ALGIN: Featured in “The GNC Gourmet: The Fun of Multipurpose Ingredients
The 4 Hour Chef – “The Scientist”

Consumer Information and Education
Provided by
Based on
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database


What is it?
Algin is a chemical taken from brown seaweeds. It is used to make medicine.Algin is used to lower cholesterol levels and to reduce the amount of heavy chemicals including strontium, barium, tin, cadmium, manganese, zinc, and mercury that are taken up by the body. Algin is also used for the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure.In foods, algin is used in candy, gelatins, puddings, condiments, relishes, processed vegetables, fish products, and imitation dairy products.

In manufacturing, algin is used as a binding agent in tablets, as a binding and soothing agent in throat lozenges, and as a film in peel-off facial masks.

Is it Effective?
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.The effectiveness ratings for ALGIN are as follows:

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for…

  • Lowering cholesterol.
  • Lowering blood pressure.
  • Decreasing the amount of the certain heavy chemicals taken up (absorption) by the body. These chemicals include strontium, barium, tin, cadmium, manganese, zinc.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of algin for these uses.

How does it work?
Algin forms a gel that may lower cholesterol levels by reducing the amount of cholesterol entering the body.
Are there safety concerns?
Algin seems to be safe when used in food amounts. But the safety of larger medicinal amounts is not known.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of algin during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Are there any interactions with medications?

Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Algin is a thick gel. Algin can stick to medications in the stomach and intestines. Taking algin at the same time as medications that you take by mouth can decrease how much medication your body absorbs, and decrease the effectiveness of your medication. To prevent this interaction, take algin at least one hour after medications you take by mouth.

Are there any interactions with Herbs and Supplements?


Algin, also known as alginate, binds with strontium and keeps it from being absorbed well by the body. This effect has been used to reduce strontium absorption and toxicity in cases of poisoning, but it might also affect the absorption of strontium supplements.

Are there interactions with Foods?
There are no known interactions with foods.
What dose is used?
The appropriate dose of algin depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for algin. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
What other names is the product known by?
Alginate, Alginate de Sodium, Alginates, Alginato, Algine, Algue Géante, Ascophylle Noueuse, Ascophyllum nodosum, Goémon Noir, Laminaire Digitée, Laminaria digitata, Macrocystis pyrifera, Pacific Kelp, Sea Whistle, Sodium Alginate, Varech Palmé, Varech Porte-Poire.


Sodium Alginate

(A component of the cell walls of colder-water brown seaweeds. It gives seaweed some of its flexibility to move with the motion of the ocean.)

WillPowder Sodium Alginate, 16-Ounce Container