Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) is a fresh water unicellular blue-green alga (cyanophyta) rich in phycocyanin (PC), a photosynthetic pigment with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of a novel natural extract from AFA enriched with PC to protect normal human erythrocytes and plasma samples against oxidative damage in vitro. In red blood cells, oxidative hemolysis and lipid peroxidation induced by the aqueous peroxyl radical generator [2,2′-Azobis (2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride, AAPH] were significantly lowered by the AFA extract in a time- and dose-dependent manner; at the same time, the depletion of cytosolic glutathione was delayed. In plasma samples, the natural extract inhibited the extent of lipid oxidation induced by the pro-oxidant agent cupric chloride (CuCl2); a concomitant increase of plasma resistance to oxidation was observed as evaluated by conjugated diene formation.
The involvement of PC in the antioxidant protection of the AFA extract against the oxidative damage was demonstrated by investigating the spectral changes of PC induced by AAPH or CuCl2. The incubation of the extract with the oxidizing agents led to a significant decrease in the absorption of PC at 620 nm accompanied with disappearance of its blue color, thus indicating a rapid oxidation of the protein. In the light of these in vitro results, the potential clinical applications of this natural compound are under investigation.
“Mobilization of human CD34+ CD133+ and CD34+ CD133(-) stem cells in vivo by consumption of an extract from Aphanizomenon flos-aquae--related to modulation of CXCR4 expression by an L-selectin ligand?” by Jensen GS, Hart AN, Zaske LA, Drapeau C, Gupta N, Schaeffer DJ, Cruickshank JA. Cardiovasc Revasc Med. 2007 Jul-Sep;8(3):189-202.
Researchers have discovered that a bacterial protein known to reduce the ability of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to infect cells also inhibits infection by the Ebola virus. The antiviral protein, known as cyanovirin-N (CV-N), can extend the survival time of Ebola-infected mice, researchers from the National Cancer Institute's Molecular Targets Discovery Program report in a study published in Antiviral Research. Anti-HIV Protein From Blue-green Algae Also Inhibits Ebola Infection - NIH/National Cancer Institute
Effects of Klamath Algae extract on psychological disorders and depression in menopausal women: a pilot study. Genazzani AD1, Chierchia E, Lanzoni C, Santagni S, Veltri F, Ricchieri F, Rattighieri E, Nappi RE. Dipartimento di Ginecologia e Ostetricia, Centro di Endocrinologia Ginecologica, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italia. email@example.com
Jensen, Gitte S.; Ginsberg, Donald I.; Huerta, Patricia; Citton, Monica; Drapeau, Christian (January 2000)."Consumption of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae Has Rapid Effects on the Circulation and Function of Immune Cells in Humans" (PDF). Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association 2 (3): 50–58. Retrieved January 3, 2012.