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The Just Ingredients Podcast Transcript

, by Nicole Guzman, 59 min reading time

Just Ingredients Podcast

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Just Ingredients- 85- Can You Improve Weight, Sleep, or Memory by Feeding Your Mitochondria Algae w_ Catharine Arnston Podcast.

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S1: 00:07

[music] Welcome to the Just Ingredients podcast. I'm Karalynne, and here we talk all things nourishing to the mind, body, and soul. This is a place where you can find, just good ingredients to life. With the holidays right around the corner, now is the time to start thinking of the perfect gifts to buy your loved ones. Don't miss the Just Ingredients early Black Friday sale on November 21st and 22nd, where the entire website will be 20% off. A sale this big only comes twice a year. Stock up on your favorite face serum or deodorant for yourself. Gift a collection set of beauty products to your mom, or surprise your friend with our brand new chocolate peppermint protein powder or vanilla peppermint protein powder. Set your calendars for November 21st at 9:00 AM Mountain Time, to be first to restock on all of your favorite products, including protein powder, new tooth powder, and limited edition candy cane scented Christmas products. Nothing says happy holidays like a gift from Just Ingredients. This is the only big sale for the rest of the year. So don't miss out. Remember, November 21st and 22nd, the entire website will be 20% off. Shop the sale at www.justingredients.us.

S1: 01:27

Catharine Arnston is the founder, CEO, chief scientific officer of ENERGYbits and expert on algae for wellness, nutrition, beauty, biohacking, mitochondria, and longevity. She is a nationally recognized thought leader, seasoned corporate executive, experienced entrepreneur and sought after speaker. Catharine has an MBA, BA and is a board-certified health coach. Catharine's journey into the fascinating world of algae began in 2008 when her younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer and advised by her oncologist that an alkaline diet would improve her healing. Catharine left her 25-year corporate career to help her sister identify which foods were alkaline, which led her to discovering algae, the most alkaline, chlorophyll-rich, high-protein, nutrient-dense food in the world.

S1: 02:17

When Catharine learned that algae's vast healing properties were documented in tens of thousands of scientific studies, but that none of these studies or algae benefits were known outside of Asia, she knew she needed to do something. And so ENERGYbits was born. Catharine has spent the last 12 years researching algae, writing papers, giving presentations, lecturing at conferences, and speaking on 250-plus podcasts to explain the benefits of algae. Welcome everyone to the show. Today, I am really excited to talk to our guest, Catharine, as you've heard from the bio because I think a lot of us don't know much about algae and its benefits and things like that. So I'm excited to delve in with you about all the basics. So welcome to the show, Catharine, and thank you for being here.

S2: 03:04

Thank you, Karalynne. I'm so happy to be here because algae is not on top of anyone's list, I'm sure, other than mine. And I hope to leave you today with a lot of great knowledge so that you will move it up on your list because the benefits from it are extraordinary and I might add, all science based. Everything I say today is documented in NIH articles and scientific papers. So I'm not making any of this up. It's just been around, but not shared. [laughter]

S1: 03:34

Oh. I am excited to learn from you. So let's first tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and how you discovered the health benefits of algae.

S2: 03:44

I know. It's kind of strange because you think, "Well, how--" I tell people, "I didn't choose algae. It chose me." I'm actually Canadian, although I've lived in Boston 30 years. And I have an MBA, and I was doing international economic development, nothing to do with nutrition. And about 13 years ago, my younger sister in Canada, who I'm very close to, developed breast cancer. Now, I first want to assure everyone she's fully recovered. We celebrate that every year. But as she was preparing for her chemotherapy, her oncologist, which is a cancer specialist, told her she needed to change her diet to an alkaline diet because it would help with her healing. Now, they didn't tell her what an alkaline diet was or why it was good for her. So the first call she made was to me, her big sister who loves her.

S2: 04:24

And also, I'm just a really good researcher, and I knew nothing about nutrition, or alkaline diets or at that time, algae, just like everybody who's listening. But I'm a really good researcher and basically, I found out an alkaline diet was a plant-based diet, and the chlorophyll and the phytonutrients in plants build your immune system. So I gave her some tips. She changed her diet. She did go through chemo, completely healed. In the process of helping her, I learned more about plant-based nutrition. I gave up my corporate career, went back to school, studied nutrition, and lectured people, encouraging them to eat more plants. But this is what led me to algae because people were telling me that it was too much work to eat vegetables. They were heavy to carry home from the grocery store. They took a long time to clean, to cook, to eat. Their kids wouldn't eat them. Their husbands wouldn't eat them. They spoiled. They gave them gas, right? Everyone listening, you know the story, right? [laughter]

S1: 05:15


S2: 05:16

So I thought, "Okay. I need to find something that gives people the nutrition of vegetables, but none of the work or none of the headaches and made it a whole lot easier and faster." So back to the drawing board I went, and I just looked at everything I'd found for my sister in greater detail. And when I got to algae, that's when the miracle happened because algae, first of all, is the most alkaline food in the world. It is also the most nutrient-dense food in the world. The folks who are listening won't know this, but we have a quote from NASA that says, "1 gram of algae has the same nutrition as 1,000 grams of fruits and vegetables, 1:1,000." So it is so concentrated. It's what I call, the efficient nutrition. Even the United Nations has endorsed spirulina algae since 1974 - that's almost 50 years ago - as the answer to world hunger, because why? It has the highest concentration of protein in the world. Spirulina and chlorella have over 60% protein. Spirulina is 64% protein, so nutrient-dense, alkaline, rich in protein. It's also the most studied food in the world.

