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Eating algae to age better
Catharine Arnston: EnergyBits
BY PETER BOWES | WEDNESDAY JUNE 22, 2022
Could eating algae be the secret weapon many of us have been searching for in the pursuit of longevity? The microscopic form of life is consumed as part of a balanced diet is in some parts of the world, but it is also being hailed as a superfood that could help us age better. Of course there is nothing new about algae, which are photosynthetic microorganisms that live in water and grow hydroponically, that is, without soil. The common image is of an icky green film on ponds or areas of stagnant water, but algae grown specifically for consumption, are a potent source of protein and other essential nutrients. It has detoxifying qualities and its regular consumption is linked to a range of benefits including cell health and immune support. In this episode we meet Catharine Arnston, the founder and CEO of ENERGYbits, which makes algae tablets or “bits of whole food”.
Connect with Catharine and EnergyBits: Bio | EnergyBits | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
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Catharine is kindly offering LLAMA podcast listeners a 20 percent discount on EnergyBits products so that you can try algae for yourself. Just use the code LLAMA at EnergyBits.com – LLAMA will receive a small commission – it us helps cover production costs for the podcast and ensures that our interviews remain free for all to listen.
“”If your desire is to live healthy, to be disease free, to have lots of energy, to think clearly, to have great skin, great skin digestion, great sleep, and to have the best life ever. Algae is your answer.”Catharine Arnston
Topics covered in this interview include
- Understanding algae – the “first life on earth”
- Why there is more to algae than that stringy stuff on the beach or a pond
- Distinguishing between macro and micro algae and the forms that we can eat
- The difference between blue green algae called spirulina and chlorella which is green
- How spirulina and chlorella are grown, hydroponically, in fresh water
- How algae is used in tablet form to supplement regular diets
- The sustainable qualities of the crop and why its nutrient density sets it apart from other foods
- How algae can be used to substitute for other ‘healthy’ foods that cause “digestive distress”
- How algae can be integrated into the western diet
- How does algae help energize the body if it is very low in calories?
- The potential benefit in pursuit of longevity or a long healthspan
DoNotAge.org is offering listeners to LLAMA a 10% discount on its range of products – NAD boosters, Sirtuin activators, senolytics and more.Use the code LLAMA at checkout. Any health queries can be answered by emailing the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Affiliation disclosure: This podcast receives a small commission when you use the code LLAMA for purchases at DoNotAge.org – it helps to cover production costs and ensures that our interviews remain free for all to listen.
This interview with Catharine Arnston was recorded on February 17, 2022 and transcribed using Sonix AI. Please check against audio recording for absolute accuracy.
Peter Bowes: [00:00:21] Hello again and welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast. My name is Peter Bowes. This is where we explore the science and stories behind human longevity. Now, an essential pillar of healthy aging is, of course, our diets. We are what we eat. So the saying goes. So the thought for some that we could incorporate algae into our daily menu may not sound that appealing. But increasingly, algae, you might hear it referred to as algae in some parts of the world, especially here in America. It is seen as a sustainable whole food crop packed with essential nutrients that have the potential to improve immune health, gut health, energy and yes, longevity. But if it is so good, why don’t we hear more about it in the Western world? And to what extent could it replace traditional sources of nutrients? Let’s find out more with Catherine Arnston, the founder and CEO of Energy Bits. The bits being, as the company says, tiny bits of nutrition made purely of algae. Catherine, welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast.
Catharine Arnston: [00:01:30] Thank you, Peter. And you know, I have a selfish reasons for wanting to share this knowledge of algae because I want people to live as long as I do. So I won’t be alone when I’m in my hundreds. 120 years.
Peter Bowes: [00:01:45] Exactly. Well, you’ve come to the right place to talk about that. Great. Because that’s exactly what our motivation is as well. As long and as long as we have good health.
Catharine Arnston: [00:01:53] Yes, exactly. What’s the point of living if you’re not in good shape?
Peter Bowes: [00:01:56] Exactly. And just to kind of get it out of the way, I say algae. You say algae.
Catharine Arnston: [00:02:01] Yes. Well, it’s I’m actually Canadian, but I am I’ve lived in the United States for 33 years. I do understand that in the UK and Europe, they refer to it as algae, but it’s potato, potato, tomato, tomato. It’s all the same thing. It’s all Mother Nature’s gift to us so we can live long and well.
