Carrageenan, one of the active components in sea moss, may help you lose weight by increasing feelings of fullness, lowering your body fat, and improving your gut microbiota.
Sea moss (Chondrus crispus) is a red algae popular among health enthusiasts due to its purported health benefits, including weight loss.
While research supports the idea that sea moss has multiple benefits, you may still be wondering whether the weight loss claims about it are true.
This article reviews the benefits and downsides of sea moss and explores whether it may help you lose weight.
Sea moss is a red seaweed, also known as Irish moss.
It commonly grows in the Northern Atlantic coasts of America and Europe, mainly in Canada, Ireland, and Iceland (
It’s also rich in minerals, such as:
Also, sea moss is very low in calories. A serving of 2 tablespoons (10 grams) of sea moss contains just 5 calories and 1 gram of carbs (
While sea moss is currently touted for its weight loss effects, it is traditionally used as a home remedy to treat sore throats and congestion.
Sea moss is a red seaweed low in calories and high in carrageenan, a polysaccharide used for its thickening and stabilizing properties.
Sea moss has a few properties that may support weight loss.
Research indicates it may help:
- regulate your appetite
- influence fat metabolism
- modulate your gut’s friendly bacteria
May increase feelings of fullness
Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance. This slows digestion by increasing the rate at which food moves through your digestive tract and delaying the rate at which your stomach empties its contents (
May help reduce body fat
Some research on red seaweed suggests that carrageenan may potentially prevent weight gain.
- lowering dietary fat absorption
- reducing the creation of fat cells
- increasing the breakdown of stored fat
- promoting the “fat-burning” effect of brown fat tissue
Additionally, a 12-week study including 78 adults with obesity determined that supplementing 1,000 milligrams per day of red seaweed extract significantly reduced body weight and total body fat mass, compared with the control group (
Still, more human research is needed to validate this effect.
May have a prebiotic effect
Recent studies suggest that the composition of your gut’s microbiota may influence your risk of obesity. The proposed mechanism is that specific types of bacteria in your gut may affect your weight by regulating energy expenditure and storage (
Sea moss may aid in weight loss due to its carrageenan content, which may increase feelings of fullness, lower body fat, and improve your microbiota profile.
Due to a lack of research on specific populations, pregnant and breastfeeding people should avoid consuming it.
Finally, there’s no official recommended dosage for sea moss.
However, one study found that taking 0.14 ounces (4 grams) per day doesn’t pose a health risk. Frequent users suggest limiting its intake to 2 tablespoons (10 grams) per day (
Sea moss is available in capsule, powdered, dried, and gel form.
Consult with your doctor before adding it to your diet and don’t exceed daily serving suggestions listed on the label.
Large amounts of sea moss may lead to excessive iodine intake, which may have detrimental health effects. Pregnant and breastfeeding people and those taking blood thinners should avoid consuming it. More research is needed in this area.
Sea moss is a red seaweed low in calories but rich in carrageenan. This polysaccharide acts as a soluble fiber, and it’s responsible for sea moss’s potential weight loss effects.
It may aid in weight loss by:
- promoting feelings of fullness
- influencing fat metabolism
- improving your gut microbiota
However, there’s currently no determined safe dosage, and high intakes of sea moss may be detrimental to your health. It may cause iodine toxicity and also interfere with medications, such as blood thinners.
Remember to always consult with your health care provider before adding sea moss to your diet.