May 25, 2016

Bladderwrack

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How does Bladderwrack work?

Bladderwrack, like many sea plants, contains varying amounts of iodine, which is used to prevent or treat some thyroid disorders. Bladderwrack products may contain varying amounts of iodine, which makes it an inconsistent source of iodine. Bladderwrack also contains algin, which can act as a laxative to help the stool pass through the bowels.

Are there safety concerns?

Bladderwrack is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin. Bladderwrack is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. It may contain high concentrations of iodine, which could cause or worsen some thyroid problems. Prolonged, high intake of dietary iodine is linked with goiter and increased risk of thyroid cancer. Treatment of thyroid problems should not be attempted without medical supervision.

Like other sea plants, bladderwrack can concentrate toxic heavy metals, such as arsenic, from the water in which it lives.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Bladderwrack is LIKELY UNSAFE during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Don't use it.

Bleeding disorders: Bladderwrack might slow blood clotting. In theory, bladderwrack might increase the risk of bruising or bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Infertility: Preliminary research suggests that taking bladderwrack might make it harder for women to get pregnant.

Iodine allergy: Bladderwrack contains significant amounts of iodine, which could cause an allergic reaction in sensitive people. Don't use it.

Surgery: Bladderwrack might slow blood clotting. There is a concern that it might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking bladderwrack at least 2 weeks before surgery.

Thyroid problems known as hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone), or hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone): Bladderwrack contains significant amounts of iodine, which might make hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism worse. Don't use it.


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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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