Last updated: August 13, 2021

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In the depths of the oceans there are a multitude of undiscovered and unimaginable plants and animals that may one day enrich the world. The brown alga has been found in people's households for many centuries. However, for the most part in Asia. For some time now, the benefits of this special alga have also been noticed in Europe and Germany. Since then, it has become established on the market and can perform smaller and larger miracles in the most diverse data.

The brown alga is used in food. However, in the course of time, the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries also came to use it. A natural remedy that protects the body in a special way from the inside out. Our brown algae test 2021 now shows you the facts and details about this fascinating product from Mother Nature. In addition, you will know exactly what you have to do and in which form the brown algae appeals to you the most or fulfils the greatest benefit.




The most important facts

  • Brown algae are becoming more and more established in Germany. As food, they can help cleanse the intestines and liver and replenish the vitamin balance in the body.
  • Brown algae products are often used in the pharmaceutical sector as tablets and capsules to supplement the diet and keep blood sugar levels and the nervous system stable. And this with a natural basis without additives.
  • In addition, brown algae are offered in cosmetic products to moisturise the skin in a natural way and make it shine in its former glory.

The Best Brown Algae: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying brown algae

How big an impact do algae have on our everyday lives? Every second oxygen molecule originally comes from algae. Their contribution to our oxygen content on earth is therefore immense.

What are brown algae?

Brown algae can be found in waters all over the world and are considered to be one of the main suppliers of oxygen on earth. They have been an essential ingredient in Asian cuisine for over 3,000 years. In Germany, on the other hand, brown algae are in great demand, especially in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical markets. Alginates can be extracted from these algae, which are ultimately used in products as helpful substances for many different problems.

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Algae keep us and all organisms living in water alive. They are the world's main oxygen suppliers and are sometimes also found on land.
(Image source: Marco / unsplash.com)

Brown algae are classified as living organisms and are mostly found in the world's large oceans. However, there are also a few species that are comfortable in freshwater. Normally, they grow attached to rocks, stones or similar things. It is rather rare for them to grow on top of each other, but this does happen. Even more unlikely, but all the more amazing, are the so-called kelp forests on the American Pacific coast. This is how many algae form an association in dense areas.

Algae undergo a generational change when it comes to reproduction of the approximately 1500 species. However, they are only divided into 240 genera. The history of the brown alga begins more than 5,000 years ago. At that time, it already had a great and relevant aspect for the economy, as it was already used as a food and remedy at that time. And even today, the effect of brown algae is undisputed and irreplaceable. Provided the correct dosage is observed.

How does brown algae work?

A protective barrier exists in the stomach when brown algae are ingested. To be more precise, it is the so-called alginate. The extract is obtained from brown algae and provides the effects. After brown algae were able to gain an ever greater foothold in our society in the form of food and cosmetic products, they were also used in research.

In cancer research, an astonishing result could be achieved. In 2015, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research was able to determine in a study that a processed version of the brown algae species Fucus vesiculosus, can stop the cell cycle of pancreatic cancer. The alginate causes the cancer cells to produce enzymes and ultimately the cancer's cycle can be blocked. This blockade prevents the cancer from reproducing. This process is based on how the alga is often used in chemotherapy. (1)

The vegan lifestyle is also very popular in Germany. A Finnish study on raw food shows that brown algae significantly improve B12 levels in the blood. However, the prerequisite for this study was also that it involved long-term vegans whose main diet is raw food. As a sole source of B12, the algae would probably be too little, as they often have a high proportion of inactive B12. Spirulina and other products with cyanobacteria do not even have any usable B12 for the human body. However, it is quite relevant to distinguish between the different algae. (2) (3)

Arthritis , an inflammation of the joints, can also be fought by algae and made less harmful. In this case, the alginate has an anti-inflammatory effect. Polysaccharide, a long-chain sugar molecule, forms the basis for this and is extracted from brown algae. The immune reaction against cartilage cells is interrupted and thus the origins of arthritis are attacked, so that the disease has less chance of spreading and causing even more damage. (4)

Furthermore, brown algae has an impressive effect on the issue of heavy metal biosorption. The human body needs certain metals such as iron or zinc, but only in small amounts and concentrations. Too high a dose, on the other hand, is very toxic and also dangerous for the body. This is different from mercury, cadmium or lead, which can also enter the body through normal food intake. These metals are directly harmful to the body.

