Aphanizomenon flos-aquae is one of the most important medicinal foods that sits on top of our food pyramid, and that our clients consume on a daily basis (along with wheatgrass juice and Chlorella).
Blue-green algae was the first life form on earth from which all other life evolved. Without it, there would be no us. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of species of blue-green algae; some are edible, some are not. Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) is an edible species of blue-green algae that has been consumed by indigenous people for thousands of years. It is one of the most complete whole foods containing a full spectrum of nutrients and bioactive compounds that are very easily absorbed by the body.1 AFA is not made in a lab or manufactured, but harvested from nature.
A review published in the Journal of Medicinal Food declared that “Blue-green algae (BGA) are among the most primitive life forms on earth and have been consumed as food or medicine by humans for centuries. BGA contain various bioactive components, such as phycocyanin, carotenoids, γ-linolenic acid, fibers, and plant sterols, which can promote optimal health in humans.”2
A number of respected institutions, including the University of New Mexico, Boston University, Montreal’s McGill University and Royal Victoria Hospital, have conducted studies confirming the immune-boosting and modulating properties of AFA.3,4,5 In addition, these studies showed that AFA can increase mental alertness, stimulate circulation and improve intestinal function. Other clinical AFA studies show that AFA can reduce cholesterol levels while serving as an ideal source of polyunsaturated fats.2
Traditionally used for
- Increasing energy, vitality and endurance
- Improving brain function and ability to manage stress
- Helping to improve overall mood and alleviate depression
- Increasing mental focus and concentration
- Improving intestinal health and digestion
- Complete source of plant-based protein
- Strengthening immune system
- Faster recovery time after exercise
- Normalizing blood sugar levels
- Reducing cholesterol and triglycerides
- Reducing inflammation
- Restoring overall biochemical balance
- Long-lasting energy boost
- Healthier skin, nails and hair
Scientist Christian Drapeau, through his collaboration with scientists affiliated with several universities such as Harvard and Mcgill, concluded that “the most extraordinary discovery is the ability of AFA to stimulate stem cell release and migration, making AFA the first natural compound known to stimulate the natural innate phenomenon of healing, regeneration and repair in the human body.”7
A research project at Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal studied the effect of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae on the immune and endocrine systems, as well as on general blood physiology.5 It was demonstrated that AFA had an immediate, profound and unique effect on Natural Killer (NK) cells. The results were published under the title: Effects of the Blue Green Algae Aphanizomenon flos-aquae on Human Natural Killer Cells. (It appears in Chapter 3.1 of the IBC Library Series, Volume 1911, Phytoceuticals: Examining the health benefit and pharmaceutical properties of natural antioxidants and phytochemicals).
NK cells have the ability to search for and recognize cells that are cancerous or have been infected by a virus, and kill them. The team of research scientists at the Royal Victoria Hospital, led by Dr. Gitte S. Jensen, discovered that eating Aphanizomenon flos-aquae triggers the movement of 40% of the circulating NK cells from the blood to the tissues where their main function is to perform immune surveillance and eliminate cancerous and virally-infected cells. Further research may prove that eating a small amount of AFA every day could assist in the prevention of cancer and viral infections. No other substance is known to trigger such a movement of NK cells in the body.
The Molecule of Love
AFA helps to balance brain chemistry. As an example, it contains high levels of phenylethylamine (PEA), also known as the “molecule of love.” Beside enhancing concentration and attention, PEA is a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant that works better than Prozac, but without the negative side effects. It’s what gives you that euphoric mood that is referred to as “runner’s high”. It’s been demonstrated that if you give PEA to people with depression 60% experience an improvement in symptoms within 30 minutes.15
AFA also has an ideal ratio of healthy fats to nourish the brain, as well as the easiest to digest protein allowing brain neurotransmitters to be produced more easily.
Reduce Inflammation (Without Drugs)
Phycocyanin is what gives blue-green algae its intense blue pigment. Phycocyanin is a natural COX-2 inhibitor, working to relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the body without the negative side effects of NSAIDS such as Advil.10
We are proud to provide our clients with a top source of blue-green algae harvested from Klamath Lake in Oregon, where it grows in ideal conditions. The 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. Furthermore, the lake is fed by 17 mineral-rich rivers that deposit an average of 50,000 tons of mineral-rich silt from the surrounding 4000 square mile volcanic basin, making Upper Klamath Lake one of the richest nutrient traps in the world, impossible to artificially duplicate.
