AlgaeBio harnesses sun’s energy for unique omega-3 oil health benefits

AlgaeBio harnesses sun’s energy for unique omega-3 oil health benefits

AlgaeBio uses photosynthesis, rather than fermentation, to grow its microalgae, so its omega-3 fatty acid oils also include a host of accompanying compounds, including carotenoids, phytosterols, chlorophyll, and various vitamins.

How long will Algae Biosciences Incorporated’s omega-3 fatty acid oils include a unique nutritional bonus? For about as long as there’s sunlight in the Arizona desert.

AlgaeBio, an Arizona biotechnology company, had previously announced that its ultra-pure omega-3 fatty acid oil offerings occupy a rare niche in the global marketplace — containing both EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), the two most beneficial long-chain fatty acids that provide a wide range of health benefits. Because AlgaeBio uses photosynthesis, rather than fermentation, to grow its microalgae, AlgaeBio’s resulting omega-3 fatty acid oils also include a host of accompanying compounds — including carotenoids, phytosterols, chlorophyll, and various vitamins — that provide a wide variety of health benefits.

It’s that free, plentiful sunlight in Arizona’s high desert plains near Holbrook — 360 days’ worth a year — as well as exclusive aquaculture use of pristine aquifer brine water, and a proprietary group of prolific marine algae species, that give AlgaeBio’s product the edge.

“These added benefits are unique to our omega-3 product,” says AlgaeBio president and co-founder Andrew Ayers. “The vast majority of the companies out there producing an omega-3 algae oil don’t use a photosynthetic process. “And if you’re not using photosynthesis, the cells don’t produce these compounds — all the carotenoids, the chlorophylls, many of the phytosterols — because they’re not integral to the process.”

Topping AlgaeBio’s agenda, in the near future, is the production of ultra-pure omega-3 fatty acid oils for international customers in the rapidly expanding nutraceutical and food additive markets. Ground has been broken on AlgaeBio’s $5-million, first-phase expansion to its production facilities near Holbrook, and large-scale commercial production is expected by early 2012.As for the added benefits provided by ol’ sol, AlgaeBio’s omega-3 fatty acid oils include three carotenoids — beta-carotene, lutein, and fucoxanthin.

Carotenoids boost the immune system, are believed to guard against certain types of cancer, and, because of their status as antioxidants, protect cells from the harmful effects of cigarette smoke, sunlight, and pollutants. Carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene, also may help in the battle against heart disease by blocking the formation of bad cholesterol.

Beta-carotene, the most well-known member of the carotenoid family, has powerful anti-aging properties. High intakes of lutein have been shown to reduce the risk of lung cancer, while beta-carotene decreases the risk of cervical cancer. Lutein also promotes clear vision by absorbing harmful UV rays, and help lower the risk of macular degeneration.

Chlorophyll helps to rebuild and replenish red blood cells, fights carcinogens, has strong antioxidant capacity, removes heavy metals such as mercury from the body, and has been found to help reduce inflammation.It’s believed phytosterols, like carotenoids, work to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol entering the bloodstream. They also have a proven anti-inflammatory effect, as well as strong immune-enhancing properties, and are believed to improve the body’s production of insulin.

AlgaeBio’s omega-3 fatty acid oils also include Vitamin C and Vitamin E.And because some of these compounds do act as antioxidants, AlgaeBio’s omega-3 fatty acid oils will also benefit from a longer shelf life. Thanks to AlgaeBio’s market-leading production capabilities, downstream opportunities include: pharmaceuticals, such as designer proteins, vaccines, enzymes, antibodies, and research agents; sustainable biofuels; macroalgae for human food; organic pigments that can replace synthetic dyes in food and cosmetics; and liquid feed for marine life.


AlgaeBio is an Arizona biotechnology company that researches, develops, and manufactures ultra-pure products from micro and macro algae such as nutraceuticals, food additives, and pharmaceuticals. With access to near-perfect algae growing conditions, exclusive aquaculture access to a pristine brine water supply, and advanced proprietary technology, AlgaeBio produces superior human and animal consumable products, as well as offering advanced algae-based products and technologies for distribution into the agribusiness, biofuel, and aquaculture markets. AlgaeBio owns and operates large-scale production facilities near Holbrook, Ariz., and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Algae Biosciences Corporation.  

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