Peter Bowes: [00:02:19] Exactly. We speak the same language, but in some cases we don’t necessarily speak it in the same way. And that’s absolutely fine. So let’s talk about algae, and I’m going to continue to call it algae because that’s how I was brought up.
Catharine Arnston: [00:02:29] Go right ahead. Or whatever makes you feel good.
Peter Bowes: [00:02:31] Exactly. Yes. Let’s talk about it. And I think we need to explain what is algae? Where does it come from? We think of that scum, don’t we, on the top of a pond or a or a river.
Catharine Arnston: [00:02:42] Well, there is that, algae is that. But first, I want people to understand that algae was the first life on earth. And basically algae breaks into two main categories as we know it today. One is called macroalgae, and the other one is microalgae. Now, we’re going to be speaking only really about microalgae today because it’s a thousand times more nutrient dense than macroalgae. But let me tell you first what macro algae is. It’s that big, stringy stuff that you see washing up on shore, also known as seaweed dulce kelp. And it’s called seaweed because it’s only in the sea, it’s from the ocean. And now it is important because it has lots of fiber and iodine, because it comes from the ocean, but it has virtually no nutrition in it. So just to let you know that it is good for you, but not in the way that microalgae is now. Microalgae is what we’re going to talk about today. And it is called microalgae because it’s microscopic in size. Something like a million cells would fit on the head of a pin. That’s how tiny it is. And microalgae is everywhere. Macroalgae, like I said, is only in the sea. Microalgae is everywhere. It’s in the oceans, the lakes, the rivers, the streams, the soil. Yes. Your swimming pool? Yes, your aquarium. Now, the reason why you want to know about a microalgae is it is the most nutrient dense food in the world, and it feeds everything and every one. There’s different strains of microalgae. There’s thousands, in fact, tens of thousands of strains of microalgae. You some of them are blue green algae, green algae, red algae. And the two we’re going to be talking about today are one of them is a blue green algae called Spirulina. And the other one is a green algae called chlorella . Now, before I dig into any deeper explanation about these two algae and why they’re the two that you need today to live, to survive, to thrive, I need to be sure you understand that the two I’m talking about, spirulina and chlorella, are not from the ocean. Yes, there is blue, green and green algae in the ocean, but they are not spirulina or chlorella. spirulina and chlorella are harvested in freshwater like other vegetables. So like kale or broccoli or, you know, tomatoes are often grown. It’s called hydroponically.
Peter Bowes: [00:05:12] So they’re cultured for that reason.
Catharine Arnston: [00:05:13] Correct. And virtually all spirulina or chlorella that you would purchase are grown this way. We can go into the details of what makes us special, because ours is the purest, cleanest algae that you can buy. And we don’t use high heat to dry it, which is going to be very important for you to understand a little bit later on. But I want to be sure you understand it’s grown as a vegetable. And in fact, growing algae is a multibillion that’s with a ‘b’ multibillion dollar agricultural crop in Asia. They’ve been growing it for over 50 years, and it’s almost as big as the beef industry is. And the Japanese don’t leave their house without taking chlorella every day. So and by the way, the Japanese have are known for having the best longevity and I attribute some of that to the fact they take algae every single day.
Peter Bowes: [00:06:04] And when you say they take it with them, they’re taking it as a as a snack, something to nibble on during the day.
Catharine Arnston: [00:06:09] They well, they take it as we sell it, which is in tablet form, which you can swallow or chew. They have it as powder that they mix with drinks. But also because it’s been so prevalent in Asia, particularly in Japan, they put algae in everything. And in probably ten years, the same thing will be happening here. You know, think about it. Ten years ago, you didn’t know about chia seed or matcha or quinoa for that matter. And and now it’s so common, you know, collagen. And so, you know, even your snack foods now have chia seed in them to give you some extra protein. But none of chia seed or none of these other foods that have been used by indigenous groups in other countries for hundreds or thousands of years, none of them hold a candle to algae. So algae is so sophisticated of a crop in Asia, they put it in everything, they put it in their protein, they put it in their food and their dry goods, they put it in everything. So, you know, if I do my job right here in America, we’re going to start learning more about it and we’ll start doing the same thing because algae is going to save your life, the world. And I’m not the only one that thinks that the United Nations has endorsed spirulina algae since 1974 as the answer to world hunger, because it has the highest concentration of protein in the world. It has three times the amount of protein as steak or even chicken. And it’s a sustainable crop. So it’s it’s been endorsed by them for almost 50 years. Same with NASA. NASA has been using it and feeding it to the astronauts for almost same length of time. And we have a quote from them that says, one gram of algae has the same nutrition as 1000 grams of fruits or vegetables, 1 to 1000. Pretty crazy, right?
