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Algae - Natural remedy of the month   

 February 2010  



algaeMost of us will have heard of algae – perhaps in connection with something that gathers on garden ponds, or something that some fish seem to live on.

Algae is one of the oldest and most basic organisms on the planet, and the health benefits from green algae that grows in ponds in the Far East have been known for some time. However, the enthusiasm for green algae hasn’t travelled west as far as the UK – until now.

New research from Japan that shows green algae can help fight major diseases has suddenly brought it to everyone’s attention.

When new reports from the Carnegie Institute in America showed that green algae really did appear to be a superfood, interest has soared. The scientists discovered that the green algae grown on freshwater ponds was packed with protein, with twice that of spinach, 38 times that of soybeans and 55 times more protein than rice. It also contains nine essential amino acids plus vitamins and minerals.

Benefits from this green algae are said to include a reduction in body-fat percentage and blood-glucose levels, and benefits for people suffering from Type 2 diabetes, obesity or heart disease. The algae is also said to help to boost energy levels, aid digestion and fight depression. Its chlorophyll which is a source of magnesium is said to help cleanse the blood and remove toxins.

The proper name for this algae is chlorella pyrenoidosa. It is a unique, single celled, fresh water green algae, which was the first form of life with a true nucleus, and has been on the earth for over 2.5 billion years. Because it is single celled, chlorella has to contain everything it needs within that one single entity and it is therefore a true wholefood.

Chlorella is comprised of a fibrous outer shell (20%) and nutrient rich inner (80%). The fibrous outer shell is thought to be able to bind with, and eliminate, heavy metals and toxic chemicals that can accumulate in our bodies, hence its boost to our immune systems. Its nutrient rich centre contains the other beneficial properties. The algae is gathered off the water, dried to a paste, crushed to a fine emerald green power and then put into tablets or powders for modern supplements.

Chlorella is quite new in the UK, but one company has started up to help introduce the benefits of algae into the UK market in Natural Green. There is full information on their website

If in any doubt about any of the information covered in health and nutrition related articles and it's relevance for you, consult your GP.

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