Scientific Research


Volume 349:570-582 August 7, 2003 Number 6

Adult Stem Cells for Tissue Repair — A New Therapeutic Concept?
Martin Körbling, M.D., and Zeev Estrov, M.D.

Adult human stem cells that are intrinsic to various tissues have been described and characterized, some of them only recently. These cells are capable of maintaining, generating, and replacing terminally differentiated cells within their own specific tissue as a consequence of physiologic cell turnover or tissue damage due to injury. Hematopoietic stem cells that give rise to blood cells and move between bone marrow and peripheral blood are the best-characterized adult stem cells in humans. Recent data suggest that adult stem cells generate differentiated cells beyond their own tissue boundaries, a process termed “developmental plasticity.”

Current Research

*Phenylethylamine (PEA) is known as the “molecule of love.” Beside enhancing concentration and attention, PEA is a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant. *Phycocyanin, is the blue pigment in AFA, which is a natural selective COX-2 inhibitor with strong anti-inflammatory properties. *AFA contains a polysaccharide that stimulates the migration of immune cells in the body; the only natural compound known to stimulate immune cell migration.

But the most extraordinary discover is the ability of AFA to stimulate stem cell release and migration, making AFA the first natural compound know to stimulate the natural innate phenomenon of healing, regeneration and repair in the human body.

AFA’s Rapid Effects

Consumption of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae Has Rapid Effects on the Circulation and Function of Immune Cells in Humans A novel approach to nutritional mobilization of the immune system Gitte S. Jensen, Donald Ginsberg, Patricia Huerta, Monica Citton,1 and Christian Drapeau Department of Surgery, McGill University, Montreal Quebec

Objective: To examine the short-term effects of consumption of a moderate amount (1.5 grams) of the blueF reen algae Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), on the immune system.

Methods: Using a crossover placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blinded design, 21 volunteers were studied, including 5 long-term AFA consumers.

Results: Consumption of a moderate amount (1.5 grams) of the blue-green algae Aphanizomenon flos-aquae results in rapid changes in immune cell trafficking. Two hours after AFA consumption, a generalized mobilization of lymphocytes and monocytes, but not polymorph nucleated cells was observed. This included increases in CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T cell subsets and CD19+ B cells. In addition, the relative proportions and absolute numbers of natural killer (NK) cells were reduced after AFA consumption. No changes were observed in the relative proportions of n6ve versus memory T cells, neither in the CD4 or the CD8 fractions. A mild, but significant reduction in phagocytic activity was observed for polymorph nucleated cells. When freshly purified lymphocytes were exposed to AFA extract in vitro, direct activation was not induced, as evaluated by tyrosine phosphorylation and proliferative activity.

Discussion: The changes in immune cell trafficking displayed high degree of cell specificity. Long-term consumers responded stronger, with respect to altered immune cell trafficking. In vitro, AFA did not induce a direct activation of lymphocytes. These data support a signaling pathway from gut-to-CNS-to-lymphoid tissue. The signals from CNS may be crucial for the rapid changes in the general distribution and specific recruitment we observed. Moderate anti-inflammatory modulation may account for the modification of phagocytic activity.

Conclusion: Consumption of AFA leads to rapid changes in immune cell trafficking, but not direct activation of lymphocytes. Thus, AFA increases the immune surveillance without directly stimulating the immune system. JANA, vol. 2, No. 3, 2000, pp. 50-58

Study of Cholesterol and AFA

Blue-Green Algae Has Dual Cholesterol Lowering Abilities

Kushak RI, Drapeau C, Van Cott EM. JANA. 2000;2(3):59-65.

ANAHEIM, Calif., March 22 — Researchers say they have confirmed, for the first time, that blue-green algae taken as a nutritional food can significantly lower cholesterol in animals. Furthermore, the algae works in two ways to reduce cholesterol according to the scientists, who were speaking today at a national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

The alga Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) is a novel dietary food already available on the market. AFA contains significant amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), according to Christian Drapeau of Cell Tech in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He says that the algaes PUFAs seem to be exceptionally well absorbed by animals. Over the past decade, other research has suggested that PUFAs reduce blood cholesterol and that PUFA deficiency is linked with cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, certain forms of cancer, attention deficit disorder, and more.