Peter Bowes: [00:07:59] So it is the nutrient density of algae that makes it special, that makes it stand out from other food forms.
Catharine Arnston: [00:08:05] It’s not just the nutrient density. It’s a few of the nutrients that are almost impossible to find in other foods that also make it a stellar food for you to be taking every day. And they do different things. And we’re going to do a deeper dive into the differences between Spirulina and Chorella, because they are completely different and they do. They offer your body completely different benefits for health and longevity, whether it’s for your brain health or your gut health.
Peter Bowes: [00:08:36] Let’s start there, then, shall we, with the differences that you describe.
Catharine Arnston: [00:08:39] Okay. All right. So spirulina is technically a bacteria. Well, officially a bacteria. It’s called a cyanobacteria. And the reason why that’s important well, there’s a couple of huge reasons why that’s important. And I’m going to save the good stuff till the end. But the first thing is because it has it’s a bacteria, it has no cellulose wall. That means it gets absorbed into your bloodstream almost instantly if you chew it and within minutes if you swallow it. And why is that important? Well, because it has the highest concentration of protein. If you compare it to animal protein, that often takes three days to break down into amino acids because you don’t have the factors and cofactors to to be able to absorb it. So you end up, in some cases, only absorbing 10% of that chicken breast as amino acids. But because spirulina is a bacteria and all of the protein in both of the two algae are already in amino acids, your body has instant access to them. So there’s no waiting. And so I call it efficient nutrition because it’s absorbed instantly, because there’s none of that cell wall to interfere with any digestive process. So that’s number one. Rich, the richest source of protein and the most bioavailable source of protein. A lot of people have digestive issues. As you get older. That’s a that’s a biggie. And so if you. Have the enzymes to digest the protein, or maybe you don’t have access to it, or maybe you’re vegan, or maybe you just don’t have time to cook. Algae. Spirulina algae is your answer because you just swallow down four or five or ten tablets and you’ve met your nutritional protein needs for the day. It’s, it’s, it’s crazy. So because it has so much protein and because it’s loaded with what’s called B vitamins, it has all of the B vitamins, even B12 and and B vitamins convert glucose into energy. So spirulina has been known as an energizing algae because it has all those rich aminos that are instantly converted because of the B vitamins and also because it has a very high amount of iron that carries oxygen in your blood and that gives you energy. It’s what’s known as a vasodilator, which opens up your blood vessels so that blood, they basically relax them so blood can flow faster and bring oxygen and nutrition to your muscles and to your brain and to your body. And that gives you energy. It also has high boron, which is hard to find in food. Boron helps facilitate thought and coordination and helps with your synapses. And it’s also loaded with essential fatty acids like Omega-3, which facilitate brain health and and reduce inflammation. So all around spirulina is very nourishing. It has 40 vitamins and minerals, the highest protein in the world, instant absorption, no digestive issues. It’s so safe that it can be given and easily digested, can be given to newborns, kids, teenagers, grandparents, even your pets. It is hands down the most efficient food in the world. And we’re proud to say we’re considered the safest because we also do third party lab tests and the way that we regrow our algae. So it’s and the reason I love it so much is I found out, you know, people weren’t eating a lot of vegetables or not cooking meals at home because it was too much work, especially with vegetables. And we’ll talk more about vegetables when we talk about Chorella, which can be a replacement for vegetables. But, you know, it’s a lot of work to carry them home, clean them, cook them, eat them. Maybe you have digestive distress like I did with broccoli. None of that happens with algae that are in the tablets.
Peter Bowes: [00:12:19] When you say digestive distress, what do you mean?
