Does it Work? - Kelp Supplements

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10-09-2009, 12:01 AM
Is anyone taking these? I am interested in these for a few reasons. First, for the antiviral properties and second for possible help with metabolism. But I have been reading about the side effects and that too much can cause a lot of health problems!

Now, I just read an article about many of the kelp supplements available contain too high of levels of arsenic and actually caused arsenic poisoning in some people!

Can anyone provide any insight here - like if I wanted to take these, what is a safe brand? How much is too much? :dizzy: Do you think it is beneficial?

Thanks, chicks :)

10-09-2009, 12:20 AM
I considered taking them, because I have borderline low thyroid function (hypothyroidism). It's just a smidge above the point at which most doctors consider thyroid medications.

When I read about Kelp supplements, it sounded like a promising option, but as I read more, I decided against them. I wasn't aware of the arsenic issue, and don't know how great a risk that is.

I decided against them, because of the risk of revving the thyroid TOO much. An overactive thyroid can be at least as damaging, perhaps more so than low thyroid. On one hand (because rapid weight loss is a potential side effect of hyperthyroidism) it was tempting, but cardiac damage (another potential side effect) wasn't nearly as appealing.

10-09-2009, 12:58 AM
Wow.. had not read about cardiac damage. I wish there was a trusted SAFE dosage. But, if that info is not available, there is no way I will take these.

Here is a link on the arsenic for anyone interested. This one says the organic form of arsenic is nontoxic. But, the inorganic form can be very toxic. I think there are just too many unanswered questions about this supplement for me to feel safe. Bummer. :(

Here is more on the type of kelp supplement that is alleged to have cause the symptoms:

It appears the person in this study was taking TOO high of a dose and too much iodine was the result.

Sheesh. Someone needs to bottomline this!

10-09-2009, 11:45 AM
Yeah, the article also mention you could get as much arsenic from eating more than half a chicken breast a day.

But I'd have to read more to come to a conclusion. I've only skimmed.

10-09-2009, 09:58 PM
Hyperthyroid (Grave's disease) can damage the heart (and has other effects as well), and too much iodine (from Kelp supplements) can cause Grave's disease. I don't know if there is a "bottom line" doseage, because there's so much variability (naturally) in thyroid function. A dose that's too much for one person, may be too little for someone else, and it's not like there's a home test for thyroid function.

On one hand, I believe that milder symptoms (of Grave's disease) would occur before any organ damage would occur, but the main warning symptom (losing weight rapidly), would be a problem for me - in that I probably wouldn't see it as a problem. It would be so great to see fast weight loss, that knowing myself, I might be tempted to ignore or overlook the possibility of overdosing.

10-10-2009, 12:51 AM
Actually, hyperthyroidism and Grave's disease are not synonymous. Hyperthyroidism can be caused by excess iodine. Grave's disease is an autoimmune disease.

10-10-2009, 02:19 PM
Actually, hyperthyroidism and Grave's disease are not synonymous. Hyperthyroidism can be caused by excess iodine. Grave's disease is an autoimmune disease.

Thanks Julie, in college biology (20 years ago), we were taught that hyperthroidism and Grave's disease were synonymous/interchangeable, as were hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's disease on the other end of the spectrum.

I don't know if that has changed, or whether our professor was wrong all along. It certainly makes sense to seperate the causes from the effects.

10-10-2009, 08:23 PM
Nah, he was wrong all along :). Ditto for hypothyroidism/Hashimoto. It's really kind of strange. Both over- and underactive thyroids have a variety of causes.

10-10-2009, 09:58 PM
Our professor did cover the various causes, he just used the terms interchangeably (and it turns out wrongly). It may have been what he was taught (he was ancient).