Bladderwrack is a type of seaweed that is high in iodine. It is found on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and the shores of the North Sea. Bladderwrack is also common in Japan and is often eaten as part of the Japanese diet. Bladderwrack also has several medicinal uses.
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Because of its high iodine content, bladderwrack is beneficial for someone with hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of the thyroid hormones. Bladderwrack can assist with weight loss caused by a lack of thyroid hormones and can also reduce goitre associated with the condition.
Bladderwreck has anti-oestrogenic properties and can boost levels of progesterone. This makes it useful for regulating menstrual cycles for women who menstruate irregularly. The anti-oestrogenic and prostergonic properties can also reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer among women.
Bladderwrack contains a compound called fucoidan that has anti-ageing properties. Fucoidan promotes the retention of collagen while decreasing skin thickness and improving skin's elasticity. Bladderwrack must be applied topically for these benefits. Some lotions or creams contain bladderwrack or fucoidan. Check the labels for the list of ingredients. You will likely find such products at health food stores.
Some people use bladderwrack to relieve constipation. The typical dosage is 1 teaspoon of dried bladderwrack three times daily. For longer-term use, especially for hypothyroidism, a typical dose might be 5 to 10 grams three times daily, usually via capsules. Bladderwrack can also be eaten whole, such as in soups or salads, or brewed in teas.
Bladderwrack shouldn't be taken by anyone with hyperthyroidism or cardiac problems. It is important to follow the recommended dose to avoid exceeding safe levels of iodine intake. Bladderwrack can have some side effects, especially if taken in excessive dosages. It is usually well tolerated at proper doses. Bladderwrack can worsen acne and can also interfere with iron absorption. Depending on where bladderwrack is harvested, it might contain mercury and other heavy metals that are toxic to humans. Always obtain your bladderwrack from a reputable source, preferably a domestic manufacturer.
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