is called menorrhagia.

A consequence of menorrhagia is the women suffer from low iron levels and that sets in train a whole medical intervention with iron supplements and that often results in constipation. The combination of all this can be severe.

Girls in New Zealand high schools will no longer have to pay for sanitary products after the government announced it would foot the bill in an attempt to stamp out widespread period poverty. Prime minister Ardern said sanitary supplies for a monthly period were not a luxury, but a necessity and too many girls were skipping school because they weren’t able to afford pads and tampons. Schools in deprived areas also reported girls being forced to use toilet paper, newspaper and rags in an attempt to manage their period. Fifteen Waikato schools (near Hamilton NZ) – identified as those most in need – will have access to free products from term three of this year, with the programme going nationwide on an opt-in basis by 2021.

Otago University found girls who experience period poverty face lifelong implications “for their health, emotional development, education and career prospects”

Isobel Marshall – Australian Of the Year

At just 18 years of age, Isobel Marshall co-founded TABOO with school friend Eloise Hall, to help women around the world by breaking down stigma around menstruation and providing greater access to hygiene products. In Jan 2021, Isobel was recognised for driving the campaign in Australia conjunction with TABOO and Vinnies Women’s Crisis centre, providing free access to pads and tampons for women who require emergency accommodation in South Australia. Recognising period poverty is not just a big city issue, they also support the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council.

While research about period poverty is limited the available evidence shows that poor menstrual management can affect the emotional and physical health of young women and can influence school attendance. A US study conducted in 2017 found that one in five American girls aged 16 – 24 have either left school early or missed school entirely because they did not have access to period products.

A 2018 survey in the UK by a manufacturer Always claimed 137,700 girls in the UK missed school in 2017 because they couldn’t afford sanitary items. That survey also found that 55 percent of teachers were aware of girls in their school being unable to afford sanitary products.

Poverty Pain in India

Other countries have also identified period poverty. India. Two young entrepreneurs with a charity in South Australia have launched their own social enterprise selling sanitary products whose profits will go to disadvantaged women fighting period poverty around the world.

Period Poverty in Scotland

Period poverty: Scotland first in world to make period products free. Read about this from the BBC in November 2020. Note that this was in politics section, not the health section of the BBC, as reduction of period poverty is a political and social initiative.

Period poverty is when those on low incomes can’t afford, or access, suitable period products.

Seaweed reduces period bleeding and period pain
Buying products (Getty Images)

With average periods lasting about five days, it can cost up to £8 a month for tampons and pads, and some women struggle to afford the cost.

So the Scottish Government decided to make feminine hygiene products free.

Periods Shame

Period poverty is a real issue that is under-researched,” Dr Ruth Knight from The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non-profit Studies based at QUT Business says. In most studies, teachers and researchers say

“They felt that students generally loathe their periods and given periods are a sensitive topic, this compounds the embarrassment and shame in talking about the topic, which may prevent some girls asking for help or advice.”

Staff from study in Australian Queensland schools

Can Seaweed Reduce Period Poverty

We suggest seaweed will make a substantial reduction for period poverty.

  • Seaweed reduces dysmenorrhea (period pain) based on indicative pilot trials and customer feedback
  • Seaweed reduces the burden of menstruation based on indicative data.
  • Seaweed is natural, organic and just a food.
  • Alternative strategies recommended are heat pack, NSAIDS and oral contraception.

Ask us about how seaweed may make a difference to your daughter in this socially vulnerable age and environment.

Categories
Biosea Health Health Benefits Period Pain

Seaweed and Fibromyalgia

Q. A customer who was looking for period pain relief asked us: I have fibromyalgia – does seaweed help reduce fibromyalgia?

A. We don’t have any participants in a pilot trial for dysmenorrhea who told us specificially they have fibromyalgia. We do have anecdotal feedback from other customers though. Fibromyalgia (for fibro) is complicated as it “rewires” the brain from pain. With Pacific Seamoss seaweed we know most customers say they feel better in a week to 10 days. Over the past decade seaweed is implicated in improvement.

