Kelp has small amounts of iodine, which can be used to help prepare or support our body for The Iodine Protocol.

Article Highlights

  • Kelp has a lot of great nutrients
  • But, the ocean is toxic? Yep, and so is the rest of the planet
  • Data showing kelp is toxic was gathered incorrectly
  • Dr. Brownstein says kelp is great when sourced properly
  • Dr. Wilson tests people’s hair and recommends a few specific brands

Kelp also has various other nutrients, including but not limited to:

These additional nutrients can help our body utilize and process iodine. Kelp has a small amount of iodine, so the small amounts of other nutrients is similar to the supporting nutrients of the iodine protocol.

These small amount of iodine as well as other important nutrients may help us prepare our cells for detox without diving right into heavy detox.

Starting with low & slow vs high dose is debated, but after years of research and experience, I advocate for low and slow. I think kelp might be the best way to get started. If we have detox reactions to kelp, it’s a pretty good sign we’ve either got a lot of detox ahead of us, or a very clogged set of gene pathways.

So can we just use kelp instead of stronger iodine?

Not really. If someone is having a very hard time healing, or starting iodine, then using kelp for a long time may help get things back into balance enough to eventually get into iodine detox.

But iodine’s magic comes from the ability of larger doses to purge defunct cells that are loaded with toxins. These toxic cells are holding us back and iodine allows us to start clearing them out. But if we’re in rough enough shape, this is not easy to do and this is where the whole discussion of kelp vs low dose vs high dose iodine comes from. If we were not toxic to varying degrees, we would be able to take iodine without having odd reactions at random amounts.

So kelp is great for supporting our cells as we learn more about detox or even progress with detox and healing. But it will not take us very far into natural healing.

I can take large amounts of iodine now without feeling detox, but I still take kelp sometimes and I have noticed benefits a few times as I do this. I think this shows that kelp is helpful. But its not the same as larger amounts of Lugols iodine.

What about the radiation in the oceans?

There is a pretty common opinion that kelp is toxic due to being harvested from oceans that contain radioactive toxins. I hate to break it to anyone reading this, but this whole planet is so toxic by now. We pump about 2,200 metric tons of mercury into the atmosphere each year. 1 Mercury is one step below radioactivity when it comes to toxicity to life.

That statistic says 2,200 metric tons. A metric ton is 2,205 pounds. That’s 4.8 million pounds of mercury. A few milligrams of mercury in the right place is enough to make us ill. A pound has 453,592 milligrams. I’m not sure what 4.8 million multiplied by 453,592 but that’s a ton of potential illness. This is yearly too and we’ve been doing it for a while.

Not long after Fukushima, milk samples in the state of Washington had elevated radioactive iodine levels. Cows in the US are producing radioactive milk 2 weeks after reactors malfunctioned on the other side of the planet.. and we’re worried about kelp?

Some old ‘scientific’ information about kelp made it out to be loaded with toxins, but this information was eventually realized to be based on incorrect sample volumes 2

But Dr. Brownstein says kelp is toxic

I’ve seen a handful of people mention that Dr. Brownstein says kelp is toxic. I believe I’ve even seen people claim he said its unavoidably toxic. I assumed I would come across his comment at some point, but I finally had to look it up and dig in to figure out what people were referring to.

So far I’ve located one page with information related to Dr. Brownstein and Kelp.

“Kelp can be a good source of iodine plus other phytonutrients. However, kelp also can present some problems. I analyzed a kelp supplement from a leading manufacturer and found it was contaminated with extremely high levels of arsenic. When I tried to contact the manufacturer about the issue, they were not interested in my findings. If you are going to use kelp or any sea vegetables in order to increase your iodine load, it is important to ingest a product that is grown in a pure area.” 3

He says kelp is good and we should be mindful of where it is sourced.

Sea Moss and other forms of algae

What I am sharing with you in this section is based on my own speculation. I’m sharing this only because I think it’s helpful, but its not based on any sort of information other than following Dr. Wilson’s idea of compatible nutrient balances and my own understanding of this concept.

I strongly dislike Sea Moss. My wife tried several sources and I thought all of them tasted like moldy horribleness. Each time I helped her prepare it or tasted a different batch we made or purchased, I felt like something was not right.

The way I personally handle something like Sea Moss is I taste it and see how my body responds to the taste etc. Then I also pay attention to how I feel that day and the next morning. If I notice anything, I try a little more. But I always make sure to pause taking it after I try a bit of it. I want to see how my body responds to not having it. Sometimes when I pause I notice pain in my joints etc which is usually a warning to me that this is something I do not want to continue.

I noticed joint pain and extra grogginess when I paused Sea Moss after trying it for a few days. I’ve never noticed this from kelp, and I’ve tried “mega dosing” kelp. I tried small amounts again and noticed the issue when I paused again. In my personal opinion, Sea Moss should be avoided.

Sea Moss is a branchy gel comprised of carrageenan. Kelp is leafy and comprised of a fiber called alginate.

Kelp has more iodine and a better balance of B vitamins.

Both Kelp and Sea Moss are susceptible to contamination from heavy metal and other pollutants.

Sea Moss is also susceptible to Microbial Contamination due to growing in warm water.

Either Kelp or Sea Moss can be better or worse than the other depending on where they are sourced. This includes nutrient profile and contamination.

Other forms of algae have similar issues. I personally stick with kelp only and I try to keep an eye out for info about contamination etc. I do not use kelp regularly, but it is one more nutrient I cycle my way through every few months to see if my cells are searching for those nutrients.

Dr. Wilson reads people’s hair

Dr. Wilson has been reading people’s hair and adjusting their diet for decades. He tests products and how people respond to them. He also has a handful of people working under him that help pull this information together.

He used to recommend Nature’s Way, but has revised that and no longer recommends this brand.

He currently recommends: Endomet, Solaray, Country Life, Now, Ecological Formulas, Office Gudni Gudnason, Azure Farm, Solgar, Frontier Herbs, Monterrey Bay Herb Company and kelp from

I haven’t looked into each of these but I noticed Soloray seems to have Folic Acid included in all of their kelp. I think folic acid should be avoided. Folate usually only comes from natural foods. Some people supplement with Folinic Acid(not folic). Read more about this at my other site

  1. Mercury Emissions: The Global Context – EPA –
  2. Arsenic in Herbal Kelp Supplements: Concentration, Regulations, and Labeling – Environ Health Perspect. 2007 Dec; 115(12): A574. doi: 10.1289/ehp.10360 –
  3. Different Forms of Iodine –
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April 1, 2024

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