"If you are sitting on a tack, it takes a lot of aspirin to make it feel good. If you are sitting on two tacks, removing just one does not result in a 50 percent improvement."
—Sidney Baker, Detoxification and Healing, 1997
A daily dose of beta-carotene, from an algae extract, demonstrated a protective effect against exercise-induced asthma.
Two studies have found that the inclusion of blue-green algae in the diet contributes to a reduction of anaphylactic and immune-type allergic reactions in animal studies. Serum histamine levels are significantly inhibited in rats administered Spirulina. These results suggest that blue-green algae may contain compounds that act to inhibit mast cell-mediated, immediate-type allergic reactions. 302, 303
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, found that algal oils significantly reduced blood levels of arachidonic acid in rats. 305 Arachidonic acid produces molecules (leukotrienes) that trigger allergic reactions and contribute to water retention (edema) and puffiness. These molecules may be 1,000 times more problematic than histamine in contributing to asthmatic bronchial constriction. 306
A daily dose of beta-carotene, from an algae extract, demonstrated a protective effect against exercise-induced asthma. Of thirty-eight patients given 64 mg of algal beta-carotene extract daily for one week, 53% were protected from exercise-induced asthma. All of the patients in the placebo condition showed a significant post-exercise reduction of breathing in a forced expiratory volume test. 307
Fewer Allergies, Skin Problems, and Asthma
A pilot study that used a survey developed by the National Center for Health Statistics (1996) reported fewer allergies, skin problems, and asthma among Aph. flos-aquae consumers. The algae eaters scored significantly better than average on numerous measures of health, when scores were compared to normative baseline data. 308
In Japan blue-green algae is reported "to forestall pancreatic exhaustion and return balance to the flow of enzymatic secretions." 310 Good digestion requires that the body secrete sufficient hydrochloric acid and pancreatic enzymes into the stomach to process foods. Certain food allergies can be traced to poor digestion combined with "leaky gut syndrome" that allows undigested proteins to enter the blood; the immune system reacts to these large molecules as foreign invaders. " Aph. flos-aquae blue-green algae contains carotenes and chlorophyll, both of which are able to dramatically stimulate specialized cells around the intestinal walls to secrete lubricating material and thus help to prevent this type of allergic reaction." 311 The omega-3 fatty acids are likely to be helpful as well.