Best Kelp Supplements – Top 10 Brands Ranked for 2018

best-kelp-supplements-on-the-market

Jump Ahead to the Best Kelp Products

In his classic 1870 science fiction novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”, French novelist Jules Verne described an underwater forest of epic proportions and great beauty. The novel’s protagonist tells of seaweeds as tall as trees, with some reaching fifteen meters in height. The seaweeds he talked about were none other than kelp!

Kelps are a family of brown algae comprising around 30 different subtypes. Kelps mainly grow in waters of colder temperatures around the world. They have a very high growth rate, and some may reach up to 65 meters in length!

Kelps are rich in iodine, calcium, iron, and magnesium. They are also a good source of many natural vitamins. Kelps have been used for hundreds of years as food and for their medicinal properties. Some kelp products are used in many industries, including car tires and ice cream!

What is Kelp?

Kelps have long been a staple of Asian cuisine, as the many kelp benefits were discovered and popularized early on. As such, kelp supplements were introduced to harness the various kelp benefits.

Kelps contain a significant amount of minerals, especially iodine and calcium, as well as vitamins and other nutrients. Kelp is considered a “superfood”; its significance as one of the best iodine sources is of particular importance to this well-deserved nutritional reputation. Good kelp supplements have a higher calcium content than milk! Since kelp is essentially a plant, it also has a high dietary fiber content.

Kelp supplements are derived from natural kelp seaweeds and provide the full kelp benefits. They are great sources of iodine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and B complex vitamins. Different species of kelp may contain varying concentrations of minerals, vitamins, and trace elements. Top kelp supplements are made using whole dried kelp plants, preserving their mineral and nutrient content.

Uses & Benefits of Kelp

Kelp is considered a superfood by many and has a variety of potential uses. Some of the primary uses of kelp include:

  • Iodine: Iodine is an essential nutrient that is commonly deficient from modern diets. It’s so important, in fact, that the US government started adding it to table salt (“iodized salt”) back in the 1920’s. Iodine deficiency is quite common, and can have some serious consequences. Thus, it’s important for everyone to consume enough iodine, and kelp happens to be an excellent source of the micronutrient. Powdered kelp supplements have been used to treat hypothyroidism and address the symptoms of iodine deficiency, and kelp is considered to be the best food source of the nutrient.
  • Weight management: Kelp may be beneficial in managing a healthy weight. For those with an iodine deficiency, increasing iodine intake via kelp may help to improve thyroid function, which can improve weight loss efforts. Beyond that, a certain protein found in many varieties of kelp, called fucoxanthin, has been shown to reduce fat tissue and have anti-obesity properties. Particularly when combined with pomegranate seed oil, fucoxanthin can aid in weight management in overweight individuals. More research is needed, but it’s possible that kelp may be beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Diabetes: Some clinical evidence suggests that kelp may be beneficial in managing type 2 diabetes. A Korean study found that kelp intake in diabetic individuals resulted in increased antioxidant enzyme activities, better glycemic control and improved blood sugar levels. More research is needed.
  • Cancer: Some evidence suggests that kelp may help to slow cancer growth in the body, particularly in regards to prostate cancer. Fucoidan, a natural component of seaweeds like kelp, helps to suppress the growth of cancer cells. Kelp has noteworthy anticancer effects in colon and breast cancer, as well, due to its ability to help stimulate apoptosis, or the killing off of cancer cells. More research is needed, but at this point the anticancer potential of kelp is promising.

Some kinds of kelp may also have anti-inflammatory properties, but not all varieties demonstrate these traits. Regardless, kelp can have a variety of benefits, particularly for those who are deficient in iodine.

Who Can Benefit from Kelp?

  • People with thyroid problems. Iodine deficiency in the body may lead to a hypoactive thyroid gland, which causes chronic fatigue, depression, weight gain, cognitive slowing, and other manifestations. Effective kelp supplements are great sources of iodine.
  • People who wish to lose weight. Although the scientific evidence for using kelp as a weight loss aid is lacking at the moment, anecdotal evidence from many kelp users suggests that it may help. This may be especially significant when the weight gain is a manifestation of a thyroid problem.
  • People with diabetes. Another kelp benefit that is currently under study is its ability to help control blood sugar. This effect may be related to the antioxidant properties of kelp. Good kelp supplements may be used alongside insulin and/or oral antidiabetics.
  • Aging adults. The antioxidant, anticancer, and bone health-promoting effects of kelp supplements may be especially beneficial for aging adults.
  • Those with clotting problems. Kelp supplements may decrease the risk of formation of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. Diabetics are at an increased risk for blood clot formation, which makes kelp supplements particularly important in these people.
  • Everyone else. The general health-promoting effects of kelp may be claimed by anyone. Its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties may also be used to fight infections and inflammatory conditions.