In addition to providing PUFAs, Drapeau says the cholesterol-lowering effects of AFA are “likely to be mediated by something else though this alternative mechanism remains unidentified.” He adds that, in his experiments with rats, the beneficial effects seem to be independent of the PUFAs present.

Drapeau says this is one of the first studies that provides scientific data supporting the numerous Success Stories and empirical evidence that have encouraged the use of AFA as a dietary food for health benefits. He cautions, however, “we are currently doing studies to determine if the effects of AFA on cholesterol in rats will translate to humans.”

Drapeau collaborated with researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

Study of AFA as a Source of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

Favorable Effects of Blue-Green Algae
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae on
Rat Plasma Lipids

Rafail 1. Kushak,1 Christian Drapeau,2,3 Elizabeth M. Van Cott,1
Harland H. Winter1
1Combined Program in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and Division of Laboratory Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA;

ABSTRACT

Background: Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are essential for human health. There are indications that the lipid fraction of blue-green algae Aphanizomenon flos-aquae contains about 50% of PUFA and may be a good dietary source of PUFA. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of diets supplemented with algae on blood plasma lipids.

Methods: Rats were fed with four different semisynthetic diets: i) standard, with 5% soybean oil; ii) PUFA-free with 5% coconut oil; iii) PUFA-free with 10% algae; iv) PUFA-free with 15% algae. After 32 days the levels of plasma fatty acids, triglycerides and cholesterol were studied.

Results: Rats fed the PUFA-free diet demonstrated an absence of linolenic acid (LNA) in plasma; however, supplementation with algae resulted in the same level of LNA as controls, an increased levels of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, and a decreased level of arachidonic acid. Dietary supplementation with 10% and 15% algae decreased the plasma cholesterol to 54% and 25% of the control level, respectively (P<0.0005). Plasma triglyceride levels decreased significantly (P<0.005) after diet supplementation with 15% algae.

Conclusion: Algae Aphanizomenon flos-aquae is a good source of PUFA and because of potential hypocholesterolemic properties should be a valuable nutritional resource.
JANA, vol. 2, No. 3, 2000, pp. 59-65

AFA Research – Brief’s
Recently there have been many scientifically-controlled studies analyzing the immune enhancing properties of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) from Klamath Lake, Oregon. The following institutions have known research underway:

  • McGill University
  • Boston University
  • The University of New Mexico
  • The Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal

In a recent double-blind, cross-over study at the Royal Victoria Hospital and led by Dr. Gette Jenson, they discovered that Blue Green Algae uniquely supports the healthy function of the immune system.
The following are brief summaries of other scientific studies:

  • Royal Victoria Hospital, affiliated with McGill University (Montreal) – Double-blind placebo-controlled study. Eating Aphanizomenon flos-aquae may help stimulate the circulatory system.
  • University of New Mexico – placebo controlled study. After eating Aphanizomenon flos-aquae for a period of one month, intestinal function can improve. Another placebo-contolled study suggests that eating Aphanizomenon flos-aquae can stimulate specific areas of the brain for increased mental alertness.

An Exciting New Discovery!
Recently the first stage of an extensive research project carried out at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Canada produced some remarkable results. The project studies the effect of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae on the immune and endocrine systems, as well as on general blood physiology. It was discovered that eating AFA had a profound and unique effect on Natural Killer (NK) cells. The results were recently published under the title: Effects of the Blue Green Algae Aphanizomenon flos-aquae on Human Natural Killer Cells. It appears in Chapter 3.1 of the IBC Library Series, Volume 1911, Phytoceuticals: Examining the health benefit and pharmaceutical properties of natural antioxidants and phytochemicals.

NK cells have the ability to search for and recognize cells that are cancerous or have been infected by a virus, and kill them. The team of research scientists at the Royal Victoria Hospital, led by Dr. Gitte S. Jensen, discovered that eating Aphanizomenon flos-aquae triggers the movement of 40% of the circulating NK cells from the blood to the tissues where their main function is to perform immune surveillance and eliminate cancerous and virally-infected cells. Further research may prove that eating a small amount of AFA every day could assist in the prevention of cancer and viral infections. No other substance is known to trigger such a movement of NK cells in the body. This is very exciting news! We hope you will share it with everyone you know!

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