ingredient information
Algae Blue Green
Claims, Benefits: Prevents cancer and heart disease and boosts immunity. Bottom Line: This is not a medicine or a good source of nutrients. It is easily contaminated. Children should not take it. Blue-green algae contain small amounts of protein, vitamins (including C, E, and folate), beta carotene, and some minerals. But unless you eat huge amounts of algae, they are a negligible source of nutrients. Like green plants, they are rich in chlorophyll, a pigment that enables them to turn sunlight into energy, but is of no use to the human body. Given the high price of algae supplements, there are far cheaper and better ways to get nutrients. As for the medical claims, there's no scientific evidence that blue-green algae can treat or cure any illness or has any health benefit. The "studies" often cited by the marketers do not support the claims. Don’t fall for the testimonials. In a recent court decision in California, marketers of blue-green algae were told to stop making health claims. Words to the wise: A big concern with blue-green algae, especially AFA harvested from natural lakes, is that they are easily contaminated with toxic substances, notably microcystins and heavy metals. Because Health Canada, the equivalent of the U.S. FDA, found that some blue-green algae supplements (but not spirulina) contain high levels of microcystin, it has warned consumers—especially those thinking of giving AFA to their children—about potential contamination. The marketers, of course, deny that there are any risks. Note on green algae: Many health claims are also made for green algae, especially chlorella. There’s no convincing evidence that chlorella benefits humans in any way. If you want to try sea vegetables, try some of the seaweed products found in Asian and other specialty markets, as well as in some restaurants. UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, July 2004 Source: