Blue-green algae products are popular for weight loss, being taken to lower cholesterol and for cancer prevention. The blue-green species in its natural dried state is used as a food source in some parts of the world. In supplement form, it is used as a nutritional boost. Spirulina is a naturally occurring blue-green algae that is commercially grown in a controlled environment. Another natural blue-green algae, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), is grown commercially in the wild, allowing for potential contamination. Blue-green algae are a phylum of bacteria and not true algae.
General nutritive value derived from spirulina includes protein, B vitamins, beta-carotene, several minerals and gamma-linolenic acid. Other purported uses of blue-green algae products are for ADHD, lowering cholesterol, viral infections, fatigue and HIV.
In my experience Spirulina feeds by physical body, while Upper Klamath Blue Green Algae feeds the neurology and boosts mental clarity. Great for calming the nerves as well as for overcoming mental focus problems related to ADD and ADHD.
(Information below taken from Klamath Blue Green, Inc.’s website: www.klamathbluegreen.com)
Spirulina, Chlorella, and Klamath Blue Green Algae:
What is the Difference?
Many people ask us about the difference between Klamath Blue Green Algae (Aphanizomenon Flos Aquae or AFA), spirulina and chlorella. AFA and spirulina are blue green algaes while chlorella is a green algae, which means it has an indigestible cellulose wall. This wall must be mechanically broken in order for the body to be able to digest it. This is a very expensive process and is reflected in the cost of the product.
Spirulina and chlorella are cultivated in man-made ponds whereas AFA is wildcrafted from Upper Klamath Lake where it grows in a pristine, mineral rich environment that cannot be duplicated synthetically. The difference in energy one receives from these whole foods is similar to the difference between cultivated produce and foraged wild vegetables and fruits. In general, one needs to take only a third as much AFA per day.
Spirulina and Chlorella are usually heat processed for commercial distribution. The cell walls of Spirulina are carmelized during spray drying, making it difficult for enzymes to penetrate the algae cells during digestion. This results in low assimilation of proteins and other nutritional components. Spray drying can also kill enzymes, losing heat sensitive components and decreasing beta-carotene due to the high temperatures that may be involved.
A history lesson on…
The popularization of Algae in the U.S.
The rise of popularity of Spirulina in the U.S. can be attributed to Dr. Christopher Hills. Dr. Hills did more than anyone in promoting the benefits of Spirulina & Chlorella when he started writing books on these Algae and began a company marketing Spirulina. He also had a couple of interesting formulas, combining his Spirulina (which he potentized) with other unique ingredients such as bee pollen, ginseng, and even snake gall bladder extract. (I remember reading about one of his stories about a man from Japan who lived on chlorella alone for 15 years.)
In the 1970s Dr. Hills started a company whereby the products were sold through a marketing structure then known as multi-level distributing, and is now termed network marketing.This system works when individuals discover a product through use and beneficial results.They sign up as distributors and share the results and information with friends and co-workers, who then may become distributors themselves.
News spread about the many benefits of Spirulina, especially that this nutrient dense Algae provides an excellent source of non-animal protein, as it is high in B Vitamins. The world took note of this new wonder food. Spirulina was grown in ponds in Hawaii, Mexico, Japan, and elsewhere, and its popularity grew every year.
A few enlightened companies started putting Spirulina & other Superfoods into their lines of vitamins. Rainbow Light began including Spirulina and Chlorella in the base of most of their products by the early 1980s. Sunasu Vitamins was the first vitamin company to put Super Herbs in their vitamin formulations.
In September 1981 the headline NEW DIET AID: SPIRULINA appeared in the National Enquirer. After Spirulina made national news- everyone wanted it! Within one month of the headline, fifty companies introduced their brands of Spirulina into Health Food Stores. It has been a staple Superfood & Power Green ever since, found in many diet effective products available in Health Food Stores.
Personally, I never considered Spirulina a diet aid. Yet, it undoubtedly leaves you satisfied, and often when satisfied,
you might have a tendency not to over-eat.
