It’s been reported in the news today (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2149721/Seaweed-pill-help-beat-arthritis.html) that seaweed may have an anti-inflammatory effect and therefore could be useful in treating chronic conditions such as arthritis and other conditions which cause inflammation of joints.
The seaweed has been discovered off the coast of Hawaii and was destroying coral reefs but tests have found it is a potent anti-inflammatory. There may also be a use for it in the treatment of cancer and heart disease however; this has not been proven yet.
Several types of algae and cyanobacteria are known to produce novel compounds (new combinations of different chemicals). Many of these are showing promising use for drug development for humans and other uses too.
Seaweed and Seagreens have also been identified as possibly protecting against certain types of cancer and heart disease. Seaweed contains a large amount of vitamins and minerals which act as anti-oxidants and scavenge the free radicals which can be cancer causing. It also contains high amounts of fibre.
Seaweed may help prevent heart disease as it changes the lipid profile in the blood and lowers cholesterol which are believed to be causes of heart disease. As seaweed is also an appetite suppressant it therefore reduces the amount people eat which may help people who are overweight to lose weight and therefore reduce the risk of heart disease.