Eating seaweed salad might increase the efficacy of vaccinations and help deal with cold sores, herpes, Epstein-Barr virus, and shingles.
Billions of pounds of seaweed are harvested annually, the consumption of which “has been linked to a lower incidence of chronic diseases,” each physical and psychological. For instance, women who eat extra seaweed throughout pregnancy look like less depressed and expertise fewer seasonal allergy signs. There’s a problem with these cross-sectional, correlational studies, nevertheless, in that they will’t prove cause and impact. Maybe seaweed consumption is simply an indicator that folks usually are following “traditional Japanese dietary customs,” which have numerous totally different points that would shield towards illness. To know for certain whether seaweed can modulate immune perform, you need to put it to the check.
As I talk about in my video How to Boost Your Immune System with Wakame Seaweed, sometimes, researchers start out with in vitro research, which means in a check tube or a petri dish, which make for faster, cheaper, and simpler experiments. One research, for instance, took eight several types of seaweed and primarily made seaweed teas to drip onto human immune system cells in a petri dish. Studies like these confirmed that the seaweed wakame, which is the type you discover in seaweed salad, can quadruple the replication potential of T cells, which are an necessary a part of our immune protection towards viruses like herpes simplex virus.
No one truly gave seaweed to individuals with herpes till a research revealed in 2002. Researchers gave individuals affected by numerous herpes infections about two grams a day of pure powdered wakame, which is equal to a few quarter cup of seaweed salad. “All fifteen patients with active Herpetic viral infections”—including herpes virus 1, the reason for oral herpes, which causes chilly sores; herpes virus 2, which causes genital herpes; herpes virus 3, which causes shingles and hen pox; and herpes virus 4, also called Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mono—“experienced significant lessening or disappearance of symptoms,” as you’ll be able to see at 2:06 in my video. There was no control group within the research, however with no downsides to eating seaweed, why not give it a attempt?
Researchers also discovered that wakame boosted antibody manufacturing, so might it’s useful to spice up the efficacy of vaccines? The elderly are notably weak to struggling and dying from influenza. While the flu vaccine may help, mockingly, the aged are less more likely to profit from it because immune perform tends to decline as we become old. So, researchers took 70 volunteers over the age 60. As you’ll be able to see at 2:50 in my video, their baseline degree of antibodies towards a flu virus was about 10 GMT. What you’re in search of in a vaccination is to get a two-and-a-half-fold response, so we’d wish to see that antibody degree rise up to a minimum of 25 GMT to think about it an efficient response. The vaccine only boosted ranges to 15 to 20 GMT, though. What occurred after the themes got some wakame extract each day for a month before the vaccination? Their ranges jumped up to 30 to 35 GMT. The researchers used an extract in a capsule quite than the actual thing, though, so they might carry out this randomized placebo-controlled research. After all, it’s sort of exhausting to make a convincing placebo seaweed salad.
“It is hoped that the popular seaweeds eaten daily in Japan, though almost unknown around the world outside of Japanese restaurants, will be consumed…for possible immunopotentiation”—that is, immune-boosting potential—“and for attenuating the burden of infectious diseases in the elderly.”
What else can seaweed salad do (aside from style delicious)? See my video Wakame Seaweed Salad May Lower Blood Pressure.
In common, sea vegetables are good sources of iodine, as I talk about in Iodine Supplements Before, During, and After Pregnancy, and can also be one purpose Japanese women have traditionally had such low rates of breast cancer, which I cover in Which Seaweed Is Most Protective Against Breast Cancer?.
What else can we do to boost our immunity? Check out my movies:
Michael Greger, M.D.
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