"Give with a free hand, but give only your own."
-- J.R.R. Tolkien The Children of Hurin
- Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) -
Dr. Ray Shahelien entry:
See also Inflammation
Most of the information you will find on the Internet about AFA
is from sellers of AFA or AFA extracts. Obviously, they
have a pro-AFA bias, especially when it comes to their
particular brand. The next most common group are those
trying to debunk the whole idea. A rare few in the middle
have made an almost unbiased, but totally subjective
report. What I am not finding are many posts from actual
users on message boards telling of their experience with taking
AFA for a neurodegenerative disease. So, read carefully,
and do your homework!
Green Algae health benefit
green algae are not really algae, but they actually are more
closely related to bacteria. Because they are photosynthetic and
aquatic, cyanobacteria are often called "blue-green algae". This
name is convenient for talking about organisms in the water that
make their own food, but does not reflect any relationship
between the cyanobacteria and other organisms called algae.
Cyanobacteria are relatives of the bacteria, not eukaryotes.
Cyanobacteria are aquatic and photosynthetic, that is, they live
in the water, and can manufacture their own food. Because they
are bacteria, they are quite small and usually unicellular,
though they often grow in colonies large enough to see. They
have the distinction of being the oldest known fossils, more
than 3.5 billion years old. Cyanobacteria are still around; they
are one of the largest and most important groups of bacteria on
types of Blue-Green Algae
green algae are an important part of the food chain in lakes and
ponds worldwide. The two main blue-green types are Spirulina and
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). AFA is harvested from Upper
Klamath Lake in Oregon and then freeze-dried and sold in
capsules and other forms...
[sic] FLOS AQUAE PREPARATION, EXTRACTS AND PURIFIED COMPONENTS
THEREOF FOR THE TREATMENT OF NEUROLOGICAL, NEURODEGENERATIVE
AND MOOD DISORDERS
Inventors: SCOGLIO, Stefano; (IT).
CANESTRARI, Franco; (IT).
BENEDETTI, Serena; (IT).
BENEDETTI, Yanina; (IT).
DELGADO-ESTEBAN, Maria; (ES).
WO 2008000430 20080103
FLOS AQUAE PREPARATION, EXTRACTS AND PURIFIED COMPONENTS THEREOF
FOR THE TREATMENT OF NEUROLOGICAL, NEURODEGENERATIVE AND MOOD
present invention relates to the microalga Aphanizomenon Flos
Aquae Ralfs ex Born. & Flah. Var. flos aquae (AFA Klamath).
More precisely, the invention provides extracts of AFA Klamath
and purified components thereof useful for the prevention or
treatment of neurological, neurodegenerative and mood conditions
or diseases... Phenylethylamine (PEA) is an endogenous amine
synthesized by decarboxylation of phenylalanine in dopaminergic
neurons of the nigrostriatal system, and may act as a
neuromodulator of catecholamine neurotransmission in the
brain... Moreover, once ingested PEA can easily pass through the
blood-brain barrier and stimulate the release of dopamine from
the nigrostriatal tissue even at low dosages...
Description of the invention
The invention is based on the identification, in the microalga
Aphanizomenon Flos Aquae Aquae Ralfs ex Born. & Flah. Var.
flos aquae (AFA Klamath), of substances that, alone or in
combination, exert beneficial effects on various neurological
diseases, conditions, dysfunctions or disorders, including
neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's,
multiple sclerosis, hyperactivity and attention deficit
disorders (ADHD), autism, depression, memory deficit and mood
disturbances. In particular, it has been found that AFA Klamath
microalga contains, besides phenylethylamine, which is a
neuromodulator characterized by dopaminergic and noradrenergic
activity, specific molecules which quite surprisingly proved to
be very effective inhibitors of the enzyme monoaminoxidase B
(MAO-B), namely: a) the specific AFA-phytochrome; b) the
AFA-phycobiliprotein complex containing a phycobilisome formed
by C-phycocyanin (C-PC) and phycoerythrocyanin (PEC, including
its chromophore phycoviolobilin or PVB) ("AFA-phycocyanins"); c)
mycosporine-like amino acids or MAAs. This finding is very
important since the PEA contained in the algae, unless protected
by MAO-B inhibitors, would be rapidly destroyed upon ingestion
by the MAO-B enzyme...
