The purpose of this site is to collect lab research by medical doctors about herbs that are proven to treat illnesses and counter the false attacks on herbs by the medical industry and false claims by alternative medicine. I let the science tell the facts.
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Blue-green algae, or Cyanophyta or Spirulina (edible) Date Written 8-10-09
Author Joe Holmes Date Revised  

I was recently asked if there was any research about algae to treat diabetes. As I collected the research on this page I was amazed at the health benefits of blue green algae and how it is overlooked. The benefits of it are absolutely phenomenal. After writing this report I am going to get some and start using it. It's benefits include aiding in diabetes, herpes, immune diseases and researchers state it is the best nutriment in the world.

1." Alteration of the gastrointestinal microbiota of mice by edible blue-green algae. Rasmussen HE, Martínez I, Lee JY, Walter J. Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, USA.

Abstract Aims: To characterize the effect of edible blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) on the gastrointestinal microbiota of mice. Methods and Results: C57BL/6J mice were fed a diet supplemented with 0% or 5% dried Nostoc commune, Spirulina platensis or Afanizominon flos-aquae (w/w) for 4 weeks. Molecular fingerprinting of the colonic microbiota using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis revealed that administration of N. commune induced major alterations in colonic microbiota composition, while administration of S. platensis or A. flos-aquae had a more subtle impact. Community profile analysis revealed that administration of N. commune did not reduce microbial diversity indices of the colonic microbiota. Despite its pronounced effects on the bacterial composition in the colon, total bacterial numbers in the gut of mice fed N. commune were not reduced as assessed by quantitative real-time PCR and bacteriological culture. Conclusions: The results presented here show that administration of blue-green algae, and especially N. commune, alters colonic microbiota composition in mice with limited effects on total bacterial numbers or microbial diversity. Significance and Impact of the Study: Blue-green algae are consumed in many countries as a source of nutrients and to promote health, and they are intensively studied for their pharmaceutical value. Given the importance of the gut microbiota for many host functions, the effects of blue-green algae on gut microbial ecology revealed during this study should be considered when using them as food supplements or when studying their pharmaceutical properties. PMID: 19486425 (1)

2." Spirulina in health care management. Kulshreshtha A, Zacharia AJ, Jarouliya U, Bhadauriya P, Prasad GB, Bisen PS. School of Studies in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Jiwaji University, Gwalior-474011, India.

Spirulina is a photosynthetic, filamentous, spiral-shaped and multicellular edible microbe. It is the nature's richest and most complete source of nutrition. Spirulina has a unique blend of nutrients that no single source can offer. The alga contains a wide spectrum of prophylactic and therapeutic nutrients that include B-complex vitamins, minerals, proteins, gamma-linolenic acid and the super anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin E, trace elements and a number of unexplored bioactive compounds. Because of its apparent ability to stimulate whole human physiology, Spirulina exhibits therapeutic functions such as antioxidant, anti-bacterial, antiviral, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-diabetic and plethora of beneficial functions. Spirulina consumption appears to promote the growth of intestinal micro flora as well. The review discusses the potential of Spirulina in health care management. PMID: 18855693 (2) It is proven to help diabetics and the other benefits listed.

3."[Structure and antiviral activity of an acidic polysaccharide from an edible blue-green alga, Nostoc flagelliforme]
[Article in Japanese] Kanekiyo K, Hayashi K, Lee JB, Takenaka H, Hayashi T. Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences for Research, University of Toyama, Toyama City, Japan.

Recently, the development of antiviral agents with novel mechanisms of action has been required since many types of infectious disease have become a serious problem in our society. In the present study, we isolated a novel acidic polysaccharide, nostoflan (NSF), from a terrestrial blue-green alga, Nostoc flagelliforme, and examined its structure and antiviral activity. The sugar composition and methylation analyses of NSF revealed that it is mainly composed of (-->4)- D-Glcp-(1-->, -->6,4)-D-Glcp-(1-->, -->4)-D-Galp-(1-->, -->4)-D-Xylp-(1-->, D-GlcAp-(1-->, D-Manp-(1-->) with a ratio of ca. 1:1:1:1:0.8:0.2. Oligosaccharide analysis after partial acid hydrolysis of NSF revealed that this polysaccharide might be mainly composed of the sugar sequences of (-->4)-beta-D-Glcp-(1-->4)-D-Xylp-(1 and-->4)-[beta-D-GlcAp-(1-->6)-]-beta-D-Glcp-(1-->4)-D-Galp-(1-->). NSF showed potent antiviral activities against several enveloped viruses including herpes simplex virus type 1, type 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2), human cytomegalovirus, and influenza A virus (IFV). NSF selectively inhibited the attachment of HSV-1 to host cells but not its penetration phase. In an experimental animal study where IFV-infected mice received NSF intranasally, the mortality of mice was significantly decreased. Neutralizing titers in sera of mice treated with NSF were higher than in those treated with oseltamivir. From these results, NSF was found to be a novel polysaccharide that shows antiviral activity in vitro and in vivo in spite of a nonsulfated polysaccharide." PMID: 18451619 (3)

4."Natural killer cell activation and modulation of chemokine receptor profile in vitro by an extract from the cyanophyta Aphanizomenon flos-aquae. Hart AN, Zaske LA, Patterson KM, Drapeau C, Jensen GS. NIS Labs, Klamath Falls, Canada.