What is Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is often accompanied by fatigue and altered sleep, memory and mood. Checkout WebMD or the Mayo Clinic. People may have widespread muscle pain and tenderness is the most common symptoms.
Medication, yoga, acupuncture, exercise, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), and stress reduction may help manage symptoms.

  • Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured
  • Requires a medical diagnosis
  • Lab tests or imaging rarely required
  • Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong

Fibromyalgia may be triggered by a stressful event, including physical stress or emotional (psychological) stress. Possible triggers for the condition include an injury or a viral infection.

Will seaweed cause any fibromyalgia interaction?

We have not had any feedback from customers that it has done any harm, and they generally report positive improvements. Some have reported reduced restless leg syndrome. Seaweed won’t do you any harm at all – unless you are allergic to seaweed. About 5% of customers say they have some GI (gastro intenstinal) bloating – but you would do if you starting eating a can of baked beans a day. Most of these already have severe GI issues – and some eat no fibre etc. So the addition of fibre can be a shock when you have none. The majority of others find taking a smaller amount of seaweed (maybe 2 to 3 capsules per day) and eating it with other food removes any issues. Given that one of the strategies is improved diet, seaweed will support that.

Prof Lindsay Brown has been assessing seaweed for intervention in obesity related diseases for the past decade. [3] Kumar worked with Prof Brown and recently wrote a comprehensive review [4].

However, for the past 20 years various researchers [5] have been looking at brown seaweeds and in particular the fucoxanthin compounds for activity in diseases. A search on Google Scholar will show a number of recommendations and some research on seaweed and fibromyalgia. The difficulty is that none have progressed past the lab. The benefits may be as simple as reduction in iodine deficiency as iodine is considered a contributor to fibromyalgia. Pacific Seamoss contributes about 15% RDI (%DV). Other brown seaweeds have higher levels iodine.

Alternative Remedies

There are a range of other strategies, and one that seems counter intuitive is weighted blankets. Why – weighted blankets are commonly used to help with a variety of conditions from ADHD and autism to Restless Leg Syndrome. Even more importantly, these blankets may be able to help manage pain related to fibromyalgia. This blog is a good starter for further reading blog post

References

[1] Fibromyalgia Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fibromyalgia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354780

[2] Fibromyalgia – WebMD https://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/default.htm

[3] 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

[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.

Categories
Period Pain

Period Pain Trial Thanks

Thank you for signing up to the Period Pain Trial. Thanks from us and from 900 million women aged between 15 and 25 and 1.2 Billion women aged from 30 to 50 years. We want to look at the effect of eating about 3g of dry seaweed every day.  We have women in a number of countries participating.  We will be in contact with you shortly

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the next steps?

  1. We’ll send you the first 6 weeks of seaweed capsules (180)
  2. We’ll also send a blood pressure machine so you can test your blood pressure. The instructions are in the box. We will be asking you to provide your weight, height and waist measurements. (You will need a tape measure!)
  3. We ask you to fill out the first survey. It is about your current health, period pain in the past. It is detailed and asks physical and psychological questions.
  4. Take 4 capsules per day. We suggest 2 at breakfast and 2 at dinner.
  5. At 4 weeks we ask you to do a followup survey.
  6. We’ll then post out the next 6 weeks of capsules.
  7. At 8 weeks and at 12 weeks you do another questionnaire.
  8. You can withdraw at any stage

Is the product Philippines FDA or Australia approved?

In the Philippines the product does not need FDA approval as it is not a medicine but is undergoing registration and will be available over the counter in drug stores. It is pure, clean and just dry seaweed. Grown at farms in the waters off Samal Island it is harvested, brought quickly to a drying processing center and immediately dried to about 20-30-% moisture. It is then transferred to a registered nutraceutical contract production company in Davao who further dries the product to 5%, mills it to reduce to small particles then packages the powder into capsules. 

Who Sells Seaweed?

It is sold and distributed from Seaweed for Humanity, Inc from the Philippines so you are entitled to purchase and receive it. It is not a “traditional food” in Australia, UK, USA or New Zealand but is in the Philippines. It is just Food. Food for Health.

Is it safe?

