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049: How Algae Can Boost Your Immunity with Catharine Arnston

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A healthy immune system is always important, and here to tell us how algae can boost your immunity is Catharine Arnston. Catharine had a 30-year career as an international attache as well as being a publisher of an international magazine and founder of three start-ups. But all of that changed when her younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her sister’s oncologist told her to switch to an alkaline diet because it would help her heal.

Catharine put everything on hold to help her sister and in the process Catharine discovered algae. Algae is the most alkaline, nutrient-dense plant in the world, but it was relatively unknown outside of Asia.

Today on Awesome Health Podcast, Catharine talks about getting algae into the American markets with her company ENERGYBits, plus what she has learned during her decades of research on algae and why this nutritional blockbuster is so popular in the health world.

Catharine breaks down the different types of algae, what they do and which are best. We specifically talk about two categories within algae: macro and microalgae. Macroalgae is like seaweed dulse: there is a lot of iodine within it but not a lot of other nutrients Microalgae is another category and it breaks down into two separate groups: blue green and green. Within the blue green category, the only algae you want to eat is spirulina. And within the green category, you want to eat spirulina. She explains why each category is labeled the way it is and why you want to eat these two types in particular.

Algae has been used in Asia for decades. In fact, it’s become a multi-billion dollar crop there. And the reason it is so popular? There are many: it contains 40 minerals and vitamins, it has the highest protein concentration in the world. The United Nations and NASA endorse it as the most nutritionally dense food on the planet! And 100,000+ studies agree: these studies have shown it helps with everything from improved focus, reduction of inflammation, removal of toxins, longer life, better physical performance and a stronger immune system.

We dive into those topics today and much more! Join us to hear it all on this episode of Awesome Health Podcast with Catharine Arnston.

Episode Resources:

Read The Episode Transcript:

Wade Lightheart: Good afternoon, good morning and good evening, wherever you are. It's Wade T Lightheart for another Awesome Health Podcast. And today we are going to talk about a really interesting nutrient called algae. I'm going to get into that in just a minute and we are delighted to have Catharine Arnston, I hope I pronounced that right, to come on and share her experience with this. She's a fellow Canadian of course, we're both transplanted into the United States and we're going to talk about how algae, immune support and fighting against virus. And just give a little background about Catharine. She had a 30 year career as an International Attache for the Canadian and British Governments, publisher of an international magazine and Founder of three startups - not one, not two, but three. And in 2009, she put her whole life on pause when her younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Wade Lightheart: And I of course gone through that experience when my own sister got cancer and it really accelerated my career in the health and wellness industry. And she got her included her oncologist to change her diet to an alkaline one because it would help her here. So long story short, she discovered algae, the most alkaline nutrient dense plant in the world and nobody seemed to know about. There's still a lot of people that don't know about, for Pete's sake. Catharine knew algae would be a game changer for the world and she could help a lot of Americans understand it and ENERGYbits was born. Catherine, welcome to the show!

Catharine Arnston: Well, thank you for having me.
Wade Lightheart: It's just fantastic. It's always fun. We were just talking earlier a little 'canadianease' - for those who aren't familiar with that, it's kind of a friendly, nondescript, 'let's help the world and make place a better way', which I think is really common in the Canadian culture. And you've been doing this for a long time so like just give me the whole background. Like how did you end up in the algae business? Cause a lot of people think "Oh, I see algae and my fishbowl and it's bad. Or I see algae in the pond, it's bad." But there's some really amazing things about algae that people don't know about. And you're going to kind of dispel some myths, drop some golden nuggets of truth to help people live a more awesome health life.

Catharine Arnston: Well, you know, I was on Shark Tank a few years ago and went on when I was on the show Mark Cuban at one point he said "we don't think you're in love with being an entrepreneur. You're just in love with algae." And I stopped for a minute and pause and I said, well, if you knew about as much about algae as I did, you would be in love with it too. Algae is a nutritional rock star. It will save your life. It's going to save our world. And I'm going to hopefully in 45 minutes or less try to share almost 11-12 years of my research on algae so that you will understand it and love it as much as I do. So yeah, you don't kind of wake up when you're nine years old and say "Oh, I'm going to be an algae expert."

Catharine Arnston: It sees a policeman, or fireman, or doctor, or lawyer or whatever. So you know, as I said I didn't look for algae. It basically came and found me and it was as a result, as you mentioned - my younger sister had breast cancer. Her oncologist told her to eat an alkaline diet. They didn't tell her what it was. So she reached out to me and of course I'm going to help her cause it's my baby sister and I'm also a very good researcher. And so I said "I have no idea what this alkaline stuff is, but we'll figure it out." And it turned out to be a plant based diet, primarily because of the chlorophyll and the phytonutrients that are in plants. Chlorophyll is a pigment that makes plants green. So she changed her diet. She went through chemo, she completely healed.

Catharine Arnston: I started learning about this plant based nutrition stuff. After my 10th book, I thought, my God, this is powerful knowledge. Now, this was 11-12 years ago, nobody was talking about plant based nutrition like they are now. Now it's pretty much mainstream so that somebody's going to tell the world about this or that. Well, I have no idea how I'm going to do it, but I'll take a shot. So that's when I gave up my career. You have an MBA and all that jazz. I went back to school. I got a one year certificate in health coaching from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. And then I put a curriculum together and I taught nutrition for a year at hospitals corporations, anybody who would let me in - I would give them for free. And I learned then that everybody knows they should eat more greens, but they're heavy to carry from the home, from the grocery store.

Catharine Arnston: They're too much work to clean. They take too much work to cook, their husband or they won't eat them. So I thought well, how can I help people save themselves if I can't get them to eat greens? So I thought okay, back to the drawing board - I've got to find something that's green, fast, easy, maybe it doesn't even taste green. Well you know, talk about the impossible, but I thought I'd give it a shot again and sure enough, one of the things I looked at was algae. Now I had found algae for my sister a number of years earlier, but it was just one of many things I had recommended to her so that I'm going to take another circle back and take a look at this. Well, it was like Alice in Wonderland falling into the rabbit hole. O M G first of all, algae is the most alkaline food in the world.

