Blue Green Algae Health Benefits

“So long as one feeds on food from unhealthy soil, the spirit will lack the stamina to free itself from the prison of the body.”
Rudolf Steiner

AquaSource AFA algae from Upper Klamath Lake

AFA blue-green algae is the most nutrient dense food available on planet Earth. It contains

  • most vitamins including B12
  • minerals and trace elements
  • many antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenes etc
  • complete protein and amino acids in a perfect ratio required by humans
  • a range of valuable fatty acids
  • many vital enzymes
  • neuropeptides for brain function
  • fibre
  • all important chlorophyll
  • all in forms directly usable and preferred by our bodies

 

Its scientific name is Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (pronounced “A-fan-is-zoh-me-non floss ah-kew-ay”), or simply, AFA. We just call it AquaSource algae.

  • The blue-green algae from Upper Klamath Lake (AquaSource AFA algae) gives us nutrients and energy at almost no cost to the body’s reserves.
  • This algae is 97% assimilable, and the nutrients are in forms that are directly usable.
  • For example, the algae’s 60% protein content is of a type called glycoproteins, as opposed to the lipoproteins found in vegetables and meat. The body, therefore, need not spend metabolic energy converting lipoproteins into glycoproteins, as it does with other foods.
  • The same applies to the algae’s 25% carbohydrate content, which is in a form similar to the glycogen fuel in our bodies.
  • The net result of preserving metabolic energy is that it can be focused on detoxification and maintenance of our organs.
  • This energy surplus also means that the algae’s nutrients are used to maximum efficiency, which is why tiny amounts can have such enormous benefits.
  • In addition to the building blocks of neuropeptides, Upper Klamath Lake algae contains 9% rhamnose – the sugar involved in transporting nutrients into nerve cells (or across the blood-brain barrier). This is why it is so beneficial to the nervous system: not only boosting normal brain function (hence its status as a smart food) but also helping with nerve and brain regeneration.
  • The algae is also thought to enhance the function of the body’s master glands – the pituitary, the pineal and the hypothalamus.

About 3 or 4 billion years ago, the first blue-green algae were born – the FIRST and only form of life on earth.

 

Over the next billion years, the algae began to produce a NEW gas, called oxygen, and this set the stage for the evolution of all new life – first bacteria and amoeba, then brown and green and red algaes. In the last billion years, the blue-green algae have enabled the birth of modern life-forms, from fish and insects, to flowers and trees, and eventually dinosaurs, humans and other mammals.

“Algae, like the members of the plant kingdom that evolved from them, are able to combine Carbon Dioxide and Water, with the help of Sunlight, to synthesize glucose, the most important and ubiquitous of the simple sugars. They do this by use of their pigments, the most important among them being chlorophyll. The waste product of this process of carbon fixation is molecular oxygen, the gas that dramatically changed the atmosphere of Earth. From that point on, animals, including humans, were to evolve and live.”    Algae to the Rescue!  Karl J Abrams (Professor of Chemistry)

Collectively, algae supply 80 percent of the world’s oxygen.

AFA’s position at the bottom of the food chain provides a major benefit when humans eat this algae. The higher up on the chain one eats, the higher the concentrations of herbicides, pesticides, and radioactivity. Flesh food, for example, has 14 times more herbicides and pesticides than fruits and vegetables. The most nutrient dense and clean food is the AFA algae from Upper Klamath Lake.

Aphanizomenon flos-aquae: Some of its Components and Health Benefits

Chlorophyll

AFA Algae is the highest known source of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a natural phytochemical that gives plants its green pigment. Its molecular structure is almost the same as that of haemoglobin in blood, which is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. Oxygen is the prime nutrient, and chlorophyll is the central molecule for increasing the oxygen availability to your system. Chlorophyll is also vital for the body’s efficient assimilation of amino acids.

CHLOROPHYLL CONTENT (per 10 grams)

chlorophyll

chlorophyll’s central magnesium atom plays a role in more than 300 different enzyme systems.

AFA blue-green algae 300 mg
Spirulina 115 mg
Chlorella 280 mg
Barley Grass 149 mg
Wheat Grass 55mg

Research has demonstrated that chlorophyll can prevent and reduce the damage from carcinogenic substances, including damage to DNA. It has also been shown to have antioxidant effect against damage induced by carcinogens and therapeutic effects when used in combating certain cancers.

