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Algae Boosts Immune Markers

Posted Aug 31 2012 10:08pm
Posted on Aug. 30, 2012, 6 a.m. in Immune System Dietary Supplementation Infection Protection
Algae Boosts Immune Markers

Chlorella is a single-cell green algae that has been cultivated since the 1940s for its bioactive substances, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids, and more. Korean researchers enrolled 51 adults, who were randomly assigned to receive either tablets containing 5 g per day of chlorella, or placebo, for eight weeks. Results showed that the activity of Natural Killer (NK) cells increased by about 10% in the chlorella group, with a slight decrease in the placebo group. In addition, levels of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), necessary for innate and adaptive immunity against rival and bacterial infections, and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta), key to the inflammatory response, were significantly increased in the chlorella group. The study authors conclude that: "These results may suggest a beneficial immunostimulatory effect of short-term Chlorella supplementation which enhances the [Natural Killer] cell activity and produces interferon-gamma and interleukin-12 as well as interleukin-1beta, the Th-1 cell-induced cytokines in healthy people.”

Jung Hyun Kwak, Seung Han Baek, Yongje Woo, Jae Kab Han, Byung Gon Kim, Oh Yoen Kim, Jong Ho Lee.  “Beneficial immunostimulatory effect of short-term Chlorella supplementation: enhancement of Natural Killer cell activity and early inflammatory response (Randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial).”  Nutrition Journal, 11:53, 31 July 2012.

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32. Head Off Headaches, Joint Pain, Heart Disease, and Cancer
A compound found in olive oil, called oleocanthal, has anti-inflammatory properties much like those associated with the painkiller ibuprofen, an NSAID (see Tip 40), found U.S. researchers in 2005. Oleocanthal inhibits COX enzymes responsible for the inflammatory response implicated in headaches and joint pain. This study not only supports that regular consumption of olive oil might have some of the long-term health benefits of ibuprofen, but may help explain olive oil's widely reported health benefits such as in lowering the rates of heart disease and cancer in populations that consume it in large quantities (such as Mediterranean countries). The study authors conclude that "Our findings raise the possibility that long-term consumption of oleocanthal may help to protect against some diseases."
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