Catharine Arnston: Remember, this is what started the whole thing and we could talk about pH of your blood and why it needs to be a certain level and most food is acidic, which messes up your pH of your blood. It's the most nutrient dense food in the world. It says one gram of algae has the nutrition of a thousand grams of fruits and vegetables. One to a thousand! United Nation says that's the answer to world hunger because it has three times the amount of protein as anything else in the world. Animal protein is about 22% protein. Algae is 64% protein. That's three times the amount of of animal protein. Also, it's the most studied food in the world. There are 100,000 studies. We're going to talk about the two main things - one is spirulina and the other one is chlorella. There's about 60,000 on spirulina and about 40,000 on chlorella.

Catharine Arnston: These are in the libraries of universities, the NIH library, pubmed. These are locked down. Peer reviewed clinical studies that prove all of the things I'm going to tell you about about algae. I personally have over 2000 links to these studies. I don't have all of them cause it takes a long time to accumulate them, but it is the most evidence-based food in the world. It's also been used for 200 years around the world. Most notably in Asia for the last 50 years where it's as big as the beef industry in here. This is a huge agricultural crop. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, algae is not a supplement. It's a vegetable, it grows in fresh water, but it just happens to be the most nutrient dense. I'd call it a vegetable. It's sort of the vegetable. It's called a sea vegetable technically, cause it's not quite a vegetable.

Catharine Arnston: It's better than a vegetable and making that - that's a whole other podcast. So it's not a supplement. Supplements are made in labs manufacturing plants or extracts. Your body can't absorb most of them. This is like broccoli or kale. This is a vegetable. So your body recognizes all of the 40 vitamins and minerals and absorbs them all. So it's the most bio efficient food in the world and it's not a supplement. When I realized all these amazing things about algae that nobody knew about in America, I decided 10 years ago I would dedicate the rest of my life to making algae understandable. And the reason why you don't know about it - there are three or four things. First of all, wherever you live, let's say you live in Western Canada, it's quite normal to see a truck going by with a big bunch of logs on them, right?

Catharine Arnston: They're on their way to the paper mill. So you're used to that. Maybe if you live in the East coast, you see stuff from the ocean, seaweed and stuff. And I live in Boston and we see Dunkin Donuts trucks driving around. And in Asia, it's quite normal for them to see truck loads of algae going to various places. It's just part of their life, and in America - it's not grown here. 99% of the algae has grown in Asia. So it's in Japan, China, Taiwan, India. So why would you would never see it here in America. So most people think if I don't know about it, can't possibly be important. But it is important. And the unfortunate thing is that algae isn't new. It's just new to you. So you don't know about it cause you haven't seen it.

Wade Lightheart: One quick sec. We just got machine gun with the a hundred things and I'm still backward. I'm still going throw that you had with Mark Cuban the Shark Tank who through a shot at you and you smashed him back with all of this stuff, which was pretty exciting. I'm sure that experience was probably pretty entertaining. And then second of all, I love the fact that you've kind of illustrated that a lot of people just haven't been exposed to because of what we would call a cultural bias. We're used to, you know, lobster trucks going by or we're looking at least a log trucks going by or really using a wheat silo if you're out on the West coast or wherever it happens to be because all this stuff is relative to us, we're part of this world.

Wade Lightheart: What do you think, and I want to get into the benefits in a second, but since you brought this topic up, what do you think it's going to take for people to understand what the Asians have figured out around this? Cause I know for example, Asians are very big at fermented foods and bacteria cultures and enzymes, which is things that we've been very focused on in our company because of digestive health and wellness. And you know, no one was talking about that 15 to 20 years ago when we got started. And now here's another thing nobody's talking about. It's something that remarkable. What do you think it's going to take to bring this awareness - and this podcast is part of the reason we have that. But what do you think is the barriers right now for getting this into the country and getting this into the awareness?

Catharine Arnston: Well, interestingly, the Corona is probably what's going to bring algae into the spotlight because, and we'll talk about this, it is the way to protect yourself from any kind of virus or any pathogen - to have a strong immune system and what creates a strong immune system? Proper nutrition. What is the best and easiest, fastest way to get proper nutrition algae? We'll talk about that. So the reason why people it hasn't broken through is: A) nobody sees it in their life; B) because it's all grown in Asia and that's where the market is. All the packaging up until now has been Asian. There's been no attempt to educate Americans or Canadians about what algae does, why it works, or to package it in a way that makes it friendly. And the other not equally important - up until now, most of the algae from China, which is very poor quality.

Catharine Arnston: Algae has lots of toxins in it. Unpredictable growing techniques there. They sell them in, you know, the high volume. So it's crappy stuff. And so we grow ours in Taiwan and triple filtered spring mountain water, blah, blah, blah. So I've made sure our quality we do third by leftist is higher than anything else in the world. So what it's going to take is - it's requires some focus because the trouble with algae is it does everything from giving you energy to pull out toxins to, you know, stopping hangovers, to brain health. But because there's so many things, it required a focus. And because right now everybody is focusing on how to protect themselves and how to build their immune system. And there is nothing in the world. And I have a probably a hundred articles I could, I will give to you that show the science.

Catharine Arnston: They've already discovered that algae protects you. And if you have it, it will help help you get rid of it sooner. It's all science space is breaking. Breaking knowledge is, it mostly comes out of Asia. So a focus has been what has been required and the pandemic has brought us that focus. And interestingly I'm giving a a global webinar on this topic in a couple of days. So, you know, the education wheel has begun and it's only gonna get better because I tell people algae is the only thing that gets better every day. I'm stunned that after 10 or 12 years I'm still learning amazing things about what this stuff does.

Wade Lightheart: Let's talk about a couple of things - when you're talking algae; and let's talk about the difference between say spirulina and chlorella. Cause I think a lot of people might've heard of spirulina and might've heard of chlorella but don't actually realize that it's a form of algae. So can you differentiate those two areas and maybe benefits of each one of those?

Catharine Arnston: I'm going to rewind a little bit just to give you the overall what algae is. So algae as mentioned is a food group. So you have vegetables, you have fruits and algae as its own category, then.

Wade Lightheart: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, stop the farm here, folks listen to what she's saying. Okay. We have the lobbyist group food pyramid, which is absolute load of garbage. But you're now talking about a new classification of food. It's not a fruit, it's not a vegetable. It's is it an animal product? What is it?

Catharine Arnston: Well that's why they'd stay. That's why people are so confused because no one's ever made it clear that it's own food group. And I guess if you had to call it something, it would be a sea vegetable, but it's not quite technically a sea vegetable, so it's its own food category.

