Sea Moss Gummies: Benefits and Risks

In recent weeks sea moss gummies have gained popularity in the supplements world, especially on social media. In this blog post we look at the scientific evidence behind the benefits of sea moss gummies and we will also analyze the risks or side effects associated with taking sea moss gummies.
Natasha Puttick

Natasha Puttick

Graduate medical student at Barts and London.

A blue image with text saying "Seamoss gummies"

What is sea moss?

Sea moss also known as Chondrus crispus, is a form of seaweed or algae [1]. It is also referred to as Irish Sea Moss, and it grown along the Atlantic costs of Ireland, North America and Europe [2]. Sea moss is an edible plant similar to other sea vegetables such as Kelp. Whilst it may be currently trending to take sea moss supplements, this vegetable has actually been used for many years, being harvested by the food industry as a thickener in non dairy milk, ice cream and infant food.

What are sea moss gummies?

While sea moss can be taken its raw gel-like form, and is safe to consume like this, this has quite a strong seafood like taste therefore gummies are a more palatable form of this, theoretically with the same benefits [3]. Gummies may also contain additional ingredients such as Elderberry to mask the taste or sugar to give the gummies their palatable flavour. Another common addition is Pectin, a form of starch to provide the gummy-like consistency.

What is the nutritional value of sea moss gummies?

As with all seaweeds, sea moss is high in vitamins, protein and minerals such as calcium, potassium and iodine. In addition to this it is naturally low in calories and fat [2].

In one 20 gram or 4 tablespoon serving of raw Irish sea moss there is the following:

  • 10 calories.
  • 0.5 grams of protein.
  • 0 grams of total fat
  • 0.5 grams of fibre
  • 0 grams of sugar
  • 10% of the Daily Value (DV) of Iron.
  • 1% of the DV of Calcium.
  • 7% of the DV of Magnesium.
  • 4% of the DV of Zinc.
  • 3% of the DV of Copper.
  • 2% of the DV of Phosphorus.

In addition to this Sea moss and other red seaweeds are full of antioxidants. Antioxidants are small molecules which help protect against free radicals, which have been associated with an increased risk of developing health conditions like cancer and diabetes [4]. They do this by protecting your cells against oxidative damage [5].

Furthermore, sea moss is a natural source of Iodine. This is a micronutrients necessary for thyroid health which reduces your risk of developing goitre [2].

What are the benefits of taking sea moss gummies?

The possible benefits are taking sea moss gummies are wide ranging from promoting heart health to supporting immunity [1].

Some potential benefits include:

  • Supporting thyroid health [6].
  • Improving immunity, with one study in salmon finding that supplemental seaweed improved immune response, however no studies have been conducted on humans [7].
  • Valuable source of live bacteria and fiber for a healthy gut microbiome [6]
  • Promotion of fat metabolism. A study in rats demonstrated that a compound found in seaweed called fucoxanthin helped support weight loss [7].
  • Reducing LDL or bad cholesterol, aiding heart health [8].
  • Aiding blood sugar management. A study on pigs found that alginate, a compound in seaweed prevented blood sugar spikes [9].

However, it is necessary to consider that whilst the benefits of seaweed and algae have been studied, sea moss itself has not been extensively studied. Though because sea moss and seaweed grow in similar environments, some of these benefits may be carried over. In addition most of these studies were conducted in test tubes or on animals, rather than carrying out in-vitro testing in humans, limiting the validity of their results.

Are there any risks of taking sea moss gummies?

As discussed above a potential risk of sea moss gummies is that only minimal thorough research has been conducted and as with seaweed it is difficult to tell the acid fatty acid and micronutrient components of sea moss. Furthermore whilst it is a good source of iodine, given its variable content, consumers can be at risk of overconsumption [1]. Taking too much iodine can lead to hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid [10]. Sea moss may also contain heavy metals, which can be toxic as seaweed is known to store and absorb high amounts of these compounds. However, a study on 8 types of seaweed around Europe and Asia, suggests the risks associated with this are likely low [11]. Nonetheless, to reduce the risks of sea moss gummies, it is best to discuss with your clinican or take in moderation.

Sea moss gummies pros and cons summary

Sea moss gummies are an attractive supplement and have been suggested to be a superfood with many potential benefits; however, there is also a lack of human studies conducted on the validity of these claims as well as possible side effects so caution should be applied before purchasing or consuming this supplement. Furthermore, such supplements can be very expensive and few of the compounds that make them up are unique to sea moss. Instead they should be available from a healthy and varied diet. Though if you are struggling to consume enough vitamins and minerals sea moss supplements could be a concentrated and valuable form of this!

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Natasha Puttick

Natasha Puttick

Natasha is a medical student at Barts and the London school of Medicine and Dentistry, with an interest in the social determinants of health. She graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA in Human Sciences and has obtained two publications. Her most recent work investigating clinical vaccine trials has been published in BMJ Public Health.