Sea kelp plants are found in salt water and are a rich source of iodine, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and other minerals. There are several types of sea kelp, such as bladderwrack, which are used as nutritional supplements for thyroid disorders, digestive problems, arthritis, obesity and other ailments. However, there is not yet sufficient medical evidence to prove that sea kelp supplements will assist in weight loss. In an iodine-deficiency thyroid disorder such as a goiter or enlarged thyroid, sea kelp tablets may help improve thyroid hormone production for normal metabolism. This can help promote weight loss in individuals with an underactive thyroid gland. Consult your doctor before using sea kelp tablets to help you lose weight.
Consult your doctor about losing weight. Determine if there is an underlying condition that is causing your weight gain with blood tests recommended by your doctor. Discuss options for losing weight such as a balanced diet, exercise regimen and nutritional supplements.
Purchase sea kelp supplement tablets. These may contain dried, powdered or an aqueous extract from bladderwrack and other types of kelp. Read the product label carefully to make sure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients in the tablets. Read the recommended dosage and medical information for the sea kelp tablets.
Ingest the recommended dose of sea kelp tablet according to the product label. Most manufacturers recommend 600 to 1,200 milligrams of oral sea kelp supplements per day, divided into three doses. Consult your doctor or nutritionist about the daily recommended dose if you are unsure. Do not exceed the recommended dose. Swallow the sea kelp tablets whole with a glass of water. They may be taken with or without food.
The dosage recommendation for sea kelp tablets has not yet been confirmed for weight loss by medical research. Other information may advise differing amounts. Speak to your doctor about a safe dose of sea kelp to take. Sea kelp is also available in other forms, including dried seaweed and kelp tinctures or drops.
According to a study at the University or California-Davis, some sea kelp supplements may contain higher than average amount of arsenic. This can potentially lead to accidental arsenic poisoning, particularly in individuals who overuse this supplement. Sea kelp tablets can also interact with other medications particularly prescription thyroid medications, such as Synthroid, that affect iodine levels in the body. These supplements may also interact with prescription medications that affect blood clotting, such as Plavix. Consult your doctor before taking this supplement for weight loss or any other reason.
Noreen Kassem is a hospital doctor and a medical writer. Her articles have been featured in "Women's Health," "Nutrition News," "Check Up" and "Alive Magazine." Kassem also covers travel, books, fitness, nutrition, cooking and green living.