...the AFA Klamath extract... is prepared by [either]: a)
freezing the freshly harvested AFA alga and thawing it, or,
if... dried AFA powder, sonicating the water-diluted AFA powder
to disrupt the cells; b) centrifuging the product of step a) to
separate the supernatant... from the precipitate...; c)
collecting the supernatant containing the water-soluble
The resulting product is an extract (indicated as "Basic
Extract") which concentrates PEA as well as other synergic
molecules such as the AFA phytochrome, the AFA-phycocyanins, and
the MAAs. For example, whereas Klamath microalga has a natural
content of PEA ranging from 2 to 4 mg/gr, the Basic Extract
increases this concentration to a level ranging from 9 to 11
mg/gr (HPLC analysis).
It is possible to further purify the extract by passing it
through an ultra- filtration system...
The Basic Extract obtained by steps a) to c), i.e. without
ultra-filtration, is generally preferred as it contains the most
appropriate amounts of PEA, AFA-phytochrome, AFA-PC and MAAs.
Moreover, this Basic Extract also includes substances such as
chlorophyll and carotenes, even though in a reduced proportion,
contributing to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
(WO/2010/120992) METHOD OF SEPARATION OF ALGAL BIOMASS FROM
AQUEOUS OR MARINE CULTURE
Marine Toxins :: analysis
From Cyanobacteria and Microalgae: An Overview
on: Sunday, 23 October 2005, 03:01 CDT
Singh, Sawraj; Kate, Bhushan N; Banerjee, U C
(blue-green algae) are photosynthetic prokaryotes used as food
by humans. They have also been recognized as an excellent source
of vitamins and proteins and as such are found in health food
stores throughout the world. They are also reported to be a
source of fine chemicals, renewable fuel and bioactive
compounds. This potential is being realized as data from
research in the areas of the physiology and chemistry of these
organisms are gathered and the knowledge of cyanobacterial
genetics and genetic engineering increased. Their role as
antiviral, anti- tumour, antibacterial, anti-HIV and a food
additive have been well established. The production of
cyanobacteria in artificial and natural environments has been
fully exploited. In this review the use of cyanobacteria and
microalgae, production processes and biosynthesis of pigments,
colorants and certain bioactive compounds are discussed in
detail. The genetic manipulation of cyanobacteria and microalgae
to improve their quality are also described at length.
Effect of a Klamath
algae product ("AFA-B12") on blood levels of vitamin B12 and
homocysteine in vegan subjects: a pilot study.
Vitam Nutr Res. 2009 Mar;79(2):117-23.
the control period, in the intervention period participants
improved their vitamin B12 status, significantly reducing Hcy
blood concentration (p=0.003). In conclusion, the Klamath algae
product AFA-B12 appears to be, in a preliminary study, an
adequate and reliable source of vitamin B12 in humans.
20108213 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Low vitamin B12 levels may cause a whole host of problems,
including neurological disorders that mimick other diseases.
¤ Adult Stem Cell Enhancement, StemEnhance, NT-020, Stem Naturals:
I don't know if StemEnhance, NT-20 or products like it actually "promotes
proliferation of human hematopoietic stem cells" or would
help repair the damage caused by neurodegenerative diseases or
not. I hope they do. I hope we find something that helps.
But I don't know. I am not implying that these products work
or do not work. I am not endorsing or denouncing these
products. I just thought that you would like to know that these
things exist so you can do your own research and make up your own
Product information about StemEnhance from the company's web site:
When you take two capsules, the
ingredients help to support the release of stem cells from the
bone marrow into the bloodstream. Through a natural process,
those stem cells then travel to areas of the body where they are
most needed... Adult stem cells are most abundantly found in
bone marrow. Stem cells circulate and function to replace
dysfunctional cells, thus fulfilling the natural process of
maintaining optimal health. StemEnhance supports the release of
adult stem cells from bone marrow into circulation...
of Klamath Falls, Oregon
information is available from distributors:
Components in AFA responsible for its various health benefits
* phenylethylamine (PEA), responsible for
providing a feeling of mental energy,
* phycocyanin, responsible for the
antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,
* a polysaccharide, responsible for
supporting the immune system, and
* an L-selectin ligand, responsible for
supporting the release of stem cells from the bone marrow.
