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Red Seaweed as HPV/cervical cancer preventative

Posted Sep 12 2008 12:05pm
The Triple Helix is a magazine of young scientists/med students/etc. that's published here at Brown, and I find it really well done and chockablock with fascinating info, such as this tidbit about carageenan, a derivative of red seaweed and a natural binder of lots of health foods and cosmetic products:
In a recent study by the National Cancer Institute, researchers have found that the common food additive carageenan is effective in protecting against HPV (human papillomavirus) infections and cervical cancer...

Shown to cause cervical cancer in humans, the HPV virus attacks cells by attaching to proteins on the cellular surface, chemically gaining access to the cells of the cervix. Carageenan was found to prevent infection by inhibiting the virus from attaching to cells, working at concentrations 100-times lower than the best viral inhibitors currently employed...

Microbicides made of carageenan would be much less costly than the current $360 vaccine available on the market, making this treatment much more accessible to women in the United States and abroad. Cervical cancer afflicts 10,000 women in the United States each year, and about 250,000 women worldwide die from the disease annually...

Carageenan has been shown to provide protection from other diseases as well, including the herpes simplex virus (HSV), the virus that causes cold sores. Used as a thickener in household products like yogurt and toothpaste, carageenan is safe and readily available, and scientists claim that carageenan could become one of the best preventatives available to block against the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
Nahhhh, let's just give everyone a vaccine instead. And poor people? Screw 'em!

Anyway, Korean folklore has seaweed in general as being good for you. Some studies have shown it inhibits tumor growth, and at the very least, it has lots of iodine for the old thyroid and trace minerals--don't forget, you go back far enough, we probably all crawled out of the sea.

Dulse is one red seaweed that's pretty tasty (I'm not sure it's EXACTLY the one carageenan is taken from, but it's in the same family). I get most of my seaweed from Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, because their products are organic AND they test for heavy metals!

Aaaaaand, it's associated with fertility (which could be because the iodine helps the thyroid, which helps the get the picture) From Susun Weed:

Dulse, blood mystery of the sea. Dulse, daily, is a wonderful ally for strengthening women. With her dark purple-red color and her ever-changing shape, dulse is as red and changing as a woman's moon time. She is the image of uterine power and mystery. With her beneficial yeasts, proteins, and minerals, dulse is an optimum nourisher for uterus and nerves.
-Susun S. Weed, Healing Wise
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