Phycocyanin
Phycocyanin is a blue pigment found in blue green algae that works in conjunction with chlorophyll. It occurs naturally in cyanobacteria or blue-green algae such as Aphanizomenon flos-aquae. Research has demonstrated that phycocyanin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

green smoothie with AFA algae

green smoothie with AFA algae

Antioxidants (such as Superoxide Dismutase SOD, and Glutathione Peroxidase)
Antioxidants in AFA algae help to replenish those that have been used up in quenching free radicals in the body.  AFA also contains a wide variety of plant pigments such as carotenoids and bioflavonoids, which are protective in very many ways. Antioxidants help protect against damage to skin, muscle, and connective tissue, as well as protecting heart muscle, immune system, and just about every system and organ in the body. The glutathione molecule, made from three amino acids, was probably Earth’s first antioxidant. It was used to shield and protect primitive forms of blue-green algae from the burning effects of a harsh and hostile environment. For humans, several billion years later, the same glutathione from AFA has been shown to protect us from the toxic effects of a polluted environment.

Enzymes

Raw foods contain enzymes which are sufficient for their own digestion. For example, raw foods that are high in fats are equally high in lipase, the enzyme that digests fat.  Raw bananas contain enough amylase to turn their carbohydrates into simple sugars, and raw fish contains enough of its own protease to digest its own protein content. Raw milk contains more than 20 digestive enzymes, but pasteurisation destroys the most important of these, making digestion more difficult. When we cook food, its enzymes are destroyed.  Our digestive system must then compensate by producing the appropriate digestive enzymes before the food can be digested.

When we eat cooked foods for many years, we begin to develop degenerative diseases. And because cooked and processed foods require more pancreatic enzymes for their digestion, animals and humans that eat such enzyme-depleted foods are generally found to have a greatly enlarge pancreas, often 2 or 3 times the normal size.

abdominal pain

lack of enzymes can lead to pain and inflammation, and degenerative diseases

AFA algae contains many enzymes, with its attendant mineral co-factors such as copper, zinc and manganese. When we eat the AFA algae, we receive the enzymes and minerals, which enables our body to use and make the enzymes it requires.

Being deficient in even one enzyme, can mean sickness or even death. Pancreatic enzymes also keep the small intestine free from parasites (intestinal worms, bacteria and yeasts). Vibrant health may be defined as having all of our enzymes working together like a vast symphony.

Vitamins
There are twelve vitamins in AFA, which work together to vitalise and take care of the internal enzyme systems of the body, so that every biochemical action in the body can take place properly. The B vitamins in AFA algae are easy to absorb and assimilate because they are organically chelated or bonded within various enzyme systems.  A number of other nutrient factors in AFA also do this. Perhaps the synergistic effect of all of them together may help to explain why so many people speak of dramatic mental upliftment after regular amounts of AFA. Without natural organic vitamins we would find ourselves physically and emotionally drained of energy. AFA algae is also a good source of vitamin C, which must be replenished daily. The Vitamin C in AFA has a synergistic effect from the wide variety of AFA’s immune-enhancing compounds. Vitamin E, the nerve protector, is found in the cell membrane of AFA algae, which naturally protects it from free radical damage both outside of and within the cell. We also require vitamin E for our immune system, fertility, red blood cells, and as a protection against environmental toxins.

Betacarotenes
Betacarotene is an antioxidant vitamin found in AFA algae, leafy green vegetables and orange vegetables. It’s a precursor to vitamin A, being converted by the body to the degree required, and it offers powerful anti-cancer, antioxidant and anti-ageing properties without the toxic effects of taking fat-soluble vitamin A. AFA algae is probably the richest food source of beta carotene on Earth. It boosts the immune system by protecting the cell lining of the digestive and respiratory tracts.

Minerals
Mineral deficiency is even more likely to occur than vitamin deficiency, as most farmland is badly depleted of crucial minerals. Even if you eat a ‘balanced diet’ you are likely to still be deficient in certain minerals. The mineral-rich content of Upper Klamath Lake is ideal for maintaining AFA’s mineral and enzyme systems at its highest possible level.

Essential Fatty Acids
The most interesting and nutritionally valuable portion of the AFA cell may be its thin outer covering called the cell membrane, which consists of phospholipids and protein molecules, as well as enzymes.

AFA has an advantage in being hundreds of times lighter than the cells of plant and animal food. Its high surface area allows for cell membrane material to accumulate nutrients and eliminate waste and even use the chlorophyll embedded within the cell membranes to receive more energy from the sun. This makes AFA among the most self-sufficient organisms on Earth with an unusually high concentration of valuable nutrients. AFA produces more cell membrane material without getting larger by creating a vast system of membrane invaginations similar to the brain’s infoldings. Having such a rich cell membrane is why AFA has such a high amount of chlorophyll, protein, and essential fatty acids.

