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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

TikTok-famous ‘sea moss eating’ trend may put you at risk of deadly disease

TikTokers tout benefits of sea moss but is actually safe? — TikTok/@jacquelyndes_

Sea moss, a gelatinous goo, is a popular wellness product among TikTokers who often rave about its health benefits online but experts aren’t sure if it is a nutritious treasure trove or a fishy fad.

TikTokers are frequently spotted chowing down on heaping spoonfuls of the algae, which is available in dried, liquid or gummy dietary supplement form at pricey shops, the New York Post reported.

This algae is found in the Atlantic Ocean’s rocky coasts.

While it is claimed to have numerous health benefits due to its rich mineral contents, health experts question it’s nutritional value compared to standard fruits and vegetables.

Miranda Galati, a Canada-based registered dietitian, told USA Today that the algae “may have some health benefits in certain qualities,” there is little research to back up the claims.

Sea moss, or chondrus crispus, has been linked to improved gut, thyroid and immune health, as per VeryWell Health.

Sea moss growing on a rock in the Goblin Forest in Tasmania. — Unsplash

“Unfortunately the health claims behind sea moss are mostly unsupported,” Galati noted.

In fact, sea moss supplements may pose health risks to health-conscious consumers due to the variability in iodine amounts, which can lead to an under-active thyroid, or hypothyroidism, according to Healthline.

Additonally, sea moss may cause gastrointestinal symptoms or allergic reactions, and may also contain potentially toxic heavy metals due to its ability to absorb and store toxic substances.

Galati also mentioned the possibility of drug interactions between the algae and pharmaceutticals, highlighting the importance of seeing a physician before adding the A-listers’ “superfood” to your diet.

She said that anyone who’s over 65, nursing, pregnant or suffering from health issues should generally avoid consuming sea moss.

“It might have some potential benefits, but I don’t think it’s worth the risk,” she said.

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