Health Benefits Of Blue Green Algae, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA)
Scientific research has shown many compounds found in AFA have strong anti-inflammatory properties which have been known to help alleviate the chronic inflammation many people encounter daily. These include the COX-2 inhibitor Phycocyanin, and anti-inflammatory properties of the carotenoids contained in AFA.
Many of the compounds in algae serve as broad-spectrum antioxidants which help protect cells from damaging free radicals which are continually being produced in the body. Other compounds in algae function as strong immune modulators, which research has been shown to support immune surveillance. These compounds can activate aspects of the immune system involved in both the anti-bacterial and anti-viral immune defense mechanisms. The complex polysaccharides found in AFA are an example of these unique compounds. Research done on the polysaccharides in algae showed to support of the activation of Natural Killer (NK) cells in laboratory tests. NK cells serve as a vital first defense against cancerous and infected cells.
Another important compound found in AFA is phenylethylamine. Although it is found in other foods like chocolate, AFA supplies a much higher level and is actually the highest known natural source. Phenethylamine has gained significant notoriety in recent years as it is now thought to play an important role in depression and other psychiatric disorders. By measuring its metabolites, low levels of endogenous PEA have been documented in cases of attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and PEA supplementation has been used to treat clinical depression.
[sws_blue_box box_size=”630″] BENEFITS OF ALGAE
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Hart AN, Zaske LAM, Patterson KM, Drapeau C, Jensen GS. (2007). Natural killer cell activation and modulation of chemokine receptor profile in vitro by an extract from the cyanophyta Aphanizomenon flos-aquae. Journal of Medicinal Food, 10(3): 435-441.
Jensen GS, Ginsberg DI, Huerta P, Citton M, Drapeau C (2000). Consumption of Aphanizomenon flos aquae has rapid effects on the circulation and function of immune cells in humans. A novel approach to nutritional mobilization of the immune system. JANA, vol. 2 (3):50-58.
Jensen, GS, Carter SG, Redman KA, Benson KF, Ehmann A, Guthrie J, Turner J, Drapeau C. Cognitive enhancement and immune modulating properties of an antioxidant-rich microalgae extract, AFAninPlusTM. SSW09 poster session.
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Sabelli HC, Fawcett J, Gusovsky F, Javaid JI, Wynn P, Edwards J, Jeffriess H, Kravitz H. (1986). Clinical studies on the phenylethylamine hypothesis of affective disorder: urine and blood phenylacetic acid and phenylalanine dietary supplements. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 47(2):66-70.
Sabelli HC, Fink P, Fawcett J, Tom C. (1996). Sustained antidepressant effect of PEA replacement. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 8(2):168-71. Vadiraja B, Bhat V, Madaystha K. (2000). C-Phycocyanin: A potent peroxyl radical scavenger in vivo and in vitro. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 275, 20-25.
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