S2: 06:23

Remember I mentioned at the beginning, everything I tell you today is documented. There are almost a 100,000 studies on the different health benefits of algae, everything from reducing inflammation, helping with weight loss, improving your brain function, your gut, your gut biome, building your immune system, helping with sleep. The list is endless. You almost wouldn't believe this was possible if it wasn't so documented in science. And on top of that, it's been used every day for over 60 years in Japan and throughout all of Asia. They don't take supplements in Japan. They only take algae every day, and they have the best longevity, great skin and hair, lowest cancer rates, lowest obesity rates.

S2: 07:09

And I'm going to show you something. Algae is a food. So this is number one. You need to understand in Asia, they grow it in fresh water. So A, it's a food. B, it's not from the ocean. There is algae in the ocean, but spirulina and chlorella, which are the two algae we're going to talk about today, are harvested just like lettuce and vegetables in fresh water. So the reason why people don't know about algae is that, A, it's not grown here. 99% of it's grown in Asia, and 99% of it is consumed in Asia. So that's number one. I mean, you don't drive by an algae farm on your way to work here, but you do in Asia. And number two, because it's all sold there, the Japanese and the Asian companies haven't branded or explained algae in a way that makes it easy for people to understand, which is what we have done. And also, the quality up until recently was very poor. It all came from China and very low quality, loaded with toxins. And we grow ours in Taiwan to preserve the nutrients.

S2: 08:13

So the reason why nobody knows about it, even though it's science based, endorsed by international agencies, the most efficient nutrition in the world-- and I left the best part to the last. You don't even have to do anything. I'll show you in a minute. We dry our algae into tablets. This is spirulina. It's a blue-green algae. This is chlorella, which is a green algae. Each one of these tablets is so nutrient dense. It has the same nutrition as an entire plate of vegetables. One tablet has the same nutrition as that using that quote from NASA. So now, you, your kids, your husbands, your pets, you can get all the nutrition that you need in seconds. We recommend starting maybe with 5 tablets, 10, 20, as many as you want. I would like about 100 a day. But now, there's no cooking. There's no cleaning. There's no cleaning up. There's no chewing. And they do different things. So we'll talk about the different algae and what they do differently. But this is efficient nutrition. You could live on this forever. It is 40 vitamins and minerals, highest concentration of chlorophyll in the world, highest concentration of protein in the world. This replaces supplements, protein, vegetables. It's crazy. It's so crazy, easy. And it--

S1: 09:33


S2: 09:33

--gives you all the nutrition that you need. So that's why I get pretty excited about algae. [laughter]

S1: 09:38

--incredible. Okay. So I have a couple of questions for you. So obviously, there's two types of algae because you just talked about both of them, so the chlorophyll and the spirulina. So do they each have different benefits? Is one better than the other?

S2: 09:53

Well, first of all, let me explain that algae, first of all, is everywhere. There's macroalgae, which is seaweed, and what we're talking about is called microalgae. And there are tens of thousands of strains of microalgae to our blue-green and green. And so the two I talked about, spirulina and chlorella, are just two versions. Spirulina is one version of the blue-green algae. And often, you hear about blue green algae blooms in ocean. That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about spirulina, which is harvested in food crops. So number one, spirulina and chlorella are just two examples of algae. And there's tens of thousands of other strains. So again, we grow it in fresh water, press it into a-- dry into a powder, and then press it into the tablets.

S2: 10:43

The spirulina and chlorella are completely different from one another. They're as different from each other as night is from day. And I know they look sort of similar, but they do completely different things. And let me walk you through what that is. So spirulina, as I said, is a blue-green algae. That's because it has two pigments in it. See all the difference in the color? The spirulina has blue pigment called phycocyanin and chlorophyll. The chlorella has just one pigment, chlorophyll. Now, a lot of people say chlorophyll water, but chlorella has 25 times more chlorophyll than liquid chlorophyll. So it's much better for you. Spirulina, let me tell you what it does. It has the highest protein in the world, and it's very energizing. It's energizing to your body, to your brain, and at the cellular level, which we'll talk about when we get to mitochondria. So we call our spirulina ENERGYbits because it's very energizing.

S2: 11:42

How does it do that? The highest protein in the world has 18 of the 20 aminos, including the 9 that your body can't make. So it's a complete protein. And it's loaded with B vitamins that convert the protein into energy. It also has boron - it helps with your brain functioning - high essential fatty acids, like omega-3, which reduces inflammation, and 40 other vitamins and minerals. But it's that high protein and the high B vitamins and because spirulina actually is a bacteria, it requires no work for your body to get access to all the aminos and B vitamins. So it's almost instant absorption. And this is quite different from when you eat protein from animals. Animal protein is all bound up. All the aminos are bound up, and it can take days for your body to break it down.

S2: 12:29

Then you have collagen powder that are in what's called peptides. They are smaller clusters of aminos. But in algae, the aminos are all individual. So this is why it gets so absorbed so quickly. It's very bioavailable. And that's why you get your hunger satisfied, your energy for your brain, your energy for your body. We fuel NHL teams, Olympic teams, athletes. But yeah. And there's 0 carbs, 1 calorie per tablet, 40 vitamins and minerals and 64% protein. So if you're doing intermittent fasting, it doesn't interfere with your fast. You could have 5 or 10 for breakfast, go out the door in seconds, again, efficient nutrition. Just swallow them. You'll never throw out bad vegetables again. You'll never argue with your kids to eat their vegetables again. This is a lifesaver. In fact, I call it your nutrition insurance because it also gives you everything that you need. So that's spirulina, very energizing.