Wade Lightheart: That's also what makes it it different than say fruits or vegetables or land plants? How does it qualify as its own food category?

Catharine Arnston: Well, first of all, it's not grown on land. It's not a vegetable. Number two, it has no phytates or a lot of problems with some of like spinach. There's a lot of vegetables that have phytates in them that can cause digestive distress. There are no phytates. And we've tested our algae to determine that so I can say that.

Wade Lightheart: I interrupted you cause I was kinda curious about that statement - I think that's right. That's a great statement.

Catharine Arnston: Wellyou're going to love this even more. Before algae on earth was just gas and water, there was nothing on earth 4 billion years ago, nothing. And then for whatever reason, spirulina, algae started growing. So it was the genus of our entire world. And spirulina grew for about a billion years, it releases oxygen when it's growing. So there was enough oxygen on earth. So then the next life form that took hold was chlorella. And then chlorella started growing. And then after that other life forms started happening. Chlorella does partner into the plant kingdom, but it's not a plant and spirulina, you're gonna love this even more, technically is a bacteria. It does not have a nucleus and it does not have a cellule wall. That is why it is absolutely not a plant. It does not have any plant characteristics whatsoever. But let me rewind a little bit.

Wade Lightheart: Chlorella came later after, which is would be categorized more as a plant?

Catharine Arnston: That's still not a plant. That would be certainly the sea vegetable category. Spirulina is a bacteria.

Wade Lightheart: So just to clarify because a few weeks ago we had Jeff Chilton explaining about the genus of mycelium as kind of its own organism structure on its own. That's a whole other candidate. That's not necessarily in the traditional food things. What you're sharing with us here isn't in the traditional food identification parameters as well. I think that's very, very important as well as the historical aspects. Cause we've just gone billions of years. We went from the earliest evolutionary point on this planet of living tissue to Shark Tank in the first 10 minutes of this call.

Catharine Arnston: I know, I know, I know. So that's why I can't call it a plant cause neither one of them are plants, so it's own category. And algae is the overall arching terminology. And then within that you have two separate categories. One is called macro algae. This is your seaweed category. And those are very fibrous. They grown in the ocean and they have lots of iodine but very little nutrients. And then you have micro-algae, you have algae, and arching umbrella is macro-algae - that is the seaweed stuff. And then you have micro-algae which then breaks down further to blue, green, and green. Now there are probably hundreds of thousands of strains of blue, green and green algae. They grow everywhere. They grow in the ocean, lakes, rivers, streams, swimming pools, aquariums, all of those are poisonous to human beings. So do not stick your head in your swimming pod and suck back a bunch of algae thinking you're going to do yourself some good. You will do yourself a lot of distress.

Speaker 4: Put warning - don't throw the pool algae on your salad.

Catharine Arnston: Yeah, not going to work. So within blue, green, the only one that you want to eat is the one I'm going to talk about, which is spirulina because it's harvested as a crop in freshwater. And then the green one is chlorella. Which again is harvested. Those are the two that you want to eat. But the reason I'm telling you - that there are only one of these two categories, blue and green. There's thousands and thousands, when you go online and you'll read about toxic algae. If it's in the friggin ocean or it's in the swamp, you wouldn't drink water from a swamp. Well you wouldn't, you shouldn't take algae from a swamp either. You need to buy it. And fortunately everything that's pretty much on the marketplace is harvested, but some are less grown less carefully than ours.

Catharine Arnston: So algae is the big group. Then you have macroalgae, which is your seaweed, micro-algae which then breaks into blue, green and green. And then within of each of those, one blue, green is spirulina and one green is chlorella. Now the reason why there's this one called blue green is because it has two pigments in it. It has the green pigment called chlorophyll that you're familiar with and it has another pigment in it called phycobilin which is blue. And that blue pigment exists nowhere else in nature and it has amazing healing properties.

Wade Lightheart: I'm getting excited - I'm looking around in here and I'm like, why am I not snacking on some of this blue green algae right now? Cause I believe in the importance of color spectrum, inner dietetics. I think there's just things that we don't know and you're kind of breaking down some interesting stuff. Tell me more about it.

Catharine Arnston: So there's also beta carotene, technically a pigment and it's in both of them. But you're absolutely right. There's these pigments. We don't yet have a lot of knowledge about pigments they are very powerful for healing purposes. I'll just give you the difference different benefits and then we can drill down into some of them. So spirulina, the blue green algae, is technically a bacteria. It gets into your bloodstream quickly. In fact, when we first started nine years ago athletes were the first ones to use it because they found out that it gave them energy and did not upset their stomach. All the bars and gels and drinks did, which have, you know, carbs and sugar in them. Algae has one ingredient cause that's a vegetable and it has no sugar. Carbs or a caffeine has no carbs. By the way, you should point that out. Neither of them do. So they're both ketogenic. A spirulina has the highest concentration of protein, as I mentioned, 64% and all that proteins already in amino acid form.

Wade Lightheart: That's a big factor because most people look at protein consumption and they don't recognize it's not the protein you get, it's how well your body converts this the amino acids that your body are and you're saying this is a ready to consume, digest, absorb and utilize amino acid, direct bag.

Catharine Arnston: Yep. That's why it has 99% bioavailability. And just to show you how important that is, as you probably know, when you eat animal protein, it can take up to three days for your body to digest it and break it down into aminos. And there's all these things called factors and co-factors and enzymes and co-enzymes, so the average person absorbs 10% of what they ate as protein, as amino acids. So if you ate a 50 gram portion of chicken, you would probably end up with five grams of amino acids on a certain thing. A serving of our 30 tablets is five grams of amino acid. It's in the amino acid form. And because there's no cellulose, it gets absorbed into your bloodstream instantly if you chew it. And within about 5 or 10 minutes if you swallow it. This is why it's such a great energy source, because it's not like caffeine or sugar. There's no rush or crash. It just that you feel good.

Wade Lightheart: Do you think this is switching on nutrigenomics effect, there's a nutrigenomics factor that's switching on some pathway inside the body or what? What do you think is causing that energy boost?