Once these metals are in the body, it is very difficult for the body to get rid of them. Even in this case, the brown alga, or more specifically the cell wall components alginate and fucoidan, has proven to be effective. Their biochemical construction enhances the performance of the biomaterials and thus helps to excrete the toxic metals. Of all the affordable sorbents, brown algae is the most effective way to achieve the goal. They allow the important maximum of metals to be absorbed. Iron absorption is thus facilitated. (5)

Improving blood circulation and lowering blood pressure has a relevant influence on the body's ability to cope with stress on a daily basis. The result of problems with the blood, for example if it is too thick, appears in the form of cardiovascular diseases. In everyday German households, asperine is often used as a blood thinner. The effect then lasts about 4 days. In order to avoid having to take Asperin several times a week and also to be able to exclude the side effects, brown algae have a similar effect.

The extract Fucoidan is freely soluble in water and acid solutions. After experiments with mice to test the dilution, Fucoidan was finally recognised as an immunomodulating and anticoagulant agent of plant origin. (6)

When and for whom are brown algae useful?

Brown algae contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium and iron as useful and essential ingredients. Thus they round off the vitamin balance well. People who basically have problems with an insufficient immune system find here a way to achieve the maximum result with a food.

Let algae clean up your vitamin balance

People with hair loss or skin problems also benefit from the remarkable effects of brown algae. In addition, there is increased strength of the fingernails and benefits for the connective tissue. The elimination of toxins also plays a major role. Especially for people who have problems with the detoxification of the body. If you have problems like these or with your blood sugar level, it is certainly a good idea to ask your family doctor whether the regular intake of brown algae could help.

What are the risks and side effects of using brown seaweed?

Besides numerous positive aspects, seaweed in food can also be very harmful. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the dosage. Possibly already when buying the product. The amount of algae and the other ingredients should be precisely specified to avoid serious damage. In particular, the thyroid gland is affected by too extensive a supply of iodine. Long-term damage could be the result.

A maximum of 100 micrograms of iodine per day is recommended

Food supplements have been very popular in Germany for some years now. Since the Federal Republic can be described as an iodine deficiency area, this offers a very profitable business for some companies. Advertising is also being adapted, so the consumption of iodine-containing food supplements seems even more important.

Small autonomous centres develop in the thyroid gland in us humans as we age. If the dose of iodine is too high, the result can be a life-threatening hyperthyroidism. In completely healthy and young people, too much iodine inhibits the hormones. Thus, no age or health condition is "out of danger" with too much consumption.

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Brown algae are most commonly used in tablet form as a food supplement.
(Image source: Gatewood/ unsplash.com)

Furthermore, we would like to point out at this point that supplements only have a supplementary effect. They do not replace a healthy and balanced diet or make it less necessary.

What alternatives are there to brown algae?

Besides brown algae, other foods are prepared daily in German cuisine that can have a very high iodine content. Among others, these are the following products:

  • Fish
  • Green vegetables
  • Dairy products
  • Nuts
  • Salt
  • Peanut and olive oil

However, the special properties of brown algae in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic fields are largely undisputed. Unique ingredients achieve an impressive effect that can hardly be compared. This explains the great boom in the market.

Decision: What types of brown algae are there and which is right for you?

Brown algae are consumed in dried form in sushi or simply as a snack. The pharmaceutical industry, on the other hand, shows other ways in which you can consume the "vegetable from the sea" and access the helpful ingredients accordingly. Now you just have to decide.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of brown algae tablets?

Brown algae tablets are completely vegan, highly dosed and made in Germany. Take 1 tablet a day with sufficient liquid. Normally, tablets have quantity information and exact dosage descriptions such as: 365 tablets with 150µg iodine each from organic brown algae. In this way, an error-free food intake can be guaranteed.

Advantages
  • Quantities and dosage instructions
  • simple to take
  • inexpensive
  • easy to take along
Disadvantages
  • Can be forgotten
  • Can be confused with other tablets
  • Tablets can be addictive

What are the characteristics of brown algae powder and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Brown algae powder is rather rare compared to capsules or tablets, but special attention is paid to the quality. The dosage is called a knife tip and is therefore less precise than with the other types of brown algae products. However, the powder offers great possibilities to integrate it into smoothies, drinks or meals. There is hardly any difference in taste, but the ingredients can achieve their positive effect.

Advantages
  • Very versatile
  • High quality
  • No risk of confusion
  • No tablets
Disadvantages
  • Inaccurate dosage
  • impractical to take

What distinguishes brown algae capsules and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Brown algae capsules come with a guarantee of tolerability. An exact dosage is also available and easy to take with the form of the capsules. They are usually capsules with 450mg of pure kelp, which also come with hygiene seals. The product focuses on the maintenance of the skin in particular and can also produce hormones in the pancreas. Without genetic engineering and preservatives and free of gluten and lactose.

