Latest News » The Re-Balancing Potential of Seaweed by Simon Range (Part 2)

A Measured Response from Consumers and Practitioners

Imbalance always manifests a reduction in the vitality of a person, and the consistent refrain from our customers was that their energy so improved; they didn’t get so tired. Many reported their surprise that such a tiny amount of seaweed could make such a noticeable difference in their health.

And some were quite annoyed with us! “There is no food to rival this, not like all those others like xxx and xxx which shout about how good they are. You should say this on your literature because it is true, it is the best food there is”.[8]

Encouraged by our retailers and consumers, we were keen to enlist food manufacturers in adding Seagreens® to a wide variety of foods as an ingredient, which could rapidly broaden its efficacy in the general population. Given their ubiquity, baked goods like biscuits, bread and cakes were an obvious target – and Seagreens® aids carbohydrate digestion!

In a blind taste test as early as 1998, an oatcake containing Seagreens® was voted “best tasting oatcake”. [9] A year later a Demeter® Certified biodynamic bakery in Kent, Artisan Bread, decided to replace most of the salt in their loaves with Seagreens®, and still do today.

But we had to wait until 2007 before we could do the science that might endear us to the food industry, for whom let’s face it, chemical formulations and artificial additives are so much more dependable, factory-friendly and altogether less weird than wild seaweed!

Nevertheless there are good people everywhere, and for the science we have to thank a giant supermarket, Asda and a small organic ready meals producer in Dorset, Pure Organics, for our inclusion in Food Innovation, a government funded project to explore healthier alternatives to salts, fats, sugars and other undesirable food ingredients.

One of the big objections was that removing salt would reduce shelf life and taste, but the researchers at Sheffield Hallam University showed that Seagreens® not only prolonged shelf life as effectively as salt, but enriched taste, with only 3.5% sodium against the 40% in salt. In a recent study, 50% of a taste panel preferred a Seagreens® mix in wholemeal bread, 83% in plain white bread.

There is a wider body of research on wrack seaweed in cardiovascular disease, cholesterol and circulation which fully supports its use in food Seagreens® wild wrack among the remote Arctic Lofoten Islands and therapy. It has been shown to have a similar mode of action to the drug heparin, breaking down fats in the blood, lowering cholesterol and in one 1999 trial increasing blood flow to the epidermis by 45%.[10]

The obvious links to diabetes, obesity and other metabolic disorders are equally important aspects of its use we hope to be able to explore further in due course. Ultimately, consumers must decide. Bulk industrial salt costs 14p per kilogram and causes heart disease. Seagreens® can cost more than £8 a kilo and contributes to health.

Although it has taken our first decade for Seagreens® to be taken seriously as a mainstream branded food ingredient, this is of course, just the beginning. Medical practitioners, particularly nutritionists and naturopaths in alternative and complimentary medicine, as well as consumers, have broken the ground, and will continue to sow the seeds of further change.

From Dietary Balance to Therapeutic Use

Soon after Seagreens® began, Dr Jack Levenson LDS RCS(Edin), Dental Adviser to the Environmental Medicine Foundation and founding President of the British Society for Mercury-Free Dentistry, began using Seagreens® Food Capsules within his protocol to bind and remove patients’ amalgam mercury. A number of things impressed him. Unlike his familiar chelating agents, Seagreens® eliminated mercury through the bowel instead of urine, avoiding kidney damage; even at high doses there were no side effects. Gradually he removed almost every component in his detox protocol, declaring they were already in our seaweed!

Scientific research had found wrack seaweed effectively dissolves fats in the blood and reduces cholesterol, improves blood flow to the epidermis, is highly alkalizing (75 times more so than apples), and an effective antiviral and anti-bacterial.[11] All of this makes it a permanent daily detoxifier as well as a daily nutritional support – something no drug or nutritional supplement can provide. Many practitioners use it successfully in weight regulation.

“I would like to thank you for the wonderful effects of Seagreens® used in conjunction with a personalized nutrition programme: loss of eight in obstinate non-loss cases, including low thyroid, and fabulous midriff and hip reduction in all. The health benefits are considerable, especially in pre-IVF cases where removal of heavy metals are so essential”.[12]

Levenson’s work in detoxifying heavy metals was of interest to practitioners in autistic spectrum disorders, where the retention of mercury, among many problems, is typical. We sponsored a small uncontrolled study among 40 families in 2003-4. Some of the autistic children had a calmer temperament and improved communication. In summary, the benefits in ASD are likely to be the binding of heavy metals, lymphatic system support, healing the lungs and gastro-intestinal tract, improving mineral and acid-alkaline imbalance, assisting endocrine and thyroid function and a significant contribution of antioxidants which cleanse free radicals.[13,36]

