Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Sodium Alginate

By Larry Plesant

One of my personal top-10 favorite molecules for health and longevity is sodium alginate, aka algin. Faithful readers may recall my mention of it in past articles, and because it is so useful, cheap and nontoxic, I finally had to dedicate an entire column to it.

Kelp - a brown seaweed from which algin can be extracted.

Kelp – a brown seaweed from which algin can be extracted.

Extracted from brown seaweeds, algin is used in baking to make hard shell custards and long lasting food decorations. It soothes upset tummies and helps to firm up loose bowels. I have never known anyone to react to it negatively. Pharmaceutical companies use sodium alginate in the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure, to lower cholesterol levels and to soothe irritated throats. Its most common source in the US is in miso soup. Two cups of miso soup a day will have profound effects on your health and you will not need to supplement with pills under normal conditions.

Most important, sodium alginate is proven to reduce the buildup of toxic metals in your body, including excessive levels of manganese, zinc, strontium, barium, tin, cadmium, and even mercury. Algin works best as a metal detox when it is already present in your body at the time of exposure. Strontium, for example, binds like calcium. If you already have algin built up in your body, many toxic metals will bind with it instead and it will pass on out without harm.

Even if you are exposed before it is built up in your body, algin will clean you out over time. Six pills a day for six weeks are recommended for a real detox, but even three caps a day can have a positive effect. Repeat the treatment yearly for best results. I leave some caps on the kitchen table so I at least take some once in a while throughout the week.

Sodium alginate binds with some good stuff too, notably calcium and lucapene. It is best to take your algin with a different meal than one containing calcium and lucapene. Lucapene is what makes tomatoes red so get your algin when you are not eating Italian style!

Algin is of special benefit to people opting for conventional treatments for cancer like chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Once the treatments are done almost killing you, sodium alginate will help to get the poisons out, potentially hastening the healing process and the return to normality.

This is the Soapman reminding you that Nature is the source of all healing and that plants are chemical factories with a billion years of practice fighting viruses, fungus, bacteria and cancer. We humans learn to concentrate and even synthesize these same plant molecules to fight back against those same “opportunivors.”

All of nature and physics seeks balance. Why is it so hard for us humans to do the same?

Larry Pleasant is a writer, philosopher, part-time farmer and soap maker living and working in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Learn more at

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