Overview

Blue-green algae refers to several species of bacteria that produce blue-green colored pigments. They grow in salt water and some large fresh water lakes. They have been used for food for several centuries in Mexico and some African countries. They have been sold as a supplement in the US since the late 1970s.

Blue-green algae products are used for treating high blood pressure. They are also used as a protein supplement and for high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia), diabetes, obesity, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Some blue-green algae products are grown under controlled conditions. Others are grown in a natural setting, where they are more likely to be contaminated by bacteria, liver poisons (microcystins) produced by certain bacteria, and heavy metals. Choose only products that have been tested and found to be free of these contaminants.

You may have been told that blue-green algae are an excellent source of protein. But, in reality, blue-green algae are no better than meat or milk as a protein source and cost about 30 times as much per gram.

Don't confuse blue-green algae with algin, Ascophyllum nodosum, Ecklonia cava, or Laminaria.

How does it work ?

Blue-green algae have a high protein, iron, and other mineral content which is absorbed when taken orally. Blue-green algae are being researched for their potential effects on the immune system, swelling (inflammation), and viral infections.

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