StemEnhance™ is a 5:1
concentrate, that blends two compounds extracted from
of AFA. One extract, containing an L-selectin ligand,
supports the natural release of stem cells (CD34+ cells) from
the bone marrow. The other extract, a polysaccharide-rich
fraction named Migratose™, may support the migration of stem
cells out of the blood and into stressed tissues.
Formulated specifically to support stem cell physiology;
StemEnhance™ also concentrates other compounds unique to AFA,
bringing unique support for the whole body.
I have no way of knowing at this time if it performs as
advertised. I hope it helps because we're going to try it.
[12/7/10] This decision was based not on the product advertising,
but on other research articles, patents, and the report by Dr.
Gabriel Cousens (later in this section).
But, not everyone is enthusiastic about the product:
article states that "Aphanizomenon flos-aquae has been found
to produce a toxin". I haven't been able to find anything
that confirms this. Quite the contrary, I've found articles
that say that some strains of cyanobacteria that do produce toxins
were mis-classified as
AFA (See the paper Taxonomic
re-evaluation of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae NH-5 below). Aphanizomenon ovalisporum is a toxic
blue-green alga in the same family as A.flos-aque. Such a
glaring, critical error makes me dubious of all the facts
presented in the story. I want the truth, not biased opinion either from the makers
and distributors of AFA products, or from the FDA. The FDA
is hardly an unbiased third party. It is a granter of
monopoly, and a political animal, subject to the influence of
politicians, the whims of bureaucrats, and purchased favors from
those with fist-fulls of dollars.
StemTech's Dubious Claims
StemTech HealthSciences... would like you to believe that
StemEnhance™ can help many health problems. The product's label
describes it as an extract of Aphanizomenon flos aquae, a
species of blue-green algae harvested from a lake in Klamath
Lake in Oregon. The retail price for a bottle of 60 capsules is
about $60. The recommended dosage is 2-4 capsules per day.
Before taking any product, it is advisable to know whether it
has been proven safe and effective for its intended purpose(s).
With respect to StemEnhance, the following questions would have
to be answered:
What evidence shows that taking StemEnhance
will improve anyone's health?
Has any study shown that people improved
their health as a result of taking it?
What evidence shows that StemEnhance is safe
for long-term use?
How can users be certain that long-term use
will not cause abnormal tissue growth?
For whom is the product advisable?
Who should not take it?
StemEnhance appears to be the brainchild of Christian Drapeau
and Gitte S. Jensen, Ph.D. Drapeau is director of Research and
Development for Desert Lake Technologies, of Klamath Falls,
Oregon. Desert Lake's Web site says that before that, he spend
five years as director for research and development for Cell
Tech International, a multilevel company whose primary products
are derived from blue-green algae. The Web site also states that
Drapeau holds a master of science degree in neurology and
neurosurgery. Jensen is director of research for Holger NIS
Inc., of Port Dover, Ontario, Canada. Holger's Web site states
that her Ph.D. is in immunology and that she has done research
projects on immunology, cancer biology and metastasis, and
The Trial of the Blue-Green
Algae Eaters (1986)
...The algae was harvested from the lake when the species
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae was predominant. Aphanizomenon
flos-aquae has been found to produce a toxin that is a powerful
neuromuscular blocking agent. In laboratory studies it has
caused animals to stop breathing. The algae produces the toxin
during its most active growth state, which is also when it is
most likely to be harvested...
Carol Ballentine is a member of FDA's public affairs staff. This
article is reprinted from the July-August 1986 issue of FDA
Taxonomic re-evaluation of
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae NH-5 based on morphology and 16S rRNA
Renhui Li, Wayne W. Carmichael, Yongding Liu and Makoto M.
