Contraindications of agar agar

When not to take agar agar

What is agar agar and what is it used for?

Agar agar is used mainly for the production of vegetable gelatins (suitable for vegetarians). It has the advantage that, in addition to gelling the recipes and therefore achieving an adequate texture, it provides a large amount of fiber and minerals.

The consumption of agar agar has been considered medicinal, given the properties of soluble fiber (mucilage) to lower cholesterol.

Uses and indications of agar agar

Agar Gelatins with CalendulaAgar gelatins with calendula

Agar agar has many uses in cosmetics, in the food industry (food additive), in the paper industry, and in many others

From a food and medicinal point of view, it is mainly used as a thickener (very useful in the case of elderly people with dysphagia), as a coadjuvant in diets to lose weight (because it provides satiety), in case of constipation, stomach acidity (the fiber captures) acids and decreases acidity and for hypercholesterolemia.

Does agar agar have the same contraindications as other algae?

Agar agar is a little special algae, because it does not have the same contraindications as the rest of the algae. Unlike other algae, which are consumed fresh or dried, agar agar is an extract of algae, so it has very different properties and does not share the majority of contraindications of algae.

Agar agar for thyroid problems and for children

Being an extract of algae, agar agar does not have the iodine content so high that other algae do, being therefore a much more suitable food for children and for people with thyroid problems.

Agar agar, however, retains the fiber content, and minerals, calcium, magnesium, potassium, from the algae. Therefore, in certain aspects, it could be said that agar agar has advantages over other algae.

Drawbacks of agar agar seaweed

Agar agar should be considered as a fiber supplement, which has the property of slowing gastric emptying and absorption of substances. Therefore, the main contraindications of agar agar are the following:

  • Diabetes: Fiber could lower the glycemic index of food and, in case of taking medications, could alter blood glucose. Although it is not contraindicated to eat agar in cases of diabetes, caution is recommended and it is advised to control glycemia.
  • Drug interactions: Fiber can slow or block the absorption of medications. It is advisable to take medication away from the consumption of agar agar, especially if it is taken in the form of supplements.
  • Do not take before or after surgery.

How much agar agar can be taken?

There is no stipulated amount of this food. In general, a food consumption could be between 2 and 10 g. of agar agar a day.

Does agar agar have vitamin B12?

No type of seaweed contains vitamin B12. Seaweed contains vitamin B12 analogs that are not active. The recommendation in vegetarians is to take B12 supplements.

Agar agar during pregnancy

It seems to be an adequate food during pregnancy and there is no express contraindication.

punto rojoMore information on agar agar.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

10 January, 2022

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