Iodine helps kelp fight free radicals and aid humans, too

When human cells are attacked by free radicals, the antioxidant vitamins and minerals in the food we have eaten come to our defense. When brown kelp (Laminaria digitata) is stressed the plant flushes large quantities of iodide as a powerful antioxidant out of it cells, which combines with highly reactive oxygen in the water and air to produce molecular iodine, which commonly is used in hospital surgeries as an antiseptic. In fact the process can generate clouds of iodine near the ocean surface that can ward off the damaging effects of ozone, thus affecting coastal climate.

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