Medically Reviewed

Does Sea Moss Help With Weight Loss? We Did the Research

a photo of sea moss on a rock

Sea moss is a popular new fad in weight management. But does it work? Let’s take a look at the evidence.

Everybody has their own journey with weight management, and there’s no uniform approach. A healthy weight for one person might not be a healthy weight for another person. Still, questions of weight and how to get to the weight you want are common among American adults.

For these folks, there’s a new fad that might be of interest: using sea moss for weight loss. Let’s take a look at this new phenomenon.

What is sea moss?

Sea moss is a red seaweed that grows off the North Atlantic coasts of Iceland, Canada, and Ireland. Sometimes referred to as Irish moss or Chondrus crispus, sea moss is full of rich minerals that are vitally important for your health, including iron, calcium, zinc, chromium, magnesium, and iodine. It’s also a source of these amino acids: taurine, citrulline, and phenylalanine. Moreover, it contains solid protein content, as well as significant trace mineral levels. As such, some argue that sea moss can potentially support your body’s intake of these minerals and promote their related health benefits. Some have even suggested that sea moss could be an effective home remedy for immune support.

Marked by a slimy texture and a fish-like taste, sea moss is naturally vegan-friendly and gluten-free. Before consuming sea moss, it’s important to be sure that your sea moss is high quality. Sometimes seaweed can absorb toxins from the environment, and lower quality sea moss may still contain them.

The full nutrient content of sea moss can be found here.

Sea moss & weight loss

So, why have people started connecting sea moss and weight loss? It turns out that sea moss might improve digestion, lead to feelings of greater fullness, and promote fat-burning effects.

Aids in body fat reduction

Studies have found that sea moss very possibly reduces body fat and can help you lose weight when combined with a healthy diet and exercise plan.

One study looked at the effects of Kappaphycus, which is a genus of red algae. The study found that Kappaphycus can positively affect gut microbiota, promoting bacteroidetes, which are associated with weight loss.

Animal studies have found that the carrageenan content in red sea moss could contribute to reducing body fat and preventing weight gain. This may be caused by a reduction in how many fat cells are being created, or it could lead to increased breakdown of the fat stored in your body.

A study of 78 adults with a body mass index (BMI) between 23.0 and 30.0 kg/m found that those who consumed 1,000 mg of sea moss extract saw reductions in body fat and body weight. More studies are needed, but the findings thus far support the idea that sea moss can reduce weight in addition to a healthy diet and exercise.

Helps keep you full and satisfied

Because sea moss has high fiber content, consuming it can help increase your feelings of satiety. This study shows the key role that dietary fiber can play in the regulation of appetite. When you feel full, you’re less inclined to eat too much.

As is the case with many fiber foods, the carrageenan in sea moss can’t be digested by your body. When it hits your digestive tract, it serves as a soluble fiber, ultimately slowing the pace of the food moving through your digestive tract. You end up feeling more full and satisfied.

May help prevent overeating

This health benefit is connected to the previous one. When you’re full, you’re much less likely to eat more. Remember, though, that the key is to find a relationship to food and weight that works for you.

Acts as a prebiotic for your gut

Did you know that your gut is home to millions of bacteria?

The bacteria in your gut are essential for the health of your gut and for your body generally. There’s some research to suggest that the good bacteria in your gut can even affect weight management by affecting energy storage.

Prebiotics are fibrous, nondigestible food ingredients that support the growth of the good bacteria in your gut. Some studies have found that sea moss can serve as a kind of prebiotic for your gut, with the carrageenan in sea moss actively improving gut composition.

Other health benefits of sea moss

Sea moss can be helpful in areas other than your weight loss journey.

Being a great source of iodine, sea moss can support our thyroid health, which is important for everything from metabolism, heart health, to immune health.

Sea moss can support gut health and proper digestion, which has broad ramifications for the health of our bodies as a whole. It may boost immunity and enhance your workout capacity, and it’s an excellent source of trace minerals, containing 92 of the 110 minerals the body is made of. Lastly, sea moss may promote hair, skin, and nail health.

How to use sea moss for weight loss

One of the best ways to use sea moss for weight management is to mix your sea moss gel into a tasty smoothie. Just drop in about 1-2 tablespoons of the gel into your blender and mix it with any fruits and veggies you want. Sea moss is naturally without any flavor and will mix well with whatever you choose!

How much sea moss to take daily for weight loss

The amount of sea moss you should take varies depending on your particular needs and the form being used. Sea moss is available in powdered, capsule, dried, and gel form. Check the label and start with small doses. You should always check with your healthcare provider before starting a new supplement.

Possible side effects

Because of its high iodine content, you should avoid consuming big amounts of sea moss. Too much iodine can have negative health effects, including on the thyroid. Excess iodine can also lead to gastrointestinal problems. There’s also evidence to suggest that sea moss may have blood-thinning properties, and should therefore be avoided if you’re already taking a blood-thinning medication. People who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn’t take sea moss, since there isn’t enough research to demonstrate its safety for these specific populations. As always, you should talk to your doctor before adding a new supplement to your routine.

Final Takeaways

There’s no quick-fix solution to your weight management journey and no magical supplement that will solve all of your health concerns. Taking a supplement like sea moss can help you with weight loss goals, but only if paired with other healthy lifestyle habits, such as consuming nutrient-rich foods, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and managing stress levels.

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