Seaweed Therapy for Cancer
Seaweed has been examined for centuries about its power to help a slew of degenerative and serious diseases. Today, seaweed therapy is popular with people living with arthritis, eczema and psoriasis. Seaweed therapy is also being examined for its impact on cancer. Seaweed therapy is being researched in Japan because of its anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, and some scientists have already reported promising results. Seaweed therapy can be used externally where the patient is wrapped in pure seaweed for a cleansing effect, or can be taken internally in food or pill form.
Seaweed Therapy Basis
Seaweed is a term that refers to all types of algae formed in the ocean. It comes in red, green and brown and is also included in many products used for daily consumption such as toothpaste, cosmetics and even paint.
Seaweed contains the anticancer compounds selenium, iodine and omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains U-fucoidan, which is a complex polysaccharide. U-fucoidan essentially breaks down and destroys cancer cells while leaving the healthy, normal tissue alone.
Different types of seaweed contain a variety of cancer-fighting powers. For example, the brown seaweed Laminaria japonica contains a concentrated extract called modifilan. Modifilan has a very high content of soluble polysaccharides like fucoidan, laminarin and alginate. These compounds assist in killing cancer cells and removing toxins from the body.
Seaweed Therapy Research
Jane Teas, a pathobiologist with the USC School of Medicine, says that seaweed was used to treat diseases as far back as ancient Egypt and wanted to examine the impact of seaweed on breast cancer. Teas says that she’s been fascinated with how the Egyptians used seaweed to treat breast cancer and also theorized that the reason breast cancer rates are low in Japan is because Japanese women’s diets are rich in seaweed products and food.
Teas conducted a study on the impact of seaweed on breast cancer using lab rats. She found that rats who ate seaweed and were then injected with cancerous cells took twice as long to develop cancer as those who didn’t eat any seaweed. She theorized that seaweed damages cancer cells while leaving normal cells alone. She also believes that although Japanese men smoke more than American men, they have a lower lung cancer rate than American men because of their seaweed-rich diet.
Red seaweed is known to be particularly powerful. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology discovered a small group of red algae off Fiji’s coast called Callophycus serratus. Researchers found 10 new compounds from the red seaweed that killed tumors in the lab.
How to Take Seaweed
Seaweed is infused in a variety of everyday products and foods. Most sushi products are wrapped in seaweed. and it is also included in many Japanese foods such as miso soup. You can take it in pill form, which also enhances weight loss. Seaweed is a low-calorie food, and consuming up to 25 g per week will provide you with sufficient iodine levels.
Another way to obtain health benefits from seaweed is to have a seaweed scrub, wrap or mask at a local spa. External seaweed therapy is meant to extract and remove toxins from your skin and body for a cleansing effect.