Catharine Arnston: Well, it's a bunch of things. First of all, to digest food takes 15% of your body's energy. Now when you give it something like algae, which does not require any energy to digest cause it gets absorbed so quickly, that's like putting 15% back into your bank account for energy. So you save energy there. It also doesn't have to break down the amino acids cause there's already an amino acid. So you get some energy back there. It has all the B vitamins. B vitamins are what convert glucose into energy.

Wade Lightheart: Does it have B12? That in itself right there is a huge factor, especially for people on plant based diets who are vegetarian. It's a very interesting component, the reason why we get B12 and animal foods - because they supplement the animals with B12. And now we're here. We have a product that has ready to go B12 and all the essential B vitamins, which are so important for energy production inside the body right here ready to go. Totally absorbable and utilizable - that's encouraging.

Catharine Arnston: Also, I like algae because it's so alkaline. That's how this whole started wide. What happens is when you eat too much acidic food - it strips off the negative charge off your hemoglobin, which carries iron, which in your hemoglobin that carries oxygen. So first of all, spirulina is loaded with iron so it can carry lots of oxygen and that gives you energy. And then because as alkaline, if you have too much acidic food the hemoglobin clump, which make it difficult for them to carry the oxygen. So this restores in a hemoglobin to its natural shape so it can carry the oxygen and get it into your brain. And that gives you energy.

Wade Lightheart: We make a big point there. Hold it. Let's just stop the farm right there. Because if we look at one of the big issues with this virus is that it's attacking the gene carrying capacity, the body so that people are actually starving for oxygen during this. Reality is most of the population isn't starving for energy. They're starving from oxygen. They're not getting the electrons from the oxygen from their body. So they start seeking, you know, I always say oxygen is your first and then you go to carbohydrates and then you'll metabolize fats or your product, you'll convert anything to get those electrons because at the cellular level, it's electron covalent transfer. You're saying here is we're going to boost that by boosting and supporting the oxygen carrying capacity of your blood. So that would seem to indicate that's why you're getting the energy you're feeling that, it's kind of like putting a supercharger on your car. Basically. You're getting more out of the fuel that's already that you're taking in. You're gonna be able to carry or be more efficient with that fuel.

Catharine Arnston: Yeah. And also spirulina causes your body to release nitric oxide. What that does is it relaxes smooth muscles like your blood vessels. And the effect is when the blood vessel is relaxed, it opens up more, which allows more blood to flow and more oxygen to flow, more nutrients to flow. And that gives you energy. And you also are loaded with essential fatty acids like omega 3 and something called GLA. GLA is technically an Omega 6, but it behaves, I'm gonna make it 3 cause it's not processed in the algae and the only place that has more GLA then spirulina is mother's breast milk. And you say to yourself, well, why does mother's breast milk have so much GLA in it? It's because it's necessary for brain development, but after the age of two, you can't have any mother's breast milk.

Catharine Arnston: So spirulina is your next best shot because it helps with the telomeres. It helps with the brain thought all the processes you need to have in your brain. And speaking of mother's breast milk, I also am the one that discovered that the nutrient profile to spirulina is virtually identical to mother's breast milk. I saw a chart from the forties that had listed all the amino acids of mother's breast milk. And I thought, gosh, that looks awfully familiar. And I flipped back and looked at our spirulina nutrient profile. And they're the same aminos in the same proportions. So now it makes so much sense to me because algae is a gift to us from mother nature. Algae is the equivalent of Earth's breast milk for us. The breast milk and algae are the two foods that you could live on forever.

Catharine Arnston: They are such complete foods. And in Japan when babies can't digest mother's breast milk, the only thing that does keep them alive is algae and water. And now I understand why. So when you start to put all the pieces together like I have, it starts to make sense. Though the other thing I want to mention, and it's both in spirulina and chlorella, is that algae has the highest concentration of chlorophyll. And we're going to talk more about chlorophyll when we talk about chlorella because it has the highest in the world. So what's so important about chlorella or chlorophyll? Well then in addition to that, it's a fat-based pigment, so it heals your cell walls and you know, and anybody who knows anything about, you know, your mitochondria, that you have to keep those cell walls healthy so the nutrients could get in and toxins can get out. So chlorophyll is what does that - it's one of the things that does that. And if you go online and I'll send you a document, you'll notice that the chemical composition of chlorophyll is identical to the chemical composition of hemoglobin, except hemoglobin has an iron in the middle and chlorophyll has magnesium. But you have to say to yourself, isn't that interesting that they are virtually identical? And maybe that's a tip off, maybe it's important for our health and for our blood and for our survival.

Wade Lightheart: Well, I just thought of a quick question in here - do you think the evolution of blood systems and you know, organ is like what we would call animals and people and all that stuff is an evolutionary step from that. From the chlorophyll inside of the plant?

Catharine Arnston: Well, you know, if you read anything by Sayer Ji, he runs - really great resource. He had an article, he referenced an article that show that if you had high concentration of chlorophyll and take your clothes off, put your body in sunlight, you generate more ATP than you did traditionally from all other sources.
Wade Lightheart: L I've been on a plant based diet now for almost 20 years. I eat an incredible amount of green foods to have incredible amount of chlorophyll in my diet.

Wade Lightheart: And when I'm in a sunny, warm climate, I just don't need to eat that much. I really feel energized. I feel like I'm converting that power of the sun into energy for the body and I get leaner and I get healthier and I feel happier and I just walk for miles and I don't get tired. And it's really kind of throws off to kind of the mystery that we've been told that you need so many carbohydrates and so much fat and all this sort of stuff. What you're talking about is that this chlorella, the chlorophyll and chlorella being the highest density of chlorophyll that you can get is kind of like a key to bringing in more oxygen into the body and converting sunlight into ATP. Like plants do. So truly being plant powered.

Catharine Arnston: Yup. There's more research and research required and as we get bigger, I hope to be able to fund some of this research because it's very exciting. Anyways, so at least to some of the reasons why spirulina gives you energy and the best way to describe it as you just fresh, you feel like you had a great night's sleep or you, if you live in the Northeast, maybe had a nice crisp walk outside. It's not a stimulant. You're just on point both physically and mentally. That's why it's so great to have it in the morning to get your day started or have it for snacks. I eat it all day long. And by the way, you can eat it, or swallow it. If you don't like the flavor, you can swallow it.

