Navigating the Waters: The Potential Benefits and Side Effects of Sea Moss

As with any supplement, there are potential benefits and side effects of sea moss. From boosting the immune system to possible allergic reactions, explore the pros and cons of taking it.

By Jake Parks
Oct 23, 2023 6:00 PM
a collection of seaweed and algae dietary supplements on wooden spoons - spirulina, bladderwrack, kelp, sea lettuce, wakame, Irish moss, chlorella
A collection of seaweed and algae dietary supplements - spirulina, bladderwrack, kelp, sea lettuce, wakame, Irish moss, and chlorella (from left to right). (Credit: marekuliasz/Shutterstock).


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Sea moss, a type of red algae that is commonly referred to as Irish moss, has recently gained popularity in the health and wellness sphere. Because it is rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, sea moss is often lauded for its health benefits, with claims ranging from boosting immunity to improving digestion.

However, like any other supplement, it's essential to first sift through the hype about sea moss. So, before you start taking it, you must first consider both its benefits and potential side effects, as well as fully understand who should avoid taking it.

Note: Be sure to seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have about incorporating sea moss into your diet.

What Are the Health Benefits of Sea Moss?

People have been eating sea moss for years. But it’s only recently that scientists are beginning to research and understand the potential medical benefits of consuming it. Below are just some of the reported benefits of taking sea moss, whether in gel, pill, or powder form.


One of the standout features of sea moss is its rich nutrient profile. Sea moss boasts a plethora of vitamins and minerals, including iodine, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. These nutrients are instrumental in promoting optimal body function, affecting things ranging from metabolism regulation to bone health.

Immunity Boost

Sea moss has gained acclaim for its potential role in strengthening the immune system. It is rich in antioxidants, which play a crucial role in neutralizing harmful free radicals, reducing inflammation, and enhancing the body’s ability to fight off various infections.

Digestive Health

There’s growing evidence that sea moss may be a friend to your gut. Its slimy texture aids in soothing the mucous membranes in the digestive tract, potentially easing digestive discomfort, and promoting gut health.

Skin Elixir

The topical application of sea moss is often hailed for its skin-enhancing benefits. It is reported to hydrate, nourish, and soothe the skin, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties.

What Happens to Your Body When You Take Sea Moss?

When you start taking sea moss, the influx of essential vitamins and minerals can potentially lead to noticeable changes. Increased energy levels, improved digestion, and enhanced skin health are all among the reported benefits. However, it’s essential to pay close attention to your own body’s unique reaction, as individual responses to sea moss may vary.

What Are the Side Effects of Taking Sea Moss?

Despite the potential benefits of taking sea moss, there are also potential side effects to consider before consuming it, such as:

Iodine Overload

The high iodine content of sea moss, while beneficial, can be a double-edged sword. Excessive iodine intake can lead to thyroid dysfunction, including hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. If you have an existing thyroid condition, you should be sure to speak to your doctor before taking sea moss.

Allergic Reactions

Like any other supplement, sea moss is not immune to triggering allergies. Some individuals may experience skin rashes, breathing difficulties, or other allergic reactions when consuming sea moss.

Intestinal Issues

Eating large quantities of sea moss may result in an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea. And like seaweed, sea moss can contain high levels of heavy metals, which can be dangerous when consumed in large quantities.

Read More: Dietary Supplements Are No Substitute For a Healthy Lifestyle

Who Shouldn’t Take Sea Moss?

Certain individuals should exercise extra caution or avoid sea moss altogether. Due to the high iodine content of sea moss, those with existing thyroid conditions should be sure to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating sea moss into their diet.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women and individuals on specific medications or with known allergies to iodine or seafood should also exercise caution and speak to a healthcare professional before supplementing their diet with sea moss.

Is It Safe to Take Sea Moss Every Day?

The safety of daily sea moss consumption largely hinges on a person’s health status and the amount they consume. But in small quantities, daily sea moss consumption is typically considered safe. Just remember that it’s vital to adhere to the recommended dosage and consider potential interactions with existing medications or health conditions.

Sea moss consumption offers a range of health benefits, but it’s not without potential side effects. That’s why being informed and seeking professional medical advice is key to determining whether sea moss is right for you.

Read More: What You Need to Know About Vitamin D and Supplements

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