S2: 13:29

So most people take spirulina in the morning because that's when you're hungry. That's when you want energy for your day. You could have maybe 15 or 20 for a meal replacement if you're busy, like all of us or don't have time to cook. And where could you get that much protein and nutrition for 15 calories? It's unbelievable. Or it's great for a pre-workout. So we have a lot of athletes that use that, so usually for the morning. And we'll talk about it in a minute also, about your brain functioning, but think of spirulina as your AM. And we'll talk about chlorella next, which is your PM. And also, spirulina helps very much with your brain functioning. So think of it as top-down, spirulina, top-down.

S2: 14:15

So now, chlorella is quite different. It's the green algae. Again, look at the two differences. And its claim to fame is it has the highest chlorophyll in the world. Chlorophyll is very cleansing to your body. It's also a fat-based pigment. So it heals the cell walls. But one of the most important things you need to know is that chlorophyll and your hemoglobin are virtually identical chemical compositions. This is chlorophyll and this is your hemoglobin. Chlorophyll builds your blood. And they've used chlorophyll for centuries for that reason. But now, our soils are so damaged, and our vegetables are often grown so far away in foreign countries that there isn't much chlorophyll in them anymore. And then there's not much nutrition either. So it's hard to get proper chlorophyll anywhere. So chlorella algae is your answer for that. And when you have healthy blood, you're going to have a healthier body, healthier brain, healthier digestion. So chlorophyll's very cleansing.

S2: 15:16

Chlorella also, unlike spirulina, has the hardest cell wall in the plant kingdom. Remember I said spirulina has no cellulose wall, and it's a bacteria. Chlorella has the hardest cell wall, which attaches to toxins: lead, mercury, radiation. So it helps you recover from anything, from any kind of heavy metal toxicity, toxins from the day, pesticides. It takes out alcohol, lactic acid. So it helps you recover. So that's why we call our chlorella RECOVERYbits because it helps you recover. The chlorophyll is cleansing. It builds your blood. It builds your cell walls because it's a fat-based pigment, and it pulls out toxins.

S2: 15:58

It also has fiber in the cell wall, which feeds your gut biome. Chlorella has been used for centuries for healing the gut, IBS, Crohn's disease. And because your body goes through a detox, repair cycle when you sleep, we generally recommend chlorella at night. You can take it any time of day, but definitely before bed because while you're getting your beauty rest, chlorella is pulling out toxins, helping correct damage to your RNA and DNA. It's like the cleanup crew. So you wake up refreshed. It also helps with sleep because it has the highest tryptophan in the world and is loaded with melatonin. And we'll talk about that in a minute when we get to the mitochondria. So generally, we say this is your PM algae. Spirulina is your AM algae, and you take that in the morning or throughout the day. Chlorella is your PM algae. So it helps you sleep, pulls out toxins and gives you a much better repair while you're sleeping. It also stimulates peristalsis.

S2: 17:00

And again, another way to think about it is spirulina works on the brain. So it's top-down. And chlorella, because it helps heal your gut, it's from the bottom-up. So the two of them work quite differently. You can take them together, alone, instead of food, with food. It doesn't matter. There's no upper limit because again, it is food, and you can have as much or as little as you want. You won't get much benefits unless you take at least 5 or 10 a day. But remember this, spirulina has so much nutrition in it, it can replace your multivitamin, your CoQ10, your fish oil. Where do you think the fish get their omega-3 from, right? They get it from algae. Save yourself the trouble and save the oceans. Get it from here, so multivitamin, CoQ10, fish oil, probably magnesium, potassium. You can clear out about 5 supplements from your countertop if you want. And then chlorella, because of that high chlorophyll and the fiber, replaces basically all your vitamins, and we're going to talk about some of the important enzymes in antioxidants that are in here that protect your mitochondria as well. So this replaces a lot. Both of them replace a lot of things. And it saves you time and certainly stops any kind of arguments about eating properly because it's not only your nutrition insurance. It's literally your health insurance. [laughter]

S1: 18:23

That's incredible. I was just thinking as you were describing all of them that I could get rid of my multivitamin. And now, it sounds like I could get rid of a lot of other supplements as well. Wow.

S2: 18:33

Yeah. Well, and because supplements are made from extracts that don't exist in nature naturally, and because algae is food, and we are also from nature, your body recognizes all the nutrients in food. And there's always factors, and cofactors, enzymes, and coenzymes that aren't put into those supplements. And so the unfortunate thing is, in most cases-- there are some exceptions. In most cases, your body only absorbs about 10% of the nutrients that are in those supplements. That's why the numbers are so high. Now, the numbers of the nutrients in algae are much lower, but you're absorbing 99% of it. So that's why I call it efficient nutrition. [laughter]

S1: 19:17

Yeah. That makes sense. Okay. You've talked about the mitochondria a couple times. So why don't you tell my listeners what the mitochondria is and why it's important and then maybe how algae is shown to help the mitochondria.

S2: 19:30

Absolutely. So I have some kind of cute little images here. The mitochondria, they're sort of peanut-shaped. They're called organelles that are inside your cells. And what they do is they generate energy for everything. This is what's called cellular energy. Now, we all know about electricity, and it powers our buildings, and it charges our phones. The way that your body gets energy to do anything: walking, talking, sleeping, blood flow, heart pumping is through cellular energy. And so these little organelles called mitochondria, they are basically, the source of electricity, if you want, for your body. Now, the best analogy I've come up with to help you understand this is, think of your body as a building. And inside the building are offices, and think of those offices as your cells. Now, in the offices in order to get anything done, they need lights. And those are like your mitochondria. The mitochondria are the lights that keep the activities in your cells or your offices working so that the building can function properly.