Advantages
  • Quantities and dosage instructions
  • simple to take
  • inexpensive
  • easy to take along, tested many times
Disadvantages
  • Capsules are difficult for some people to swallow
  • easy to forget, confusion possible

What are the characteristics of brown algae cream and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Brown algae cream is mostly found in the cosmetics industry. In this case, the focus is on products against wrinkles and to combat dry eyes. Of course, there are price differences compared to pharmaceutical products. Anti-wrinkle creams have a high reputation on the market. Since the active ingredients of brown algae have been added to this product, it is considered a miracle cure in even more areas. This is the algae mask in small and practical.

Advantages
  • Spot application
  • Strengthened skin texture
  • Exact dosage
  • Works quickly, Brings moisture to affected skin areas
Disadvantages
  • Every skin is sensitive in different ways
  • Risk of addiction
  • Not inexpensive
  • Possible intolerances

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate brown algae products based on these factors

Ingredients

What ingredients help cleanse the intestines and liver? Similar to freshwater algae, brown algae are very rich in antioxidants, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, selenium or vitamins A, E and C.

This also allows some pharmaceutical suppliers to label their algae-based products as free of gluten and lactose, and also as vegan throughout. This makes the products concerned interesting for people with any lifestyle.

You'll most often find algae in Japanese restaurants in the form of nouri (sushi) or wakame (algae salad). In Asia, seaweed has been a regularly consumed food for thousands of years.

Stock up

  • Food
    The average shelf life of dried seaweed as offered as a snack or in the form of nouri leaves for sushi is up to 3 years. Fresh seaweed, on the other hand, is recommended to be consumed within the next 2 to 3 days. They should be stored in the refrigerator.
  • Cosmetics
    In the field of cosmetics, figures of up to one year can be found. Eye creams, for example, generally promise a shelf life of up to 12 months.
  • Pharma
    The best-before date for tablets and capsules for food supplements is about 3 years in the future. In principle, you can assume that tablets created in Germany have a shelf life of 5 years. It is important to note that the best-before date does not mean that a product is unusable after the specified point.

Summarised in an overview:

Occurrence of brown algae Approximate shelf life
Food fresh 2 to 3 days (refrigerator)
Food dried up to 3 years
Cosmetic product approx. 12 months
Pharmaceutical product approx. 3 years plus

Dosage & method of consumption

The type of dosage is an important aspect, which essentially differentiates the brown algae products. While tablets and capsules should be taken once a day with plenty of liquid, the brown algae powder shows that dosages can also be taken in the form of a knife tip. This amount may be added to food with pleasure, but care should be taken urgently that it is also the prescribed maximum.

Algae may already be part of your favourite food

Brown algae that are used directly as food are usually dried. Nouri leaves, for example, are used to roll sushi on and enjoy later. Seasoned algae leaves can also be eaten as a snack, comparable to crisps.

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Today, sushi is one of the most popular dishes from Asian cuisine. However, it used to be a kind of fast food and a snack in between meals. The eating culture changed.
(Image source: Pozzolli/ unsplash.com)

Wakame (seaweed salad) is served fresh. Once again, however, it is important to eat it in small quantities to avoid an overdose of iodine and thus avoid hyperthyroidism. In the case of food, the maximum increase is not as easy to recognise as in the case of pharmaceutical products, for example.

Species of algae

So far, humans have been able to study about 1500 species of algae. And this is roughly estimated to be only 20 % of the actual amount in the world's oceans. Only very few of them end up on our plates.

Algae species property
Wakame seaweed salad from the Atlantic Ocean
Kombu the bestseller among the algae
Nouri The basis of sushi
Spirulina The all-rounder
Hijiki Supplement for tofu and vegetables

How many species are still waiting to be discovered? In any case, the varieties listed here already offer more than enough to cleanse the body from the inside and also provide it with vitamins. Algae are never offered as a main dish, but as a supplement or side dish they are very popular and often used in Asian cuisine.

Interesting facts about brown algae

Do other types of algae have similar benefits?

Yes. Spirulina algae, for example, belongs to the blue-green algae species. It is also used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products and can therefore draw on properties that are just as exceptional as those of brown algae. In terms of edibility, other types of algae are even significantly more common and widespread. The impressive abilities of brown algae, which have made it the popular product it is today, are therefore also present in other species. But there are still plenty of reasons why brown algae deserve so much attention.