Practitioner Testimony

“Seagreens® are pure, simple, effective and essential! As a Clinical Nutritionist I see many abnormalities within sufferers of ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorders): poor metabolism, hypothyroidism, heavy metals toxicity, elevated acid to alkaline levels, low levels of essential fatty and amino acids, poor electrolyte balance and low essential elements. Research evidence suggests that Seagreens® may prove beneficial to many autistics and may provide a minimal but optimum start for your child as an all rounder supplement. Nutrients that are best absorbed, occur naturally. This is a naturally produced product and taken regularly over time, may help with the many known biochemical, metabolic and detoxifying mechanisms needed to improve your child’s health”

– Jonathan Tommey, Clinical

Nutritionist, in The Autism File,

December 2006.

Cancer seems to be another special area of use. The polysaccharides in wrack seaweed have been shown to cause the destruction of cancer cells by interrupting the progress of their DNA and preventing their adhesion to healthy ells [14-17] – reminiscent of the way they prevent the adhesion to the gut wall of the ulcer-forming bacteria Helicobacter pylori.[18] The scientific research covers brain tumour[19], breast cancer [20,21], intestinal cancer [22], leukaemia[23,24] lung cancer [23, 12-16] and throat cancer. [30] Where once soya was thought to account for the low incidence of cancer in Japan, this is now attributed to dietary seaweed which “has shown consistent anti-tumour activity”.[31]

In conjunction with other nutrients in the seaweed, the polysaccharides also chelate (bind) and remove radium from  he body [32,33,34,35]. Seagreens® are therefore an appropriate nutritional support in cancer management especially before, during and after chemo and radiation therapy, and in breast cancer, according to American research findings; their outstanding iodine content also has a preventative role.[36]

In 2008 Seagreens® sponsored a pilot study in eczema for a London university MSc thesis, to evaluate its effect as an oral nutritional supplement while maintaining current dietary habits. 16 adults with atopic eczema were given 6 Food Capsules per day for 3 months.

In a small-scale study of this nature it was not unusual to see no overall significant impact on symptoms, but in several individual cases the symptomatic improvement was “remarkable” and more than one study participant has continued with the recommended daily intake. It is hoped that a further randomized trial with appropriate controls will now be possible.

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References

[8] Mrs Diana White, unsolicited consumer testimonial 16.02.06 (name and address supplied).

[9] Reduced sodium food tasting, The Inside Story (now Foods Matter), September/October 2008.

[10] Healthcare Summary for Practitioners, Seagreens® Information Service, edition 22, pp15-17.

[11] Healthcare Summary for Practitioners, Seagreens® Information Service, pp20, 21, 44, 13, 14.

[12] A. Gardner, Nutritional Therapist, Middlesex, letter 01.03.2007.

[13] The Autism File: S. B. Ranger, Issue 10, 2002, and J. Tommey, Issue 21, 2006.

[14] D. Riou, S. Colliec-Jouault, D. Pinczon du Sel, S. Bosch, S. Siavoshian, V. Le Bert, C. Tomasoni, C. Sinquin, P. Durand, C. Roussakis, Antitumour and

Antiproliferative Effects of a Fucan Extracted from Ascophyllum Nodosum Against a Non-small-cell Bronchopulmonary Carcinoma Line, PMID:8702239,

UI:96273150, European Journal Hæmatology, Jan; 54(1):27-33, 1995.

[15] 18th Annual Conference of the Carbohydrate Symposium (19-21/08); 69th Annual Proceedings of the Japanese Biochemical Society (26-30/08); 55th

Annual Proceedings of the Japanese Cancer Society (10.12/10). 1996.

[16] TA Read, V. Stensvaag, H. Vindenes, E. Ulvestad, R. Bjerkvig, F. Thorsen, Cells Encapsulated in Alginate: a Potential System for Delivery of

Recombinant Proteins to Malignant Brain Tumours, PMID:10571425, UI:20036203, Oncology, 46(5):343-348, 1989.

[17] SL Fitzpatrick, G. Kassam, A. Manro, C. E. Braat, P. Louie, D. M. Waisman, Fucoidan-dependent Confirmational Changes in Annexin II Tetramer, PMID:

10694379, Annual New York Academy of Sciences, 886:243-248, 1999.

[18] Dr P D’Adamo, The Eat Right Diet, Century, London. p273. 1998.

[19] T. A. Read, V. Stensvaag, H. Vindenes, E. Ulvestad, R. Bjerkvig, F. Thorsen, Cells Encapsulated in Alginate: a Potential System for Delivery of

Recombinant Proteins to Malignant Brain Tumours, PMID:10571425, UI:20036203, Oncology, 46(5):343-348. 1989.

