Sea Kelp & Breast Health

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Sea kelp is a tasty addition to your diet, served as a  side dish or component of soups or casseroles. It contains a range of vitamins  and minerals for good health, but consuming this sea vegetable may offer  particular benefits for breast health. Whether it is preventing breast disease  or relieving breast pain, the nutrients in sea kelp may  help.

Breast Cancer

Several older research studies indicate that kelp may  play a role in preventing breast cancer, pointing to this sea vegetable’s fiber  content for the effect. A 2005 study carried out by the University of  California, Berkeley, however, credits kelp’s ability to lower the body’s level  of estradiol, a sex hormone, with the positive impact on breast cancer risk.  This study was performed on rats, so more testing is necessary to confirm this  finding for humans.

Supplementing your diet with sea kelp may help reduce  the risk of sore breasts. This problem may arise when you are retaining more  water than necessary, making breast tissue swell and ache. According to Project  AWARE, this problem is a particular issue after you experience menopause.  Getting more magnesium and calcium in your diet may ease this pain, which makes  kelp a good dietary option — a 2 tbsp. portion of kelp contains 17 mg of  calcium and 12 mg of magnesium.


Breast cysts, or small sacs filled with fluid, commonly  affect women in their 30s and 40s. They are generally not a health threat, but  may be uncomfortable and can grow large. Sea kelp contains small amounts of  essential fatty acids — omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids — as well as iodine  and magnesium, all of which may help reduce the risk of breast  cysts.

Potential Risks

Sea kelp may contain mercury and arsenic, compounds that  may negatively influence your health, both breast and otherwise. Mercury in the  foods you eat may leach into breast milk, making it unsafe to breastfeed a  child. Arsenic may trigger the development of breast cancer. Both of these  environmental toxins may damage your health, as well as the health of your fetus  if you are pregnant.

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