Catharine Arnston: [00:12:22] Gas. Fibre. A lot of people, especially as you get older, fiber. Even though we’re supposed to have fiber, it’s a problem. But I can’t eat cabbage. I can’t eat broccoli. There’s a lot of foods that I can’t I’m no spring chicken. I mean, I’m 65, so I’m probably very close to the age group that your community is or some of them anyways. So I mean, I’m right there with you guys. I mean, I have the same issues that you have. If we eat the foods that are you know, a lot of them are recommended for health. But there’s always, you know, I don’t want to say a dark side to food, but you need to be really careful about what’s what’s out there and what your body is telling you when you eat it. Because if you have gas from eating something, then that means it’s either not compatible with your current level of enzymes, and maybe you can either change that or maybe you just stop eating it.
Peter Bowes: [00:13:18] Just picking up on one point that you mentioned there, obviously algae in its food form is small and by its very nature you call it tiny. I think for many people they want something that’s actually larger. And the idea of getting nutrition in in a pill form, which is what it sounds like, isn’t that attractive and maybe even not that fulfilling as far as the body is concerned. Is that the case? And well, maybe you could describe what it’s like to eat algae as part of your diet.
Catharine Arnston: [00:13:49] Sure. Well, I guess you have to ask yourself why, what is the purpose of eating? So if your purpose is just satisfying your taste buds or going out socially, algae will never come close to meeting those needs. But if your desire is to live healthy, to be disease free, to have lots of energy, to think clearly, to have great skin, great skin digestion, great sleep, and to have the best life ever. Algae is your answer. So I’m not saying you should be replacing your social evenings with your friends and great dinners out or even cooked at home. But I call algae your nutrition insurance because now when you go out to eat or you cook at home, it’s for those pure tastebuds, wonderful trips that you’re going to take and you’re not relying on food to feed your body and your cells for the and give it the nutrition that it needs to perform optimally because you’ve had algae. Now. So the way I think the reason I like it so much is because I taught nutrition. And I found people were having such a problem getting their their vegetables in and their kids would need them and their husbands would need them or fights at the dinner table. They took a long time. And so it’s a long story about how I found algae.But anyways, I did I did get to it. And in these tiny little tablets that we call bits, because there are bits of nutrition, you can swallow five or ten or 20. We work with NHL players and they put 75 in their smoothie. Whatever amount works for you. You can grind them up and put them in a smoothie or you can eat them. Most people do not eat them because it’s very chewy, because the high protein, it’s very earthy, because of the just the combination of flavors. So so swallowing is what most people do. And so but in the morning I’ll have a five or ten spirulina and I’ll have an equal number of Chorella. And then I probably I snack on Chorella pretty much all day because I love it and I love to eat them. If you do like the flavor, adding some sea salt or maybe some almonds. But the beautiful thing is you get up in the morning whether you’re on your way to work or to a workout or to meet friends or to travel, it takes seconds. You swallow them down, you’re done. You’ve got now your cells are getting everything that they need to perform for you today.
Peter Bowes: [00:16:15] Well, I’m glad I asked that question, because you’ve beautifully explained that essentially, I think it’s fair to say two kinds of people. It’s those who believe that food is fuel. Clearly, food is fuel for everyone. But as you explained, many people see food more in terms of the entertainment value, the social value, maybe even the comforting value of eating a sizable meal. But there are others are people on the go want to get through the day without worrying about what they’re going to eat, but need that fuel all the same. Essentially, that’s what you’re marketing.
Catharine Arnston: [00:16:49] Yes, exactly. Well, because the problem is our food just is not as nutritious as it was 50 years ago. The soils have very few minerals in them because they’ve been so mono cropped and over cropped. And we grow a lot of vegetables now and far in countries that are far away. So they’re harvested before they’re even ripe. So they don’t have the rich enzymes and nutrients that they used to have or would have if they if you grew them in your own garden. Also, the ozone layer is so damaged now they’ve tested plants and have been finding that they have more sugar in them now than they used to 50 years ago and and fewer nutrients. So even if you are eating a plant based diet and even if you are eating grass fed animal protein, it’s it’s just not giving your body what it needs like it used to 100 years ago or so. You can continue to eat food for entertainment and for pleasure on social, but it will never give your body what it needs. Never. And that’s a big word. I know. But it will never give you what your body needs to live optimally and to live to have the longevity that we’re all seeking now. Because I was at a conference, by the way, about a couple of months ago, and the head of the Cleveland Clinic Longevity Center, Michael Roizen, he put up a slide that said, you know, right now 60 is the new 40. Well, guess what? They’re now predicting 90 is going to be the new 40. And so we are going to live longer. But who wants to live longer if you have no mobility, if you have Alzheimer’s and have such a reduced quality of life that who wants to make it to 120? If you’re if you have such have such limitations. So you need it’s like saving right in the bank. Putting five or 10 dollars in the bank every week is not sexy. It’s not exciting. But I’ll tell you, after ten or 20 years, you’re going to be darn glad that you did because you’ll have the the resources that you need. Algae is your is your like I said, your nutritional insurance. It’s your bank account. It will keep you living well as you live long.