How to Take Kelp

Kelp supplements come in the form of capsules or tablets that may contain whole dried kelp plants, kelp-sourced iodine, or whole dried kelp with additional kelp-sourced iodine. Due to variations in the kelp species used and the manufacturing process, kelp supplements contain varying concentrations of iodine. Kelp supplement dosage of iodine per serving is clearly indicated on the label.

The average recommended daily intake of iodine from any source is 150 micrograms. FDA guidelines on kelp supplement dosage state a maximum daily intake of 225 micrograms for adults and 300 micrograms for pregnant and lactating women. For people with thyroid problems, a physician may prescribe a suitable kelp supplement dosage and brand.

Are There Any Beneficial Kelp Stacks?

For people with low thyroid function and/or weight gain due to thyroid problems, a good option may be a kelp stack with L-tyrosine (thyroid hormone), which may be effective at correcting the condition. Selenium may also be added to the kelp stack to further optimize thyroid function and weight loss.

Kelp Side Effects

Kelp supplements are largely safe to consume. However, problems may arise from chronic over supplementation beyond the maximum daily recommended dose of iodine.

Optimum thyroid function is dependent on maintenance of iodine levels within the correct range. Too little or too much iodine may lead to thyroid dysfunction, causing hypo or hyperthyroidism, goiter, and even increasing the risk for thyroid cancer development. People with pre-existing thyroid problems are at an increased risk for iodine-induced thyroid dysfunction.

Manifestations of an underactive thyroid gland may include fatigue, depression, unexplained weight gain, constipation, brittle hair, cold intolerance, and menstrual irregularities.

An overactive thyroid may cause anxiety, tremors, pounding heartbeat, weight loss, diarrhea, hair loss, heat intolerance, excessive sweating, and menstrual irregularities.

What to Look for in a Good Kelp Supplement

The top kelp supplements use kelp sourced from the Atlantic Ocean. It is also important to check whether the supplement has been tested for arsenic and other heavy metals. For people who have not been prescribed a kelp supplement for treatment of hypothyroidism, it may be better to stick to kelp supplements that contain lower doses of iodine.

The best kelp supplements are free of gluten and artificial additives. You may also want to check whether the supplement comes in capsules or tablets, and if it is vegetarian or kosher certified.

Top 10 Kelp Products Compared

Heads up, there are affiliate links in this article, so if you buy something, we get a cut of the sale.


1. Nature’s Way Kelp

Nature's Way Kelp

Nature’s Way Kelp is one of the best kelp supplements on the market. It uses whole dried kelp plants that grow in coastal ocean waters, ensuring that these kelp pills give you the full kelp benefits. These non-GMO vegetarian capsules contain 600 mgs of whole dried kelp and 300 micrograms of iodine. Providing 200% of the daily value, this is one of the best sources of iodine. This powerful kelp supplement is gluten free and contains no sugar, yeast, corn, dairy, artificial colors or preservatives.

Highlights

  • 300 micrograms of iodine
  • 35 milligrams of sodium
  • 600 milligrams of whole dried kelp
  • Affordable
  • Good iodine source
  • Antioxidant
  • Whole dried Atlantic Ocean kelp
  • Arsenic and heavy metal free
  • Vegetarian
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten and dairy free

Who Makes It?

Nature’s Way is a premium manufacturer of dietary supplements. As one of the first manufacturers to use Tru-ID, you can rest assured that the information on the label is accurate and authentic.

Founded in 1968 by Tom Murdock, Nature’s Way has grown into a quality-minded, science-based supplement manufacturer. They use only the top ingredients and incorporate rigorous quality control measures.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the #1 kelp pills, Nature’s Way Kelp is a strong contender for the title. This product provides one of the best iodine sources from whole Atlantic dried kelp at an affordable price. Nature’s Way guarantees that their effective kelp supplement is arsenic and heavy metal free, making it safe for consumption.

