My guest on today’s podcast is Catharine Arnston, and she puts my own algae consumption to shame, eating 75 pieces of chlorella and 75 pieces of spirulina every day. She holds an MBA from Western’s Ivey School of Business, and a BA in geography and economic development from Queen’s University. She is a Board Certified Health Counselor from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a REIKI Master. She is also an algae expert and the CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of ENERGYbits, a sports nutrition company that sells algae in tablet form to athletes and consumers (click here and use code BEN to save 10% on any of their algae products).
Catharine founded ENERGYbits eight years ago after she became aware of the health and athletic benefits of a plant based diet. When she subsequently learned that algae was the most nutrient dense plant in the world and that Asians had been growing it and benefiting from it for fifty years, she made it her life mission to bring algae into the mainstream so others could benefit from this superfood too.
You may also recognize Catharine from this SharkTank episode!
Anyways, Catharine makes the bold claim that a lack of chlorophyll (greens) in diet leads to the ten different leading causes of aging and disease worldwide.
What is chlorophyll? [10:50]
Chlorophyll is a fat-based pigment that makes plants green. It is the substance that is responsible for photosynthesis – the usage of light energy from the sun to convert water & carbon dioxide into nutrition (glucose) for the plants. What foods are high in chlorophyll? Green foods! The darker the green, the more chlorophyll. In fact, algae has the highest concentration of chlorophyll in the world, containing 100-1000 times more chlorophyll than any other plant or vegetable (50 times more than wheat grass).
Chlorophyll is a phytonutrient that oxygenates & detoxifies the blood. It is rich in enzymes and high in amino acids. It alkalizes the body, is anti-inflammatory, is an antioxidant, chelates heavy metals, been shown to repair damaged DNA and speed up the healing process of wounds. It even helps mitochondria ATP with a fuel source that is cleaner than glucose (with the addition of sunshine).
The structure of chlorophyll is nearly identical to that of hemoglobin in our blood. The center atom of chlorophyll is magnesium (green) while the center atom of hemoglobin is iron (red). Magnesium is what helps alkalize the body and deliver oxygen to cells & tissues. Chlorophyll helps promote the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells.
In my article How To Eat Algae (The Ultimate Guide To Fueling With Spirulina And Chlorella) and my podcast Is This The Most Dense Source Of Nutrition On The Face Of The Planet? I introduce chlorophyll, but in today’s show, Catharine and I take a deep dive into how chlorophyll intake can manage everything from excess acidity to inflammation to accelerated aging and beyond.
During our discussion, you’ll discover a host of new information (and a big credit to Catharine for gathering the research presented in the comprehensive shownotes below!):
-How algae can reduce cellular inflammation due to its high concentration of essential fatty acids, alkaline composition and high concentration of antioxidants, including the three primary precursors to the body’s most important antioxidants – glutathione (cysteine, glycine and glutamine)…[18:00]
Journal of Medicinal Food Feb 16 2013 – Health Benefits of Blue-Green Algae: Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – General Subjects Edible blue-green algae reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting NF-κB pathway in macrophages and splenocytes April 2013
-How algae affects damaged and decreased mitochondria, particularly via Superoxide Dismutase in spirulina…[21:55]
-Why you should care about ATP production in relation to disease and aging, and what effect does algae has on it…[26:40]
-The fascinating link between algae and cancer, and how spirulina and chlorella can reduce the growth of cancer cells…[32:25]
-How algae affects free radical and antioxidant production by increasing levels of both water soluble and fat soluble antioxidants…[42:35]
-The actual scientific link between algae and detoxification…[47:00]
-How algae affects the immune system by stimulating production of T-cells and anti-inflammatory cytokines…[51:55]
Chlorella Source: Nutrition Journal July 31, 2012 Beneficial immunostimulatory effect of short-term Chlorella supplementation: enhancement of Natural Killer cell activity and early inflammatory response
-Why you should care about your cell membranes, what algae does for them, and why algae is a perfect plant-based alternative to fish oil…[60:05]
Cell Membrane References:
-The anti-aging link between algae, IGF-1 and Mtor…[67:30]
Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition December 31, 2013 Influence of Protein Intake from Haem and Non-haem Animals and Plant Origin on Inflammatory Biomarkers among Apparently-healthy Adults in Greece
Resources from this episode:Chlorophyll Content In ENERGYbits Spirulina & RECOVERYbits Chlorella Compared To Other Vegetables
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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Catharine or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply! You can also click here and use code BEN to save 10% on any of the algae products I personally use, including spirulina ENERGYbits and chlorella RECOVERYbits.
Also published on Medium.