Peter Bowes: [00:19:02] This is the Live Long and Master Aging podcast. Our guest for this episode is Catherine Arnston, the founder and CEO of Energy Bits. Just before we continue delving into the science, you mentioned that you taught nutrition. What I haven’t actually asked you so far is maybe if you could give me a little brief potted history of your own career and education, I am fascinated to know what has brought you to this point.
Catharine Arnston: [00:19:27] Right. Well, it is a funny well it’s fascinating story. It’s not necessarily funny because I certainly didn’t choose algae. I tell people it chose me. I’m actually Canadian as I’ve lived in the United States for 35 years. I have an MBA and I had a career in in international business, nothing to do with nutrition zero. So I know, you know, 15 years ago, I knew as little as anybody probably else did. I was just your average person knew a little bit of calorie about calories, but that was about it. And then out of the blue my younger sister in Canada developed breast cancer. She’s fine now. I want to assure everybody she’s 11 years cancer free. And as she was preparing for her chemotherapy, her oncologist recommended she changed her diet to an alkaline diet. Now, they didn’t tell her what an alkaline diet was or why it was good for her. So the first call she made when she got home was to me, because I’m her big sister who loves her. And I just happened to be an incredible researcher. I probably could have had a career in science, and who knows, maybe a PhD might still be calling out to me one day. Anyways, I said I have no idea what this alkaline diet stuff is, but I will find out. And I did. And you can go online. And it was basically a plant based diet because of the rich chlorophyl and the phytonutrients that have been proven for decades to build your immune system. So I did some research. I read about ten books and about 150 NIH – National Institutes of Health – papers and gave her lots of tips of what to eat, what not to eat. She went through chemo. She completely healed. And so that was that. But in the process of helping her, I started reading and learning and understanding about plant based nutrition. Now, this was 13 years ago. Nobody was talking about plant based nutrition 13 years ago. So I’m just a passionate person and I love to solve problems. So I thought somebody should tell the rest of the world about this plant based nutrition stuff so that, well, I have no background, no science. Zero. But I saw how it helped my sister that I have to help other people. So I gave up my corporate career. I went to a school called the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which was in New York City. It was just a one year certificate on health coaching. So I will admit nothing terribly deep, but I just didn’t have time to do a four year registered degree in nutrition. So I got my certificate and then I put my own curriculum together and this is where I taught nutrition. I went to corporations and hospitals and I gave workshops for free, teaching people the importance of plant based nutrition. And this is where I learned that they that people were having a problem with vegetables because they were too heavy to carry home or they had digestive distress, or they took too long to cook, clean or eat, or they were just too many fights at the dinner table. So that’s when I thought, okay, I’ve seen the science. I know what green nutrition does for people. If I can’t get people to eat vegetables, I need to find a faster, simpler way to get the green nutrition into their body, that is effortless. Once again, I had no idea what I was going to find or where I was going to find it. But I’m just a determined individual. I’m just I’m just like I just won’t stop until I’ve found an answer. And so I went back and looked at everything I had found for my sister, and months went by and then I got to algae and that’s when the miracle happened, because it turns out it was the most alkaline food in the world, which is what started this whole, you know, journey. It’s the most nutrient dense food in the world. Thanks to the quote from NASA. It’s endorsed by United Nations for high protein. It turns out it’s the most studied food in the world. There’s almost 100,000 studies, about 60,000 on spirulina and about 40,000 on chlorella in various medical libraries around the world. That is a huge number. We’re not talking five or 50 or 500 or even 5000, 100,000 studies documenting some of the thousands of benefits of algae that I’ll only be able to touch on a few. So it’s irrefutable. I mean, it’s a slam dunk, science based, proven used, and it’s been used in Asia for over 50 years.
