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Blue-Green Algae: Nature's Perfect Food

"Algae has been eaten by man for centuries, but scientists have only recently focused on its nutritional potential. Blue- green algae grows in Upper Klamath Lake in southern Oregon, far from urban pollution, under the most natural Conditions possible. Also known as Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, blue-green algae contains no heavy metals or harmful bacteria, and supplies the most complete range of amino acids, vitamins and minerals available in any single food. It is a virtual powerhouse of nutrition.

Amino acids, the building blocks of the human body, fall into one of two Categories: essential, which must be obtained from foods, and non-essential, which the body can manufacture. Both types are necessary orderly function of processes: If the body does not receive sufficient acids, certain body tissues are cannibalized", often causing such problems are premature aging, memory loss poor intellectual performance and even depression. Blue-green algae contains all of the essential amino acids as well as most of the nonessential amino acids, making it a complete protein supplement.

Amino acids also form protein molecules called neuropeptides, which transmit information between the brain and nerve cells and throughout the body. A weakness or deficiency in these 'electric signals' may promote disease. Amino acids help repair, rebuild, and strengthen neuropeptides so that the brain's neurons can function optimally.

In addition, the amino acids found in blue-green algae are of low molecular weight, which means that the molecules are small enough to pass through the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is a feature of the nervous system that prevents bacteria, chemicals, and other harmful substances from entering the brain. Neuropeptides made from the amino acids in blue-green algae pass easily through this filtering mechanism into the brain. As a result, some of the first effects of blue-green algae reported by many people who take it are increased mental alertness, improved memory, and the ability to communicate more clearly; for this reason it has often been called a 'brain food'.

Blue-green algae also provides a near complete balance of the vitamins that the body needs. It is high in the antioxidant beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. It is also extremely rich in B vitamins, providing even more B-12 than liver. In fact, the only vitamins missing from blue-green algae are vitamins D and E. A short time spent in the sun, however, can provide the body with vitamin D, as it is formed in the skin by ultraviolet rays.

Another benefit of blue-green algae is its abundance of minerals, which are important because of their synergistic relationship with vitamins. Vitamins and minerals promote the assimilation of one another. Minerals are also necessary to property form body fluids, blood and bone, and to maintain healthy nerve function. Blue-green algae contains almost all organic minerals in chelated form, meaning that each is attached to a protein molecule that transports it to the bloodstream, enhancing absorption.

Blue-green algae, which is available in health food stores as a nutritional supplement, has been reported to have a wide variety of benefits. Regular users of blue-green algae claim increased energy; improved memory, mental clarity and concentration; reduction of stress, anxiety and depression; relief from allergies and poor digestion; and even better regulation of weight and appetite. Many also report improved mood and attitude and a greater over-all sense of well being. It's no wonder that so many people consider blue-green algae to be nature's perfect food.

REFERENCES
Batch, James F., MD, and Batch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Garden City Park NY, Avery Publishing Group, Inc., 1990.

Guin, Moriz. 'A Powerhouse of Nutrition", Issues Summer 1992.

Lieberman, Shari, and Bruning, Nancy. The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book. Garden City Park, NY, Avery Publishing Group, Inc., 1994.

"Nutritional Support for the Immune System", Here's to Your Health, Klamath Falls, OR, Cell Tech, Dec. 1992.

Van Buren, CT. Symposium Summary, Nutrition 6(1):105-106.

Weiner, Michael A., PhD, and Weiner, Janet A. Herbs That Heal Mill Valley, CA, Quantum Books, 1994.

Whitney, EN. et at.Understanding Nutrition 4th Edition, St. Paul, West Publishing Co., 1987.