Innovations uncover new benefits of seaweed, including an improved release of nutrients and a more neutral flavour.

new benefits of seaweed

Doctor Seaweed® teamed up with Newcastle University to discover new benefits of seaweed, by exploring a new micro-encapsulated seaweed ingredient developed by Seaweed & Co.

And their findings have certainly been making waves; being shared by big names like Nutrition First and the Nutraceutical Business Review. These results show that there seems to be even more new benefits of seaweed to be discovered!

What new benefits of seaweed were discovered?

The research undertaken in partnership with Newcastle University Medical School discovered new benefits of seaweed, namely that this specific micro-encapsulated seaweed ingredient harvested by Seaweed & Co. can protect key nutrients during the stomach phase of digestion, and can result in a better release of nutrients in the small intestine – potentially leading to improved bioavailability and functionality.

Micro-encapsulation is rarely used in seaweed ingredients, despite being a well-known process with many benefits. It was these benefits of protecting key nutrients which led Seaweed & Co. to team up with Newcastle University and test their seaweed powders. So what other results did they find?

Well, this seaweed ingredient also produced reduced aromas and flavour compared to other seaweed ingredients, making it much more usable in a wide range of applications. This even includes applications with sweet flavours such as sports nutrition products and smoothies.

Dr Craig Rose, Managing Director of Seaweed & Co., has this to say about the findings: “We are delighted with these preliminary results, which have taken over 18 months to perfect, alongside our investments in our now Patent Pending production processes. We are confident our sustainable seaweed ingredients are world-class, offering a breadth of benefits with extensive research back-up and transparent traceability back to source. The quality of our offer and expertise is recognized via our distribution network around Europe, the USA, South Korea and the Middle East.”

Also thrilled with the findings, lead researcher at Newcastle University Medical School Dr Matthew Wilcox looked ahead to future research into new benefits of seaweed: “This initial research holds great promise to build on the potential we have already seen from Seaweed & Co.’s seaweed supply. Using our unique human gut model system, we can evaluate polyphenol release at any stage of the digestion process from salivary stage until the end of the small intestine, where the vast majority of absorption takes place. Our models are tested against human trials to give excellent correlation. Further work will be done to look at bioavailability using techniques developed by my team at Newcastle University.”

Seaweed & Co. Patent Pending seaweed ingredients already possess a whole host of benefits…

Seaweed & Co.’s Patent Pending seaweed ingredients hold EU Approved Health Claims, due to their wide usage across nutritional products. These claims include being a healthy alternative to salt and showing potential for managing weight.

Yes, the potential of Seaweed & Co.’s seaweed ingredients have already been shown through research with Newcastle University, which found then-new benefits of seaweed including helping to manage blood sugar release. This is done through the presence of specific polyphenols which inhibit enzymes responsible for breaking down carbohydrates – namely alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase – which means energy could be released more slowly.

So what does this mean?

It means there’s huge potential to address health issues like obesity and diabetes, and the new benefits of seaweed discovered in the way of key polyphenol protection could enhance this potential further.

Seaweed and Co.’s seaweed ingredients are also rich in natural levels of iodine, resulting in further EU Approved Health Claims of Normal Growth in Children, Normal Cognitive Function, Normal Energy Yielding Metabolism, Normal Functioning of the Nervous System, Normal Production of Thyroid Hormones and Normal Thyroid Function, and the Maintenance of Normal Skin.

So, in light of all these existing benefits, why are these new benefits of seaweed so important?

Typically, seaweed’s more savoury flavour can limit its usage in nutrition, but these new benefits of seaweed follow the creation of a more neutral seaweed flavour with even more nutritional benefits, meaning even more people can feel the benefits of seaweed than ever before!

Welcome “Seaweed& Protect”

This micro-encapsulated seaweed can protect products against the more testing savoury flavours of seaweed, resulting in a greater potential of use in a vast range of products.

Because of these new benefits of seaweed that the ingredient possesses, the new ingredient joins the Seaweed & Co. family as part of the range, under the name “Seaweed& Protect”.

The potential for using “Seaweed& Protect” as an ingredient in foods such as breads and beverages such as smoothies is huge, and creates the chance for further benefits of seaweed to be discovered. The plant based encapsulation material of the ingredient is both insoluble and heat stable, and this means there’s no breakdown during baking, pasteurization and other such processes.

It’s neutral aroma also creates an opportunity to include the ingredient in sport’s nutrition, powder blends and other areas where sweeter flavours are preferred.

Catch Doctor Seaweed® at Vitafoods!

Doctor Seaweed® himself will be attending the Vitafoods global nutraceutical event in May for the exciting launch of this new addition to the Seaweed & Co. franchise. There he will be introducing the Seaweed& Protect ingredient, and delving even further into the research behind its creation. More information coming soon!

Remember: all seaweed is good, but some is just better!

Seaweed is fast becoming one of the trendiest superfoods of 2017, and with good reason! There’s even evidence that shows us seaweed has been used for centuries, all over the world, and may even have had a hand in shaping our DNA and who we are today!

But Seaweed & Co.’s seaweed produce is of an even higher standard. With over 10,000 species of seaweed globally, you want to know you’re getting the best. Seaweed & Co. seaweed is harvested in the stunningly clear waters of the Scottish Outer Hebrides, under license from the Crown Estate via production partner Hebridean Seaweed Company. The remote islands off the coast of North West Scotland makes for an ideal harvesting location, with extensive sea lochs offering a sheltered habitat and Grade A pristine waters to help the seaweed grow.

Seaweed & Co. seaweed is traceable, sustainable, and has more benefits than ever before! Get in touch with Doctor Seaweed® today to find out more about this miracle sea plant.