S2: 20:44

Now, the good news is when you're born or when your building is first built, everything's spanking new. You've got lots of maintenance people. You got lots of lights, and the offices are busy and lots of activity. But as your building gets older and your maintenance people, like your enzymes [laughter] and cofactors and antioxidants leave, the offices start falling into disrepair, and the lights start going out. And because there's no one to replace them as your lights go out, so does your energy. And as more and more lights go out, the building, your body suffers more and more and more. And so what I love about algae is that it has everything that those mitochondria, the lights need to come back on. So the great thing about your body - God bless Mother Nature - is that nothing is permanent. Your body is constantly recycling itself, remodeling itself. We have 30 trillion cells. And literally, every day, 30 trillion cells die, and 30 trillion more are growing. So whatever health condition you are facing now, it doesn't matter what it is. If you start restoring your mitochondria and start turning the lights back on in your building, you can restore your health. I tell people it's never too late to feel great. [laughter]

S1: 22:04

I love that.

S2: 22:04

So that will help you understand why the mitochondria are so critical to your health. They literally keep the lights on to keep you going. Now, if you ever wondered, why should we worry about mitochondria? Maybe there's just a few of them. Well, let me tell you. There are 2 million mitochondria per cell in your brain. Just think about that because I'm going to show you now in your cell, you have these little mitochondria. Just imagine, there are 2 million of those in every cell in your brain. We'll talk about it in a second, but this is why they're realizing Alzheimer's, dementia, autism, they're a mitochondria disease. The next highest concentration is actually in women's eggs where there are 600,000 mitochondria per cell. The next highest is your heart, and there's 6 to 7 thousand per cell. And after that, it's muscles, and then skin and fat tissue are just about 100. The highest concentration of the mitochondria are in the cells where your greatest energy needs are. So when you have dysfunctional and dying mitochondria - and this happens and I'll explain why in a minute - as you get older, the first places that's going to hit will be your brain and your heart. And then as people get older, as you know, they have difficulty moving, and part of that is due to mitochondria dysfunction. But so this is why mitochondria are number one for keeping you alive and healthy. And so your number one job and my number one job is to help you understand how to do that. So we're going to get into that. [laughter]

S1: 23:45

That's fascinating. And I love your analogy. That was perfect, explains it so well. So I know the listeners, though, are probably wondering, "Well, okay, how does the mitochondria get damaged then?" Or do--

S2: 23:57


S1: 23:57

--we lose mitochondria?

S2: 24:00

Well, I'm going to show you. So in your cell, as I said, you have these mitochondria, right? This thing here is your nucleus, and then you've got all these mitochondria. Now, the cellular energy that is created in the mitochondria is called ATP. And so what the mitochondria do is they take the nutrition that you eat, and they convert it into this energy source called ATP. And all of that happens inside the mitochondria. Here's a closer picture. But here's the problem. Your mitochondria have their own DNA. We have 25,000 of our own regular DNA. It's called cellular DNA, but your mitochondria have their own. There's only 37 of them. And you think, "Oh. How important can 37 be?" Well, the mitochondrial DNA control everything else. They control your regular DNA. They control cellular communication. Think of your mitochondria DNA like an air controller at an airport. If the air controller is off his game, not feeling well, planes crash. So when your mitochondria DNA aren't feeling well and get damaged or die, your health crashes. So this is why it's not just the mitochondria. It's the mitochondria DNA inside the mitochondria. And here's why everything goes off kilter. Now, that's the good news.

S2: 25:21

The bad news is when ATP is generated, a by-product is something called free radicals. You may have heard of free radicals before. They cause oxidative stress to cells. And when there's too much oxidation stress, your cells die. And because your mitochondria DNA are located exactly where the ATP and the free radicals are located, they are getting fried every second by free radical damage. Now, if you've ever sat by a fireplace or an open bonfire and you got too close, sparks would fly, right? And you could get burned. So your mitochondrial DNA are getting burned every single nanosecond of your life. And so this is what happens, why your mitochondria DNA get damaged. And when they get damaged, everything else falls down.

S2: 26:14

So how are you supposed to stop that damage? Well, there's two ways. The biggest amount of free radicals occur when you eat carbs. That's sugar, refined carbs. But there's fewer carbs produced, so fewer free radicals produced when you have a low-carb diet or keto. I mean, you don't have to go keto. Just go low carb. And the other great thing is when you either fast, intermittent fasting or regular fasting or eat algae, there's virtually zero free radicals. So the first strategy about why algae helps you protect your mitochondria is because when you have algae instead of that big meal at lunch, you're generating fewer free radicals. So there's less damage to your mitochondrial DNA. So that's number one. Algae helps with that. So that's reducing your free radicals.

S2: 27:08

The second strategy is to remove the free radicals. And we've often heard about antioxidants and how antioxidants stop free radicals. And normally, that works in your regular cells. But the problem is in the mitochondria, they are the only cell in your body that has two membranes. There's an outer membrane, which is made from fats. But if you can see closely, there's another inner membrane. And that inner membrane, it cannot be penetrated by any antioxidants except for-- no other animal. You can eat a room full of blueberries, and it will never help your mitochondrial DNA, and will never stop aging and disease. And there's a lot of science about this. The four antioxidants that can get into that inner membrane to stop the free radical damage are: glutathione, melatonin, superoxide dismutase, and chlorophyll.

