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No.34 Algae in the Diet

Applied Health Journal

Applied Health Journal

Topics of Health and Natural Healing
Issue 34
ISSN: 1525-6359

Bill Evans "Wow! You should wear that color more often. Your eyes look really blue."

These words were spoken a week ago by my neighbor of several years, in reference to the blue shirt I was wearing. My neighbor knows me better than most, and she has had plenty of occasion to notice the color of my eyes. What I found interesting about her comment was that the day prior, another friend had said the same thing about how "green" my eyes were, because of the green shirt I had on.

This is all very curious, because until the last few years I always thought I had "brown" eyes. I do not understand the chameleon effect of my eyes to change to either blue or green, except perhaps for my consumption of blue-green algae.

Of course, I understand that there is probably a perfectly logical alternative reason for my eyes to have changed color this late in life, but for the sake of my story, I like to use the algae as the excuse. I certainly know that I have experienced other direct results from this remarkable material.

It was about four years ago that I was first introduced to algae as a nutritional supplement. For several years prior, I had been experiencing what I thought was a prolonged cold the same time each year. It was very frustrating.

Like clockwork, I knew that when Spring came to the desert, I would get a cold for several weeks. Boy, was I naive. You would think that as someone who grew up with a sister who had suffered with allergies all of her life, I would have learned to recognize the symptoms.

I suppose what contributed to my slow education was that I had never experienced any allergy symptoms until my early 30's, and I simply could not believe that I was now being reduced to the common sufferer. Each year, my symptoms got worse until one year the symptoms were so bad that I literally could not step out of my air- conditioned house. If I so much as cracked open the back door, I would go into sneezing fits.

This was quite ridiculous and unacceptable. My friends kept telling me to go to a doctor and start getting allergy shots. That was also unacceptable. I knew that I never used to have allergies. Then all of a sudden, I did. Something in my body obviously changed. Masking the symptoms with shots did not make any sense to me. Understanding and correcting the fundamental failure in my body that causes my symptoms is what made sense.

So, this began my quest. I read everything I could find. I tried several "natural" products claiming various benefits, all with little, to no, results.

One night, I was reading a discussion in a holistic health forum on CompuServe about a lady who had been taking blue-green algae to help rebuild her severely depleted immune system after long-term drug use and rehabilitation. Another lady interrupted the conversation to say that she was familiar with the substance because she had started taking it for her allergies, and her symptoms had completely disappeared.

Well, this caught my attention. I requested more information and was eventually lead to a source where I could purchase several bottles with which to experiment.

Now, I admit that I would not recommend anyone try experimenting using the same methods I employed. However, I was desperate. It was the height of the allergy season, the year that I was miserable just poking my head outside. I decided that if the recommended initial daily dose was 4 capsules, then 40 should do the trick. As I said, I was desperate.

The good-news was that my allergy symptoms stopped. I mean immediately. The next morning I ventured out into the yard to take a couple of deep breaths and test it. I was quite impressed. Not so much as a sniffle. I have never had allergies since.

However, this is also when I was introduced to the process of "cleansing". After I had been taking 40 capsules each day for a week, I started cutting back to 20 per day.

This was about the time that I got thirsty. This incredible, unquenchable thirst lasted day and night for about four weeks. I was drinking several gallons of water each day. This also meant that I was spending a lot of time running to the bathroom. This was my body's way of flushing toxins.

[Editor's comment: This may have been the definitive "rare" instance of Bill acting rather foolishly when he decided to consume more than half a bottle at one time. It is definitely not recommended that anyone start taking any supplement with more than the recommended dosage. To do otherwise could cause a serious reaction. Most people take approximately 2 - 3 weeks to see an improvement in their allergies, and may notice a variety of "cleansing" symptoms as the body rids itself of toxins. This "cleansing" needs to be accomplished slowly, with a gradual increase in the dosage as the body permits.]

As a consequence of my results with the algae, I was fascinated, and I began learning more about the origins of this substance and the reasons why this had such a profound effect on me.

