What’s the difference between Marine Phytoplankton and other algae?This is a question we get asked a LOT. The internet is flooded with algae supplements. Left and right you hear names like Chlorella, Spirulina and Marine Phytoplankton.
First: what are algae?
Algae encompass several groups of relatively simple living aquatic organisms that capture light through photosynthesis, which is used to convert inorganic substances into organic matter.
Fresh water algae versus ocean algae
That’s the first major difference between the three. Unlike other fresh water algae like Chlorella or Spirulina (blue green algae), Marine Phytoplankton is an ocean algae that has access to all the mineral rich nutrients of the sea.
Fresh water can simply not provide the same minerals as what ocean water provides by nature. Ocean water is a thousand times more mineral rich then fresh water.
Foundation of the Food Chain
Because of this nutrient dense ocean water, Marine Phytoplankton is also dubbed “Foundation of the Food Chain”. It provides all the essential nutrients to life on this planet and plays a key role in the oceanic food web.
Almost all marine life is dependent on phytoplankton. For example: zooplankton eat phytoplankton; Fish eat the zooplankton; Seals, sharks and birds eat the fish.
Marine Phytoplankton is the origin of all plankton. It contains pigments that are unique and are not found in other plant material. It is these pigments that are so beneficial to human health.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae and is classified as Cyanobacteria. This simple, one-celled form of algae grows in warm freshwater environments, and is distantly related to kelp algae (but is not a sea plant).
It thrives in freshwater ponds and lakes which are notably more alkaline than ordinary lakes. Spirulina cannot sustain any other forms of microorganisms and is much like terrestrial plants, except that it does not have a cellulose cell wall.
This unicellular green algae is found in still freshwater, soil or bar of trees. It has a strong cell wall that prevents its native form from being adequately broken down, and absorbed by the human digestive system. For Chlorella, special processing is required to break its cell wall, so it’s suitable for the human digestive system.
6 Reasons Marine Phytoplankton needs to be in your diet
Earlier this year we looked at 6 reasons (but there are plenty more!) why you should include Marine Phytoplankton in your diet. You can read the article here (Click Here!).
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