The risks associated with these supplements may outweigh the benefits.
Fecal bacteria may contaminate alfalfa seed sprouts and present a food safety risk.
I'd also recommend staying away from the tiny dark green leafies, blue-green algae and spirulina. This story starts in Guam where the Chamorro people were eating perhaps the world's cutest bat, the flying fox. That was a mistake since it turns out the flying fox's favorite fruit is from this funky looking tree who's watery roots concentrate a toxin produced by some rare algae. The result was that the Chamorro started dying of something called Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis parkinsonism dementia, basically a combination of Parkinsons, Alzheimers and Lou Gehrig's disease. We used to think neurotoxins were limited to rare exotic algae but now we know otherwise. We now know that almost all blue-green algae can produce neurotoxins like BMAA. Turns out the only places one is likely to find BMAA is in the brains of Alzheimers patients and at the local all natural food store in the form of blue-green algae. So, until we know more, I recommend leaving that particular product out of your cart. And this, spirulina the other pond scum. Well, it's good for our blood pressure, our cholesterol and seems to work wonders against seasonal allergies but spirulina may dissolve our muscles from the inside out. It's always better when our food doesn't kill us.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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Cox PA, Banack SA, Murch SJ, Rasmussen U, Tien G, Bidigare RR, Metcalf JS, Morrison LF, Codd GA, Bergman B. Diverse taxa of cyanobacteria produce beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine, a neurotoxic amino acid. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Apr 5;102(14):5074-8. Epub 2005 Apr 4.
Torres-Duran PV, Ferreira-Hermosillo A, Juarez-Oropeza MA. Antihyperlipemic and antihypertensive effects of Spirulina maxima in an open sample of Mexican population: a preliminary report. Lipids Health Dis. 2007 Nov 26;6:33.
For a few of the latest videos concerning safety of blue-green algae and spirulina supplements:
Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!
For some context, check out my associated blog post: Toxin Contamination of Spirulina Supplements.
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