S2: 28:09

Now, the good news is your body makes the first three. You've probably never heard of superoxide dismutase, but trust me, it's very important. So Glutathione, melatonin, superoxide dismutase, your body produces them naturally, especially when you're born. But here's the problem. Once you get 30, the number of mitochondria and all those three antioxidants drop and drop and drop until you hit about 40 or 50, and then virtually, you're getting zero. And this is exactly when heart disease, cancer, dementia, weight gain occurs right at that moment, when you don't have those antioxidants being produced anymore to protect you. And that's when inflammation goes up, and that's when aging and disease escalates. So that sucks, right?

S1: 29:02

[laughter] Yeah. It does.

S2: 29:03

Just when you need the help, your body isn't making the things that protect you. So the good news is - and so this is why I showed you this illustration - when you're young, you have all those great things. And that's why when you're in your 20s and 30s, you can go out and do whatever you want, stay up late, and you can bounce back the next day, or if you have a cold. But that's because you have all those antioxidants that are preparing and protecting your mitochondria. So even though you've had a lot of bad food or whatever, you rebound, but there's no rebound effect when you get older because you don't have those few-- they're enzymatic antioxidants. There's very special cluster of antioxidants. Again, it's not vitamin C. It's not vitamin E because those can't get into the mitochondria. Now, the good news is algae has the highest concentration of all those three: glutathione, melatonin, superoxide dismutase, and chlorophyll, which your body doesn't make, but people don't eat enough chlorophyll. We can flatline that inflammation. So you no longer have that inflammation because now, all those antioxidants can get into the mitochondria to stop that inflammation.

S2: 30:17

So the way I describe it to people is that it's basically, like your firemen. The firemen, superoxide dismutase is also known as SOD. They put out the fire. They turn the free radicals into harmless water. So now, there's no free radical damage occurring in the mitochondria. And the mitochondria are the only cell structure in your body that has those two membranes. And this is why it's so difficult to prevent aging and disease and weight gain and brain fog as you get older because the things that would normally be protecting you, that your body normally makes are no longer enough to have any kind of medicinal quality. And they aren't available in any food. I think superoxide dismutase, our algae has 28,000 times more than cabbage.

S2: 31:08

I mean, and food with these three, they're called antioxidants, enzymes, get damaged by heat. So it's not even just any spirulina or chlorella. It has to either be raw, like ours because we don't use high heat when we dry ours, or it has to be frozen spirulina, which is messy and hard to travel around with. So we're quite well known for having the highest quality algae and part of it is we grow it in triple filtered spring mountain water. So it's pure and toxin free, but also, because all of those antioxidant enzymes are active. Anybody who's a low priced algae supplier goes to market quickly and uses high heat to dry them. And they kill all those enzymes. So they're not able to function. So that's one of the coolest things about algae is that, A, it satisfies your hunger, whether it's spirulina or chlorella. It gives you energy, pulls out toxins. And that's on the short term. So that's for today, you get great benefits. But on the long term, it's protecting your mitochondria so that they can start regenerating, so they can start turning back the lights on in your building and you'll have energy again. You'll be able to get rid of those extra 10 pounds. You won't have the fatigue. You won't suffer, hopefully, from chronic illnesses, though. The reason why those illnesses occur is because you're mitochondria, which normally would protect you, aren't able to function optimally. So your body is suffering. And just like an old building, it needs some better maintenance. [laughter]

S1: 32:46

That is all so fascinating. And so lifestyle factors, though, can affect the mitochondria, like our stress and things like that besides what we're eating, right? But then--

S2: 32:56

Oh. Totally. When you're stressed, your body releases cortisol and other inflammatory chemicals and toxins that are in the air, also, in your food, or the choices of what you drink. Your lack of activity, lack of fitness causes your mitochondria to stop replicating and stop functioning as well. And your food is probably your biggest contributor to mitochondrial damage, particularly the carbs. And it's so sad because in our world we're surrounded by carbs and sugar everywhere. And people have sugar addictions, and it's really hard to get off that roller coaster, and also contributes to depression and other sort of anxiety issues. And because the algae has such high protein, number one, it balances your blood sugar, which helps balance your emotions, which help you get off that roller coaster of seeking to eat to get you through high anxiety situations. And we've all been there. And your body is craving something because of anxiety, and you're being overloaded with cortisol. Yeah. So the algae really helps with that.

S2: 34:16

But I didn't mention that has the highest melatonin in the world. So it helps with your sleep. Now, the funny thing is people only know melatonin is something that does help with sleep and circadian rhythm. And the last 20 years, they've realized it's a very powerful antioxidant that protects the mitochondria. And you only get sleepy in the nighttime. So you can take-- spirulina, ours has the melatonin in the world. But it doesn't make you sleepy during the day because it's only triggered by darkness, but you still get all the antioxidant benefits during the daytime. So if you don't have enough sleep, your body isn't going through that repair cycle, which is repairing the mitochondria from the damage of the day whether it's from anxiety or eating wrong food or overexercising because that releases lactic acid. Yeah. So sleep is really number one in terms of helping to heal your body. But if you have the algae in your body while you're sleeping, that's like upleveling yourself from just going from Paleolithic times to today. So it's almost like a factor of 1,000. But sleep is probably the most important thing. I mean, there's really pillars. There's nutrition, exercise, sleep, and love, really. [laughter] Those are the things you need.

S1: 35:46

Okay. So I have a question for you because I did a podcast with a doctor about mitochondria and how the stress affects it, and our nutrition can either help it or not help it, the sleep, things like that. But she talked a lot about red light and red light therapy. So do you think red light therapy's beneficial? And can this be paired with algae?