Yes, it is just seaweed (Kappaphycus alvarezii ) and the same that you can buy in most wet markets throughout the Philippines, Indonesia, or Malaysia. However even if you wanted to it is very hard to buy good clean seaweed, every day at a consistent price and have it in your refrigerator (ref) or out where it can spoil. We make it easy.  It is just dry seaweed.

What Safety Checks

We check each batch for heavy metals (bad for health if in the water or the product and the levels are within or lower than the regulations.) We check each batch for biological contaminants as per established food processing guidelines. (HACCP / ISO22000) If any contamination – out it goes. So you can be assured the product is safe to consume.

Was this a clinical trial?

This was not a clinical trial.  This was a field trial designed to give us enough information to properly design a clinical trial. In a clinical trial some participants get the real product, and some don’t. In many clinical trials the people in charge of the trial don’t even know who got the real product.  In this trial everyone gets the product and we are assessing the results to see if there is enough evidence for us to go to a full clinical trial. 

However it is still important to us that you answer all the survey questions and report accurately – we all get a better report that way.

Is the survey confidential?

ABSOLUTELY.  This is a key consideration of this survey. We have appointed a medical researcher to be the survey project manager. Her name is Lea and you can contact her directly to discuss any of the issues. She is the only person who will have information on the name and the # of any participant. The survey is designed to keep this information confidential by only using the # of the capsule supply as the ID point. We already have individuals. This is about the “general” case.

Is this local or global?

We are already selling the product in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Germany, UK and the Philippines.  Women with dysmenorrhea are in every country, and in some countries are subject to further pain including social and religious prejudices. This product is produced using global standards of testing, processing and packaging. Currently packaged in a gel capsule for ease of consumption but it is available as powder (with smoothies, chocolate or bread).

Whats the Retail Cost?

The cost is about $US1.00 per day with free shipping.

What are the benefits?

The first customers had their painful periods go from a 8 or more to a 3 or less.

Painful periods trial scale
Typical pain measuring scale.

Is Seaweed Good Food?

Seaweed has been eaten in the Philippines for hundreds of years. Many studies over the decades show seaweeds contain many helpful compounds to aid our health. Seaweed extracts all these compounds from the seawater it lives in as it grows and matures. Vitamins, minerals, and prebiotics all play a part.

Vitamins and Minerals

Seaweeds contain lots of minerals especially potassium (K), zinc (Zn), Iodine (I), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) and Iron (Fe). Check the label for some of the RDA figures.

Contains vitamins – C, A, B1, B3, B6, and some of these are up to 20% of RDA

Seaweed has anti-inflammatory compounds identified.

Other Benefits of Seaweed

These contribute to a great result in pain and inflammation reduction.  For some of the benefits check out the top 20 that customers have told us.

What’s the Next Stages?

This is the first part of our studies to be continued over the next 2 years to find out the scientific answers to these questions. Many companies have tried to extract useful compounds from seaweed, but we know that the whole food is better than individual compounds.

Side Effects

There are few side effects from eating seaweed.

  • Your microbiome changes and there may be smells for a few days as your stomach gets used to the extra fiber. We recommend to start slow for you tummy to adjust to more fiber.
  • Your nails may grow stronger
  • Your hair may grow faster
  • If you have an auto-immune disease we suggest introduce seaweed slowly. Maybe 1 capsule per day for a few days, then build up slowly to 4 per day.

How is the seaweed Grown?

Seaweed is grown sustainably in clean water. It is formally organic certified. We have implemented plate to gate tracking systems. Seaweed is grown from cuttings on ropes in the ocean. Our seaweeds are harvested at 45 days and we think this means they have optimal healthy content.

Why Whole Food, Not Extracts?

Professor Lindsay Brown from University of Southern Queensland says that extraction of individual compounds is in error. We are better to eat the whole seaweed product with all its goodness complete.

Has This Been Done Before?

This is the first trial of its kind about seaweed that we know about anywhere in the world.  While we know the Philippines / Japan / Korea / China / Indonesia have eaten seaweed for hundreds of years. However consumption is a lifestyle driven process. It is not consistent and the quality and quantity varies. We know real benefits come from regular consumption of this great food, at a minimum level over a period of months and years. You can only consume like that with a packaged product.