Essential Fatty Acids, like those present in AFA algae, are required for the immune system, for normal growth and repair of the skin, blood vessels, and nerve tissue. They are vital for efficient respiration and the fluidity and flexibility of all tissues and cell membranes, particularly in the retina and the brain. EFAs have lubricating qualities. They are known to reduce blood cholesterol and thus help to prevent cardiovascular disease. Time magazine has reported that many heart patients suffer from a deficiency of EFAs and should be ingesting them for heart disease prevent. EFAs are especially useful because of the efficiency with which they increase the solubility of cholesterol deposits and wash these deposits away from our artery walls.

Amino Acids

Not all Proteins were created equal

“Apparently, not all amino acids in plants or animal tissue are equally bioavailable. Some grains are difficult to completely digest. Their proteins are coated with so much cellulose that human enzymes cannot easily penetrate them. Animal protein is difficult to digest because of its large size and molecular weight. Only free amino acids or small proteins are easily absorbed across the intestinal wall. The protein in AFA is actually the best of both groups. Their small size, low molecular weight, and nonassociation with cellulose makes AFA’s amino acids ideal for ease of digestion and assimilation.”   Karl J. Abrams, in Algae to the Rescue!

amino acid ratio blue green algae

amino acid ratio is almost identical to that required by humans

 

 

 

But what is most amazing is that, according to the National Academy of Sciences, the composition or amino acid ‘profile’ of the AFA is nearly exactly in the same proportions required by humans. AFA algae is perfect protein for the human body to receive.

 

AFA HARVESTING

Upper Klamath Lake  is free from technological pollutants such as heavy metals, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. The lake is also free from other toxins such as chlorinated phenyls and dioxins.

Upper Klamath Lake receives an average 300 days of sunlight per year which provides a perfect growing environment for the world’s richest strain of wild AFA blue-green algae, scientifically known as Aphanizomenon flos-aquae.

The alkaline lake water (pH = 9 to 11) provides more than 60 times the nutrients needed for the algae to grow to its full potential each year. Under the right conditions, AFA blue-green algae can reproduce every 20 minutes, which provides a plentiful abundance of this organic, super food which is so high life-force.

DRYING PROCESS

AquaSource algae Drying Process

AquaSource BioActive Dehydration dries algae at low temperature

AquaSource’s BioActive Dehydration (R) process is a proprietary drying process that dehydrates algae to a powder with virtually no degradation of nutritional elements, colour, aroma or flavour.

Temperature never exceeds 40.5oC (105oF), and exceeds the normal human body temperature of 37oC (98.6oF) for less than two minutes.
AquaSource’s BioActive Dehydration is far lower than Conventional Spray Drying methods.

 

Crater Lake in Oregon

Crater Lake, Oregon, formed thousands of years ago by volcanic eruption

“Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) flourishes today in the beautiful waters of Upper Klamath Lake in Southern Oregon. AFA algae probably began to grow and bloom in this lake around 7,000 years ago, just after the time when retreating glaciers carved out a shallow lake fed by seventeen pure and pristine rivers and streams, as well as the very clear and pure underground water system fed by nearby Crater Lake. The pure water availability of Crater Lake – the deepest (3000 feet!) yet clearest lake in North America – and the vast mineral contents of Upper Klamath Lake were brought together and made available to AFA algae through a cataclysmic volcanic eruption at about the same time as the lake’s formation. Nearby Mount Mazama erupted with a force estimated by geologists to be hundreds of times greater than any eruption of the twentieth century. The mineral content deep within the earth surfaced explosively through the air for hundreds of miles, providing the topsoil of the Cascade Mountains with incredibly rich and diverse minerals.”

“ . . . In this lake we have what is probably the last of Earth’s pure and wild superfoods, and enough of it to substantially help nourish the inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere.”
Karl J Abrams, Algae to the Rescue!

“Spirulina and AFA are an ancient and wonderful team of high life-force foods which have a powerful healing and rejuvenative effect on the human body, mind, and spirit.”
Gabriel Cousens

AFA algae is a living food with synergistic bio-elements that no human chemical laboratory could every synthetically duplicate.

