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Workplace health enhanced by offering spirulina supplements to employees; larger studies could show reduction in health insurance costs for employers

Monday, October 25, 2004
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: health foods, Cyanotech, spirulina

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Mike: What do you see as the big trends as far as the market penetration of spirulina and recognition around the globe -- what are the big issues here?

Gerry: Well, surprisingly, spirulina is a mature product in the health food area, and the market has been relatively stable, I think over the last 10 years. However, over the last 2 years, we've seen actually a growth in demand for spirulina. And we have not been sure why until we started doing some more work with some of our Asian customers, and it turns out that because of the immune-enhancing properties of spirulina, there's a large consumption of spirulina in Asia, including China, because of the SARS outbreak.

Mike: Well that's interesting.

Gerry: And so people are recognizing that taking spirulina can keep you healthy.

Mike: Imagine that! Well, I should add, in my own experience, I think I've been sick only once in the last 7 years, and I don't do vaccinations or any of that. I rely exclusively on superfoods nutrition, which includes spirulina, and I'm sure the people in your company, Gerry, they take spirulina as well, right?

Gerry: Absolutely, as a matter of fact, we give out two bottles a month to our employees!

Mike: Great!

Gerry: Cyanotech, after it started up, actually we were founded in 1983, so we've been here over 21 years, but it wasn't until 1989 that we actually started producing tablets and started selling our spirulina through Nutrex. And so it was rather hard for our associates working here to take spirulina, but when we started producing our Nutrex products, we started giving out free bottles to the associates, and the amount of time spent off work for sicknesses declined greatly after it was widely available to everyone working here, and it declined so much that our health insurance went down.

Mike: Well now there's an interesting theme right there -- companies could be giving this to their employees and saving money and saving health care costs all at the same time.

Gerry: That's what we experienced.

Mike: Very interesting. I'd sure be interested to find out what would happen on a larger scale, if a Fortune 500 company were willing to take that as a case study.

Gerry: Yes, and actually we've got an interest in trying to do that with some large company with our Bioastin product as well, for carpal tunnel syndrome, or repetitive stress injuries, which is a very expensive item for large companies.

Mike: Oh, indeed, especially in the software and high-tech industries, sitting at a keyboard all day, typing away is not great for your wrists. What about vegetarians? I know a lot of vegetarians use spirulina religiously -- why are they doing that?

Gerry: Well, spirulina is certainly a good source of protein, it contains all the essential amino acids, it's also a very good source of vitamin B-12, something that is difficult for vegetarians to get from other sources. And certainly as with everyone, it's a great source of antioxidant carotenoid.

Mike: So, just back to that vitamin B-12, to let people know, that's more traditionally derived from animal proteins.

Gerry: That's correct.

Mike: And as a complete protein, spirulina beats beans or rice or other protein sources that don't have all the amino acids.

Gerry: That's correct.

Mike: I don't mean to be putting words in your mouth, Gerry, I'm just trying to explain to everyone why that's such a big deal.

Gerry: No, I appreciate your input.

Mike: Thanks. I've also been quite intrigued by the idea that ounce per ounce, spirulina's protein is 12 times more bioavailable than protein from animal sources.

Gerry: That's correct, yes. It really is a wonderful protein source.

Mike: So, any last words you'd like to share with our listeners here, Gerry?

Gerry: Well, I think the spirulina is really a superfood, as you mentioned, and as we learn more about it, even though it's an old product on the nutritional supplement market, we seem to be learning more and more about the health benefits and some of the subtleties like this, protection against illness and enhancing the immune system, and I think it's a product whose time will come again.

Mike: Demand is increasing over the last couple of years, you mentioned. The internet is helping to get the word out, the health benefits of this, and I'd like to add, I think this is absolutely fantastic preventive medicine.

Gerry: I agree, and the scientific community is learning more and more about it.

This article is part of an exclusive interview with Dr. Gerry Cysewski, CEO and founder of Cyanotech Corporation http://www.cyanotech.com, located in Kona, Hawaii. Cyanotech's spirulina and astaxanthin products are available in retail stores (look for products made with "Hawaiian spirulina") or through Nutrex-Hawaii at http://www.nutrex-hawaii.com.

The aerial photo on the left shows Cyanotech's farms. The dark green culture ponds contain spirulina, while the reddish ponds contain astaxanthin in various stages of growth. The dark land mass on the right is a lava field.

Editors note: Spirulina is one of the superfoods I consume on a daily basis. Due to my passion about superfoods nutrition, I traveled to Kona, Hawaii to conduct a series of interviews with Cyanotech personnel. To find all available articles on Cyanotech, just type "Cyanotech" in the search box below. New articles are being added regularly.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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