Last Updated on March 29, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD
Sea moss has been gaining a lot of attention recently due to its purported health benefits. As a superfood, it is said to be a great source of vitamins and minerals, as well as a natural remedy for a range of ailments, including diabetes. But is sea moss good for diabetes? In this blog post, we’ll take an in-depth look at the research on sea moss and diabetes and provide some valuable insights into whether this superfood is safe for people with diabetes.
What is Sea Moss?
Sea moss, a marine alga popular in many parts of the world, is commonly seen in Asian cuisine. Its color can vary from dark green to brown, and it has a thin seaweed-like appearance. Usually sold dried, this alga is gaining global recognition. It is also known as red seaweed or Irish moss.
This nutrient-rich seaweed is harvested for its carrageenan, an ingredient used to thicken milk products like ice cream. But it’s also available raw and in supplement forms, such as pills, powders, gels, and gummies.
Sea moss has been utilized for centuries to address various health issues such as coughs, toothaches, and pain. From a scientific perspective, it is packed with essential minerals, vitamins, and other beneficial components. Moreover, it can be used to create gums and help manufacture toothpaste.
Nutritional Profile of Sea Moss
2 tablespoons of sea moss contain the following nutrients worth considering:
- Total fat: 0g
- Saturated fat: 0g
- Trans fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Sodium: 7mg
- Potassium: 0mg
- Total carbohydrate: 1g
- Dietary fiber: 0g
- Sugar: 0g
- Protein: 0g
Is Sea Moss Good for Diabetes?
Yes, sea moss is considered safe for diabetics. But, its consumption in too much quantity should be avoided due to certain risks involved which I’ll get you through in the later sections. Although there is no conclusive study as to the benefits of sea moss in lowering or regulating blood glucose levels, its nutritional content is generally linked with anti-diabetic benefits.
Sea moss is believed to be beneficial in managing diabetes due to its high content of iodine, calcium, magnesium, and iron. It may help to lower blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. Research into the potential of sea moss to help manage diabetes has been conducted, but the majority of these studies were done on animals, so there is still a need for human clinical trials to confirm the effectiveness.
Before taking sea moss for diabetes, you can consult me as it may interact with certain medicines and health supplements. Also, note that wild-caught Irish moss is preferable as it hasn’t been exposed to pollutants like farm-raised algae.
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Benefits of Sea Moss for Diabetes
#1 Contains Iodine
Iodine is an important component in managing diabetes, as you may know. It can also help to regulate thyroid activity in the human body, which isn’t just helpful in metabolism. You have a good likelihood of acquiring diabetes in the future if your thyroid hormone levels are low for an extended period. They are important during the process of energy expenditure in the body, which is one of the reasons for this.
Low thyroid hormone levels are also highly likely to result in a higher body mass index. This might raise your risk of diabetes once again. When there is enough iodine in your system, all of the symptoms associated with sluggish metabolism are reversed. They will be burnt as energy instead of being stored as fat in your body. Sea moss contains natural iodine that will help treat and manage diabetes most effectively. Once you start using this natural cure, you’ll be astounded by the results.
#2 Good Amount of Magnesium
Magnesium isn’t found in the majority of the foods you eat. This has, however, resulted in more complications for people with diabetes. Magnesium and insulin resistance in the human body appears to be linked, according to research. This is important for the development of type 2 diabetes. However, if the quantity of magnesium in your body increases, diabetes has a good chance of being managed.
If you have pre-diabetes, beginning to eat a lot of magnesium will undoubtedly assist a lot. Insulin sensitivity in your body might be improved as a result. The issue is that the majority of magnesium-containing products are bunk. The quantity is modest even when they do. Without the correct quantity of magnesium in your diet, your regimen will be brutal for managing diabetes. Sea moss will be highly beneficial here. It has a high concentration of 100% natural magnesium, which may help you control diabetes.
#3 Improves Heart Health
Sea moss contains pectin, a type of soluble fiber that has been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved heart health. Studies have shown that dietary fibers like pectin can delay the absorption of glucose and fatty acids from the lower intestine. This can result in a decrease in LDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, pectin can reduce inflammation, thus helping to prevent atherosclerosis.
#4 Aids in Weight Management
Sea moss can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes as it is low in calories and fat, but rich in fiber. This dietary fiber helps to promote satiety, curbing excessive eating while also aiding in boosting slow metabolism. Additionally, the fiber content of sea moss helps to regulate blood sugar levels, an important factor for those with diabetes.
#5 May Enhance Immune System
Research suggests that sea moss may be beneficial in bolstering the immune system and providing protection against salmonella. One study revealed that sea moss could inhibit the expansion of S. enteritidis, the bacteria responsible for salmonella in humans. However, this research is in its early stages and has yet to be tested on animals or humans. Further studies are necessary to confirm if sea moss can indeed be used to prevent or treat salmonella in humans.
Potential Side Effects of Sea Moss for Diabetes
Studies have revealed that although Irish moss provides numerous health advantages and can aid in the overall functioning of the body, carrageenan may have unfavorable effects. It has been theorized that carrageenan can be transformed into “degraded carrageenan,” or poligeenan, which is acknowledged to be harmful and potentially cause various health issues.
Nevertheless, there is no scientific proof to prove the body’s capability to convert carrageenan to poligeenan. Additionally, some seaweeds can naturally contain poligeenan.
#1 Too Much Iodine is Also Dangerous
Having an abundance of something beneficial can become detrimental, as is the case with iodine. As an expert endocrinologist, I suggest not taking iodine supplements, unless instructed to do so by a physician, as they may have an adverse effect on the thyroid.
#2 May Contain Heavy Metals
Though seaweed is known to take up toxic heavy metals from the water, it is generally safe to consume in small amounts. However, it is important to be mindful of not eating too much of it.
#3 May Taste Unpleasant
Sea moss is a type of seaweed that is known to be unpleasantly slimy in texture and has a strong briny taste. It is often used in various dishes, particularly in Caribbean and Asian cuisines, but it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Those who don’t have a taste for seafood may find sea moss unpleasant in taste and texture.
#4 May Cause Stomach Ulcers
Studies on animals have revealed that consuming significant amounts of poligeenan can lead to stomach lesions and ulcers. Additionally, greater amounts of poligeenan are associated with larger ulcers.
#5 May Cause Stomach and Bowel Cancer
Poligeenan has been associated with polyps that may become cancerous, as well as causing issues in the digestive tract that can cause cell mutations, which are often seen in cancers, particularly in cases of ulcers.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests daily consumption of no more than 150 micrograms of iodine. Since Irish moss contains a high amount of iodine, it is also important to be mindful of all the potential side effects I’ve mentioned above when eating it. To ensure safe consumption, it is advised to have one to two servings, or 2 to 4 tablespoons, of Irish moss a day only after consulting an expert in diabetics.
Is sea moss high in sugar?
These foods are naturally low-calorie, fat, and sugar-free, and they contain a modest quantity of plant protein.
Who should not take sea moss?
Extraordinary consumption of sea moss might cause Iodine or heavy metal toxicity, digestive discomfort, and other negative consequences. If you have a thyroid problem, are pregnant, taking blood thinners, or have shellfish allergies, you should avoid sea moss.
Is sea moss hard on kidneys?
Potassium may be present in high concentrations. It’s crucial, in the vast majority of circumstances, that you restrict your potassium if you have chronic kidney disease for example. Heavy metals like lead, mercury, and arsenic can also be found in them.