Irish sea moss is reported to have the following benefits:
- Improves digestion. There have been a couple of animal studies, including this one in 2015, showing seaweed can assist digestion by removing bad bacteria in the gut and improving gut health and immunity. Sea moss is a prebiotic (“compounds in food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi” per Wikipedia) which helps the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut
- Improves your thyroid health. Irish moss is high in iodine, which is required for the production of thyroid hormones. The majority of people with thyroid disorders are iodine deficient (source), and so having high iodine levels will reduce the risk of thyroid problems
- Improves energy levels. Iodine can boost metabolism (source), which in turn can increase energy levels
- Boosts immunity. Irish moss contains amino acids, antioxidants, vitamin C and more, helping to replenish the body after disease. It also contains potassium iodide which can dissolve mucus and congestion in your respiratory system (source)
- Can be good for your skin. Irish moss contains citrulline-arginine which can act to prevent and improve skin aging (source), and can also aid in wound healing
- May be good for your mood. As Irish moss has magnesium and potassium, it may be able to boost your mood, as magnesium and potassium have been found to positively affect mood (source)
As far as side effects, it appears that Irish sea moss is safe to take in moderation, and we haven’t yet heard of any horror stories. With that said, there will be adverse effects if you take too much of it. As Irish sea moss is rich in iodine as mentioned above, it can potentially cause thyroid gland inflammation and/or fever, nausea and vomiting if you take too much of it and your iodine levels get too high. It’s not advised to take iodine supplements if you’re already taking Irish sea moss. The responsible thing would be to check your iodine levels with your doctor if you’re taking a lot of Irish sea moss, or if you’re thinking of taking it, just to make sure you’re within normal levels.
Should you take Irish sea moss?
As Irish sea moss has jumped on the superfood bandwagon and gained significant popularity in 2020, there’s been a lot of Irish sea moss related products that have been released lately (shampoos, lotions, pills etc) along with raw Irish sea moss you can buy off Amazon (eg. here). Whether these are worth the money is still up for debate, but based on the research that’s been done so far, it does appear that there’s a reasonable amount of scientific evidence that Irish sea moss has some positive health effects and may be beneficial to you. If you choose to take it, please just do so in moderation, and in conjunction with a healthy and balanced diet.
As this article relates to your health, please remember that this is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. As mentioned above, please see your doctor before making any health decisions.
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