ⓘ If you buy something using the link below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
amazon-logo-newer

2. NOW Foods Kelp

NOW Foods Kelp

NOW Foods makes one of the top kelp supplements available today. Containing 325 micrograms of iodine, these vegetarian-friendly kelp pills are some of the best iodine sources around. NOW Kelp is gluten, nut, and dairy free. These kelp pills are non-GMO, kosher, vegan/vegetarian friendly, and are manufactured in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) registered facility.

Highlights

  • 325 micrograms of iodine from Atlantic kelp
  • Affordable
  • Great iodine source
  • Antioxidant
  • Whole Atlantic dried kelp
  • Tested for arsenic and heavy metals
  • Gluten and dairy free
  • Non-GMO
  • Kosher
  • Vegetarian

Who Makes It?

Since its establishment in 1968 in Illinois, NOW has maintained a family-owned, quality-oriented business model. NOW Foods understands its responsibility to provide consumers with premium products that support their health. As such, they make one of the best kelp supplements you can buy. Their facilities are GMP certified and employ the most rigorous quality assurance measures.

Bottom Line

Not only is this one of the most powerful kelp supplements and sources of iodine, it is also affordable and free from common food allergens. NOW Foods is an ethical manufacturer that enjoys the loyalty and patronage of many health-concerned people. Undoubtedly, NOW Kelp is one of the better kelp supplements on the market.

ⓘ If you buy something using the link below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
amazon-logo-newer

3. Country Life Arctic Kelp

Country-Life-Arctic-Kelp

Sourced from Arctic kelp, this effective kelp supplement provides an iodine dosage of 225 micrograms per tablet, or about 150% of the daily value. Country Life Arctic Kelp is vegan, kosher, gluten free, and non-GMO. It is free from dairy, sugar, salt, soy, yeast, wheat, and artificial additives.

Highlights

  • 225 micrograms of Iodine from Arctic kelp
  • Affordable
  • Excellent natural source of iodine
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Gluten free
  • Non-GMO
  • Kosher and vegan friendly

Who Makes It?

Country Life was founded in Long Island, NY in 1971. They were the first supplement manufacturer to receive the certification for being completely gluten free, marking their status as an industry leader.

Country Life pledges to use only clean, fresh ingredients and to use laboratory testing to verify their authenticity. This product is a reflection of Country Life’s core values of integrity and quality, making it one of the top kelp supplements.

Bottom Line

Country life makes a potent kelp supplement. The combination of high quality and affordability make this a solid choice for those seeking natural iodine sources. You can’t go wrong with Country Life Arctic Kelp.

ⓘ If you buy something using the link below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
amazon-logo-newer

4. Solgar North Atlantic Kelp

Solgar North Atlantic Kelp

Solgar North Atlantic Kelp uses one of the best species of kelp to provide you with the full array of iodine benefits. Solgar North Atlantic Kelp is vegetarian-friendly, kosher, and gluten free. It contains no wheat, dairy, or preservatives.

Highlights

  • 200 micrograms of iodine per tablet
  • Natural source of iodine
  • Hypoallergenic and gluten free
  • Kosher
  • Vegetarian

Drawbacks

  • A little more expensive than competitors
  • Some consumers have reported less benefits from using this versus other brands

Who Makes It?

Solgar, the maker of this product, has been around for 70+ years. Their science-based approach to manufacturing and their commitment to quality have earned them a reputation as one of the best.

Bottom Line

Solgar is one of the companies that produce very good kelp supplements. If it were a little cheaper, it would probably gain a more prominent spot on the list. Overall, Solgar North Atlantic Kelp is a good choice.

ⓘ If you buy something using the link below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
amazon-logo-newer

5. Swanson Kelp

Swanson Kelp

Swanson Premium Kelp is an iodine source derived from Atlantic kelp. Swanson makes these good kelp pills in a GMP certified facility and guarantees the accuracy of the info on the label.

Highlights

  • 225 micrograms of iodine
  • 59 milligrams of whole Atlantic kelp
  • Affordable
  • Premium source of iodine
  • Antioxidant
  • Atlantic kelp
  • Arsenic and heavy metal free

Drawbacks

  • Packaging does not indicate whether this is gluten free
  • May contain traces of shellfish, people with fish allergies should take care

Who Makes It?