Volume 438, Numbers 1-3, 99-105, DOI: 10.1023/A:1004166029866
taxonomy of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae strain NH-5, a producer of
cyanotoxins, was re-evaluated by comparison with six other
Aphanizomenon strains using morphological characteristics and
16S rRNA gene sequences. Strain
NH-5 was concluded to be improperly identified as Aph.
flos-aquae based upon (1) lack of bundle formation in
the trichomes, (2) location of akinetes next to heterocytes, (3)
lower similarities (less than 97.5%) in the 16S rRNA gene
sequences relative to Aph. flos-aquae strains, and (4)
comparison within a phylogenetic tree constructed from 16S rRNA
gene sequences. The Aphanizomenon strains investigated in this
study are classified to four morphological groups as described
by the classical taxonomy of Komárek & Kovácik (1989). This
classification was supported from the phylogenetic results of
16S rRNA gene sequences. This study also discusses the generic
boundaries between Aphanizomenon and Anabaena.
While A.flos-aquae itself doesn't produce toxins, there is a
possibility that it can be contaminated:
Assessment of Microcystin in Dietary Aphanizomenon flos-aquae
J. Schaeffera, 1, Phyllis B. Malpasa, 2 and Larry L. Bartonb
2 April 2002.
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, a
cyanobacterium that is marketed as a health food supplement, is
harvested from natural blooms in Klamath Lake (Oregon) that are
occasionally contaminated by
Microcystis spp. Regulatory agencies in several
countries are developing regulations to control the amount of
microcystin in drinking water and other products, including
products produced from A. flos-aquae. Regulation of microcystin
(MC), a toxin produced by Microcystis spp. that is potentially
present in natural culture of A. flos-aquae, should be based on
studies in which a test species is exposed to the natural
mixture of these cyanobacteria. A 1984 feeding trial to
determine the effects of high dietary levels of A. flos-aquae on
reproduction and development of mice is reanalyzed in light of
recent analyses for microcystin-LR (MCLR) in the diets of those
mice. Young adult mice consuming up to 333 µg MCLR/kg body
weight (bw)/day exhibited no adverse effects on growth and
reproduction, fetal development, and survival and organ weights
of neonates. Based on a NOAEL of 333 µg MCLR/kg bw/day, a safety
factor of 1000, consumption of 2 g/day of A. flos-aquae by a
60-kg adult, the safe level of MCLR as a contaminant of A.
flos-aquae products is calculated to be 10.0 µg MCLR/g.
An article in the August 1995 issue of Vegetarian Times Blue-Green Algae Blues
(Pg. 18) quotes the FDA article The
Trial of the Blue-Green Algae Eaters (1986) by Carol
Ballantine. The article also states "Two studies published by
biologists in 1960 and 1971, however, found samples of Klmath Lake
algae to be elthal [lethal?] to fish and white mice." But
they didn't provide references. How many people are actually
going to check the cited articles? These may be the ones.
11. Gentile JH. 1971. Blue green and
green algal toxins, pp. 27-67 in vol. 7 of Microbial Toxins,
Kadis S, Ciegler A, Ajl SJ, Eds., Academic Press, NY.
have to obtain copies of the articles to find out the algae they
discuss is A.flos-aquae, and decide for myself it they really
HK, Peek CA. 1961. Klamath Lake, an instance of natural
enrichment. Trans. Sem. on Algae and Metropolitan Wastes. Robert
A. Taft Sanitary Engineering Center, Cincinnati, OH.
Here is a rather interesting article, but again, it is all
discussion of what might be and what could be. No one is
actually trying anyting... doing any experiments:
For sale: Stem cell
Dietary supplement claims to boost
circulating stem cells, but is it safe?
Scientist on "StemEnhance"
May 2007 02:49 PM GMT]
if the product does what it says, [stimulate the release of
adult stem cells] it may not be safe, according to Frishman. One
of the risks of taking a stem cell enhancer is that it could
activate dormant cancer cells, he told The Scientist. There are
other stem cell enhancing drugs that target particular cell
types, such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, which
elevates white blood cells after chemotherapy. "Here [with
StemEnhance] you're giving a general stem cell booster,"
Frishman said. "Some people might have occult malignancies and
all of a sudden you're giving them a stem cell booster.
one theory is that metastatic cancer has "stem cells" too.
