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Ascophyllum nodosum is a macroalga and can be assigned to the taxonomy of brown algae. In German-speaking countries, Ascophyllum nodosum is also known by the conventional name "Knotentang". This is based on the fact that the macroalga forms knot-like swim bladders in the course of its growth.
Ascophyllum nodosum is edible and is therefore also found in foods. More often, however, it is used as a functional ingredient in the food industry.
Thanks to its versatile active ingredients, Ascophyllum nodosum is often found in food supplements, in the form of capsules or as an ingredient in formulations.In addition, it can be used in the cosmetics industry, as Ascophyllum nodosum has several beneficial properties for the skin. However, Ascophyllum nodosum is not only good for humans. The microalgae is also used in animal feed and in agriculture.
Ascophyllum nodosum has some interesting effects that can be used in dietary supplements and as a functional ingredient in foods.
Studies suggest that taking Ascophyllum nodosum may help reduce the formation of plaque on teeth.
Ascophyllum nodosum may contain a lot of iodine, depending on where it was grown and harvested. Taking Ascophyllum nodosum can increase iodine levels, which in turn is beneficial if you have an iodine deficiency.
In addition to all of the above uses, Ascophyllum nodosum's general nutritional profile, with all of the minerals, vitamins and amino acids, makes it interesting for many uses.
Ascophyllum nodosum offers anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties, among others. Fucoidan and fucoxanthin help protect against UV radiation and help increase elasticity. The result, a positive effect on anti-aging potential.
In addition, it provides mild exfoliating properties in the form of powder. This effect helps to remove the dead skin cells and to improve the appearance of the skin.
Another component of Ascophyllum nodosum is alginic acid. This acts as a thickening agent in contact with water. When applied as a cosmetic product, it makes the skin look firmer and can thus help reduce wrinkles.
Minerals and vitamins in Ascophyllum nodosum macroalgae are accumulated by the skin when used in cosmetics, promoting a fresher complexion.
Ascophyllum nodosum can be used in agriculture to promote plant health as an ingredient in fertilizers. This is made possible by the fact that Ascophyllum nodosum's biochemical ingredients strengthen the plant, making it more resistant to negative environmental factors.
In addition, the accumulation of minerals in the Ascophyllum nodosum macroalgae, which are released when used as a fertilizer and are accessible to the plants.
Both macroalgae belong to brown algae, which is a common feature. However, Ascophyllum is smaller and has nodule-like swim bladders.
Laminaria, on the other hand, can grow very long and form real kelp forests from the leaf-like structures.
In addition, there are differences in the accumulated contents, depending on the place of growth. Laminaria digitata is more often used in the food industry as a raw material for dishes. Ascophyllum nodosum is also used in this field. However, extracts of the macroalga are used more often than it is used as a pure ingredient.
When buying Ascophyllum nodosum, the same things should be considered as when buying other algae products. The region in which the algae are grown and harvested is important because algae, like other natural products, absorb substances from their environment. Therefore, it is relevant that the place of production is free of toxins and that there are strict government regulations regarding quality.
In addition, the further processing after harvesting of Ascophyllum nodosum must be considered. This includes the drying methods as well as the hygiene standards, which ensure that contamination does not occur.
The form of Ascophyllum nodosum that is suitable for purchase also depends on the area of application. Powders and flakes are more suitable for food and dietary supplements. Liquid extracts, on the other hand, are more suitable in the cosmetics industry, as they are easier to incorporate into creams and lotions.
Side effects when taking Ascophyllum nodosum are very rare.
However, in exceptional cases, ingestion may cause stomach problems. Depending on the time of cultivation and harvest, Ascophyllum nodosum can accumulate a high amount of heavy metals. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the place of origin of the macroalga.
The high content of iodine can lead to negative effects if taken continuously. Thus, it is important to pay attention to how much iodine is contained in the purchased product and not to exceed the recommended guideline values.
The appropriate dose of Ascophyllum nodosum depends on several factors.
These include, for example, age, health status, and diet.
Currently, there is not enough scientific information to establish a unilateral guideline. Therefore, it is recommended to follow the guideline values provided by the producer of the formulation or product.
Ascophyllum nodosum grows in the North Atlantic, North Sea, Baltic Sea and other colder waters. It is rarely found in the Pacific Ocean.
Ascophyllum nodosum colonizes intertidal zones and grows on rocks and other structures where the microalgae can find support.
Ascophyllum nodosum is harvested by different producers in Europe and around the world. Most are local, independent harvesters or producers or associations that process the macroalgae themselves or sell it to industry for further processing.
Ascophyllum nodosum, also known as “Kelp” is a brown algae widely distributed in the Atlantic Ocean, it also occurs in the North and Baltic Sea. Due to its many ingredients and trace elements it is well suited as an ingredient for food. However, probably the best known application is its use for the extraction of alginic acid, which is used as a thickening agent in the food industry.
In addition, Kelp has also been used for a long time as a natural and environmentally friendly fertilizer.
In cosmetics, Kelp is also used for its moisturising properties, which help dry skin and make the skin feel softer.
The powder is commonly used for food and dietary supplements.
This product is available in the following forms: Ascophyllum nodosum powder, Ascophyllum nodosum flakes and dried raw Ascophyllum nodosum algae. This product is also available as a non-organic variant.
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