As Tamara stated in her opening section, most of us would like to believe we eat a well-balanced diet. However, we often have to step back and look at reality.

The problem begins with our overused soils - depleted of minerals, and toxic from pesticides/artificial fertilizers.

The vegetables and fruits in the grocery stores only have a small fraction of the nutrients that were available in the same produce at the beginning of the 1900's. There is a definite correlation between the lack of nutrition in our foods and the dramatic rise in health problems, degenerative diseases and immune system dysfunctions.

People are amazed when they find that a few small changes in their nutritional program can make a dramatic difference in how they feel. We commonly recommend as a nutritional supplement blue-green algae, which is so dense with nutrients, it can dramatically improve our physical and mental state.

By the way, the algae which we are speaking of is not the stuff that grows in your swimming pools, and bathroom showers - but, a nutritional form of "blue-green algae" - known to be the best organic, most nutritionally dense, micronutrient Superfood available.

There are many different types of algae, from brown algae - the largest form of algae also known as kelp and seaweed, to red algae - found in tropical waters. Some are nutritious, others are poisonous. Green algae has 7000 different varieties , mostly found in fresh water. These have a high concentration of chlorophyll, hence the color, and are noted for their role in removing toxic metals. Two of the more commonly known examples of green algae are chlorella and plankton.

Eighty percent of the Earth's photosynthesis is carried out by the various algae species. One-half of all photosynthesis comes from blue-green algae. Blue-green algae, known to be the first and most ancient life form on earth, is the first protein. Some believe that blue-green algae has reached such a biological peak of perfection, it is no longer evolving.

Kathleen De Remer, M.D., recipient of the "AMA Physician's Recognition Award", and "Foremost Women of the Twentieth Century" award, practices internal medicine in Utah. She describes blue-green algae as "a simple organism that contains an elaborate warehouse of amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other micronutrients with incredibly complex functions."

Ancient civilizations such as Aztecs and Incas have used wild, fresh-water algae for food and trading - eating it raw, or dehydrating it for food storage. Near Africa's Lake Chad, there is a similar wild algae used by the Kanembus tribes. Having this algae is considered a sign of wealth. Though, there is strong evidence of malnutrition in nearby tribes where the algae is not available, the Kanembus tribe has no signs of malnutrition.

In Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, a specific kind of blue-green algae grows wild and hearty enough to survive the cold Oregon winters. Klamath Lake, known for being one of the world's most pristine lakes, is rich with minerals from the volcanic soil. Mixed with the intense sunshine (more than 300 days a year) and clean air, growth is encouraged for this particular blue-green algae known as Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae, or AFA. This term translated from Greek literally means "invisible living flower of the water". In this article, we will be speaking of this specific kind of blue-green algae - AFA.

Paul Swanson, M.D., a Harvard graduate with a biochemistry degree, says "one of the greatest changes in the conditions in which humans live has been in what we eat. Humans no longer eat much raw wild food. The native blue-green algae growing wild and abundantly in Oregon's Upper Klamath Lake, one of the world's most volcanic mineral-rich and unpolluted, provides an opportunity for humans for something closer to an ancient health."

As usual, nature has an amazing way of combining approximately sixty-four known nutrients in AFA to be balanced and interdependent. These nutrients function synergistically with each other for the best absorption in the digestive system. For example, if the amino acids were not in proportional quantities, they would lose their ability to calm the nervous system, and elevate a person's mood. Mankind cannot duplicate this total relationship of cooperative nutrition.

Blue-green algae contains two to three percent chlorophyll, which is among the highest concentration of living organisms. Interestingly enough, chlorophyll and hemoglobin have a remarkably similar molecular structure, though their functions are different.

Chlorophyll is the substance that makes a plant green and helps derive food for the plant by using the sun's energy. Hemoglobin gives blood its red color and transports oxygen through the blood. Both molecules are of the same shape, with a difference in the middle atoms. Hemoglobin's center atom is "iron", while chlorophyll's center atom is "magnesium". Maybe this very similar molecular structure is why ingesting chlorophyll so effectively helps hemoglobin oxygenate and purify the blood.