Peter Bowes: [00:23:31] Let’s continue then our quick guide as to what algae is and the different forms. And you’ve described to us one spirulina. Yes. Let’s move on to the chlorolla.
Catharine Arnston: [00:23:40] Yes. And then I’m going to circle back about one of the amazing attributes of spirulina that will blow your mind. Well, anyways, so as I mentioned, just to recap spirulina first life on Earth. Technically, a bacteria rich in protein gets absorbed quickly. Both of them, by the way, are ketogenic. So they have zero carbs and high protein and 40 vitamins, minerals. But spirulina.
Peter Bowes: [00:24:05] Let me just quickly pick up on that point then. I’m just wondering if I’m rushing to go to get out in the morning and I grab my algae, my little nutrition bits, and there are no carbs there. Will I have enough energy to get through the morning?
Catharine Arnston: [00:24:18] Yes. Oh, yes. Well, it doesn’t interfere with any intermittent fasting. And that question was what really got me started on my deep science journey about nine years ago, because when we first started the company, when I first started the company, we got noticed by athletes, runners, triathletes, Olympic athletes. And so I started being invited to speak at triathlon clubs, and they would heckle me with exactly that question because I would tell them there’s no carbs and there’s only one calorie per tablet. And they said, well, how can something with one calorie give me energy and nine years ago, I didn’t have an answer. I just said, Well, I’ll have to get back to you on that. And so here I am almost 12 years later, and it has nothing to do with calories. It’s the metabolic processes that occur in your body that requires certain nutrients to function and to allow you to function optimally. So that’s the problem is people are still using an old school out of date measurement for determining energy calories is just are just one of a thousand variables that determine energy. And that’s why they’re realizing food is far more than calories. It’s a vehicle that communicates with your cells. And if you don’t have. So for example, something with sugar in it may have maybe, let’s say, of ten calories of sugar. Well, that gives you an insulin spike, which causes more free radicals, which cause oxidative stress, which changes the PH of your cell to more acidic, which can attract more cancer cells which can kill your cells. Very damaging. On the other hand, say you have ten calories from omega three. It reduces inflammation. It improves the PH of your of your cells. It it facilitates cellular communication. It reduces free radicals. So it is a very healthy medicinal ten calories. You cannot compare calories to calories. It’s so old school, but it’s unfortunately the measurement. People are still using.
Peter Bowes: [00:26:38] Those athletes then that doubted you, listening to you speak, questioning whether they’re going to have the energy to run a marathon or do a triathlon. And I’ve done several triathlons. Maybe that was why the thought occurred to me.
Catharine Arnston: [00:26:51] Yeah.
Peter Bowes: [00:26:51] Did you manage to convert them? Did you get them to try your product? And then did they come back to you and say, well, okay, yeah, you were right.
Catharine Arnston: [00:26:59] I’m not you know, I’m not a you know, I’m not in that state of mind. I’m here. I enjoy the deep science. You know, people are in the summer on the beach. I’ve got I buried in NIH articles trying to connect the dots. I’m someone who needs to know how something works and why it works. And so I just want to be a resource for people. And we that’s why we put so many scientific references on our blogs, on any articles when I give talks, because I’m not here to convince anybody. I’m just here to share with you the deep research I have done, because there is no need for the level of disease that we have in our society now.
Peter Bowes: [00:27:43] Totally agree with you there. But I was just curious as to whether any of those triathletes had convinced themselves of what you were talking about.
Catharine Arnston: [00:27:50] Well, what happened was we had so many Olympic athletes. I mean, we have so many clients and so many customers, and we sell through doctors. I mean, I can’t keep track of anybody now. I mean, I rarely speak to any athletes individually, although when we first started, I was the one that was getting up at 4:00 in the morning and setting up a table at the triathlon races. I did that for years and actually it was kind of cool because triathlons, as you know, include water swimming. So you they were always at an ocean or a lake. And so I will admit it was rough getting up at 3:00 in the morning and getting in your car and you know, you’re there before the sun gets up. But by but by the time the race is over, which is usually like 11 or 12, you had a whole days of work and still have a whole day yet to go. So I was glad that I was using Energy Bits – kept me going. But we had so many Olympic athletes using our products that I sent two of my team over to Sochi during the Russian Winter Olympics a few years ago. And, and we had complete access to the US Olympic Village and the Canadian. So and we still fuel five or six NHL teams. You know, I don’t have time to thumb my – I don’t, I’m not interested in thumbing my nose at anyone. I’m just like, here, just try it. And the reason why the athletes who were using it and loved it and you can go on our website energybits.com, we still have about 50 testimonials from Olympic and professional athletes and we don’t pay them a dime.
