Last update: Feb. 20, 2016


High Risk for breastfeeding

Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully.
Use safer alternative or interrupt breastfeeding several T½.
Read the Comment.

Seaweed. The stem of the plant is used.
It contains large amounts of mucilage and minerals, including iodine which appears in variable amounts that can be significant, in such a way that it may be a cause a hyperthyroidism-like disease (anxiety, insomnia, tachycardia, palpitations).
It may also contain heavy metals, being a species of seaweed with a high ability of contamination by toxic products.
The commission E of the German Health Ministry has not approved any clinical indication, discouraging its use.

At latest update no published data on excretion into breast milk were found. However, there is information from other algae whose consumption is known to increase iodine levels in the plasma and breast milk.
There have been reports of hypothyroidism in infants whose mothers have included in their diet important quantities of seaweed.

There is no evidence of effectiveness on increasing milk production. The most effective method to increase milk production should be done by strengthening maternal self-confidence, evaluate and correct problems along with an effective support to breastfeeding mothers.


We do not have alternatives for Fucus.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Fucus is also known as

Fucus in other languages or writings:


Fucus belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Fucus in its composition:

  • Fave De Fuca™. Contains other elements than Fucus in its composition


  1. ABM: Brodribb W. ABM Clinical Protocol #9: Use of Galactogogues in Initiating or Augmenting Maternal Milk Production, Second Revision 2018. Breastfeed Med. 2018 Jun;13(5):307-314 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Lynch HN, Greenberg GI, Pollock MC, Lewis AS. A comprehensive evaluation of inorganic arsenic in food and considerations for dietary intake analyses. Sci Total Environ. 2014 Abstract
  3. Verd S, Aramburu A, Carreras G. Iodine supplementation for lactation: time for tailoring treatments targeted to specific subgroups. J Paediatr Child Health. 2013 Abstract
  4. Hulse T. Transient neonatal hypothyroidism resulting from maternal ingestion of a traditional Korean seaweed soup. Horm Res Paediatr. 2012;78 (Suppl 1):127. Abstract P1-d3-405 Thyroid 1. 2012 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. López-Regueiro S, Ramos Sáiz EM, López-Picado A, Burgos-Alonso N, Arana-Salaberría, A. Fitoterapia como coadyuvante en el tratamiento de la obesidad. Farmacéuticos Comunitarios 2012; 4(4): 166-174 2012
  6. ABM. Academy Of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol Committee. ABM Clinical Protocol #9: Use of galactogogues in initiating or augmenting the rate of maternal milk secretion (First Revision January 2011). Breastfeed Med. 2011 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. ABM. Comité de Protocolos de la Academia Médica de Lactancia Materna. ABM Protocolo Clínico #9: Uso de Galactogogos para Iniciar o aumentar la tasa de secreción de Leche Materna. Breastfeed Med. 2011 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Emder PJ, Jack MM. Iodine-induced neonatal hypothyroidism secondary to maternal seaweed consumption: a common practice in some Asian cultures to promote breast milk supply. J Paediatr Child Health. 2011 Abstract
  9. Rhee SS, Braverman LE, Pino S, He X, Pearce EN. High iodine content of Korean seaweed soup: a health risk for lactating women and their infants? Thyroid. 2011 Abstract
  10. Chung HR, Shin CH, Yang SW, Choi CW, Kim BI. Subclinical hypothyroidism in Korean preterm infants associated with high levels of iodine in breast milk. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. Kikuchi Y, Takebayashi T, Sasaki S. [Iodine concentration in current Japanese foods and beverages]. Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2008 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. Nishiyama S, Mikeda T, Okada T, Nakamura K, Kotani T, Hishinuma A. Transient hypothyroidism or persistent hyperthyrotropinemia in neonates born to mothers with excessive iodine intake. Thyroid. 2004 Abstract
  13. Jensen CL, Maude M, Anderson RE, Heird WC. Effect of docosahexaenoic acid supplementation of lactating women on the fatty acid composition of breast milk lipids and maternal and infant plasma phospholipids. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Abstract
  14. Moon S, Kim J. Iodine content of human milk and dietary iodine intake of Korean lactating mothers. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 1999 Abstract
  15. Kim JY, Moon SJ, Kim KR, Sohn CY, Oh JJ. Dietary iodine intake and urinary iodine excretion in normal Korean adults. Yonsei Med J. 1998 Abstract

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e-lactancia is a resource recommended by La Liga de la Leche, España from Spain

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