The blue-green AFA algae are not grown like other algae (e.g. Spirulina or Chlorella algae), but grow naturally in the upper Klamath See. This is located in a national park in Oregon / USA. The AFA algae only thrive there, they don't grow anywhere else. Like Spirulina algae, they belong to the so-called cyanobacteria. AFA is the abbreviation for Aphanizomenon flos-aqua, which means something like "invisible flower of water".
What is special about these blue-green plants is the composition of the water in which they thrive. This is a special combination of minerals that is due to volcanic activity in the area where Lake Klamath is located. This is also the reason why the AFA algae only grow there and cannot be grown.
The repeatedly mentioned term "organically grown" in connection with the AFA algae is therefore completely wrong. They grow in the wild, they are not grown, which should be "organic" enough. The natural product is gently freeze-dried and brought onto the market as a dietary supplement.
Toxins in the algae
Unfortunately, toxins in AFA algae are reported time and again. And of course this discourages many consumers from buying this nutritional supplement. The poison is primarily the substance microcystine. AFA algae are also associated with contamination from bacteria or heavy metals. The Klamath alga is a natural product and can therefore be contaminated solely by its living conditions.
However, this does not necessarily mean that it is no longer recommended as a dietary supplement. In connection with the controversial discussions, it was also known that there is a harmful limit for the alleged poisoning, which, however, has been fallen short of in tests. Unfortunately, no clear results are known.
If you want to take this algae preparation, you should note the following: The manufacturer must indicate on the packaging that the product is free of any contamination. A healthy adult can therefore consume the AFA algae if he adheres to the permissible quantities. Since there is no knowledge of children, pregnant women and nursing mothers, they should definitely avoid appropriate preparations. People suffering from an autoimmune disease must also not consume the AFA algae. This is because the algae have an immunostimulating effect, which is contraindicated in connection with an autoimmune process.
AFA algae a miracle cure?
Again and again a so-called “miracle cure” comes onto the market. Whether these are algae or other plants or mushrooms ... .. they are not miracle cures. You go through the press for a few months, fill blogs and articles on the Internet and then nobody talks about them anymore. Everyone should form their own opinion on it, inform themselves and then decide whether the product being advertised is the right one. In a nutshell - the AFA algae is not a miracle cure either. However, it contains ingredients that can have a positive effect on our health - but far from a magic ingredient, as is the case with all other nutritional supplements.
By growing in the Klamath lake, which contains water from the surrounding volcanic mountains, the AFA algae is particularly rich in vital substances. Above all, it contains biologically high-quality protein, rich in essential amino acids such as
- Glutamic acid and many more.
Glutathione, one of the most powerful antioxidants, is made from glycine, glutamic acid and cysteine. This body's own antioxidant protects us from harmful substances and is therefore extremely important for the immune system. If the body produces too little of it, this could lead to chronic illnesses over a longer period of time. This substance can be added via the AFA algae.
Other ingredients are polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as gamma linolenic acid. This is one of the most important and valuable fatty acids that are found in breast milk. It also contains EPA and DHA fatty acids, which are necessary for the development of the human brain. Alpha linolenic acid, EPA - (eicosapentaenoic acid)) and DHA - (docosahexaenoic acid) are the most important representatives among the omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential, which means that the body cannot manufacture them itself, but we have to take them in separately. The omega-3 fatty acids are important for protein synthesis, for cell metabolism, for hormone production, to avoid inflammation and much more.
The AFA algae contain around 40 minerals that are bound to enzymes, which enables the human organism to absorb them better. It also contains valuable phytochemicals such as phycocyanin and chlorophyll. This natural product also has a large number of vitamins, such as: beta-carotene, the entire vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin K1, folic acid, biotin. It also contains minerals and trace elements such as boron, calcium chromium, copper, fluorine, iron, magnesium, selenium, sodium and much more.
Spectrum of activity
Even without scientific evidence, the AFA algae are said to have a particularly positive effect on the brain. They are said to be able to improve information processing and also the function of the glands in the brain such as the hypothalamus, pituitary and epiphysis. This is noticeable in an increase in memory and concentration. The use in children suffering from ADD or ADHD is still controversial.
The percentage of omega-3 fatty acids supports skin diseases such as neurodermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.
The AFA algae grows in extremely alkaline water and is itself a base-rich plant. If there is overacidification, this nutritional supplement, together with a change in diet, is worth a try.
The AFA algae should also have a positive effect on the general condition. They contain the complete vitamin B complex and many high-quality amino acids, which can contribute to a good general condition, a good mood and inner peace.
If you want to lose weight, you should do it in a balanced way. The vital substances contained in this natural product support this approach and also ensure that no cravings develop.
If there are problems with the skin, the AFA algae can be used both internally and externally. Above all, the essential fatty acids it contains have a positive effect on the complexion.
A mask can be prepared with the algae powder:
To do this, stir a tablespoon of algae powder with 4 tablespoons of wheat germ oil or sesame oil and a teaspoon of honey and the mash of half an avocado. The whole thing is applied and washed off after about 20 minutes with lukewarm water. If you want, you can add a little aloe vera gel to the mask - preferably fresh from the plant.
Time and again it is said that the AFA algae have a positive effect on the human brain. So it should help with learning and before exams, by taking it leads to better concentration and memory.
The vital substances in the natural product, the antioxidants, the essential fatty acids - all together can have a positive effect on the immune system.
The manufacturing process for the AFA algae preparations is usually a gentle drying process. Capsules and pellets are made from it. The powder also comes on the market. The capsules should have a shell made from purely vegetable cellulose and the pellets should be without binding agents. Generally, no preservative belongs in a natural product. As already mentioned, the packaging should show that the product has been adequately checked and, above all, that it contains no impurities.
As mentioned before, there are always critical voices that question the positive effect of AFA algae, as there is no scientific evidence for positive effects of the algae in diseases such as Alzheimer's, depression or ADHD. Furthermore, the amounts of vitamins, minerals and proteins contained are very small, so that no special health effect is to be expected here either.
In 2002, the BgVV and BfArM issued a press release stating that, unlike some media reports, taking AFA algae-containing food supplements cannot replace medical therapy.
In summary, it can be said that the AFA algae are neither a "superfood" nor a "miracle cure" and certainly not a panacea. This natural product contains healthy ingredients, but everyone should still inform themselves before taking it, form their own opinion and then decide whether this nutritional supplement is suitable. (sw)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Susanne Waschke, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Federal Institute for Risk Assessment: www.bfr.bund.de (accessed: 07/27/2019), BfR
- Consumer advice center: www.consumer-zentrale.de (access: July 25, 2019), AFA algae
- Harland, Simone: Hyperactive or Gifted ?, Tries, 2003
- Arndt, Ulrich: Spirulina, Chlorella, AFA algae: Light-rich power food for body and mind, Nietsch Hans Verlag, 2014
- Hessel, Greta: Hyperactivity in Children and Adults: The New Children, Books on Demand, 2013
- Pies, Josef: Blue-green AFA algae: what they really can do, VAK, 2004
- Wolfe, David; Lehner, Jochen: Superfoods - the medicine of the future: How we can make the best use of the most powerful healers among foods, Goldmann Verlag, 2015