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From: Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN (novick.vegsource.com)
Subject:         Re: Jeff - Green Algae?
Date: July 17, 2008 at 6:23 am PST

In Reply to: Jeff - Green Algae? posted by Tim on July 16, 2008 at 5:26 pm:

Hi Tim

>>>What's your advice on consuming green algae?

Avoid it. Not necessary in a healthy diet/lifestyle. Many forms of algae can produce powerful toxins and other forms can be contaminated. Fortunately, because of the way they are grown, Chlorella and Spirulina appear to be toxin free.

>>First, chlorella. Although I'm skeptical, I read that chlorella contains vitamin B12. Additionally, what about spirulina? I've read the label on a bottle of spirulina that claims it has vitamin B12. Beyond the vitamin B12 issue, It looks as though both of these foods do have benefits. What's your take?

The numbers on Chlorella (and Spirulina) are misleading at best. The reason why is the numbers you give (and they tout) are percentages based on dry weight analysis and the numbers are given based on 100 grams. However, most people do not consume more than a gram or two, maybe 3-4 at most. So, while 60% protein may sound great, 60% of even 4 grams is just 2.4 grams of protein. And, the fact that is has 203 mgs of calcium per 100 grams sounds great, but no one is going to consume 100 grams. If you consume 4 grams you are only getting in 8 mgs of calcium. The same goes for virtually all the other nutrients listed. In addition, if I do the analysis on a cost basis, it is an extremely expensive way to get any nutrient.


In regard to B12, these algae are not a reliable source of B12.

http://www.veganhealth.org/b12/plant#chlorella

In Health
Jeff

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