View Full Version : Good source for seaweed?

05-27-2010, 09:48 AM
I have been doing a lot of reading lately about iodine receptors in the breast and Her2+ bc. As a result, I would like to incorporate seaweed into my diet, but I am having a difficult time determining a good source for it. Does anyone have any sugguestions for places that ship? I would like to find a source someone else finds trustworthy - you never know who you are dealing with on line.

Much thanks in advance,


Ellie F
05-27-2010, 10:51 AM
Hi Hopeful
I know clearspring are a reputable company and do a number of different 'types' of seaweed. It is readily available here in England and am assuming in the States also.
If you have any problems I will gladly ship you some.


05-27-2010, 04:08 PM
Looking for dietary or supplement? Dietary often found in Asian food stores and some health food stores.

05-27-2010, 07:34 PM

I purchase my seaweed in Asian markets. I find it helps keep my blood pressure in check. I love it in Miso soup, but since I am ER+ I have to make it more seaweed than Miso! Still tastes good though!

05-28-2010, 06:10 AM

I looked up Clearspring, and they do not have distribution in the USA. Thank you for your generous offer, but I am interested in finding a supplier here that I can use on a regular basis. Do you use seaweed in your diet? How much do you consume?


I would much prefer to consume the seaweed as food rather than take a supplement; the supplements make me wary, as they are not regulated and it is hard to know what you are getting - see here: http://www.healthcentral.com/alzheimers/news-521369-98.html. My theory is something sold as food still has some level of control, naive as that may be.


I am working on finding an Asian market, though would love a mail order source. I am interested also in how much of it you eat. I am excited to try this, because I think it will work on several health issues for me at once, and hypertension is one of them.


05-28-2010, 09:10 AM
Purity of supplements is certainly of concern. I would like to see the list in the report for actual brands and amounts of impurities. Something to consider though is whether the amount of food based consumption needed to provide similar levels of the desired ingredients might have the same or higher level of contamination. From what I've seen so far, some beneficial ingredients are"bioavailable" at food levels, but some would require ridiculous amounts of consumption to achieve the beneficial levels. Like most cancer related treatment approaches, the risks seem relative.

05-28-2010, 09:20 AM

I am only looking to ingest the same amount of iodine as is found in the Japanese diet. I think that will be achievable when I can find a ready source of seaweed.


05-28-2010, 10:36 AM
Is this in line with what you have come across:

J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:AL_get%28this,%20%27jour%27,%20%27J%20Mammary %20Gland%20Biol%20Neoplasia.%27%29;) 2005 Apr;10(2):189-96.
Is iodine a gatekeeper of the integrity of the mammary gland?

Aceves C (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22Aceves%20C%22%5BAuthor%5D), Anguiano B (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22Anguiano%20B%22%5BAuthor%5D), Delgado G (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22Delgado%20G%22%5BAuthor%5D).
Instituto de Neurobiología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Juriquilla. caracev@servidor.unam.mx

This paper reviews evidence showing iodine as an antioxidant and antiproliferative agent contributing to the integrity of normal mammary gland. Seaweed is an important dietary component in Asian communities and a rich source of iodine in several chemical forms. The high consumption of this element (25 times more than in Occident) has been associated with the low incidence of benign and cancer breast disease in Japanese women. In animal and human studies, molecular iodine (I(2)) supplementation exerts a suppressive effect on the development and size of both benign and cancer neoplasias. This effect is accompanied by a significant reduction in cellular lipoperoxidation. Iodine, in addition to its incorporation into thyroid hormones, is bound into antiproliferative iodolipids in the thyroid called iodolactones, which may also play a role in the proliferative control of mammary gland. We propose that an I(2) supplement should be considered as an adjuvant in breast cancer therapy.

PMID: 16025225 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Thyroid. (javascript:AL_get(this,%20'jour',%20'Thyroid.');) 2007 Sep;17(9):851-9.
Uptake and gene expression with antitumoral doses of iodine in thyroid and mammary gland: evidence that chronic administration has no harmful effects.