[20] J Teas, The Dietary Intake of Laminaria a Brown Seaweed and Breast Cancer Prevention, PMID:6302638, UI:83194310.

[21] J. Teas, M. L. Harbison, R. S. Gelman, Dietary Seaweed (Laminaria) and Mammary Carcinogenesis in Rats, PMID:6426785, UI:84205434, Cellular

Biology and Toxicoly, Feb; 13(2):95-102, 1997.

[22] B. S. Reddy, S. Numoto, C. I. Choi, Effect of Dietary Laminaria Angustata (brown seaweed) on Azoxymethane-induced Intestinal Carcinogenesis in male

F344 rats, PMID:4070010, UI:86067333, Mutation Research, July; 127(2):113-118, 1984.

[23] E. Furusawa, S. Furusawa, Anticancer Potential of a Dietary Seaweed Extract (Crude Polysaccharide) on Lewis Lung Carcinoma in Comparison with

Chemical Immunomodulators and on Cyclosporine-accelerated AKR Leukemia, PMID:2476696, UI:89385425, Cancer Letters, February; 30(2):125-131, 1986.

[24] G. Csanaky, J. A. Vass, I. Ocsovszki, J. Milosevits, A. Szomor, M. Schmelczer, Changes in Adhesion Molecule Expression and Function in B-cell

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukæmia After In Vitro Interferon-alpha Stimulation, PMID:7532138, UI:95163724, Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, November;

85(11):1144-1150, 1994.

[25] D. Riou, S. Colliec-Jouault, D. Pinczon du Sel, S. Bosch, S. Siavoshian, V. Le Bert, C. Tomasoni, C. Sinquin, P. Durand, C. Roussakis, Antitumour and

Antiproliferative Effects of a Fucan Extracted from Ascophyllum Nodosum Against a Non-small-cell Bronchopulmonary Carcinoma Line, PMID:8702239,

UI:96273150, European Journal Hæmatology, Jan; 54(1):27-33, 1995.

[26] E. Furusawa, S. Furusawa, Anticancer Potential of a Dietary Seaweed Extract (Crude Polysaccharide) on Lewis Lung Carcinoma in Comparison with

Chemical Immunomodulators and on Cyclosporine-accelerated AKR Leukemia, PMID:2476696, UI:89385425, Cancer Letters, February; 30(2):125-131, 1986.

[27] S. Soeda, S. Ishida, H. Shimeno, A. Nagamatsu, Inhibitory Effect of Oversulfated Fucoidan on Invasion Through Reconstituted Basement Membrane by

Murine Lewis Lung Carcinoma, PMID:7829400, UI:95130424, Cancer Letters, September 30; 85(1):133-138, 1994.

[28] W. Roszkowski, J. Beuth, H. L. Ko, G. Uhlenbruck, G. Pulverer, Blocking of Lectin-like Adhesion Molecules on Pulmonary Cells Inhibits Lung Sarcoma

L-1 Colonization in BALB/c-mice, PMID:2737266, UI:89289934, Human Pathology, April; 20(4):352-360, 1989.

[29] K. Kayser, H. J. Gabius, T. Ciesiolka, W. Ebert, S. Bach, Histopathologic Evaluation of Application of Labelled Neoglycoproteins in Primary Bronchus

Carcinoma, PMID: 2467870, UI:89197199, Cancer Research, June 15; 48(12):3367-3373, 1988.

[30] M. K. Steuer, H. J. Gabius, A. Bardosi, R. Matthias, Histochemical Identification of Endogenous Lectins Using Labelled Neoglycoproteins in Human

Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Experientia, June 15; 45(6):584-588, 1989.

[31] J. Teas, M. L. Harbison, and R. S. Gelman, Dietary Seaweed (Laminaria) and Mammary Carcinogenesis, Cancer Research 44:2758-61, 1984.

[32] Y. Tanaka et al., The Binding of Lead by a Pectic Polyelectrolyte, Environmental Research 14:128-140, 1977.

[33] S. C. Skoryna, Y. Tanaka et al., Prevention of Gastrointestinal Absorption of Excessive Trace Elements Intake, Trace Substances in Environmental Health

VI, Symposium, (D. D. Hemphill, Ed.), University of Missouri, Columbia, 1973.

[34] Y. Tanaka et al., Studies on Inhibition of Intestinal Absorption of Radioactive Strontium, Canadian Medical Association Journal 99:169-75, 1968.

[35] S. C. Skoryna et al., Studies on Inhibition of Intestinal Absorption of Radioactive Strontium, Canadian Medical Association Journal 91:285-88, 1964.

[36] H. Aihara, Acid and Alkaline, Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation,1986.

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