At the BBC Good Food Show and even at the Allergy & Free-from Show, I have found a stand where people were selling sea moss. I don’t remember which brand, and anyway, it’s not important because many brands claim the same thing.
In its advertisement, it was written that it contains 92 of the “essential minerals”. In my first year, I studied vitamins and minerals, and guess what? We need 14 minerals – there is no medical evidence we need others! There is not even evidence that the sea moss contains 92 minerals. I did a Google research, and I found this list.
I don’t guarantee the veracity of it but, assuming that it’s true, who wants to supplement arsenic, francium, lead, mercury, polonium and plutonium? Jessica Fletcher, from “Murder, She Wrote”, probably would find it interesting.
Just to let you know, I questioned them about the list, but I was asked to give them my credentials as a doctor because they couldn’t give the list to everyone (it doesn’t make any sense). Plus, the guy at the stand told me that he was a nutritionist. I asked him about his degree, but he didn’t answer.
But let’s pass on the properties: sea moss stimulates thyroid function as it contains a lot of iodine. It’s true, but iodine is not something you can take in large quantities, especially if you’re already taking iodine supplements because it can damage the thyroid gland.
It contains iron. Valid again, and the most significant deficiency in the world is iron, but not everyone lacks it, and too much iron can bring constipation and stomach pain. If you’re anaemic, it’s ok.
A journal article from July says that it seems it has improved the fertility of male albino rats, increasing fertility and sexual drive. Still, this study has been conducted on rats, so it needs more analysis. Instead, if you’re a male albino rat, I wonder why you would want to increase your fertility.
I don’t want to go into too much detail, but a scientific study (a real one) shows that the sea moss contains flavonoids and polyphenols (good) and tannins (not really good, but they are still studied, and anyway we eat them in chocolate, coffee, wine and tea). The same study says it can have anti-tumoral properties, but again… it needs to be studied!
Overall, I think that a small amount can’t be harmful, but I wanted to highlight that certain sellers claim properties that don’t have scientific evidence for marketing. I am not saying that sea moss is a bad thing, but it’s not the panacea for every sickness or nutrient deficiency in the world. I even suspect (not scientifically proven, and I don’t take any responsibility for that as it was just a thought) that it can be a good face mask if you like jelly on your face.
My conclusion is: if you see something claimed as a “superfood”, do your research. There probably are good qualities, like blueberries, for example, but anything heals for a whole range of sicknesses. The best thing you can do is have a varied and balanced diet and, in case you don’t know how to do it, you can always look at the Eatwell Guide (scientifically proven)!!