S2: 36:09

Absolutely. And red light therapy is terrific. It stimulates mitochondria because mitochondria-- but first of all, algae was the first life on earth, and it was a single cell organism. And mitochondria are stimulated by red light. And so the red light helps the mitochondria reproduce. And it reduces inflammation. Inflammation, again, is that oxidative stress. So as long as there's less oxidative stress, your mitochondria are safe. The lights can stay on in your building, and you'll have more of them. Now, the great, exciting thing about combining algae with red light therapy is they have done some research and found out that when you have chlorophyll in your body and you are exposed to red light, either from sunlight or red light devices - and I have one - it stimulates ATP, which is that energy.

S2: 37:04

And the way it does that is there's something called, the CoQ10 molecule that's part of the process of generating energy. And so that combination of red light and the chlorophyll and the highest concentration that is in algae, recycles that CoQ10 so it keeps generating ATP energy on its own. And of course, algae also is the most alkaline food in the world that reduces inflammation. It's all been proven. So you will, again, double up your benefits from red light therapy when you have algae before. And so in general, we suggest the spirulina before the red light therapy because it's a bacteria, and it will get absorbed into your bloodstream so much faster so that when you are doing the red light, it will be functional. And then take the chlorella afterwards to pull out any toxins that may be released because there may be some autophagy, the same with cryotherapy. We work with cryotherapy centers. There may be toxins that are released in the process, and the chlorella will mop those up so that they're not circulating around in your body. But yeah, red light therapy is really great.

S2: 38:13

Let me tell you one final thing that's so cool about algae, which is related to the red light therapy. So algae, as I mentioned, was the first life on earth. Before algae, earth was just gas and water. Nothing lived. Nobody knows why the first cell started growing, but it did. And it was a cyanobacteria, like spirulina. And it was called an anaerobic cell because remember, there was no oxygen on earth. So this anaerobic cell started growing, and it generated ATP, which releases oxygen in the process. That's the byproduct. So after a billion years, there's now enough oxygen on earth for other species to grow. So now, a larger aerobic cell started growing. But it didn't generate ATP as well as the anaerobic cell.

S2: 39:01

So I can imagine the conversation went like this. The big anaerobic cell says to the little cell which was just now struggling because it's not used to having so much oxygen around. "Hey. Little guy, I see her having a hard time there. Why don't you come and join us? We'll protect you from the oxygen, and you can generate ATP for us." And the analogy I make is, let's say you have a friend who gets kicked out of their apartment. And they say to you, like, "Can I come and stay with you for a little while?" And you think, "Oh. Okay. Fine." But then when they come, "They take out your laundry. They make your bed. They cook for you," and you go, "Hey. Stay forever." And that's exactly what happened to the little cyanobacteria, like spirulina. There it is by itself, and then there was so much oxygen after a billion years that the big cells started growing, but the big cell says, "Hey. Come and join us," but instead of digesting it, they coexisted. They got engulfed by the big cell, and that little cyanobacteria, like spirulina became mitochondria. Your mitochondria came from cyanobacteria, like algae. So it makes complete sense to me now, why algae has everything that your mitochondria need because they came from the same place. Your mitochondria and algae are family. This is why there's two cells on your mitochondria. The inner cell membrane is the original one, from when it was all by itself, right?

S1: 40:35


S2: 40:35

Then it got engulfed. And your body, the cells put the second membrane around it. That is on all of your other cells. It's called endosymbiotic theory. It's all been documented in science. Every document you go to in the NIH library talks about this. So now, it makes sense to me why algae has all of those things, those antioxidant enzymes that your mitochondria need to survive.

S1: 41:02

That actually is fascinating. I actually didn't realize that mitochondria was created from that. And so--

S2: 41:09

Who would tell you, right?

S1: 41:11


S2: 41:11

And so I'm just in this very lucky position because all this research has been around for 60 years. But I'm so focused on algae and trying to understand why it works and trying to understand the science. I don't think anybody else has connected the dots between algae, cell evolutionary biology, and metabolic biology, and put the two of them together. And it just makes complete sense. And so when you hear the truth, it resonates with you. And Mother Nature has provided us with everything that we need, but it takes some time to understand how this all works because the science of your mitochondria is very complicated. But what I try to do is take the complexity out of it so that you can understand how your body works and why algae is the perfect thing to give it to facilitate health, longevity, and all the other great things in life. [laughter]

S1: 42:11

So algae sounds absolutely incredible, but it also sounds like every single person could benefit from taking algae. But yet, here in America, not many know about it. So why don't we know more about algae and all of its benefits?

S2: 42:25

Yeah. Well, because it's not grown here. And I remind people up until a few years ago, you probably didn't know about chia or quinoa or matcha or CBD or collagen. And those are food groups, even mushrooms that have been used in other countries for centuries. And because algae has been used in Asia and grown in Asia for 60 years, but that's where they sell it all, there's nobody until me-- and I only got into this to help my sister. And then I realized I could help a few more people. And I just kept researching and researching. And I saw the potential of what algae could do to change our world. It's the most eco-friendly, sustainable crop in the world. It will, protect us from all these chronic illnesses. It makes nutrition easy, and our food supply is so damaged. Nobody is getting the nutrition that they need anymore.