A few years later, the spotlight turned to Chlorella…
One of the most popular brands of Chlorella was made in Japan, and was heavily advertised in the United States. Chlorella is interesting in that, because of it’s cell wall behind hard to dissolve, some kind of process needed to be designed to half crack the cell wall so that we humans could assimilate it. Eventually, another kind and brand of Chlorella from Japan did appear in the US marketplace, which had a soft cell wall, and did not have to be electronically cracked.But the demand for that product was so great in Japan, that there was not any left in the U.S.
Chlorella was selling like crazy in Health Food Stores all over the US and then one day… that main company from Japan wasn’t available anymore. (I’m not sure what role the U.S. government played in eliminating it. Rumors abound that it played a major role.)
And then a few years ago, this Japanese product resurfaced in Health Food Stores in the U.S. where it has to compete with many other companies, that had appeared in its absence, marketing this Superfood.
The benefits of this very, very green Algae: it is very rich in nutrients: including B Vitamins, Carotene, and Chlorophyll (obvious from its deep green color). As you know chlorophyll is to plants as blood is to animals / humans. People have been taking chlorella for sustained over-all energy, and they buy it again and again.
Then, a new algae entered the picture…
Blue Green Algae
This particular Algae seems to grow only in particular places. The most plentiful amount of this algae is in a lake in Oregon called Klamath Lake. Just as Spirulina was popularized by word of mouth through a network of independent distributors, the first Blue Green Algae was sold in this manner by a company that surfaced in the mid 80s.
Currently, there are at least 3-4 different companies harvesting Blue Green Algae from Lake Klamath. Klamath Blue Green Algae manufactures the Blue Green Algae products that we have available. They started harvesting in 1989.
Somehow, some way, Blue Green Algae gradually received the incredible press it deserved. Possibly because it is so rich in amino acids that it goes directly to the back of the head, and seems to be very effective in mentally stimulating the human brain. (Better than coffee, I would say, without the many negative side effects one finds with caffeine.)
Companies selling Spirulina decided to jump on the Blue Green Algae bandwagon. Instead of putting Spirulina on their label, many of these companies labeled their product, believe it or not, Blue Green Algae. And it is true, Spirulina is a blue green Algae, in color. Yet, Spirulina is not Aphanizomenon Flos Aquae. So if you are taking a product labeled Blue Green Algae, and you are not getting an incredible mental clarity from the product, but are feeling very fulfilled nutritionally from it especially in the frontal area of the head – check your label. If the words Aphanizomenon Flos Aquae are not on the label, you are not getting what you thought you might be getting.
Superfoods are here to stay.
Superfoods include products such as ginseng, bee pollen, royal jelly, wheat grass, barley grass, many other particular herbs too numerous to mention here, and the Algaes- Spirulina, Chlorella, & Blue Green Algae.
This has been a brief, direct experience history of the popularization of the Algaes from a person (me, Phil Wilson, owner of Momentum98) immersed in the ingestion & dissemination of not only the products, but information on them to the populace.
Exact dates have not been checked for accuracy, nor has there been included here any scientific information about the benefits and the specific nutrients contained in these mineral-rich plants. There are many books, articles, and websites that provide this information.
The intent of this article is not to impress you with what scientific facts about Algae, because others have done that and admirably well. Rather the purpose of this article is to inspire you, to excite your imagination, to get you to jump into the World of Algae with enthusiasm. Of course, one has to try the product first before one truly becomes inspired. I personally eat all of these Algaes as one might eat candy, or nuts, or seeds.
This is my summary of how these Algaes affect my body:
Spirulina can be felt in the forehead and above area of the head. It is very rich in protein, and is very satisfying.
Chlorella can be felt energizing the whole body: in every cell of the chest, head, legs, everywhere with an even-keel energy.
Blue Green Algae, being extremely rich in amino acids, seems to be a powerful mind & brain stimulant, which gives remarkable mental clarity, and which can be felt in the back or crown of the head.