The idea is that not all cancer cells can prolifrate, but only the
cancer stem cells. These have a different life cycle than
"ordinary" cancer cells, so chemotherapy to treat them must be
taylored to it. In general, they say chemotherapy should be
given longer to catch the stem cells that are not destroyed with
the "ordinary" cancer cells. [From an article on
of bone marrow stem cells with StemEnhance improves muscle
regeneration in cardiotoxin-induced muscle injury.
C, Antarr D, Ma H, Yang Z, Tang L, Hoffman RM, Schaeffer DJ.
Cycle. 2010 May;9(9):1819-23. Epub 2010 May 17.
Inc., San Clemente, CA, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
marrow-derived stem cells have the ability to migrate to sites
of tissue damage and participate in tissue regeneration. The
number of circulating stem cells has been shown to be a key
parameter in this process. Therefore, stimulating the
mobilization of bone marrow stem cells may accelerate tissue
regeneration in various animal models of injury. In this study
we investigated the effect of the bone marrow stem cells
mobilizer StemEnhance (SE), a water-soluble extract of the
cyanophyta Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), on hematopoietic
recovery after myeloablation as well as recovery from
cardiotoxin-induced injury of the anterior tibialis muscle in
mice. Control and SE-treated female mice were irradiated, and
then transplanted with GFP(+) bone marrow stem cells and allowed
to recover. Immediately after transplant, animals were gavaged
daily with 300 mg/kg of SE in PBS or a PBS control. After
hematopoietic recovery (23 days), mice were injected with
cardiotoxin in the anterior tibialis muscle. Five weeks later,
the anterior tibialis muscles were analyzed for incorporation of
GFP(+) bone marrow-derived cells using fluorescence imaging. SE
significantly enhanced recovery from cardiotoxin-injury.
However, StemEnhance did not affect the growth of the animal and
did not affect hematopoietic recovery after myeloablation, when
compared to control. This study suggests that inducing
mobilization of stem cells from the bone marrow is a strategy
for muscle regeneration.
20404540 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PDF of full article:
At least one of the authors of
the above article, Mobilization of bone marrow stem
cells has significant financial interest in the company
that produces StemEnhance.
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
GS, Hart AN, Zaske LA, Drapeau C, Gupta N, Schaeffer DJ,
Med. 2007 Jul-Sep;8(3):189-202
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).
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.
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%
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.
17765649 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
At least one of the authors of the
above article, Mobilization of human CD34+ CD133+
and CD34+ CD133(-) stem cells has significant financial
interest in the company that produces StemEnhance.
of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae has rapid effects on the
circulation and function of immune cells in humans.
C. JANA 2000, 2, 50-58.
[NEED PUBMED CITATION]
The following papers are about AFA and a product called "NT-020" that is
purported to promote "proliferation of human
hematopoietic stem cells".
of blue-green algae extracts on the proliferation of human
adult stem cells in vitro: a preliminary study.
DR, Tan J, Ehrhart J, Smith AJ, Sanberg CD, Sanberg PR, Anderson
J, Bickford PC.
Neurosurgery, USF, Tampa, FL, USA.
Monit. 2010 Jan;16(1):BR1-5.
stem cells are known to have a reduced restorative capacity as
we age and are more vulnerable to oxidative stress resulting in
a reduced ability of the body to heal itself. We have previously
reported that a proprietary nutraceutical formulation, NT-020, promotes
proliferation of human hematopoietic stem cells in vitro and
protects stem cells from oxidative stress when given chronically
to mice in vivo. Because previous reports suggest that the blue
green algae, Aphanizomenon
flos-aquae (AFA) can modulate immune function in
animals, we sought to investigate the effects of AFA on human
stem cells in cultures.
Two AFA products were used for extraction: AFA whole (AFA-W) and
AFA cellular concentrate (AFA-C). Water and ethanol extractions
were performed to isolate active compounds for cell culture
experiments. For cell proliferation analysis, human bone marrow
cells or human CD34+ cells were cultured in 96 well plates and
treated for 72 hours with various extracts. An MTT assay was
used to estimate cell proliferation.
