Klamath Lake Bluegreen Algae Is Toxic and Should Be Avoided

By Bob McCauley, ND

aphanizomenon flos-aquae

aphanizomenon flos-aquae

I have said for years that Klamath Lake algae should not beconsumed.  It is an area of intense agricultural runoff and is a polluted lake.  This algae, which is known as Klamath Lake blue-green algae (aphanizomenon flos-aquae, AFA)  is also quite toxic.  Actually, Cyanobacteria  is not  an algae.   In recently published reports researchers have demonstrated conclusively that I am indeed correct about this issue and that AFA should be avoided.  In fact, AFA is the bane of many lakes around the world where scientists and governments have fought long battles to rid  it from the environment due to its incredible destructive power.

“Researchers have warned against the sale of organic algae supplements containing the algae strain Aphanizomenon flos-aquae after a samples of every commercially available supplement available in the country were found to contain potentially dangerous toxins”

“The analysis for the presence of cyanobacterial toxins (MCs, nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a and cylindrospermopsin) encompassed only algae dietary supplements marketed in Germany and thus only the three main types of algae generally used for the production of dietary supplements, i.e. Aph. flos-aquae, Spirulina and Chlorella,” said the researchers, writing in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.”

There is nothing in AFA  that cannot be found in  Spirulina in the way of nutrients  since both of them are Cyanobacteria.   If AFA  it a truly healthy food then they should cultivate it in a controlled environment and ponds  the way Chlorella and Spirulina  are grown, and not harvested from a polluted lake.

 “The researchers said their analysis ‘clearly demonstrated’ that a high proportion of the algae dietary supplements available on the German market “is contaminated with considerable, but varying amounts of MCs. “Moreover, cytotoxicity analyses suggest that additional components are present that have the potential to induce fulminant adverse effects in consumers,”
“In light of the findings, the distribution and commercial sale of Aph. flos-aquae products, whether pure or mixed formulations, for human consumption appear highly questionable,” Dietrich and his colleagues warned.

aphanizomenon flos-aquae

aphanizomenon flos-aquae

What more evidence do you need?  AFA is bad news.  Don’t eat it.  Stick with spirulina if you want to consume a blue green algae (cynobacteria).




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About Bob McCauley

Bob McCauley, ND (Robert F., Jr.) was raised in Lansing, Michigan and attended Michigan State University (BA, 1980 in Journalism). He is a naturopathic doctor, Master Herbalist and a Certified Nutritional Consultant. He has traveled extensively, both domestically and abroad, visiting over 32 countries. He published Confessions of a Body Builder: Rejuvenating the Body with Spirulina, Chlorella, Raw Foods and Ionized Water (2000), Achieving Great Health (2005), The Miraculous Properties of Ionized Water, (2006) which is the only book on the market that exclusively addresses Ionized Water, Twelve (Fiction, 2007) and Honoring the Temple of God (2008). He considers himself a Naturalist, meaning he pursues health in the most natural way possible. He studies and promotes nature as the only way to true health. From 2002-2004 he hosted the radio program Achieving Great Health, which was heard by thousands of people each day. His guests included some of the most well-known and respected names in the natural health world. With the help of his father, Dr. Robert F. McCauley, Sr. (Doctorate in Environmental Engineering, MIT, 1953) they started Spartan Water Company in 1992, which sold vended water machines in supermarkets. Robert Jr. founded Spartan Enterprises, Inc. in 1993. He is a Certified Water Technician with the State of Michigan. He is also a Type II Public Water Supply Specialist and has the certifications of S-5 and D-5. The McCauley family has a long history in the water industry. Bob's father pioneered environmental issues regarding ground water and drinking water quality. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1953 for his thesis on removing radioactive strontium from water. He earned his doctorate in Environmental Engineering in less than 2 years, one of the shortest doctoral studies in the history of MIT. He taught civil, sanitary and environmental engineering at Michigan State University for 18 years before retiring to run Wolverine Engineers & Surveyors of Mason, Michigan, for 17 years. His reputation throughout Michigan as a water quality expert was legendary. Bob worked for his father's company for 12 years learning the water business, which dealt primarily with municipalities, including water quality and sanitary sewer issues. After apprenticing with his father, Bob moved on to the bottled water business. He established greater Michigan's biggest selling bottled water: Michigan Mineral – Premium Natural Water. He was introduced to Ionized Water in 1995 and has done more to promote Ionized Water than anyone else in the industry. Bob often lectures and offers seminars on his Seven Component Natural Health Protocol . Bob is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and a Certified Master Herbalist. He is also a 3rd Degree Black Belt and Certified Instructor of Songahm Taekwondo (American Taekwondo Association).
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5 Responses to Klamath Lake Bluegreen Algae Is Toxic and Should Be Avoided