Anguiano B (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22Anguiano%20B%22%5BAuthor%5D), García-Solís P (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22Garc%C3%ADa-Sol%C3%ADs%20P%22%5BAuthor%5D), Delgado G (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22Delgado%20G%22%5BAuthor%5D), Aceves Velasco C (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=%22Aceves%20Velasco%20C%22%5BAuthor%5D ).
Instituto de Neurobiología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Campus UNAM-Juriquilla, Querétaro, México.

Several studies have demonstrated that moderately high concentrations of molecular iodine (I(2)) diminish the symptoms of mammary fibrosis in women, reduce the occurrence of mammary cancer induced chemically in rats (50-70%), and have a clear antiproliferative and apoptotic effect in the human tumoral mammary cell line MCF-7. Nevertheless, the importance of these effects has been underestimated, in part because of the notion that exposure to excess iodine represents a potential risk to thyroid physiology. In the present work we demonstrate that uptake and metabolism of iodine differ in an organ-specific manner and also depend on the chemical form of the iodine ingested (potassium iodide vs. I(2)). Further, we show that a moderately high I(2) supplement (0.05%) causes some of the characteristics of the "acute Wolff-Chaikoff effect"; namely, it lowers expression of the sodium/iodide symporter, pendrin, thyroperoxidase (TPO), and deiodinase type 1 in thyroid gland without diminishing circulating levels of thyroid hormone. Finally, we confirm that I(2) metabolism is independent of TPO, and we demonstrate that, at the doses used here, which are potentially useful to treat mammary tumors, chronic I(2) supplement is not accompanied by any harmful secondary effects on the thyroid or general physiology. Thus, we suggest that I(2) could be considered for use in clinical trials of breast cancer therapies.

PMID: 17956159 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

05-28-2010, 11:09 AM

The iodine connection is particularly strong in Her2+ bc:

Per Lani, MCF-7 cells are Her2+.

See also http://www.medsci.org/v05p0189.htm


05-28-2010, 11:33 AM
It's my understanding that MCF-7 are considered ER+, but not Her2 +.

There appears to be an ability to "induce" (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18454859) her2 over expression in these cells but doesn't seem to be their natural state.

The iodine issue seems interesting. Would like to see some oral in vivo references to get a feel for how much it would take.

05-28-2010, 12:08 PM

Here is my source of info on Her2+ and NIS: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v406/n6797/full/406688a0.html

"In the breast-cancer cell line MCF-7, retonic acid has been shown to stimulate NIS expression and radioiodide uptake.

NIS is also expressed in the mammary tumors of mice whose cancers are caused by experimental overexpression of the oncogenes Her2/neu or ras."


05-28-2010, 12:38 PM
Ah...reads more like it's an issue with breast tumors in general, not uniquely important to her2.

This part, regarding iodide in a bodily context, gets the propeller sputterin':

The presence of a patient's normal thyroid will pose a challenge to the use of radioiodide to detect or treat breast tumours, as it will sequester nearly all the radioiodide until the thyroid itself is destroyed. Also, it is not yet known what proportion of human breast cancers express functional NIS and hence accumulate iodide. The results of Tazebay et al. indicate that the NIS may be incorrectly localized within the cells of some breast tumours and thus incapable of taking up iodide. So, more work is needed before we can know whether uptake of iodide in breast tumours will be of clinical use.

05-28-2010, 01:18 PM
Incorrect localization is a common theme in breast cancer. Estrogen receptors get dislocated from the center of the cell to the outside of the cell to join in cross-signaling with Her2 receptors. ER receptors need to be in the cell nucleus for Tamoxifen to work. This is one of the means by which Her2+ bc is resistant to Tamoxifen treatment. Here, the sodium-iodide symptomer is disclocated in the breast tumors, making the cells resistant to taking up iodide, so it is likely that they will be resistant to radioactive iodine treatment.

I think our entire discussion harkens back to the basic premise that breast cancer is an endocrine disease, and involves the entire endocrine system, all of which is delicately balanced within some relatively narrow parameters. It is impossible to isolate parts of the system for treatment; the system as a whole needs to be addressed. My kingdom (or at least my house) for an endocrinologist who can appreciate this and steer research and treatment, to help us all better understand the interrelationships of this fascinating part of our bodies.


