Jewel of the Ocean
30 Mar 2009
Sarah Wilkinson investigates why Marine Phytoplankton, the microscopic ocean plant known to be the very first food source on our planet, is being hailed as a nutritionally healing supplementary drink.
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Sarah Wilkinson investigates why Marine Phytoplankton, the microscopic ocean plant known to be the very first food source on our planet, is being hailed as a nutritionally healing supplementary drink. Referred to by many as the ‘vegetation of the sea’ and more recently as the ‘jewel of the ocean’, it marked the beginning of life itself some three and a half billion years ago and, responsible for up to 90 per cent of the world’s oxygen, is still the basis for all life on Earth today.
Virtually all life in the ocean is either Phytoplankton, something that eats Phytoplankton, something that eats something else that eats Phytoplankton, and so on as we move on up the food chain. In particular, blue whales, bowhead whales, baleen whales, grey whales and the humpbacks all thrive from it, some living to a grand age of 150 years, maintaining enormous strength and endurance throughout their whole lives. Blue whales reach lengths of 100 feet or more, weigh as much as 24 fully grown elephants and have hearts the size of small cars. And yet these huge mammals, the largest on earth, eat the very smallest ñ tiny, living, unicellular organisms, invisible to the naked eye, but which make up the most nutritional meal in the world. While they are at the bottom of the sea’s food chain, they come top in the sustenance scale.
Marine Phytoplankton absorb nutrients from the seawater and use photosynthesis for the energy to power their existence. Just like land-based plants, they are most productive in springtime when the levels of light, temperature and nutrients are optimal for growth: this period is called the ‘Spring Bloom’. Because they depend upon climatic conditions for survival, they are a good indicator of any changes to our environment, thus making them of primary interest to oceanographers and scientists all over the world.
The larger the phytoplankton population, the more carbon dioxide gets drawn from the atmosphere and the lower the planet’s overall temperature. Where rain forests are undeniably a most important producer of oxygen, phytoplankton are by far the greatest producers. In fact, they produce more oxygen than all other plant life combined.
The plant’s nutritional benefits outside of the sea were discovered by pure chance in 2004. A shellfish farmer, desperate to survive his malignant tumors, and who also happened to be diabetic, reached into one of the vats and scooped out a small handful of the phytoplankton he was cultivating for his shellfish. He did this each day and within a short period of time his health was completely restored and he also found he was no longer diabetic.
With the use of new technology the farmer’s own company is now recreating the vital ‘Spring bloom’ conditions in a controlled environment without depleting the ocean’s precious stores. The process is the only one of its kind in the world and the result of unique research in an aim to preserve the delicate balance and natural purity of this living food.
Linus Pauling, 1901–1994, scientist, chemist, humanitarian and winner of two Nobel Prizes, believed a human body is perfectly capable of dealing with almost any bacteria or virus if it is receiving proper nutrition. In recent times, society has come to accept disease as almost ‘normal’ relying on man-made chemical compounds to treat the symptoms that ignore or bypass all the root causes. Disease, however, is not ‘normal’ and proper nutrition should enable our immune system to overcome the organisms that cause it. Vegetables and fruits grown in mineral-depleted soils, where over-production and wide-scale use of artificial fertilizers has depleted much of the earth’s natural mineral stock, contain only a fraction of the nutrient value of their predecessors. At a cellular level, our bodies could be deemed to be nutritionally starving.
“There are very few products that provide all, or even most, of the raw materials needed to make new cells and sustain the existing ones,” says Dr Jerry Tennant MD, who graduated from the University of Texas South-western Medical School in 1964 and owns an Integrative medical centre. “The problem is that we need all of them at the same time for things to work.” This bottled ‘whale food’ is apparently just that ñ a potpourri of all that is missing and all that is needed ñ trace elements, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes, organic minerals, macro minerals and ionic sea minerals, essential fatty acids, carotenoids, chlorophyll, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, cellular material not even found in any other available green food, including some elements now deficient in the human body, such as selenium and sulphur.
All ingredients added to the concentrate are both entirely natural and complementary. They are included for palatability, colour or smell, such as ginger, mexican lime, blueberry and cranberry or as an antioxidant such as organic frankincense. The result is a powerful and digestible, supplementary drink providing the body with every raw material it needs to generate new cells and become self-proficient at healing ñ as Mother Nature always intended it to be.
Recent testimonials of its success are varied, from small blessings such as improved energy levels and skin complexion to much more remarkable claims of malignant tumours turning benign. More scientific evidence for its benefits come from studies of the Inuit people of Greenland carried out in the 70s. Their diet, at that time, consisted mainly of phytoplankton-eating whales, particularly the baleen whale. As a group, it was reported, they had less coronary heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cancer and psoriasis than their European counterparts. But perhaps the best pudding proof for phytoplankton is the simple fact that it has sustained the earth’s largest of mammals for around 50 million years, some 40 million years more than humankind has even been privvy to. For this reason alone, maybe it is worth a try.
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