Peter Bowes: [00:29:17] Well, that’s what I’m curious about. That’s what I’d like to hear about. Yeah, I’d like to read those.
Catharine Arnston: [00:29:21] Yeah, yeah. And you know, and we get them every day from customers now, but with the athletes, they loved it because the spirulina, as I mentioned, got absorbed so quickly into their bloodstream that gave them steady energy. So it’s not sugar or carbs. So there’s no spike and there’s no crash. That’s number one. Number two, because there is no sugar or carbs or caffeine, it doesn’t upset their stomach. Lots of athletes use gels and bars and and lots of sugar and carbs. Difficult to digest when you’re out there doing a sport. So they never had any stomach distress with the algae. Number two: What they never expected, which was always what always happened was the increased focus that they got. You know, you can feel maybe a physical energy from some of these sugary stuff, but they don’t improve necessarily your brain and your focus. And as an athlete, you know, when you are fatigued, one of the first things that goes is your focus. And once your focus has gone, it’s really hard to stay on point and cross that finish line. So because of the essential fatty acids which reduced inflammation and the boron and the increased oxygen flow from the vessel dilation and the high iron that carries oxygen to your brain, it really facilitated their focus.
Peter Bowes: [00:30:38] So we were just about to dove into chlorella. We got distracted. Let’s talk about chlorella what it is, how it differs from spirulina.
Catharine Arnston: [00:30:46] Sure. And it is easy to get distracted from algae because it does just about everything for everybody. But anyway, so back to Chlorella. So Spirulina first life on Earth. Well, Chlorella showed up about a billion years later, and it does belong to the plant kingdom because it does have a nucleus and cellulose wall. Now, it’s not technically a plant. It doesn’t have any of what’s called the anti nutrients. It doesn’t have oxygenates or or lectins like other plants do. So but it does. In fact, it’s probably called a sea vegetable, but it’s very confusing because we grow ours and we don’t grow ours in the seed. But let me just circle back on that lectins and oxalates, which as I mentioned, are proteins that are very sharp and they can damage your stomach lining so that food passes through your stomach lining and gets into your bloodstream and can contribute to all sorts of illnesses, including autoimmune. Now, the reason why plants have lectins and oxalates is because they grow on land and while they’re growing through their evolution, they develop these things to protect themselves because they’re poisonous or they taste terrible to the animals too, or to the bugs. So by having lectins and isolates, they were able to keep predators away too, so they could continue to thrive as a plant. But you see, algae has never been a plant, a land plant. It started and always grows in water. I mean, it does grow in the soil, but it grows. It started as a as a waters organism. So it never had to develop lectins or oxalates to protect itself because it didn’t have that kind of predator. Algae gives you all the nutrients that you need. It’s ketogenic, but it doesn’t give you any of the downside. And chlorella does have a little bit of fiber. Remember we talked earlier about how some people use algae because they have difficulty digesting fiber. spirulina has zero fiber. Chlorella has a little bit of fiber. But let me tell you an important – two important things about that fiber that’s in the chlorella. Number one, that cell wall is the hardest cell wall in the plant kingdom. And so and all chlorella, by the way, anyone’s listening, in the United States has to be cracked in order to be sold in America. So ours is cracked cell wall, and we’ll talk about that in a minute. So that heart cell wall attaches to toxins. It is a chelator, it pulls out everything from lead mercury, radiation, aluminum. Athletes use it after a workout because it pulls out lactic acid. It also, if you’re interested, pulls out it detects alcohol as a toxin. So it pulls out wine, beer, spirit. So so number one is that that hard cell wall on chlorella is a chelator it’s the best, safest chelator in the world. I try to steer people away from activated charcoal because it pulls out all minerals and you can end up getting dehydrated because it will pull out maybe too much potassium, magnesium or sodium. Chlorella will never do that. It only pulls out the toxins and by the way, it’s loaded with the electrolyte. So that’s number one about the fiber in chlorella. Number two, because there is that small amount of fiber, it does feed your gut biome. The bacteria creates something called short chain fatty acid. So that and combined with the other big thing about chlorella is chlorella has the highest concentration of chlorophyl in the world. Spirulina