We report here that the addition of an ethanol extract of
AFA-cellular concentrate further enhances the stem cell
proliferative action of NT-020 when incubated with human adult
bone marrow cells or human CD34+ hematopoietic progenitors in
culture. Algae extracts alone had only moderate activity in
these stem cell proliferation assays.
preliminary study suggests that NT-020 plus the ethanol extract
of AFA cellular concentrate may act to promote proliferation of
human stem cell populations.
20037479 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Spirulina promotes stem cell genesis and
protects against LPS induced declines in neural stem cell
Jernberg J, Schlunk A, Vila JL, Hudson C, Cole MJ, Shytle RD,
Tan J, Sanberg PR, Sanberg CD, Borlongan C, Kaneko Y, Tajiri N,
Gemma C, Bickford PC.
Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, College of Medicine,
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, United States of
One. 2010 May 5;5(5):e10496.
stem cells are present in many tissues including, skin, muscle,
adipose, bone marrow, and in the brain. Neuroinflammation has
been shown to be a potent negative regulator of stem cell and
progenitor cell proliferation in the neurogenic regions of the
brain. Recently we demonstrated that decreasing a key
neuroinflammatory cytokine IL-1beta in the hippocampus of aged
rats reversed the age-related cognitive decline and increased
neurogenesis in the age rats. We also have found that
nutraceuticals have the potential to reduce neuroinflammation,
and decrease oxidative stress. The objectives of this study were
to determine if spirulina could protect the proliferative
potential of hippocampal neural progenitor cells from an acute
systemic inflammatory insult of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). To
this end, young rats were fed for 30 days a control diet or a
diet supplemented with 0.1% spirulina. On day 28 the rats were
given a single i.p. injection of LPS (1 mg/kg). The following
day the rats were injected with BrdU (50 mg/kg b.i.d. i.p.) and
were sacrificed 24 hours after the first injection of BrdU.
Quantification of the BrdU positive cells in the subgranular
zone of the dentate gyrus demonstrated a decrease in
proliferation of the stem/progenitor cells in the hippocampus as
a result of the LPS insult. Furthermore, the diet supplemented
with spirulina was able to negate the LPS induced decrease in
stem/progenitor cell proliferation. In a second set of studies
we examined the effects of spirulina either alone or in
combination with a proprietary formulation (NT-020) of blueberry, green tea,
vitamin D3 and carnosine on the function of bone marrow
and CD34+ cells in vitro. Spirulina had small effects on its own
and more than additive effects in combination with NT-020 to
promote mitochondrial respiration and/or proliferation of these
cells in culture. When examined on neural stem cells in culture
spirulina increased proliferation at baseline and protected
against the negative influence of TNFalpha to reduce
neural stem cell proliferation. These results support the
hypothesis that a diet enriched with spirulina and other
nutraceuticals may help protect the stem/progenitor cells from
appears that we have here yet another "cocktail" to play with:
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]PMCID: PMC2864748
text at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2864748/?tool=pubmed
researchers claim that their "proprietary formulation" either
with, or without spirulina, "increased proliferation at
baseline and protected against the negative influence of TNFalpha
to reduce neural stem cell proliferation".
NT-020, a Natural
Therapeutic Approach to Optimize Spatial Memory Performance and
Increase Neural Progenitor Cell Proliferation and Decrease
Inflammation in the Aged Rat.
S, Jernberg J, Sanberg CD, Sanberg PR, Small BJ, Gemma C,
Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, Department of
Neurosurgery and Brain Repair and Department of Molecular
Pharmacology and Physiology, University of South Florida College
of Medicine , USFHealth, Tampa, Florida.
2010 Jun 29. [Epub ahead of print]
The process of aging is linked to oxidative stress, microglial
activation, and proinflammatory factors, which are known to
decrease cell proliferation and limit neuroplasticity. These
factors may lead the transition from normal aging to more severe
cognitive dysfunction associated with neurodegenerative
diseases. We have shown that natural compounds such as
polyphenols from blueberry and green tea and amino acids like
carnosine are high in antioxidant and antiinflammatory activity
that decreases the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species
(ROS), in the blood, brain, and other tissues of the body.
Furthermore, we have shown that the combination of these
nutrients (called NT-020) creates a synergistic effect that
promotes the proliferation of stem cells in vitro and in vivo.