Swanson Health Products was founded in 1969. Leland Swanson, the founder, was suffering from arthritis, which limited his ability to play the sport he was passionate about, golf. He decided that he wanted to make health-supporting products that can help people to remain healthy and enjoy their lives.

As a family business, Swanson Health Products is wholly committed to making premium-grade dietary supplements to help you pursue your passions in life.

Bottom Line

Swanson Kelp is one of the most effective kelp supplements. As a bonus, these affordable kelp pills come in an attractive packaging.

ⓘ If you buy something using the link below, we get a small commission.

Where to Get It
amazon-logo-newer

6. Oregon’s Wild Harvest Kelp

Oregon's Wild Harvest Kelp

Oregon’s Wild Harvest Kelp is one of the most powerful kelp supplements. This vegan, certified organic kelp supplement is sure to provide you with a healthy dose of iodine.

Highlights

  • 400 micrograms of iodine from kelp
  • 600 milligrams of organic kelp
  • High dose of iodine
  • Vegan
  • Organic
  • Free from gluten, dairy, and nuts

Drawbacks

  • Expensive
  • Capsule form, you can’t cut it in half to divide the dose

Who Makes It?

Oregon’s Wild Harvest, established in 1994, is a younger company than many of its competitors. However, their science and human-first approach has secured their reputation as a top manufacturer of supplements.

Bottom Line

These are the best organic kelp capsules on the market. If you need a very strong kelp supplement, this should be at the top of your list.

7. Nature’s Life Kelp Tablets

Nature's Life Kelp Tablets

Nature’s Life Kelp uses Icelandic kelp to provide you with a healthy dosage of iodine and other minerals. As one of the top 10 kelp supplements, this gives you the full iodine benefits.

Highlights

  • 225 micrograms of iodine from kelp
  • 41 milligrams of Icelandic kelp
  • Cheap
  • Icelandic kelp
  • Vegetarian tablets

Drawbacks

  • Fishy taste
  • May have a higher risk of some side effects

Who Makes It?

Nature’s Life has existed for around 40 years. They have a reputation for producing high-quality supplements that mirror the latest breakthroughs in science.

Bottom Line

Nature’s Life Kelp is one of the strong kelp supplements that many people recommend. At this price point, it is cheaper than most other brands.

8. Puritan’s Pride Sea Kelp

Puritan's Pride Sea Kelp

Puritan’s Pride Sea Kelp is a premium kelp supplement and a natural source of iodine. These are quality kelp pills for someone who wants to boost their kelp intake without the risk of exceeding the maximum daily value of iodine.

Highlights

  • Provides 150 micrograms of iodine from natural kelp
  • Affordable
  • Gluten, dairy, fish, soy, and additive free

Drawbacks

  • Less potent than other brands
  • Tablets may have a bad taste

Who Makes It?

Since 1973, Puritan’s Pride has produced premium-quality dietary supplements. All their products are made in the USA, and you may even contact them for a tour of their factories!

Bottom Line

This is one of the choice kelp supplements for people who do not have an iodine deficiency.

9. Solaray Kelp with Folic Acid

Solaray Kelp with Folic Acid

Solaray Kelp is one of the few kelp supplements that contain added folic acid, which is essential for pregnancy by supporting healthy development of the fetus. This, along with the regular kelp benefits makes Solaray Kelp one of the top choice kelp supplements.

Highlights

  • 400 micrograms of folic acid
  • 550 milligrams of kelp.
  • Great source of iodine
  • Vegetarian capsules
  • Preservative free

Drawbacks

  • More expensive than kelp-only supplements

Who Makes It?

Utah-based Solaray was founded in 1973 and has since pioneered encapsulated dietary supplement formulations.

Bottom Line

This is another good kelp supplement that has the added benefit of folate.

10. Nature’s Plus Kelp

Nature’s Plus Kelp

Nature’s Plus makes great kelp pills that are great source of iodine.

Highlights

  • 150 micrograms of iodine
  • 300 milligrams of kelp
  • Affordable
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten free
  • Hypoallergenic

Drawbacks

  • May be less effective than other kelp supplements

Who Makes It?

Nature’s Plus makes premium dietary supplements in GMP-compliant, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to guarantee top quality.

Bottom Line

This is one of the better kelp supplements for people who want to get the full iodine benefits without exceeding the recommended daily value.