Commonly known as kelp, Laminaria digitata is a sea vegetable that is most typically used as a source of certain nutrients. Kelp may have many other uses for your health, however, including benefits for weight loss. Before you begin taking Laminaria extract to promote weight loss, consult your doctor to discuss the potential risks and proper dosage.
Kelp is a type of brown seaweed that can be different species belonging to the Laminaria genus, but the most common form is Laminaria digitata, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Kelp is rich in vital minerals like iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Laminaria species also contain high levels of folic acid and numerous other vitamins, making it a nutrient-rich food source in many countries, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Kelp is also made into extracts and other medicinal remedies that are used for specific health purposes.
Kelp’s high concentrations of iodine can help treat an iodine deficiency, notes the University of Michigan Health System. The iodine in kelp may also increase your metabolism, Drug Digest says. Laminaria species contain large amounts of soluble and insoluble fibers that have laxative effects in the intestines, both by stimulating intestinal contractions and by bulking stools. Additionally, kelp could offer antihypertensive, antiviral and anticancer actions, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.