Catharine Arnston: And spirulina is very chewy because it has so much protein and so much essential fatty acids. And we're going to talk about chlorella next and it's drier and tastes more like a sunflower seed or so, it is delicious with some sea salt or macadamia nuts or almonds. I eat that stuff all day long. But spirulina in general is known to be an energizing algae, satisfies your hunger, build your skin, and hair health is really great for mental focus. When we talk about that I'll talk to you a little bit about that Phycocyanin, which has a really interesting attribute. Well, I'll just mention it here. They have these tentacles, right? 

Catharine Arnston: It can't replicate itself until it basically finds a cell, a living cell that has DNA in it that it can hijack and use to replicate itself. So it uses these chemicals to reach out to cells. And the way it connects with yourself is it finds what's called a receptor cell and sort of like think of the moon, a Moonlight, you know, landing on the moon, you have to kind of land somewhere. So these viruses have to land on your cell walls. So what the spirulina this Phycocyanin, and spirulina apparently does is that basically either it does, it depends on what visual you'd like. It chops off the arms. So there's no way that the, the, the virus can attach cause it has no tentacles left or the technical scientific term is that it intercepts, it finds the receptor cells and sits there so that the, it basically covers the receptor cells so that the virus can't find the receptor cell. And basically it just washes out from your body so it never gets into your body because it can't find the receptor cells.
Speaker 4: So just a caveat, of course we're not telling people that it's a cure for anything. Or we have to put some legal components in here. And we're not saying that it's something that you could treat, cure or diagnose, but it's certainly something that could be of significant benefit to people to be consuming, especially people who feel that they're in the at risk population, older people.

Wade Lightheart: People that catch colds all the time or catch flu or catch these things, it could be good for a lot of different conditions and viral components inside the body that we could prevent it, be a preventative component.

Catharine Arnston: Yeah. But we have to be sure. And thank you for mentioning that. I'm not a medical professional. We're not allowed to give advice. All I'm doing is sharing the research that I have read and I've found it very interesting and all I do is share what I know with other people, but we can't make any recommendations, any claims.

Wade Lightheart: But exercising your right to free speech and the civil liberties that we do enjoy, this is your professional opinion in the last 30 years is that "Hey, you know what? This is something that you think would be of huge value for people who are concerned about virtually any kind of viral infection." Because all virus is essentially worked by that mechanism that you were explaining earlier. These little prongs come in, they dock in your cells, they take over and they send their RNA message and use that cell to replicate. And that's what causes these challenges where people get into cytokine storms and all that sort of technical mumbo jumbo for people. But you don't have to understand all the technical mumbo jumbo. You can just get into understand "Hey, this is something that's been around for billions of years. This is something that helps oxygen carrying capacity in the body."

Wade Lightheart: It taste good, it's easy to consume, it's got full of amino acids. And when you take it and use it and it turns your body literally into an energy producing ATP, you know, sun system if you will. And it's something that everybody can use. It's easy and it's fun and it's got an incredible over a hundred thousand studies that you've pointed and we're going to put some links by the way folks, if you want to dive deep for all the scientific community that listens to that, check this stuff out. It's really, really important. I just need to throw that in. I didn't want to throw that in there to cause I know you've got a million things to go and I just want to slow things down for people who are kind of like "Whoa". So I'm trying to write this down, but there we go. So let's continue on because I'm fascinated by this journey.

Catharine Arnston: Okay. So that was spirulina. Technically a bacteria gets into your bloodstream quickly gives you energy mentally, and physically satisfies your hunger. Highest concentration of protein in the world. By the way, the United nations had a conference on spirulina in 1974 and again, everything I say is all documentable. And they had a global conference and identified spirulina as the answer to world hunger because of this high protein. When you see those children with the distended stomachs, that's when they had protein deficiency.

Wade Lightheart: Yeah. You know, I was listening to a medical doctor the other day talking about the untouchables in India who they thought were, you know, classified as the untouchables or people who are not within the regular cast system and they added protein into their diets and all of a sudden their cognitive function shot up very much like people don't know this way back at the turn of the century when they added iodine into the diets of Americans, it increased the average standard deviation of IQ by 15 points.

Catharine Arnston: Wow.

Wade Lightheart: We're talking about a 15% improvement in energy efficiency inside the body, so that, I mean, geez, that's massive.

Catharine Arnston: Yeah. And like I say, it's given to us by mother nature, you know, I can't take credit for algae. I just educate people about it and I grow it very carefully. So it's safe and pure and you know, nutrient rich.

Wade Lightheart: Are you growing? Are you growing algae in your kitchen right now?

Catharine Arnston: I wish I was, I didn't plan to grow it in America one day when we're bigger. So that may take another 5 or 10 years, but I will. That's my end goal.
Wade Lightheart: With our understanding of what's happening in supply chains and our dependency on it, maybe that goal and that dream might become realized much faster. There's always silver linings and current crisis and I think there's a lot of people in our industry that are looking at "Hey, what is the supply chains about these essential components that we need for health and vitality and stuff?". And so maybe now is going to be better than ever for that dream. Cause I think we should be growing some over here in North America. Why not?

Catharine Arnston: Exactly. Well, you'll be happy to know that in last year, the White house and Congress passed the very first algae agricultural act as part of the farm bill. Again, you can check it out because even they have realized algae, the most nutrient dense food, the most eco friendly crop in the world, and 99.9% of it is grown in Asia. So it's time to grow it here. So even the legislators are on the algae train. So ladies and gentleman get on board because it's going to take off from the station pretty soon. That's pretty cool.

Wade Lightheart: So we covered spirulina, now you're going into chlorella right now? Just so people aren't confused here. Now the blue pigment that's in the spirulina. What is the specific benefit of the blue pigment?

Catharine Arnston: Well, there's a variety of health benefits. Like I mentioned, it reduces inflammation. It has this particular nuance where it interferes with the virus receptors. There's so much more research to be done on the blue pigment, Phycocyanin. An interesting side note, however, is that the M&M company four years ago because they want to start having less poisonous they have contracted with an algae grower to grow the spirulina just for the blue pigment. And they use it in America now to color their blue M&M's.

Wade Lightheart: So if you're going to eat M&M's only the blue ones. That's the new rule. Alright, I'd just like to have a little fun here. So we've covered spirulina and now we're going to move into chlorella. So spirulina was the original, the old algae, if you will. And then kind of like the new algae became chlorella. Is that accurate to say?