The present research was designed to study the effects of an extract from the edible cyanophyta Aphanizomenon flos-aquae on human natural killer (NK) cells. We have previously shown, using a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled crossover design, that ingestion of 1.5 g of dried whole A. flos-aquae resulted in a transient reduction in peripheral blood NK cells in 21 healthy human volunteers, suggesting increased NK cell homing into tissue. We have now identified an extract from A. flos-aquae (AFAe) that directly activates NK cells in vitro and modulates the chemokine receptor profile. NK cell activation was evaluated by expression of CD25 and CD69 on CD3-CD56+ cells after 18 hours. Changes in CXCR3 and CXCR4 chemokine receptor expression after 5-60 minutes were evaluated by immunostaining and flow cytometry. AFAe induced the expression of CD69 on CD3-CD56+ NK cells, induced CD25 expression on 25% of these cells, and acted in synergy with interleukin 2. NK cells enriched by RosetteSep (StemCell Technologies Inc., Vancouver, BC, Canada) were not activated by AFAe, indicating that the NK activation was dependent on other cells such as monocytes. The low-molecular-weight fraction <5,000 of AFAe was responsible for the most robust NK cell activation, suggesting novel compounds different from previously reported macrophage-activating large polysaccharides." PMID: 17887936 (4) This report is an example of how research reports seem to be ambigious yet if one really takes the time to study it shows that algae kills infections.

5."Mobilization of human CD34+ CD133+ and CD34+ CD133(-) stem cells in vivo by consumption of an extract from Aphanizomenon flos-aquae--related to modulation of CXCR4 expression by an L-selectin ligand? Jensen GS, Hart AN, Zaske LA, Drapeau C, Gupta N, Schaeffer DJ, Cruickshank JA. Holger NIS, 601 13 Avenue NE, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2E 1C7.

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to evaluate effects on human stem cells in vitro and in vivo of an extract from the edible cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) enriched for a novel ligand for human CD62L (L-selectin). EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Ligands for CD62L provide a mechanism for stem cell mobilization in conjunction with down-regulation of the CXCR4 chemokine receptor for stromal derived factor 1. Affinity immunoprecipitation was used to identify a novel ligand for CD62L from a water extract from AFA. The effects of AFA water extract on CD62L binding and CXCR4 expression was tested in vitro using human bone marrow CD34+ cells and the two progenitor cell lines, KG1a and K562. A double-blind randomized crossover study involving 12 healthy subjects evaluated the effects of consumption on stem cell mobilization in vivo. RESULTS: An AFA extract rich in the CD62L ligand reduced the fucoidan-mediated externalization of the CXCR4 chemokine receptor on bone marrow CD34+ cells by 30% and the CD62L+ CD34+ cell line KG1A by 50% but did not alter the CXCR4 expression levels on the CD34(-) cell line K562. A transient, 18% increase in numbers of circulating CD34+ stem cells maximized 1 hour after consumption (P<.0003). When 3 noncompliant volunteers were removed from analysis, the increase in CD34+ cells was 25% (P<.0001). CONCLUSION: AFA water extract contains a novel ligand for CD62L. It modulates CXCR4 expression on CD34+ bone marrow cells in vitro and triggers the mobilization of CD34+ CD133+ and CD34+ CD133(-) cells in vivo."
PMID: 17765649 (5) The benefits of algae to increase bone marrow cells and aid in health is phenomenal.

6." Anti-herpes simplex virus target of an acidic polysaccharide, nostoflan, from the edible blue-green alga Nostoc flagelliforme. Kanekiyo K, Hayashi K, Takenaka H, Lee JB, Hayashi T. Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194, Japan.

The acidic polysaccharide nostoflan was previously isolated as an antiviral component from the terrestrial alga Nostoc flagelliforme. In the present study, we examined the target for its anti-herpes simplex virus type 1 action. In time-of-addition experiments, the most sensitive stage of viral replication to nostoflan was found to be early events, including the virus binding and/or penetration processes. In order to determine what extent nostoflan may be involved in these processes, virus binding and penetration assays were separately performed. The results indicated that the inhibition of virus binding to but not penetration into host cells was responsible for the antiherpetic effect induced by nostoflan. Our study suggests that nostoflan may be a potential antiherpes agent." PMID: 17666824 (6) The ability of algae to treat herpes is overlooked and it is a very important beneficial natural compound.

1 PMID: 19486425
2 PMID: 18855693
3 PMID: 18451619
4 PMID: 17887936
5 PMID: 17765649
6 PMID: 17666824



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