05-28-2010, 02:59 PM
Just not sure the research working with MCF-7 cells illuminates the issue regarding her2.

If the iodine issue is relevant to triple neg cells, may suggest less importance of endocrine issues.
But it would be great if all cancers had an endocrine foundation that could be easily and favorably manipulated.

05-29-2010, 01:08 PM
Hello Hopeful -
Took me a while to get around to this thread as been away and catching up generally.

Ever since I was diagnosed stage IV, I have used powdered kelp.

Not sure where I got the idea that I should take some of this on a daily or very frequent basis, but I have since early 2002.

I get it at my local organic food store. Not sure where they get it, as it is in the bulk spices and other foods area. Every product that is sold in that local chain of stores has to go through rigorous investigation that it is wholesome, organic, and meets their other standards.

I sprinkle the powdered kelp on my fried (in olive oil) eggs, soups, veggie stir fries and sautes.

Had not realized that the research on seaweed had made it to the Her2 arena.

If I find out a good source I will pass it on.

05-29-2010, 01:51 PM
Update: I went to Whole Foods today and found a nice selection of sea vegetables. I bought dried Kombu, Wakame, Dulse & Arame. There are preparation suggestions on the backs of the bags, but if anyone has one they especially like, I would love to hear it. To jump start things, I bought a prepared seaweed salad and had it for my lunch. Not many calories in these, so they look like a nice way to satisfy any hunger pangs between meals.


05-29-2010, 08:59 PM
I bought dried seaweed at Safeway when I was on the West Coast. It is usually available at Asian markets, so if there are Asian markets near where you live you should be able to get different kinds of seaweed. It might also be ordered online through someplace like Amazon.

06-01-2010, 11:55 PM
More regarding supplement purity (http://www.anh-usa.org/senate-hearing-headlines-the-media-gets-it-wrong-again-here-is-some-of-what-you-need-to-know-about-supplement-safety/).

06-02-2010, 05:52 PM

I apologize for taking so long to answer your question. I try to ingest seaweed weekly. I do have a kelp powder, too, as it isn't always possible to incorporate the seaweed. My Bp was steadily rising until I researched elevated bp and realized a relationship between it and iodine levels. I consumed some seaweed daily for a week and saw a huge improvement in both my systolic and diastolic readings. I went from 150ish to 110-120 and from 90-100 to 70-85. Nice, huh? When I visited my onc recently my BP was 104/74. I tried to tempt my onc into asking what I was doing, but she isn't a true believer in the natural approach to things. In fact she had wanted to place me on a blood pressure med, but I had declined saying I'd work it out on my own. I think she doesn't want to know what I'm doing half of the time. I always laugh when the nurses want the run down of all my meds including vitamins and supplements. I inquire sweetly why they bother to ask since no one but me knows their value or interaction with prescribed meds. Naturally, it is only routine, but I still find it amusing that they ask knowing they know next to zilch about nutrition!

06-02-2010, 06:21 PM
Wow. That would be great if iodine supplementation could negate need for BP meds. Where are the bean-counters on this one?

06-03-2010, 07:20 AM
Laurel, thanks for sharing your experience. I am getting my first weeks' worth of organic veggies from the CSA I joined this week - can't wait! I am hoping to incorporate the seaweed into some salads, because most of the veggies are salad greens.

Rich, as I understand it, iodine makes tissue less rigid (i.e., breast and the linnings of the blood vessels). It is the effect on the blood vessels that results in lowered BP, and the effect on breast density that makes it good for bc prevention. I agree with Laurel, docs poo-poo nutrition as therapy too often. It is as AlaskaAngel says, we need endos involved in our care. I believe an endo would be more sensitive to the hormonal effects of food on the body (hormones, just not necessarily sex hormones, also regulate BP).


06-03-2010, 06:18 PM
Fair point, Rich. Did you read the one about Plum & Peach extract? Oh dear, big pharma can't make any $ on that, can they? Oh dear, better ban all supplements & vitamins (can you say, John McCann?).

06-03-2010, 09:13 PM
Ha! The pitted fruit extract news reminded me of ...Laetrille.