The AFA cell is one hundred times smaller than cells of the animal or plant classifications. It is made of simple, short-chain, low molecular-weight proteins that easily assimilate into the body. The micronutrients are beyond comparison to any other food. The smaller size of the AFA cell makes this food more easily assimilated than any other food from the plant or animal kingdoms.

"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. Having such a rich cell membrane is why AFA has such a high amount of chlorophyll, protein, and essential fatty acids." (Karl J. Abrams, "Algae to the Rescue")

Some of the nutrients in AFA blue-green algae are:


1.   60% high quality protein (comparing weight to weight 
     - more than any other food)

2.   All of the essential amino acids, and most of the 
     non-essential amino acids. 

3.   Rich in all beta-carotenes

4.   Peptides (building blocks of amino acids)- nourishes 
     nerves and brain activity

5.   B vitamins including B-1 (thiamin), B-2 (riboflavin), 
     Niacin, B-6 and more B-12 than liver - easily assimilated

6.   Numerous other vitamins including C, E, K, inositol, 
     choline, pantothenic acid and biotin

7.   Calcium

8.   Trace minerals - such as boron, chromium, cobalt, copper, 
     iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, 
     selenium, sodium, sulfur, titanium, vanadium and zinc

9.   Lysine

10.  Nucleic acids (building blocks for RNA and DNA)

11.  Precursors of vitamins, enzymes and co-enzymes known 
     as pigments

12.  High protein content - compares to lean beef

13.  Polyunsaturated fatty acids

14.  Rich source of chlorophyll, which purifies the blood

15.  Rich in its own enzymes, which encourages complete 

16.  Carbohydrates - easy to metabolize for energy

17.  Strong alkaline balance to counteract our acidic diets 
     resulting from cooked and overly processed foods

"Why does AFA - small and simple as it seems to be - contain more micronutrients than any other known food? It is partly because AFA utilizes them to create the best enzyme system possible to blend together the four most basic ingredients available - earth, water, air, and sunlight. It is also because AFA cells are about 20 to 30 times smaller than the cells within the food we usually eat. Because of this, AFA contains 20 to 30 times the membrane surface area and therefore that many times more micronutrients!" (Karl J. Abrams, "Algae to the Rescue")

It is no wonder that this nutrient-rich food has shown correlation between consumption and increase in health. It is also no wonder we feel this material is so important to general health that we have embarked on evaluating the different harvesting techniques of the various Klamath Lake companies. We are determined to have the best algae product available for our customers.

We will have continuing articles in following months on the many benefits of blue-green algae. We hope to know by next month when we will be able to offer an algae product. If you decide to try a source of algae for yourself, I might suggest that you NOT do what I did. Instead, follow the recommended dose to start. This is some potent stuff. Everybody will react differently to the algae, and to be safe, it should be introduced to the diet gradually.

I have a friend who started taking the recommended dose of 4 per day, and it gave her so much energy that she was up at 3 AM each morning vacuuming the house, and cleaning bathrooms.

She was mad at me for 4 days, before she called to say what she was experiencing. After she modified her dose to suit her, she was able to sleep through the night. She experienced so much energy from just 4 capsules, that if she would have started out by taking the same amount that I did, she might have exploded.

Although... if she had taken as much as I did, I wonder if her eyes would now be blue-green, also.



"Algae from Upper Klamath Lake"
    by Andrew Paterson, Alan Purnell
    Chroma Publishers, 1995

"Opto-Crystallization Patterns of Freshwater Algae"
    by Kim Bright Cassano, Albert Jaquier
    Kim Bright Cassano Enterprises, 1994

"Agae to the Rescue"
    by Karl J. Abrams
    Logan House Publications, 1996


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All rights reserved. www.appliedhealth.com 480.998.0992


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