How long is the trial? 

Please take capsules for 90 days. This covers 2 to 3 cycles. We will be able to get results which are not just restricted to a single cycle but will show a trend. It is important that you fill out the interim survey as well as the initial one so we can get continuous information for our study.

Who is the company?

The company is Marine Algae and is really two companies. The Australian company is providing research, science and marketing expertise and the Philippines company is providing farming, processing and distribution facilities. Dr. Hugh Butler PhD runs the Australian arm of the business and Gray Goodwin the Philippines arm. Gray (an Aussie) has lived and worked in Davao for 13 years and has a family in Davao. 

Seaweed for Humanity

We have established a not-for-profit Foundation and are planning to support many Filipino fisherfolk with fair prices and fair trade dealings in the purchase and processing of our product. We expect this to continue and expand as our business matures.

Survey is so detailed. Why?

We are trying to get a lot of information so that when we come to the clinical trial we will have a very clear idea of what information we need to get evidence or confirmation of our feelings about the benefits of seaweed in addressing the problem of Dysmenorrhea.  Unfortunately, dysmenorrhea is a very badly neglected area of medical science and millions of young women (2.1 billon world wide) have been left to fend for themselves with only pain killers and in many cases nothing else – to deal with the dislocation of their life due to the effects of Dysmenorrhea.  We sincerely hope you can work with us to find a solution. Groups such as Australian Pelvic Pain Foundation do great work to raise the profile.

Project Manager?

Mrs Lea Sterling is running this project for Marine Algae.  She is a mother of three, Teacher, and Science Researcher who is passionate about Women’s Health and Wellbeing. Lea holds a Bachelor of Science (Double major in Biochemistry/Physiology), Bachelor of Music Education and Graduate Diploma in Psychology. She has also partly completed a Masters of Scientific Studies and Bachelor of Nursing (Graduate Entry). With training in both medical ethics and counselling, Lea brings a humanistic approach to her professional work. She has acted as a consultant to business across the health, finance and education sectors. In her role as a researcher at Marine Algae.  Lea is aiming to complete a Doctor of Philosophy in Women’s Health. This project is part of that work.

Period Pain Trial Thanks

  • Your answer to our survey will assist us in planning a larger formal clinical trial late this year. 
  • Your answers will help 0.9 Billion women worldwide aged 15 to 29 who suffer from dysmenorrhea.   
  • Your answers may help a further 1.2 Billion women aged 30 to 50
  • We will send you summary results of the data we collect at the conclusion.

There may be opportunities for you to participate in the full clinical trial but we will advise you in due course.

In the meantime, we have a special deal for you to try for a month, just for the cost of postage. Why not? Even the postage is refunded if it does not work for you. What is there to lose. Head to this page for more info

Questions? Call or email

Questions? Call Hugh on +61414757540, or Lea +61 413 746 962
In the Philippines call Dale (0917 714 4503 or Messenger)

Categories
Biosea Health Period Pain

Seaweed reduces dysmenorrhea

Seaweed reduces Dysmenorrhea (period pain)

We know seaweed is fantastic for balancing hormones, helping you look and feel better. And now, we’re seeing customers with significantly reduced pain during their period.

Menstrual pain, scientifically known as Dysmenorrhea, affects 80% of young women between the ages of 15 and 30 and 20% from 30 to 50. But we’ve discovered that eating seaweed can significantly reduce its effects

  • Natural relief from period-pain
  • Balances hormones
  • Look and feel better
  • Full of required nutrients and vitamins
  • Improves focus and concentration

Seaweed reduces period pain since 2005!

For the past 20 years, researchers have seen that Japanese women have had lower rates of breast cancer than women in western countries. While initial studies were in animals, studies through to 2013 were with breast cancer survivors. There were changes in the women studied, but the researchers were focused on breast cancer. Not period pain.

Our customers said What?

