The role of algae on Earth
Algae belong to the oldest organisms of our planet. Blue-green algae arose almost simultaneously with the water shell of the Earth, about 4 billion years ago, and over the next 2 billion years, only algae and bacteria represented organic life on the entire planet.
The role of algae is difficult to overestimate: for example, they became the starting material for the formation of combustible shale, coal, and possibly oil. Many oil fields are associated with ancient reefs created by algae and corals. There is a hypothesis that oil was formed from the mass of organic matter of algae of ancient seas.
It is very important that algae produce free oxygen in water, which is necessary for respiration by both aquatic animals and plants. As academician V.I. Vernadsky said, “the struggle for existence in the hydrosphere is a struggle for oxygen”. Therefore, the role of algae as the main source of organic food and oxygen in the Earth’s aquatic ecosystems is difficult to overestimate.
As a source of food and oxygen, algae thickets in the oceans serve as a home and protection for numerous species of animals, a spawning ground for fish. Scientists have calculated that up to 60 thousand marine inhabitants (mollusks, crustaceans, ticks) can be placed on a small alga bush less than half a meter high. Algae bushes – the habitat of many species of fish.
Algae play a large role in the overall balance of oxygen on Earth.
At present, algae is assigned an important role in solving many global problems, including food and environmental protection. Algae are used as industrial raw materials, the basis for pharmaceuticals, unique biologically active substances are extracted from them.
Algae is studied by a separate science, algology, it is rather “young”, it appeared only in the middle of the 18th century. A detailed classification of algae, methods of their reproduction has been developed, useful properties are being studied. Algae are divided by color into blue-green, red, green, golden, yellow-green, brown.
In one article, and even in several, it is impossible to tell about all the useful algae.
Let us stop on the Laminaria of Japan, representative of the brown algae class.
In Japan, China and other countries of Southeast Asia, kelp or seaweed is made into soups, added to traditional dishes from rice, soybeans and fish, and used in various sauces, used to make savory sweets and pastes. In general, algae are a very important element of the traditional national cuisine of these countries.
Laminaria attracted the attention of residents of coastal regions from time immemorial and its healing properties. Already in the XII-XIII century Laminaria was used for the prevention of goiter (a disease arising from iodine deficiency) in China and Japan, on the Pacific coast of South America, in the coastal states of Europe.
Currently, the composition of kelp (there are more than 30 types of algae) has been studied in detail, they have learned to extract useful biologically active substances (BAS), to use them for health promotion, for the prevention and treatment of many diseases.
The scientific name of kelp – from the Latin word lamina (translated as „plate“). The fact is that the thallus of these algae are ribbon-like plates, reaching a length of 20 meters.
Laminaria Japanese lives in the northern part of the Sea of Japan, near Sakhalin and the Southern Kuriles.
Proteins, fats and various forms of carbohydrates are found in the composition of laminaria, first of all – the laminar polysaccharide, mannitol, fucoxanthin, alginic and other organic acids brown pigment. Sea kale contains vitamin C, vitamins of group B, carotene (provitamin A), vitamin D, folic acid, iron and copper, but especially iodine and bromine are abundant in it.
Thalli kelp also contain a large amount of mineral salts of potassium, calcium, cobalt, magnesium, manganese, zinc, chromium, vanadium, selenium, nickel.
In the East, kelp is deservedly called sea ginseng. Due to its rich composition, sea kale is widely used in medicine in many countries. It is used as a preventive and therapeutic agent for diseases of the cardiovascular system – coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, and anemia. The systematic use of algae products reduces cholesterol levels and improves blood composition.
Laminaria regulates the gastrointestinal tract and eliminates constipation. Due to the diverse complex of food elements, it improves the overall metabolism, normalizes the activity of the thyroid gland, removes toxins and radionuclides.
Unfortunately, the use of kelp in its natural form does not allow the body to fully receive all the beneficial substances contained in it. To translate the useful components of kelp in an easily digestible form, experts process algae using modern technology.
One of the most valuable components of kelp, calcium alginate (calcium salt of alginic acid), is included in the composition of the new dietary supplement EXTRA YOUTH, which protects the body from the harmful effects of the environment and helps women maintain freshness, attractiveness and well-being regardless of its age.
Calcium Alginate :
- binds and removes from the body the metabolic by-products, salts of heavy metals and radionuclides;
- prevents constipation, flatulence, restores and stimulates the motility of the stomach, intestines and bile ducts;
- used for the symptomatic treatment of heartburn and inflammation of the esophagus;
- improves joint mobility in osteoarthritis, can significantly reduce the dose of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
- takes part in the restoration of intestinal microbiocenosis, suppresses pathogens, helps restore microflora after taking antibiotics;
- recommended for complex treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, accelerates the healing process of gastric and duodenal ulcers;
- is a source of bioavailable calcium, which is necessary to maintain bone density (prevention of osteoporosis), for good condition of the skin, teeth, hair and nails.
Scientists continue to work on the study of the beneficial properties of kelp and many other algae. Let us hope that they are waiting for new discoveries, and the list of medicines and dietary supplements based on these ancient marine plants will expand, helping to strengthen our health.