By Dr. Bob McCauley
I watched the (boring) documentary “Toxic Puzzle” recently which attempts to show the link between Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and β-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), an amino acid found in cyanobacteria such as Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) which is found in Klamath Lake, Oregon and other places around the world. At the end of “Toxic Puzzle” they point the finger at Spirulina platensis as being potentially toxic and then they actaully lie about their findings. They don’t bother to mention AFA in their documentary, which is known to have Microcystins, Saxitoxins, Cylindrospermopsin and Anatoxins.
I refute all these spurious claims against spirulina in my Rebuttal, which posted on Youtube.
Harmful Algae Blooms (HAB) often involve cyanobacteria such as AFA. The most common species of toxic cyanobacteria in the Great Lakes are: Microcystis aeruginosa, Anabaena circinalis, Anabaena flos-aquae, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, and Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii. AFA is sold under the names Klamath Lake Algae, and Klamath blue-green algae. Actually it is a cyanobacteria as is Spirulina platensis, which I have sold for many years.
The documentary cites a study then misrepresents it.
J AOAC Int. 2015 Nov-Dec;98(6):1559-65. doi: 10.5740/jaoacint.15-084.
Determination of β-N-methylamino-L-alanine, N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine, and 2,4-diaminobutyric acid in Food Products Containing Cyanobacteria by Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Tandem Mass Spectrometry: Single-Laboratory Validation.
Cyanotoxins are toxins produced by bacteria called cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae). Cyanobacteria are found almost everywhere, but particularly in lakes and in the ocean where, under certain conditions, they reproduce exponentially to form blooms.