In the current study, we examined the effects of NT-020 on
neurogenesis and performance on a Morris water maze (MWM). Aged
(20-month-old) male Fischer 344 rats were treated with 135.0
mg/kg per day (n = 13) of NT-020. Young (3-month-old) (n = 10)
and aged (20-month-old) (n = 13) control male Fischer 344 rats
were treated with water by oral gavage. All groups were treated
for a period of 4 weeks. Although there was no difference in
performance in the MWM when comparing all aged rats, when the
data for aged impaired rats were compared, there was a
significant difference between groups on the last day of
training with the treatment group performing better than
controls. Using the cell cycle-regulating protein (Ki67),
doublecortin (DCX), and OX6 antibody markers, cell
proliferation, neurogenesis, and microglial activation were
estimated in the dentate gyrus (DG) of young and aged animals.
Cell proliferation was also examined in the subventricular zone
(SVZ). A decreased number of OX6 MHC II-positive cells,
increased neurogenesis, and increased number of proliferating
cells were found in rats treated with NT-020 in comparison with
aged control rats. In sum, NT-020 may promote health,
proliferation, and maintenance of neurons in the age animals and
exert antiinflammatory actions that promote function in the aged
stem cell niche.
20586644 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
explains what "NT-020" is: "NT-020, a proprietary formulation
of blueberry, green tea, Vitamin D3, and carnosine"
exerts neuroprotective effects in ischemic stroke model.
T, Hara K, Maki M, Masuda T, Sanberg CD, Sanberg PR, Bickford
PC, Borlongan CV.
Neurology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia 30912,
study examined whether dietary supplementation can be used to
protect against ischemic stroke. Two groups of adult male
Sprague-Dawley rats initially received NT-020, a proprietary formulation
of blueberry, green tea, Vitamin D3, and carnosine (n =
8), or vehicle (n = 7). Dosing for NT-020 and vehicle consisted
of daily oral administration (using a gavage) over a 2-week
period. On day 14 following the last drug treatment, all animals
underwent the stroke surgery using the transient 1-hour suture
occlusion of middle cerebral artery (MCAo). To reveal the
functional effects of NT-020, animals were subjected to
established behavioral tests just prior to stroke surgery and
again on day 14 post-stroke. ANOVA revealed significant
treatment effects (p < 0.05), characterized by reductions of
11.8% and 24.4% in motor asymmetry and neurologic dysfunction,
respectively, in NT-020-treated stroke animals compared to
vehicle-treated stroke animals. Evaluation of cerebral
infarction revealed a significant 75% decrement in mean glial
scar area in the ischemic striatum of NT-020-treated stroke
animals compared to that of vehicle-treated stroke animals (p
< 0.0005). Quantitative analysis of subventricular zone's
cell proliferative activity revealed at least a one-fold
increment in the number of BrdU-positive cells in the
NT-020-treated stroke brains compared to vehicle-treated stroke
brains (p < 0.0005). Similarly, quantitative analysis of BrdU
labeling in the ischemic striatal penumbra revealed at least a
three-fold increase in the number of BrdU-positive cells in the
NT-020-treated stroke brains compared to vehicle-treated stroke
brains (p < 0.0001). In addition, widespread double labeling
of cells with BrdU and doublecortin was detected in
NT-020-treated stroke brains (intact side 17% and ischemic side
75%), which was significantly higher than those seen in
vehicle-treated stroke brains (intact side 5% and ischemic side
13%) (p < 0.05). In contrast, only a small number of cells in
NT-020-treated stroke brains double labeled with BrdU and GFAP
(intact side 1% and ischemic side 2%), which was significantly
lower than those vehicle-treated stroke brains (intact side 18%
and ischemic side 35%) (p < 0.0001). Endogenous neurogenic
factors were also significantly upregulated in the ischemic
brains of NT-020-treated stroke animals. These data demonstrate
the remarkable neuroprotective effects of NT-020 when given
prior to stroke, possibly acting via its neurogenic potential.
