Blue-Green Algae & Spirulina

Blue-Green Algae & Spirulina
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The risks associated with these supplements may outweigh the benefits.

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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 whose 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 Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, 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 two places one may be likely to find BMAA is in the brains of Alzheimer’s 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 it 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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 whose 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 Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, 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 two places one may be likely to find BMAA is in the brains of Alzheimer’s 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 it 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Lake Improvement Association via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

More on the safety of blue-green algae and spirulina supplements:

For further context, check out my associated blog post: Toxin Contamination of Spirulina Supplements

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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