  1. Garson says:

    Actually you are dead wrong about AFA and Klamath Lake!
    If you were correct the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the EPA , FDA and USDA would certainly prohibit the harvesting and sale of the algae. I think your post is very misleading. You obviously have an interest in spirulina.

  2. Bettina says:

    I agree with Garson!
    My family has been ordering from Bluegreenfoods.com for many years, so I don’t now about the other algae tests in my country. AFA is very good when harvested correctly!

    Agricultural Water Quality Management Act (SB1010)

    In 1993, the Oregon Legislature passed the Agricultural Water Quality Management Act. The legislation directed the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) to develop plans to prevent and control water pollution from agricultural activities and soil erosion on rural lands.

    Upper Klamath Lake is located in the high desert southernmost part of the state of Oregon. The lake is protected to the northwest by the Cascade Mountains with an arid sagebrush steppe to the east and south. The lake is fed by 17 mineral-rich rivers that deposit an average of 50,000 tons of mineral-rich silt from the surrounding 4,000-square-mile (10,000 km2) volcanic basin, making Upper Klamath Lake one of the richest nutrient traps in the world.

    A. flos-aquae in Klamath Lake
    During harvest season, it uses the available nitrogen, creating a massive bloom, choking out competing blooms, so the water’s microphyte volume is nearly 100% A. flos-aquae. The lake receives an average 300 days of sunlight per year, which provides a perfect growing environment for this cyanobacterium. The nutrient solution, in the favorable alkalinity of the lake water, provides more than 60 times the nutrients needed for the bloom.

  3. Hello!!Can you share more idea so that i will get more information in topic…

  4. Microbe Mandy says:

    Actually, the USDA cannot regulate the sale of blue green algae because it is labeled as a dietary supplement” by the companies harvesting and selling it. AND the federal government does not require them to regulate it. Why not? Well, there are currently no Federal regulations by any agency (USDA, EPA, CDC) is because there is a lack of knowledge available for making accurate assessments of the risk associated with all types of cyanotoxins. We know it is a problem, but it an extremely complex and it has taken a generation to figure out what we do know. Now it will take more time to determine exactly how much of a problem and what to do about it. As a country, we do not have standard techniques to measure the problem on a national level. Thus, current testing is done using various techniques and that will inevitably lead to various results. The good news (sort of) is that there has been an increase in funding for this type of research because blooms of toxic cyanobacteria are becoming more and more of a problem with the increased effects of global climate change.

    Aphanizomenon flos-aquae is a known producer of many types of toxins. Klamath Lake is known for toxic species and strains of A. flos aquae, and it is not the only toxic cyanobacterium present in Klamath Lake. Regardless of how it is harvested, there is still potential for toxin exposure if consumed. “Proper” harvesting could still have low levels of toxins that you are exposing yourself to over long periods of time. There is very little knowledge on the specific effects, but what has been done shows evidence of tumor promotion, liver damage including hemorrhages and even kidney and spleen failures among other effects.

    There is no one answer for any question related to cyanobacteria, their toxins, or your risk as a human. And don’t forget, you are most likely being exposed to low levels of a variety cyanotoxins in many other ways including your drinking water, cooking water, showering water, etc and any water-related recreational activities you might enjoy. The fruit and vegetables you eat have been sprayed with water at the store and in the fields they were grown in (not to mention the chemicals…ohhhh the chemicals).

    Cyanotoxins are not only in freshwater either, they are potentially in all water bodies and many are on land as well. There are many species and many toxins, with each species having some toxic and some non-toxic strains. Toxic strains can usually produce more than one type of toxin. You can see how this is quickly a complicated issue if you are in charge of managing and protecting water supplies.

  5. Pingback: Klamath Lake Blue Green Algae is Toxic. Avoid! – BioHack Health

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