(Fucus vesiculosus; 250 mg per ml 118 mcg Iodine per ml)
• used as a source of iodine, as a restorative of the thyroid gland and as a metabolic stimulant for weight loss • used to treat rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis • used as a premenopausal prophylactic against hormonal cancers in women • used for its immunostimulatory and antioxidant properties
Ryan Drum, PhD, establishes the essential need for supplementing the diet with healthy, stable iodine 127. He points out that, “Animals with (a) complete body complement of iodine127 tend to not take in radioactive iodine131.” Radioactive iodine131, a fallout product from nuclear power generation, is a primary reason for the massive prevalence of thyroid disease observed in the last few decades, contends Drum. In the presence of iodine deficiency, animals will absorb and use iodine131, even though it damages the thyroid and gives off gamma radiation. Bladderwrack and all seaweeds are excellent sources of healthy iodine127. Moreover, much of the iodine from bladderwrack is present not just as simple iodine127, but also as di-iodotyrosine (DIT), an immediate precursor of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3), according to Drum. “This makes Fucus spp the sea vegetables of choice for treating thyroid disorders by providing the immediate precursors for T4 and T3. Indeed, Fucus seems particularly effective in treating early stage hypothyroidism. Positive results have (been) obtained in both hypothyroidism and Graves' hyperthyroidism cases.”
For cases in which obesity is associated with thyroid trouble, this herb may aid in weight loss. It has a reputation for helping to relieve symptoms of rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis, when both taken internally and applied externally to inflamed joints.
Scientists at the University of California have assembled data that show the endocrine modulating effects of bladderwrack at relevant doses and suggest that it is the bladderwrack in their diet that accounts for the lower incidence of hormone-dependent cancers among the Japanese people. A case series additionally documented that bladderwrack significantly reduced circulating 17-Ÿ-estradiol levels, while progesterone levels rose significantly from 0.58 to 16.8 ng/ml. The author concluded, “These pilot data suggest that dietary bladderwrack may prolong the length of the menstrual cycle and exert anti-estrogenic effects in pre-menopausal women. Further, these studies also suggest that seaweed may be another important dietary component apart from soy that is responsible for the reduced risk of estrogen-related cancers observed in Japanese populations.”
In addition, bladderwrack is a powerful anti-oxidant.