Do algae help you lose weight?

No. Algae do not directly help you lose weight. However, they do help with a healthy diet and with rebuilding one's own vitamin balance. These aspects are the basis for successful weight loss, so algae are certainly a useful aid to losing weight. Exercise and good nutrition are unavoidable and cannot be replaced in any way.

Where do algae come from?

Algae come from the oceans of this world. Some species also thrive in fresh water. They deposit themselves on stones and rocks and begin to grow. Perhaps even on each other and on top of each other.

Algae are among the only organisms that can live virtually without oxygen. The so-called dead zones are located, for example, in the Gulf of Mexico, the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. Algae can continue to exist there. Only with jellyfish and bacteria.

Photo source: Martinak/ 123rf.com

References (6)

1. Von Geisen, U. et al. (2015) durchgeführt. Hier wurde die Wirkung von Alginate auf eine bestimme Krebsart untersucht und es wurde tatsächlich festgestellt, dass der Kreislauf des Krebses mit dem Extrakt der Alge unterbrochen werden konnte.
Source

2. In dieser Studie aus Finnland wurde der Vitamin B-12-Status von Langzeitanhängern einer strengen ungekochten veganen Ernährung überprüft. Die Braunalge kann den B12-Wert im Blut erhöhen.
Source

3. Die Studie befasst sich mit dem veganen Lebensstil und welche Algen wie genau auf den Körper wirken. Im Bezug auf den Vitamin B-12 Status, als Nahrungsergänzungsmittel.
Source

4. Forschende der ETH Zürich, der Empa und des norwegischen Forschungsinstituts SINTEF sind einem neuen Ansatz zur Behandlung von Arthritis auf der Spur. Basis dafür ist ein Polysaccharid, ein langkettiges Zuckermolekül, aus Braunalgen. Die Forschung befindet sich allerdings noch am Anfang.
Source

5. In dieser Studie geht es um die passive Entfernung toxischer Schwermetalle. In den letzten Jahren wurden viele kostengünstige Sorptionsmittel untersucht, aber die Braunalgen haben sich seitdem als die effektivsten und vielversprechendsten Substrate erwiesen.
Source

6. Die Studie zeigt auf wie Braunalgen das Risiko von Herz-Kreislauf-Erkrankungen minimieren können.Eine chemische Analyse der Verbindung wurde durchgeführt, es wurde gezeigt, dass Fucoidan in Wasser- und Säurelösungen frei löslich ist.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftliche Studie zum Thema Krebsforschung
Von Geisen, U. et al. (2015) durchgeführt. Hier wurde die Wirkung von Alginate auf eine bestimme Krebsart untersucht und es wurde tatsächlich festgestellt, dass der Kreislauf des Krebses mit dem Extrakt der Alge unterbrochen werden konnte.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie zu Rohkost
In dieser Studie aus Finnland wurde der Vitamin B-12-Status von Langzeitanhängern einer strengen ungekochten veganen Ernährung überprüft. Die Braunalge kann den B12-Wert im Blut erhöhen.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie zum Thema: Der Vitamin B-12-Status von Langzeitanhängern einer strengen ungekochten veganen Ernährung
Die Studie befasst sich mit dem veganen Lebensstil und welche Algen wie genau auf den Körper wirken. Im Bezug auf den Vitamin B-12 Status, als Nahrungsergänzungsmittel.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie zum Einsatz von Algen gegen Arthritis
Forschende der ETH Zürich, der Empa und des norwegischen Forschungsinstituts SINTEF sind einem neuen Ansatz zur Behandlung von Arthritis auf der Spur. Basis dafür ist ein Polysaccharid, ein langkettiges Zuckermolekül, aus Braunalgen. Die Forschung befindet sich allerdings noch am Anfang.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie zur Biochemie der Schwermetallbiosorption durch Braunalgenn
In dieser Studie geht es um die passive Entfernung toxischer Schwermetalle. In den letzten Jahren wurden viele kostengünstige Sorptionsmittel untersucht, aber die Braunalgen haben sich seitdem als die effektivsten und vielversprechendsten Substrate erwiesen.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie zum Thema: Immunstimulierende und gerinnungshemmende Wirkung von Fucoidan aus Braunalgen
Die Studie zeigt auf wie Braunalgen das Risiko von Herz-Kreislauf-Erkrankungen minimieren können.Eine chemische Analyse der Verbindung wurde durchgeführt, es wurde gezeigt, dass Fucoidan in Wasser- und Säurelösungen frei löslich ist.
Go to source
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