Catharine Arnston: Well, chlorella evolved. By the way, the color spirulina Energy bits because it gives you energy and we package it in blue to make that connotation. It's the blue green algae. We found out women didn't like the blue packaging. So we created a second version of spirulina and called the Beauty bits because it also builds your skin and hair health. But they're exactly the same. But that's why it's blue - because of the blue pack, the sign.

Wade Lightheart: Okay. I'm really wanting to get some of these right now. I'm very excited. These are really attractive bags.

Catharine Arnston: Thank you. I designed them. So the green algae we call Recovery bits cause it helps you recover your health. This is the chlorella and it evolved a billion years after spirulina when there was more oxygen on earth and it does have a cellulose wall and it does have a nucleus. So it does belong to the plant kingdom, although it doesn't completely belong because as I say, it doesn't have any phytates and there's some other attributes to it that can't connect it directly to plants. So there are two really important things about chlorella. Quite a few, but I'll give you the two top ones. First of all, that hard cell wall that I mentioned is in fact the hardest cell wall in the plant kingdom. It is so hard that it has to be cracked at production. We can talk about our safe. We are one of the few companies that crack it safely by putting it through sound chambers of the vibrations crack at everybody else tumbles it with glass beads and led from the glass leaks into the chlorella.

Wade Lightheart: That's why some of the toxicities would be in low grade - the process. And this is a critical point for people to understand. People will oftentimes go to the store, they'll listen to an expert like you and they'll go, wait a second. I see one bottle for 10 bucks, another one for 20 and one for 50. I don't get it. I don't understand. And if you've been in manufacturing and distribution and sourcing, how you get a finished product ready for the population is very, very, very critical. It's the difference between, you know, heating up your dinner, microwaving your dinner or just burning your dinner like that. A lot of people don't realize that there's a lot of great products out there in the world, but because of the extraction processes, because of the growing processes or because of the processing processes, it destroy all the value of it and people are just wasting their money. I took spirulina or I took chlorella and I didn't feel anything right. Boom. Or I had some sort of weird reaction. Boom, chances are it wasn't the product, it was the process or the chemicals or the things that were inside. And I think that's really important for people to know.

Catharine Arnston: Yeah. Well thank you for bringing that up. Cause you kind of get what you pay for it. Now, one of the things that separates us from everybody else is if you go on Amazon, you will find much less expensive algae and you'll find it from all kinds of companies, including places. But you have to remember those companies have anywhere from a hundred to 2000 products. They can't possibly spend the kind of time and attention that I have and that we do. This is all we sell. That's it. And I personally have selected every single attribute, every strain, every process for growing it, drying it, packaging it, shipping - everything. So we are experts. It's like you have your country doctor and you have your heart surgeon. You do not want to go to your country doctor for a heart transplant if you are going to put algae in your body because it's nutrient dense and you want it to help build your immune system.

Catharine Arnston: You don't want to put garbage algae in your body normally. Will it not perform for you? It could cause you more harm than good because all those companies that grow algae for the high volume suppliers where if it's high volume, it's low price - they're not paying attention. They have the lower strains of algae, they use high heat that kills the enzymes and reduces the nutrient value. They put binders in it that could be toxic. They don't package them safely. They use these cracking techniques that do cause the product. So none of that happens with ours because we don't sell anything else. We said we have one product effectively.

Wade Lightheart: Yeah, I call it the "Me too" movement. Oh, you got spare land on me too. Oh, you got this product. Me too. You know, and a lot of companies operate from the me too. Whatever's in the news cycle or the advertising cycle or whatever the trend happens to be or whatever an expert or enthusiast gets behind a product or a nutrient, you see that category explode. And then you have what I call the knockoffs and which do an extraordinary disservice to the population because the average person not able to discern the difference between what you're actually getting as a finished utilizable product.

Catharine Arnston: And when you have something as high quality as ours, you need less of it because it's so concentrated.

Wade Lightheart: How much does a person need? I want to rip open one of these bags right now and dump the whole thing down my throat immediately. What do I do? How much should I take?

Catharine Arnston: So when we first started, because we were working with Olympic athletes, ultra marathoners, triathletes and they need it as a lead. We found they needed at least 30 tablets to feel the energy from spirulina or help their muscles not be sore afterwards. Cause chlorella as we're going to talk about using a tablet. So each tablet is 250 milligrams. And again, there's nothing else in it. It's just a hundred percent algae. And when we sell the bags, there's a thousand tablets in a bag. So that was when we first started working with athletes. But now that we're working with consumers who are virtually all nutrient deprived, we're finding that even if you take five tablets a day or 10 that will make a difference in your health. That will make a difference in your hunger. If you're doing intermittent fasting, have 5 and maybe take 10 or you're going to do a workout - take 15. If you're going to do a hard workout, take 30. You have to remember - this is food. So some days you're going to be really hungry, take less. Some days you're really hungry, take more. It doesn't really make a difference because it's what you need is what you should be taking.

Wade Lightheart: We have a model that I like to use at BiOptimizers and that is that we have what we call the minimum effective dosage, the maximum effective dosage, and then the optimum effective dosage. And that's going to be dependent. There's going to be a very incentive. So you're saying for the average person, a minimum of 5 tabs. Correct. If you're a hard training athlete, 30. But what happens if you go beyond that? Cause I'm always asking the question, well, how much of this stuff can I take? Like what do I get even more energy if I take a hundred capsules?

Catharine Arnston: Well, we work with a lot of NHL teams and so they take 75 of the spirulina, the Energy bits, they put it in their smoothie before a game because they need energy for those fast spurts on the ice. We worked with the Detroit Redwings, Ottawa senators, I don't know all the names of all of them, but it was there. They're all like very big teams. And then they take an equal number of 75 of the chlorella, the recovery that's in their smoothie after the game because chlorella, as I mentioned, pulls out toxins but it also pulls out lactic acid. By the way, it pulls out alcohol as well. So if you take it after you drink, you'll never have a hangover. You'll be sober in an hour and a half. But after work out you won't have sore muscles. So, you know, just show you how safe this stuff is. I'll tell you two things. First of all, I personally have probably at least a hundred chlorella tablets a day and have had that much every day for the last eight years. And I'm older than most people think. And it's partly because of the allgae because we'll talk about the chlorella pulls out excess calcium from soft tissue, not just your heart blood vessels, but also your skin.