has the highest protein in the world. Chlorella has the highest chlorophyl in the world. That’s why it’s called Chlorella, because of the Chlorophyl. Chlorella has 500 times more chlorophyl than arugula. It has 1000 times more chlorophyl than Chinese greens. It has even 25 times more chlorophyl than liquid chlorophyl. And you may say to yourself, So what’s so important about Chlorophyl? Well, let me tell you, if this was the visual, I would – and you can go online to find this and we’ll send some articles so you can see this. The chemical composition of chlorophyl is virtually identical to the chemical composition of your hemoglobin. Identical. The only difference is hemoglobin has an iron atom in the middle. And that’s what carries oxygen in your blood. And Chlorophyl has magnesium. That’s the only difference. And the reason I point that out is because Chlorophyl helps build your blood because they’re virtually identical. And when you have healthy blood, you’re going to have a much healthier body, much healthier your brain, much healthier everything. Your blood is your freeway of nutrition. And it needs to be healthy and it needs to be at the PH of 7.34 and chlorella is the best way to do that because it’s such a it matches the chemical composition of your blood. So that’s number one. Number two, Chlorophyl, you’re going to hear more. If you ever aren’t already hearing about this, you will. All of your health issues start at the cellular level. And one of the key things for your cellular health is your cell wall permeability. And because if you if the cell wall is not permeable, nutrients can’t get in and toxins can’t get out. And one of the ways to keep that cell wall permeable is with healthy fats like Omega three. But the cool thing is chlorophyl is a fat based pigment, so it heals your cell walls. And naturally and the illustration I give to people is, you know, when you have dirty windows, you can’t see out and sunlight can’t get in. So think of chlorophyl as window washers for your cell walls. So. So nutrients can move in easily and toxins can move out because of that process is not happening and the cell walls become damaged and less permeable toxins build up in the cells. The cells have less oxygen, the cells become acidic, the cells become diseased. The cells can slide into any kind of state, whether it’s cancer or tumor. So keeping that cell wall permeable is critical. And because chlorella has the highest chlorophyl, which helps do that as well as other things, it makes it really easy. So chlorella is a wellness algae. It’s a healing algae. Spirulina is an energizing algae.
Peter Bowes: [00:36:58] Catherine, you’ve given us a whirlwind of information, I think, to whet our appetites as to the potential of algae. I’m going to, in the show notes of this episode, put some links to your company, to your website, to your information and your research. And people can try. And I’m going to do it myself. I’m going to try your products and just see how they affect me and how I can intertwine them into my regular day of activity and diet. I think it’s a fascinating field and I wish you all the best with it. And thank you very much.
Catharine Arnston: [00:37:30] Thank you. And when people come to our Web site, energybits.com, we have a 20% discount code. The word is LLAMA which of course, stands for Live Long and Master Aging. When you come to energybits.com and you see a coupon box, just type in LLAMA and you’ll get 20% off. It works on everything all the time. And we have really great blogs every month with lots of science references. So just give it a try and you know, so that you’ll live as long as I do. Longevity insurance. Algae’s your longevity insurance. There you go.
Peter Bowes: [00:38:06] Yeah, that’s a really good thought. Look, I appreciate that. And hopefully our listeners can take advantage of that and see for themselves. Catharine, thank you so much.
Catharine Arnston: [00:38:15] Okay. You got it. Thanks. Thank you very much. Take care.
Peter Bowes: [00:38:19] Yeah. And as I say, go to the Live Long and Master Aging website at LLAMApodcast.com. That’s LLAMApodcast.com for those details. More information about algae and energy bits and you can use that code LLAMA if you’d like to try them yourselves for a little discount. The LLAMA podcast is a Healthspan Media Production. In social media you’ll find us at LLAMA podcast. If you’d like to rate and reviewers, we would very much welcome that at Apple Podcasts or your platform of choice. We’re also at Audible, Stitcher, Tune In, Spotify, Pandora Podcasts, Google Podcasts. Spoiled for choice. No paywalls, no subscription tiers. We are free for all to listen. Wherever you find us, do take care and thanks so much for listening.
The Live Long and Master Aging podcast, a HealthSpan Media LLC production, shares ideas but does not offer medical advice. If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.