Marine phytoplankton powder is surging in popularity as the latest ‘superfood’, not least of which in circles which claim its ability to heal cancer. While we certainly wish we had some compelling evidence to back this claim up, the short answer is that there is no definitive evidence as of yet. What we do feel is that this powerful plant can offer a tremendously useful adjunct to any cancer therapy, and certainly as an antioxidant and detoxification support to chemotherapy treatment. As a core part of any holistic treatment program, phytoplankton also offers some of the most profound nutritional properties of any supplement we know of, while its high bioavailability make it particularly useful for people with compromised immunity. In short, there’s no good reason why you shouldn’t take it.
Here are some its qualities which we feel make it ideally suited to optimising human health, especially in situations where people are fighting serious diseases like cancer.
Essential Fatty Acids & Cancer
The benefits of EFA for a multitude of health reasons have been well documented. Essential Fatty Acids play a useful role in combatting both inflammation and autoimmune diseases, while another study here concludes that EFA’s (including EPA and DHA) offer a reduced cancer risk. The key source of these oils, until now, has been largely fish which, due to the overwhelming pollution of our oceans, now contain levels of heavy metals which are damaging to human health. EFA’s from vegetable sources are sometimes touted as an alternative but these generally occur in a shorter-chain form known as ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which doesn’t appear to offer the same health benefits as fish. (While ALA proponents are quick to point out that the body can convert ALA into the longer chain forms, the answer to this is that it can do so very poorly.)
Into this, we find marine phytoplankton is a natural, vegan source of EPA and DHA, consisting of more than 50% EFA by weight (more than fish)! It is for this reason that the biotechnology industry has leapt upon phytoplankton so readily. Because of its 24 hour lifecycle it can be bred and refined very quickly, meaning that particular strains with an even higher potential for producing Omega 3 oils can be quickly selected.
We believe, therefore, that marine phytoplankton offers the best means of offering the body a highly bio-available and pure form of EPA. The particular strain we use at the Health Factory has been specifically bred for this reason and contains superior volumes of content of Omega 3 EPA oil in Phospholipid form than any other.
If you’re interested in a specific study done on EFA’s and Cancer, we recommend this, which concludes ‘ that omega-3 FAs in particular eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found principally in oily fish have potent anti-angiogenic effects inhibiting production of many important angiogenic mediators.’
Superoxide dismutase – The body’s inbuilt cancer antioxidant
This ubiquitous enzyme found in the human body is considered one of the master antioxidants. It’s a scavenger which patrols our systems seeking out superoxide, one of the bodies most deadly free radicals. SOD neutralises these free radicals but, more than, it offers powerful anti-inflammatory properties. To read an indepth article on how SOD helps against cancer (and the relevant studies) read this article here which does a good job of coalescing much of the current research.
The key issue, until now, has been that SOD cannot survive the bodies acidic digestive environment, meaning that various foods contain it, we simply can’t take it in. Marine phytoplankton powder, it turns out, not only contains the highest levels of SOD in the natural world, but is also absorbed by the body in a very particular way. 5 times smaller than a red blood cell, the single celled phytoplankton bypass the bodies mitochondrial system, meaning they offer a level of SOD bio-availability in a way the body can actually absorb. This makes phytoplankton an SOD source par excellence the world’s HIGHEST BIO-AVAILABLE SOURCE of “Superoxide Dismutase”!