Katie, a young woman in the Philippines, had been suffering from period cramps for five years when she turned to seaweed. Her pain had become so unbearable she was failing her exams.

She was encouraged to use seaweed for its health benefits, and in only one month her pain reduced from a debilitating 9 to an easily manageable 1 on the pain scale. 

Use this pain scale to measure when seaweed reduces period pain since 2005

Here’s the assessment chart Katie used to describe her pain. How would you rate your period? Are your cramps mild, or do they interfere with your everyday life? Imagine the freedom you could gain from reducing that pain naturally!

Seaweed reduces period pain. How?

It’s suggested that exercise and a healthy diet reduce period pain. Vitamins and minerals also help, and of course, that’s what seaweed is full of!

Seaweed is fantastic for stabilizing hormonal levels, and it has a particular impact on balancing estrogen. In fact, period pain is often caused by the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen contracts the uterus and progesterone relaxes it, so too much estrogen causes bad cramps.

Seaweed can also help with other issues caused by periods and hormonal changes, such as acne! Could it also minimize the effects of menopause? Try it and let us know your results. Check out our free pilot trial here

There is some great work by the Australian Pelvic Pain Foundation

Categories
Biosea Health Period Pain

Period Pain Trial

Period Pain Trial With Seaweed

Trial Now Closed

Katie, aged 26, suffers from severe period pain. So severe, when coinciding with uni exams, she failed some. Her period pain (dysmenorrhea) would see her in bed for 3 days. She ate seaweed. Before seaweed, she described her pain as 11 out of 10. Now in her 4th month of seaweed, its 1 out of 10.

Amanda, aged 42 suffered severe dysmenorrhea as a teenager. Vomiting in the sick bay at school. With children, at early 30’s it had calmed down. But as typical the pain was gradually increasing. She ate seaweed. When asked about pain, it was 8+ and now 3.

Painful periods trial scale

Join our Period Pain Trial

Are Katie and Amanda typical? Dysmenorrhea, or painful menstrual periods, range from uncomfortable to incapacitating. In 16-25 year old women living in Victoria, Australia, 19% reported mild, 49% moderate and 32% severe dysmenorrhoea [1]. Globally, as many as 90% of adolescent girls and more than 50% of menstruating women worldwide report suffering from it, with 10–20% of them describing their suffering as severe and distressing. [2]

Over the past 8 months customers have been buying and eating Biosea Health seaweed. It is only a small daily amount, but every day. As it is easy, always there, and you don’t miss a day, just because you just don’t feel like a bowl of seaweed. In this period pain trial, continue to eat your normal food.  Do not change your diet or lifestyle. Continue to use oral contraceptives or NSAIDS if these have been recommended. The 4 seaweed capsules per day are about 3 to 4g of seaweed.  Maybe 2 capsules at breakfast and 2 at dinner. But can be eaten all at once.  It is less than 1 serve of sea vegetables.

Positive Effects

Seaweed has been eaten for millennia and known to be healthy. We are the first to provide this in a form that you eat every day, not just as a food. Do not eat kelp at this quantity as it has too much iodine. Whereas our Pacific Seamoss seaweed is packed full on essential daily nutrients and vitamins.

  • Pain may be reduced. We don’t know if it will be an 11 to 1 or an 8+ to a 3 pain score. It may be only a 3 to a 1. What will it do for you?
  • Customers report a range of other physical changes. These may or may not occur.  Nails getting less brittle. Hair grows more quickly and is healthier. Less anxiety. Better sleep. Easier exercise.
  • These and other changes will be very individual and depend on your existing diet and lifestyle. Our surveys show some changes take a couple of months to notice.
  • Most older people report reduced aches and pains. Our customers have told us lots of very positive things here.

Minimal Negative Effects

  •  There are no serious downsides. This is just food. Food for Health. You may not like eating the 4 capsules, but it’s just because its the most convenient way to have something daily. It is organic, clean, and grown sustainably.
  • Some have noticed minor stomach or toileting changes in the first few days. Seaweed is a good pre-biotic and full of vitamins and minerals.