Wade Lightheart: Wait a second, you're saying that chlorella starts pulling out the excess calcium inside your tissues?

Catharine Arnston: Cause it has vitamin K too.

Wade Lightheart: Well, this is a huge thing because I think a lot of people don't know that a lot of the aging or tightness that builds up in the muscles, people who perform a repetitive thing like bodybuilders for example, if we lift weights and stuff like that, is that you get these calcium deposits inside your tissues that stick the fibers together and then you start to lose range of motion in the body. And then you realize why torture is so inhumane because you've got some 250 pound guy driving his elbow into your quads and you're ready to like scream for days. Because of the pain of these calcium deposits. You're telling me that I could just take this algae and it's gonna start pulling the calcium out of my body, my muscles, out of my muscle tissue? I'm curious. You got me, you got me interested.

Catharine Arnston: So here's the thing. I mean it's important for your muscles as well, but the realizing that almost 50% of heart attacks are caused by calcification of your blood vessels. That's what arterial sclerosis is hardening of your arteries. Guess what's hardening your arteries, ladies and gentlemen? Calcium. Guess what? Kidney stones are calcium. Guess what? A lot of Alzheimer's is from calcification of your brain. So why are people suffering from calcium? It's because almost everybody is deficient in vitamin K too. Cause what vitamin K two does is it moves excess calcium out of soft tissue and puts it into your bones. But the problem is there's really only two sources. Animal grass fed animal protein. And if you're a plant based, obviously that's algae. It also isn't a dish called natto, very high concentration, which is a Japanese dish and virtually nobody in America.

Wade Lightheart: Which is where the evolution of nattokinase, to reduce calcification inside the body, appear.

Catharine Arnston: Yes. You know, here's the beautiful thing about algae and this is one of the things I love. It's the truth. And the beautiful thing about the truth is that you can dig around, you can do whatever you want. It's still the truth and it connects with every other truthful fact that's out there and anyways, just get pretty pumped about it. So here's why you have no K2 in your body, okay. Up until the 60s animals were raised on pastures and guess what they were eating. Grass. Animals have a bacteria in their gut that can convert the K1 cause K1 is in anything that's green. Animals can convert the K1 that's in anything Green light grass to K2 so that when you eat animal protein that was grass fed you, the human would get the K2 but then in the 70s, the farmers realize if they moved all the animals off the pasture and put them into enclosures and fed them corn, they would get faster. They would get fatter faster and they would make more money. And in that heartbeat, your supply of K2 disappeared because the animals were no longer being raised on grass. So there was no longer any K2 that they were converting. And we all lost it. And that's exactly when heart disease started escalating.
Wade Lightheart: That's a fascinating historical aspect because, you know, it's interesting because now there's this movement with people on ketogenic diets and things like that, and they're all talking about grass fed beef or grass fed animals. And a lot of people attest to the fact, I feel like I have more energy or more vitality, or I see this sort of stuff. And what I hear is, it's maybe not the meat, it's the K2 that's in the meat. And so for all the frustrated vegetarians out there that going "man, I can't get that stuff in my body". Guess what? It's in the algae. Take that carnivorous forces. Just having fun here, just having fun. But that's an interesting that I didn't know that.

Catharine Arnston: Yeah. Well, I think I'm the only person that knows this.

Wade Lightheart: No, there's going to be a lot more people knowing about it. Cause now I'm going to be talking about this all the time cause I'm fascinated by that.

Catharine Arnston: And we do labs. I did lab test to prove that it was there. And so it's there. I mean you can't deny that it's there cause it was tested by third party, FDA approved lab. We have the labs, I can send you to the labs. So chlorella has twice as much K2 as spirulina. So you get your daily requirement. I think it's 92. You can also buy K2 supplements, but they're made from fermented chickpeas. And here's another interesting thing. K2 is a very complicated vitamin and they have all these M4, M7 - M4 is the only is found in the food version. And it's the only type your brain can absorb. And the type that this made into supplements is a type that your brain cannot absorb. So I said to myself well, why would I cheat my brain out of the K2?

Catharine Arnston: It's in the algae. So just give yourself the K2 that you need for your heart, for your brain, for your skin, for your organs, for your muscles. You know, you're good to go. So that's again in the chlorella, that's why we call it again, Recovery bits cause it helps you recover from anything that's hard. Cell wall attaches to toxins. It pulls out mercury radiation. They used it at Chernobyl, Hiroshima, Fukushima. The K2 moves calcium out of your soft tissue into your bones. It has the highest concentration of chlorophyll that I mentioned before that is a cleanser of your cell walls. A chloric chlorella has 250 times more chlorophyll than spinach. It has 25 times more than liquid chlorophyll. Even it's 25 times more than wheat grass. There is nothing in the world that has more chlorophyll than chlorella.

Catharine Arnston: And here, listen to this. Back in World War II. When they ran out of blood for transfusions for the injured, they used to give them liquid chlorophyll because they would heal just as fast as if they'd had a blood transfusion and yeah, that was before the pharmaceutical industry really got its dig into our society. But I'm telling you people, things that have been done for centuries or at least hundreds of years that worked, but we've forgotten them because we've allowed ourselves to be lured into the pharmaceutical world. There's a lot safer, gentler, natural, less invasive ways to help your body perform at its optimal mentally and physically that have been around for much longer than any, any pharmaceutical company. So this chlorella and the chlorophyll in the chlorella is very healing. I mentioned that the chemical composition is almost identical.

Catharine Arnston: Actually. Chlorophylls also kills bacteria. They used it topically in the war. So it's pretty amazing. It also has the highest concentration of RNA and DNA in the world. So as you age, you know, they get damaged. So you know, that can contribute to replication of damaged cells which could contribute to illness and disease. And this helps prevent that. Chlorella also has something called, they didn't know what to call it, so they call that the chlorella growth factor. Chlorella is the fastest growing organism in the world. This is why NASA wants to take it in outer space because it will grow so quickly cause it releases oxygen. And as a food source, they're also using it any kind of research that's been done on alternative fuels.

Catharine Arnston: It's always with chlorella because it grows so fast. They're trying to figure out how to tap the energy when the cells divide. The reason I mentioned this is because when you take it, it helps your cells divide and grow faster as well. We found people that either have an injury or surgery they heal and half the time because of the chlorella growth factors speeds up the growth of yourself. So it's pretty amazing. It's like having a doctor in your back pocket. And it's all just 40 vitamins and minerals just like spirulina. But they don' behave the same way. Spirulina is, as I said, the energizing algae. Chlorella is a very health and immune building.

