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Kelp poisoning?

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  • Kelp poisoning?

    So, how many people are getting sick and dying of arsenic poisoning from regularly eating kelp? Haven't heard of it.

    In the information floating around about iodine supplimenting, the info says NOT to take kelp(natural) because it's got TOXIC levels of arsenic and halides.

    This is throwing up HUGE red flags for me. They're telling you to stay away from natural seaweed, but take the stuff made in a lab.

    My alarms are going off.

  • #2
    The issue is that kelp/seaweed comes from the sea, so you need to be careful to check that your kelp is not from polluted areas. I personally wouldn't want to ingest any from Japan for example. The supplemented form of iodine is mined in a number of places, so in a sense it is just as natural as the kelp, it is just sourced differently.

    There is a similar example with salt. The argument is that sea salt is at risk of contamination from pollutants in the oceans, where as the rock salt mined from mountain ranges in Pakistan is not from polluted sources. Unfortunately I've only seen this debated on websites that sell either salt so I can't say who is correct on this.

    Here's an article on the issue of arsenic found in kelp samples: High Arsenic Levels Found In Herbal Kelp Supplements

    I think the amounts are probably quite small, so if you want low doses of iodine then kelp is probably the way to go. Over in the iodine thread and on the iodine yahoo group some people are taking very large doses of iodine and that would require extremely large amounts of kelp. In that case I would supplement.

    So long as you are not using therapeutic doses of iodine, stick with the kelp, but don't be overly concerned about supplementing. Just because something comes out of the sea, doesn't make it any healthier.
    Last edited by jo; 03-16-2012, 02:13 PM.
    My website:


    • #3
      Umm... yeah. Only millions of asians eat seaweed and seaweed products nearly every day. I eat kelp/sea weeds REGULARLY... 2-3 times a week... NO problem.

      Your alarms are probably going off for a reason.
      Mercury is mostly found in animals that concentrate it, as in live longer and consume a ton of other animals that have low mercury levels. Like big tunas. Kelp is fast growing... not a really potential source of concentrated levels. Just like small fast growing fish such as sardines.
      “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
      ~Friedrich Nietzsche
      And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


      • #4
        That's what I was thinking, Cori.

        When all the cultures that regularly eat seaweed start dropping from arsenic poisoning - I'll start to worry.
        isolating a specific nutrient and then trying to add in other nutrients to create a balance(that you'd find in something's natural form) just doesn't seem correct.

        I'm just going to take my kelp capsules and not worry about it.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Lily Marie View Post

          I'm just going to take my kelp capsules and not worry about it.
          Me too And no more than the adviced amount on the bottle. But i still love the iodine thread in here, which inspired me to even start supplementing with Kelp!
          Besides, the arsenic found in some Kelp products is (according to this article) in an organic form, which is far less toxic for the body than inorganic arsenic:
          Organic versus Inorganic Arsenic in Herbal Kelp Supplements
          Take a walk on the wild side.


          • #6
            I haven't read up on it in awhile but I know some types of seaweed absorb more toxins and heavy metals than other kinds. I believe one kind of seaweed is banned in the US because of high arsenic - hijiki maybe?


            • #7
              That's the thing, many organisms/substances in nature have other things in them that balance out the "bad things".

              Mercury IS poisonous to us - fish is not, but has mercury in it.
              People eat apples regularly, but aren't affected by the poison in the seeds.
              Lead is a natural element found in many things(mineral clays and such) - but people freak out, because it's been used in man-made things, which makes it an out of balance poison.

              I understand that pollution can cause an unbalanced, poisonous object - but that's not what I'm reading. It sounds more like scare-mongering with all of the "May be, may have"'s