- Kay, Robert A.; Barton, Larry L. (1991). “Microalgae as food and supplement”. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 30 (6): 555–73. PMID 1741951. doi:10.1080/10408399109527556
- Ku CS, Yang Y, Park Y, Lee J. Health Benefits of Blue-Green Algae: Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2013;16(2):103-111. doi:10.1089/jmf.2012.2468.
- Jensen, Gitte S.; Ginsberg, Donald I.; Drapeau, Christian (2001). “Blue-Green Algae as an Immuno-Enhancer and Biomodulator”. Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association. 3 (4): 24–30. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- Jensen, Gitte S.; Ginsberg, Donald I.; Huerta, Patricia; Citton, Monica; Drapeau, Christian (January 2000). “Consumption of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae Has Rapid Effects on the Circulation and Function of Immune Cells in Humans” (PDF). Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association. 2 (3): 50–58. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- Manoukin, Raffi; Citton, Monica; Huerta, Patricia; Rhode, Barbara; Drapeau, Christian; Jensen Gitte S. (1911). “Effects of the Blue-Green Algae Aphanizomenon flos-aquae on Human Natural Killer Cells”. Phytoceuticals. In: Savage, Lynn M. (1998). Phytoceuticals: examining the health benefits and pharmaceutical properties of natural antioxidants and phytochemicals. Boston: International Business Communications. pp. 233–241. ISBN 9781579360849.
- Kushak, Rafail I.; Drapeau, Christian; Van Cott, Elizabeth M.; Winter, Harland H. (January 2000). “Favorable Effects of Blue-Green Algae Aphanizomenon flos-aquae on Rat Plasma Lipids” (PDF). The Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association. 2 (3): 59–65. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
- Drapeau, C. Primordial Food: Aphanizomenon flos-aquae: A Wild Blue-Green Alga with Unique Health Properties. One World Press, 2003.
- Apsley, John W. (1996). The Genesis effect: spearheading regeneration with wild blue green algae, Volume 1 (2nd ed.). Genesis Communications. ISBN 0-945704-01-1.
- Benedetti, Serena; Benvenuti, Francesca; Pagliarani, Silvia; Francogli, Sonia; Scoglio, Stefano; Canestrari, Franco (2004). “Antioxidant properties of a novel phycocyanin extract from the blue-green alga Aphanizomenon flos-aquae”. Life Sciences. 75 (19): 2353–62. PMID 15350832. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2004.06.004.
- Romay, C.; Armesto, J.; Remirez, D.; González, R.; Ledon, N.; García, I. (1998). “Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of C-phycocyanin from blue-green algae”. Inflammation Research. 47 (1): 36–41. PMID 9495584. doi:10.1007/s000110050256.
- Kumar, K.; Lakshmanan, A.; Kannaiyan, S. (2003). “Bioregulatory and therapeutic effects of blue green algae”. Indian Journal of Microbiology. 43 (1): 9–16. ISSN 0046-8991. INIST:14838544.
- Pugh, Nirmal; Ross, Samir; Elsohly, Hala; Elsohly, Mahmoud; Pasco, David (2001). “Isolation of Three High Molecular Weight Polysaccharide Preparations with Potent Immunostimulatory Activity from Spirulina platensis, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Chlorella pyrenoidosa”. Planta Medica. 67 (8): 737–42. PMID 11731916. doi:10.1055/s-2001-18358.
- Pugh, N; Pasco, DS (2001). “Characterization of human monocyte activation by a water soluble preparation of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae”. Phytomedicine. 8 (6): 445–53. PMID 11824519. doi:10.1078/S0944-7113(04)70063-X.
- Shytle, DR; Tan, J; Ehrhart, J; Smith, AJ; Sanberg, CD; Sanberg, PR; Anderson, J; Bickford, PC (2010). “Effects of blue-green algae extracts on the proliferation of human adult stem cells in vitro: A preliminary study”. Medical science monitor. 16 (1): BR1–5. PMID 20037479.
- Denon, Daniel J. “Is ‘Runners’ High’ a Cure for Depression?” WebMD. 2001. Retrieved July 8, 2017, from http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20010927/is-runners-high-cure-for-depression.