RESEARCH

Study on the Effects of Super Blue-Green Algae on the Nutritional Status and School Performance of First, Second and Third Grade Children
Sevilla I, Aguirre N. The Nicaragua Report. Cell Tech; 1995.
Conclusion: Consuming an Aphanizomenon flos-aquae blue-green algae supplement improved the nutritional and academic status of children in Nicaragua.

Bioregulatory and Therapeutic Effects of Blue-Green Algae
Kumar K, Lakshmanan A, and Kannaiyan S. Indian Journal of Microbiology. 2003; 43 (1): 9-16.
Conclusion: Aphanizomenon flos-aquae has been found to have multiple beneficial properties including inhibiting tumor growth, mobilization of immune cells, reducing inflammation, and reducing cholesterol levels.

Antioxidant Properties of a Novel Phycocyanin Extract from the Blue-Green Alga Aphanizomenon flos-aquae
Benedetti S, Benvenuti F, Pagliarani S, Francogli S, Scoglio S, Canestrari F. Life Sciences. 2004; 75: 2353-2362.
Conclusion: The phycocyanin protein found in Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) was found to have strong antioxidant properties, and could be helpful in treating conditions related to oxidative stress and inflammation.

Antioxidant and Hepatoprotective Activity of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae Linn against Paracetamol Intoxication in Rats
Kuriakose GC, Kurup MG. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology. 2010; 48: 1123-1130.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest an extract of AFA (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) acts as an antioxidant against acetaminophen induced liver injury.

The Effect of Blue-Green Algae Aphanizomenon flos-aquae on Nutrient Assimilation in Rats
Kushak R, Drapeau C, Winter H. Journal on Nutraceuticals and Nutrition (JANA). 2001; 3:35-39.
Summary: AFA is rich in protein, vitamins and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Numerous studies on blue-green algae have demonstrated that AFA has antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune-modulating and enzyme-inhibiting properties.

Effects of the Blue-Green Algae Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (L.) Ralphs on Human Natural Killer Cells
Manoukian R, Citton M, Huerta P, et al. Phytoceuticals: Examining the Health Benefits and Pharmaceutical Properties of Natural Antioxidants and Phytochemicals. Massachusetts: International Business Communications, Inc.; 1998.
Conclusion: Consumption of freeze-dried Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) algae resulted in a significant decrease of percent of natural killer (NK) cells in circulation two hours after consumption.
Although the exact mechanisms are not known, this study could conclude that there was an increase in immune surveillance by NK cells after AFA consumption, which could lead to fewer colds and less viral infections.

Blue-Green Algae as an Immuno-Enhancer and Biomodulator
Jenson GS, Ginsberg DI, Drapeau C. Journal on Nutraceuticals and Nutrition (JANA). 2001; 3: 24-30.
Summary: This article was a review of many other research articles that studied the beneficial properties of blue-green algae. The review articles demonstrated various benefits found from research, including its effects on immunity, therapeutic effects on metabolism, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer effects.

Characterization of Human Monocyte Activation by a Water-soluble Preparation of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae
Pugh N, Pasco DS. Phytomedicine. 2001; 8(6): 445-453.
Conclusion: Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) algae has been found to activate monocyte/macrophage function.

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity of Phycocyanin and Phycocyanobilin from the Food Supplement Aphanizomenon flos-aquae
Benedetti S, Benvenuti F, Scoglio S, and Canestrari. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2010; 13 (1): 223-227.
The  phycocyanin (PC) and  phycocyanobilin (PCB) derived from AFA were tested against other antioxidants such as ascorbic acid and reduced glutathione. After testing all of the substances using the ORAC assay it was found that the PC and PCB had by far the highest ORAC values.

Evaluation of Renoprotective Effect of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae on Cisplatin-Induced Renal Dysfunction in Rats
Kuriakose GC, Kurup MG. Renal Failure. 2008; 30: 717-725.
Summary: Cisplatin (CIS) is a chemotherapy drug, used to treat various malignant tumours. Severe side effects of this drug include kidney toxicity.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that the use of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) algae can reduce the kidney damage that can occur from the use of the drug Cisplatin.

Isolation of Three High Molecular Weight Polysaccharide Preparations with Potent Immunostimulatory Activity from Spirulina platensis, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, and Chlorella pyrenoidosa
Pugh N, Ross SA, ElSohly HN, ElSohly MA, Pasco DS. Planta Med. 2001; 67: 737-742.
Conclusion: The polysaccharides extracted from Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Spirulina platensis and Chlorella pyrenoidosa are more active than those currently used for cancer immunotherapy.