18260778 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Here is one StemEnhance competitor called "Stem
Naturals" from BlueGreenFoods:
Stem Naturals increases adult stem
cells and stem cell release for optimum health benefits. The
Stem Naturals Stem cell Activator formula insures to create a
better road to absorption by getting rid of toxins that block
nutritional benefits in your body. Stem Naturals Stem cell
Activator formula will enable the effective use of nutrients in
your body to the greatest degree possible.
are supplements made from or extracted from AFA, I have to wonder,
is there someone else selling it? Is it available in an
"unrefined" state. For example, the supplement curcumin is
the extract of the cury spice turmeric. But, you would have
to eat 18 times as much turmeric. What I have been able to
find about this product is that it is extracted from a blue-green
algae called Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). I checked some
vitamin distributors and found that you can get AFA from several
of them. So instead of buying this product, I am going to
look into trying whole AFA supplements. I don't know how
much or how often.
Dr. Gabriel Cousens wrote a couple of articles about AFA back in
the 80's and 90's:
Dr. Cousens is an interesting character. He's interested in
exploring fringe ideas, to put it mildly. But, you never know
where a good idea will come from. He seems like a classic
California eccentric, although his Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center is in
Patagonia, AZ. But maybe despite all his... errr... unique
studies, medically and scientifically, he might be OK. I'll
let you decide.
The first scientific report published on AFA was by Gabriel
Cousens, MD (1985), in the Journal of Orthomedicine on the
treatment of Alzheimer's Disease.
Cousens G. Report of treatment of Alzheimer’s disease with
Alphanae Klamathonmenon flos-aqua [sic].
Orthomedicine. Winter/Spring, 1985; 8(1):2.
Cousens, G., "Report of Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease with
Alphanae Klamathomenon Flos-Aqua," Orthomedicine, 8:(1 & 2),
2000. cited by other.
M I C R O A L G A E
& Finest Superfood
Gabriel Cousens, M.D.
the following article appeared in Body Mind Spirit Magazine in
Because of these brain-enhancing qualities, I became interested
in exploring the effect of AFA on Alzheimer's disease. In my
preliminary research, which was published in the Journal of
Orthomolecular Medicine in the 1985 Winter / Spring Issue, I
reported positive effects in both of two closely followed
clients. Each had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at
highly respected university medical centers.
One client was a 66-year-old woman with a seven-year history of
Alzheimer's disease who, after six months, showed a partial
reversal of her disease. Her response to the AFA seemed to level
off after six months and no further improvement was noted. The
second case involved a 64-year-old lawyer who had suffered with
Alzheimer's for three years. He seemed to be going downhill
rapidly. After one month on high doses of AFA his degenerative
process seemed to be arrested and he remained in this stabilized
condition for three more years -- until his wife discovered that
spirulina was cheaper than AFA and began to give him spirulina
instead. Once off the AFA his condition began to deteriorate.
The degeneration was slowed down when she put him back on the
AFA. This unintended experiment highlights the difference in
effect between AFA and spirulina.
These two cases do not prove that AFA cures Alzheimer's disease,
but suggest it may be possible to temporarily halt the
progression of the disease, to partially reverse or even help
prevent it. It would take a comprehensive study to make any
definitive statements about its effect on Alzheimer's and, as of
yet, no study has been done...
Here is a rather interesting, if not conspiratorial view of the
FDA, B12, Folic Acid, and AFA posted to the newsgroup
alt.fan.ronald-reagan back in 1998. It is available through
the Dejanews archives now owned by Google:
A Green Path to Healing & Rejuvenation
by Gabriel Cousens, M.D.
"AFA, among the more popular blue-green algae, seems to have a
prana or energetic force for amplifying the function and energy
of the mind and nervous system. It seems to activate
neurotransmitter systems that help many people overcome
depression; improve mental clarity, concentration and stamina,
create a sense of joy, and enhance right-brain creativity. In my
research of auricular acupuncture, the AFA specifically enhances
pineal, pituitary, and hypothalamic function. Aside from
hypothalamic glandular extracts, it is the only substance I know
of that specifically enhances hypothalamic function. This is
good news for vegetarians. I have seen it significantly help a
few people with Alzheimer's disease and autism, as well as
function as a brain-mind tonic for the general public."
Preface Brain Failure Notes Notes II
References pg. 1 References pg. 2
Correspondence Newsletters Poems Memory Enhancement
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Updated: July 2, 2012
Inception: July 2, 2012