S2: 43:18

And then because I'm so determined to help people feel comfortable with algae and don't think of it as pond scum, I design all of our packaging to be really attractive. These are our new canisters. They come with a bag inside, and you just shake the tablets out. I mean, doesn't that make you feel happy? By the way, there's two spirulina because it also builds your skin and hair, and women like things that are pink and cute. So someone said, "I have a boy spirulina and a girl spirulina pretty much." But, nobody has taken the time to explain the science to you, to make the packaging friendly so that you won't be weirded out about it. And so that's why you don't know about it. No one's told you about it. It's basically that simple. [laughter]

S1: 44:01

Okay. So there is a myth out there that algae is just full of toxins because it's from the ocean or wherever. So that's not true at all?

S2: 44:10

Well, there are toxins in any algae that is in the ocean or lakes because you cannot control the environment that the algae is growing in. And algae will absorb whatever's in the water. But that's why we grow ours in triple filtered spring, mountain water, and we do third-party lab tests here in the United States in an FDA-approved lab, and we test for micro toxins. We're the only ones that I know that test for it. So we're putting something in people's bodies. And I eat all day long. And so I want parents to feel comfortable giving this to their children, to their pets, to their grandparents. Honestly, again, there's so much nutrition in those tablets. It just makes it so easy and so effective. You'll never have to worry about getting the nutrition anymore, but it has to come from a good source. It has to come from a clean source, a trusted source. We don't sell our algae through GNC or any of those retailers. We sell it through doctors' offices, functional medicine, cryotherapy centers, longevity centers. We sell it on our website as well, energybits.com. But these are professionals who need to know that this algae is clean and nutrient dense and doesn't have any toxins. So we go the distance to be sure that we can show that to them. And we provide the science to explain what it does.

S2: 45:39

And honestly, you don't even have to wait long. We've had people who are in their 70s, had terrible dementia, and they would write us and say, "I couldn't even figure out how to turn the microwave on." And after two days, their brain fog cleared up because their mitochondria were functioning again. And the brain is one of the first places that you'll see the improvement because there's two million mitochondria per cell. So when you fix something, it is magnified so much in your brain and in your heart because those are the two places that have very, very high concentration. By the way, anybody who's trying to have a baby, because there's such a high concentration of mitochondria in your cell in your eggs, again, if you're not having any luck, start taking the spirulina particularly, but also the chlorella because infertility is very often linked to a mitochondria dysfunction. And all the roads come back to the mitochondria. So we can just fix the mitochondria, and we can by reducing the free radical damage by eating algae because there's no carbs and because it has all of those antioxidant enzymes that can get into that inner membrane. It's like the ICU unit. It's so locked down, nothing normally can get in there, except these nutrients that are analogy, which of course, is where the mitochondria came from. So it's like a VIP pass. [laughter]

S1: 47:09

Well, I love that you guys take the time to make it clean and a good source because I'm always talking about that on my platform, checking where these companies are growing crops, things like that. So I appreciate you guys doing that and you explaining that to us. And then two, as you said that about infertility, it all clicked because I was like, "Oh my goodness. So many women that go on an anti-inflammatory diet who have struggled with getting pregnant. All of a sudden, many of them will get pregnant. And so that's due to the mitochondria. And so that's how your algae can benefit them." So I--

S2: 47:43

Yes. Absolutely. Yeah.

S1: 47:45

--love those connections.

S2: 47:47

Yeah. And we provide so much. We'll send you some articles that you can post. And I have a very long presentation, and everything's linked to NIH articles because what I have found - and I was exactly in your listeners' shoes 12 years ago - that I didn't have a science background. And it was so confusing and actually, it was very frightening because there were terms that I didn't understand. And so I want to assure you that as you start to understand how your body works-- I mean, we know more about how our cell phone works than our bodies. I want to help take the mystery out of it so that you can have a game plan that is achievable and effortless. In this case, when you take the algae, literally, all you have to do is swallow some of these. I eat them. I mean, you can add them to smoothies. You can put them in-- the chlorella actually tastes pretty good with pistachio nuts or macadamia nuts. But if I can promise you that if you start taking these every single day - this is not a occasional kind of thing; this is every day - you will see a change. We've had people getting off depression medication. It helps with Alzheimer's. It helps with children on the spectrum because it helps their brain to start focusing. It helps with sports. Athletes love it because it gives them the physical energy, and it helps with their focus. And as anyone who does any sports know, that when you're tired after a sport, your focus is one of the first things that go. This brings it back.

S2: 49:21

The energy is just from nutrition. There's no chemicals. There's no caffeine. There's no sugar. And it's raw, vegan, ketogenic. [laughter] If it's in every lifestyle whether you're a carnivore or vegetarian or vegan, low fiber, low carb, it doesn't matter. Algae is for everyone, your pets too. Your pets will love this stuff, seriously. [laughter]

S1: 49:45

Okay. So let me ask you, can kids take it, and can pregnant and nursing mothers take it?

S2: 49:51

Absolutely. Yes, to both of them. For children we recommend either half or 1 tablet per their age. So if there are two, give them 1 or 2 tablets a day. If they're four, give them 2 to 4 until they're a teenager, and then they can have more of an adult size. There is no upper limit. Our NHL players put 75 spirulina in their smoothie to get energy on the ice before a game, and then and then they put 75 chlorella in their smoothie after the game, to pull out lactic acid. So that's a big number. But they're elite athletes. And pets, we have same sort of thing, 2 to 3 tablets for small pets and 5 or 6-- their fur will be richer. Their breath will be fresher. Their energy will be better. Children will have better soccer games. They'll do better at school, better in their exams. And we've had this one mother. She wrote us and said she almost started crying because she's been arguing with her daughter since her daughter was born to eat vegetables, and she just doesn't like the flavor. She doesn't like the feel in her mouth. And she likes taking the tablets. She just swallowed them and 5 or 6 them, arguments done. And so now she and her daughter have a better relationship because they're not fighting all of the time about getting certain nutrients in there. So it really eases up on families too, and you know we all worry about our families all the time.