Confidential Survey

We want to look at the effect of eating dry seaweed every day. You will be asked to fill out a survey about your health before you start the seaweed, at 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and if you continue then at 12 weeks. 

The survey will ask some detailed questions about your health. 

  • Your answers will be completely confidential. 
  • You may withdraw at any stage.
  • We will not know who you are, but we will provide a bottle number to match up the 3-4 surveys.
  • We will send you more information and link to the first survey. The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete. 

Resources

  • Check out The Australian Pelvic Pain Foundation on general pelvic pain for women (and men). ww.pelvicpain.org.au
  • Information about taking your blood pressure on this blog here
  • Our website has some more detailed information on this blog here

We are looking for further volunteers for this painful period trial. Can you recommend a friend to try? Please call or send an email or SMS to us (email is seaweed at bioseahealth.com) with your name, email, mobile and address so we can post the seaweed to you.

Trial Now Closed

The trial is now closed, although we will be undertaking other trials later in 2020. But in the meantime, why not take up our special offer – try for a month for the cost of postage. Click here for more information.

There are 900 million young women globally with dysmenorrhea and a further 1.2 Billion 30 to 50 year old’s who put up with chronic pain.

Your involvement may help both you and other women. Often others are in oppressed societies and have limited access to health care.

You also contribute to impoverished seaweed farmers whom we support.

Questions?

Call Hugh on +61414757540, or Lea +61 413 746 962
In the Philippines call Dale (0917 714 4503 or Messenger)

References

  1. Prevalence and severity of dysmenorrhoea, and management options reported by young Australian women. (ResearchGate) Accessed April 15, 2020.
  2. Berkley KJ. Mechanisms of Dysmenorrhea. 2013:8.(PDF)
  3. Evans SF, Kwok YH, Solterbeck A, et al. Toll-Like Receptor Responsiveness of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells in Young Women with Dysmenorrhea. J Pain Res. 2020;13:503-516.
  4. Armour M, Lawson K, Wood A, Smith CA, Abbott J. The cost of illness and economic burden of endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain in Australia: A national online survey. PLOS ONE. 2019;14(10):e0223316. (PLOS)
Categories
Beauty Period Pain

Seaweed Cured Katies Period Pain! Can it do it for you?

Cure for Period Pain? Is Seaweed the Answer?

If painful periods are interfering with your everyday life, we’ve got some good news!
Being female is sometimes really hard, isn’t it? There often isn’t space created for women to openly talk about or deal with pain caused by their menstrual cycle. It’s not very comfortable sitting in a meeting with a heating pad!
We know seaweed is fantastic for balancing hormones, helping you look and feel better. And now, we’re seeing customers with significantly reduced pain during their period.
Menstrual pain, scientifically known as Dysmenorrhea, affects 80% of young women. But we’ve discovered that eating seaweed can significantly reduce its effects.

What have our customers said?

Katie, a young woman in the Philippines, had been suffering from period cramps for five years when she turned to seaweed. Her pain had become so unbearable she was failing her exams.
She was encouraged to use seaweed for its health benefits, and in only one month her pain reduced from a debilitating 9 to an easily manageable 1 on the pain scale.Here’s the assessment chart Katie used to describe her pain. How would you rate your period? Are your cramps mild, or do they interfere with your everyday life? Imagine the freedom you could gain from reducing that pain naturally!

How does seaweed reduce period pain?

It’s suggested that exercise and a healthy diet reduce period pain. Vitamins and minerals also help, and of course, that’s what seaweed is full of!

Period Pain victory with Pacific SeamossSeaweed is fantastic for stabilizing hormonal levels, and it has a particular impact on balancing estrogen. In fact, period pain is often caused by the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen contracts the uterus and progesterone relaxes it, so too much estrogen causes bad cramps.
Seaweed can also help with other issues caused by periods and hormonal changes, such as acne! Could it also minimize the effects of menopause? Try it and let us know your results.

Period Pain freedom

Discover what worked for Katie

Don’t forget to check out our seaweed chocolate home recipe, perfect for those monthly cravings!

Head to our shop now or our FAQ page to find out more benefits of BioSea Health Seaweed Capsules.