Wade Lightheart: Okay. So I'm gonna condense this. So I'm listening to the podcast here and I'm sold. I want some of this stuff. How do I get it? How do I separate maybe what I would take? You mentioned I think spirulina before workouts and chlorella after. So if you were to talk to me, so I'm a middle-age guy that likes to lift weights and work out and things like that. And I want more energy and I want better cellular function. I want to carry more oxygen in my body and I want to take out the calcium deposits that are built up over years of training. What do I need to do? And tell us about your company. Cause I know with Energy bits you have separate kind of bags or different things. Are they useful? Can you explain all that for us so that people know what to do and then tell us how they get this.

Catharine Arnston: Well, our website, first of all is And we sell the algae and large bags of a thousand tablets. And if you go to our website, when you go into the shopping cart, you'll see a coupon box. And if you type in the word BIOPTIMIZERS - you'll get 20% off anything you buy. You're very welcome! So the best way to make it easy for people as we say, well "Hey, you want energy in the morning, right?". And when you sleep, I don't sure if you knew this, but when you sleep, your body goes through a natural detox cycle. So if you want the simplest way to take this stuff, simply take your spirulina anytime in the morning and the afternoon before the work out.

Catharine Arnston: Whenever you want energy and focus or your hunger satisfied anytime. And then at nighttime, be sure you take a serving of the chlorella because it will pull out toxins from the day. If you've had any wine, it will pull that out. If you'd worked out, it'll pull out the lactic acid. It also has the highest concentration of trip to fan in the world, so it will help you get to sleep. So that said - spirulina in the morning, afternoon, chlorella at night - Energy bits. And the other one is Recovery bits. That being said, you can take either of them anytime a day by themselves together. You can swallow them, you can chew them. I said I take chlorella all day long cause I like the flavor of it.

Wade Lightheart: So I'm going to do a little experiment here. I mean I'm gonna take this. So they're both in tablets, is that right? I'm going to take, you said, was it 15 or 30 for athletes?

Catharine Arnston: 30, 30 before your workout of the spirulina and 30 of the chlorella after your workout.
Wade Lightheart: Okay. I'm going to do this. I'm going to do 30 and 30 for 30, and I'm going to see what the results are like cause I'm so pumped up about this. I think it's going to be amazing.

Catharine Arnston: Now the other thing I do want to mention is we do have a bag and it's called Vitality bits. And it's a blend. It's half spirulina and half chlorella so you don't have as much control over it cause it's got the two algae in there. But if you have a more predictable life and you just want simplicity and you can only buy one bag and you want to get a little bit of the energy and a little bit of the health and wellness benefits, that's your answer is called Vitality bits. It's 50/50. But we generally, if you're an active person or an athlete, we encourage you to try to buy them separately.

Catharine Arnston: And a bag, if you only took five a day, a bag would last you three months. If you took 10 a day, a bag with last two months, 30 a day would last you a month. And by the way, there's so much nutrition, it's a replacement for your multivitamin. Please stop taking calcium tablets if you're taking any. And it also is a replacement for your workout. Fuel your snacks. Your pets will love them, your kids will have them and if you don't like the flavor, you can certainly swallow them or put them in a smoothie. So it's pretty amazing stuff.

Wade Lightheart: This is just mind-blowingly awesome. Catherine, you're so incredible and you know, I always love listening to people who are jazzed up. You can tell you're a product of your product and you've known so much. I've learned so much today and I hope our listeners have learned so much today. Folks, you need to check this product out. She's going to send us some research links for you, research people. We're going to put all those show notes in the podcast and I'm going to do the 30/30 for 30. I'm going to do 30/30 of the spirulina and 30 of the chlorella and I'm going to let people know how it was and I'm going to share it on an upcoming podcast. I'm excited about it. I'm sold on it. I love the story about the K2, I love the story that this has been around for billions of years.

Wade Lightheart: It was the precursor to everything. I love the fact that it's another food group and then it's loaded with all these amino acids that are pre digested essentially. Cause you don't have to worry about the breaking down of it. It's great for viruses and that this thing is, I mean, everybody should be eating this and everybody should be pushing to help support the growth. Where can people find you? How do they find out more? Seems like you're a wealth of research. Where do they get all this information and how do they reach out and contact you if they want to maybe get this in their store or they want to get this in their community or whatever?

Catharine Arnston: We sell through doctors nationwide. By the way, we don't sell through the big stores. We only go through chiropractors, doctors, nutritionists, spas. But we're looking to expand. And there's a lot of research on our website, We're very active on social media, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - are all @Energybits. If you do have an interest in a wholesale account or an affiliate account or you just want more research, you can email us at customercare@energy bits. I'm a crazy geek scientist, a woman, and I've written about 200 papers on various aspects of algae. I won't tell you anything about it that I haven't already documented with science. I love sharing about this. And I'm hoping that eventually, you know, maybe in a couple of years it won't be a question "why should I take algae?" It would be why shouldn't I, I mean this truly I think is a game changer, we didn't even talk about the ecofriendly sustainable nature of it, but that maybe I can come back after your 30 days.

Wade Lightheart: That'd be really great. Catharine, thank you so much for joining us today on the Awesome Health Podcast. This was a wealth of knowledge I had to slow you down. You're so filled with it was great. You've been a lot of fun to kind of play on the show and again you heard it. It's Energybits.Com, put BIOPTIMIZERS and you get a 20% discount. And I'm encouraging everybody to do the 30/30, and 30. I had no idea that you could get this kind of power out of it. I'm sold, I'm on this, I'm excited and I can't wait to start slamming this ASAP.

Catharine Arnston: All right! You won't be disappointed.

Wade Lightheart: Thanks so much. And for everybody joining us. Make yourself an awesome health. Don't let the virus get you down. Take action. Get your health in order. And all my friends and family members who are using health and vitality products like this that we advocate on our podcasts, they're not worried about the virus because they know they have a healthy and happy immune system. It's time to really buckle down and get you and your family on all these kinds of things because it's gonna make a big difference. Thanks so much for joining us today and we'll see you again on the Awesome Health Podcast.
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