Originally published November 10 2012
Five amazing and unusual uses for algae - From healing your gut to fueling your car
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) The simple, single celled algae that comprise superfoods such as chlorella, spirulina, marine plankton, or blue-green algae (which some now consider a bacteria) are self-feeding photosynthetic (needing sunlight) organisms that grow in lakes, man-made pools, and the ocean.
In addition to using green algae as potent superfoods, especially for general heavy metal detoxification, there are burgeoning industries for utilizing algae as fuels for producing biodegradable plastics and biofuels for transportation.
(1) Gut cleansing to improve digestion: Chlorella contains more chlorophyl per gram than any known plant. Chlorophyl is rich in oxygen and inhibits anaerobic bacteria by creating an oxygen-rich environment, which in turn nurtures probiotic or friendly bacteria.
Chlorella also promotes peristalsis, the automatic muscular contractions your gastrointestinal (GI) tract uses to keep the food moving throughout the GI tract until it's eliminated as waste from the bowel.
(2) Other health benefits: Chlorella and other green or blue-green algae have been lab tested in vitro (glass contained specimens) or in vivo (live mammals) for many health issues often with astonishing positive results.
In addition to excellent detox potential, there are more health solutions these algae can provide. Chlorella protects against cancer and kill some types of cancer cells. It also helps those with fibromyalgia, diabetes, and hypertension.
(3) Radioactive protection: Both spirulina and chlorella have demonstrated a high capacity for removing radioactive particles from a body. Chernobyl clean up crews were treated with a regimen that included spirulina, which improved their debilitated conditions.
Both spirulina and chlorella have been tested for detoxing and preventing radiation damage by several international research centers. While both perform wonders at removing radiation, chlorolla gets the nod for protecting against harmful radiation.
At an early 2011 American Chemical Society meeting in Anaheim, California, issues were discussed on the possibilities of using a unique form of algae, Closterium moniliferum to economically and effectively clean up nuclear waste.
There are issues to work out, but it appears that this algae is ideal for removing strontium 90, a dangerously vicious isotope with a long half-life, from the water used for storing spent reactor fuel rods.
A scientist in attendance who grew up near Chernobyl urged them to experiment with real life situations soon rather than continuing with figuring out how the algae works its wonders.
(4) Biodegradable plastics: Enforcing hemp as illegal is currently keeping us from enjoying toxin-free biodegradable plastic. Perhaps the algae for plastic option may become viable some day.
The only obstacle to producing plastics from algae that are biodegradable and don't contain petroleum is the amount of algae needed to feed the conversion process.
However, various small start-up firms are working on solutions. If enough large scale algae farms are created safer, Eco-friendly plastics may replace toxic plastics that are creating islands of waste in our oceans.
(5) Converting algae to biofuel: This appears to be the most iffy algae ground floor enterprise. The controversy over whether it can compete with underground oil for it to be viable while actually burning cleaner continues.
Nevertheless, a few algae energy companies in the U.S. and EU, dependent on mostly government and foundation funding, are putting forth an effort to come up with solutions. Algae does accumulate rapidly, and it renews itself constantly if watched.
Recently, algae biofuel supplied by Solazyme, was used by United Airlines to fly a commercial Boeing 737 flight from Houston to Chicago, the first algae based fuel commercial jet flight ever.
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