S2: 51:25

And by the way, your parents and grandparents, you know they are not preparing meals as well as they used to or could for themselves. And if they're in assisted living, they feed them white mushy stuff that has virtually no nutrition in them. And each one of these tablets, again, has probably more nutrition than they would get all week. So try to encourage anyone at any age to take these. And if you're not feeling benefits, just take more. [laughter] Yeah. I don't want to tell you how many I take, but I don't know what I would eat. I mean, I do eat proper meals, but I pretty much eat these all day, and then I have a full dinner.

S1: 52:05

Right. So your company only sells them in tablet form? Or--

S2: 52:08


S1: 52:08

--do you have powders and liquids?

S2: 52:10

We only have them in tablet form because I wanted something that was easy for people. We also have them in smaller pouches that you can toss in your handbag or your gym bag or your traveling-- you can grind them up in a coffee grinder, and just add them to your smoothie. We didn't do the powder because powders are messy, and you can't disguise the flavor. If you don't like the flavor, you swallow them. They stay down. It's not like fish oil. I can't take fish oil because I take it, and I'll be burping it up for the next 12 hours. With the algae tablets, you swallow them and they stay down. And a lot of people just don't like the flavor, although I would urge people to at least try the chlorella with pistachio nuts or macadamia nuts. We'll send you some because they're delicious that way, or just sprinkle some sea salt on them, and that gives you little snack. The spirulina, which is the blue one, it's blue packaging because it's the blue-green algae. It's very chewy because it's 64% protein, and most people do not like the flavor, but kids do. In fact, kids turn it into a game because it turns your tongue green. They think it's hilarious. So--

S1: 53:19

Yeah. I've seen those blue tongues before.

S2: 53:22

Yeah. Yeah, like the blue pops when I was younger. That's what we used to use. So if you can turn it into a fun game for your kids, they'll want what you are taking. That's how children are, right? But the same with husbands and boyfriends, even if you're a carnivore, you're missing some critical nutrients. And by the way, in this also, the chlorophyll improves your breath. And it's been used that way for, again, centuries. So--

S1: 53:52

So many benefits. Incredible. I have learned so much today from you and have found all of this fascinating. And I know my listeners have too. So where can my listeners find you, find the products, find more about these?

S2: 54:04

Yes. Absolutely. So our website is energybits.com, E-N-E-R-G-Y, B-I-T-S, and we have a 20% discount code for your community. When you get to the shopping cart, enter the words, just ingredients, all one word, no space between it, upper or low case, doesn't matter, just ingredients, and you'll get 20% off anything that you purchase. And we have them in canisters that you can shake out. We have them in large bags. And we have boxes of the single pouches. And I just want you to know, I don't want people to have sticker shock because a bag is a $125, but I want to leave you with this. Using that quote from NASA that said 1 gram of algae has the same nutritious 1,000 grams of fruits or vegetables, I did the math and calculated that each bag of our algae tablets has the same nutrition of 551 pounds of vegetables. Now, at $3 a pound, that would have been $1,600. And also, it's a lot of work to eat vegetables. And they're heavy to carry home, and they spoil, and they cause gas sometimes, and blah, blah, blah, blah. So you're getting nutrition of 551 pounds of vegetables. That will never go bad, never cause stomach distress, never force you to cook anything have arguments with your children or your family. It's effortless nutrition. So it's very high value nutrition. The expiry date's about three years, but literally, they never go bad. Algae actually never dies. It just goes dormant, and then it starts growing again. It's the craziest thing. [laughter]

S1: 55:43

Well, I'm glad you explained that to my listeners. And I'm really excited to try these tablets because I've been doing a lot of red light therapy lately. And so I'm excited to see how the algae helps as well. So thank you so much for teaching my listeners so much today. I always end my podcast with asking my guests what they have found to be the best ingredient in life. What would you say it is? I think I might know what you're going to say.

S2: 56:09

Well, if it's a real ingredient, clearly algae, but my encouragement would be to be curious because when something's not working, don't get angry, be curious, explore. Find out what's going on. It's the universe telling you, "Nope, not that door." [laughter] So that's what I did when I was trying to help my sister. I had to find what was out there that would help her. And I just kept knocking on doors until I found more research and then more research, which led me to algae, and here I am 12 years later. So stay curious. Don't get upset. Don't be afraid. If something's not working in your health or your life, just be calm and quiet and be meditative about it and be curious because the answer is there. You just have to lift the hood, and of course, algae will help with just about everything. I just encourage you to know that again, algae isn't new. It's just new to you. So stay curious. [laughter]

S1: 57:11

I love that. I really appreciate those words because being curious is actually what helped me get over my mental health issues years and years ago. It's what helped you find algae, and look at how many people have benefited from you and your knowledge. And so thank you for sharing that. And I, like I said earlier, am so excited to try these tablets. I'll report back to you how I enjoyed them. And listeners, go check out their website, and see if this would be something beneficial for you. So thank you again, Catharine for being here. I really appreciate you taking the time.

S2: 57:44

Thank you. Thank you so much.

S1: 57:51

[music] Thank you so much for listening. Remember to subscribe to the Just Ingredients podcast to learn more about your health and good ingredients to life. Plus, get daily tips at just.ingredients on Instagram.

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