Phytoplankton. I have to admit, when I became a healthy living blogger I never dreamed I would end up writing about phytoplankton – and yet, here we are.
Over the years I’ve talked about my various health issues, including fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. I’ve been fortunate enough that I have been prescription free for well over 10 years. Aside from flare-ups due to environmental causes (I still tend to get an IBS flare-up each spring and fall as the seasons change, and have issues with my fibromyalgia anytime the weather shifts drastically from warm to cold) manage my symptoms drug-free with the help of a few supplements, getting enough sleep, a good diet and exercise.
So even though I may not be in a place where I am desperately seeking new remedies for these issues, I still enjoy trying new products to see how my body reacts in the hope that what I learn can be of use to others. So when I was contacted about trying out the Karen brand of phytoplankton I was eager to give it a go.
I have tried some similar types of products in the past, but they were always marketed as a food – not a supplement so I had never considered what something like phytoplankton could do when used on a regular basis. Wondering what the heck phytoplankton is and why we’d even want to consider taking it? Below is a quote from their website:
Canada’s newest superfood is microscopic, but its health benefits are huge. Phytoplankton – found in the ocean and considered the world’s original vegetable – is also known as microalgae, packed with omega fatty acids, vitamins A, C, D and K, beta carotene, dietary fibre, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, selenium, iron and protein.
At this time, you can purchase the supplements in both tablet and powdered forms
I find the tablets go down very easily with water, and while they have an ocean-y taste, I take it the way I take all pills and supplements – throw it under my tongue and take a big swig of water. Doing that I find there is very minimal taste and I’ve experienced no after taste.
The powder comes in a small bottle (which is vacuumed sealed when you open the box).
The powder has more of a smell to it (as I would expect), but when added to smoothies I haven’t yet noticed any additional taste. But keep in mind I’ve been sticking to 1/2 a spoonful (the little spoon comes with the bottle) I’ve tried it in both a berry smoothie and chocolate smoothie (my two standards) and both have tasted perfectly normal. As with anything, if you increase the dosage you’ll be more likely to taste it.
Now that I’ve talked a bit about the product and how I’ve been using it you may still be wondering WHY I’m using it outside of the micronutrients it holds.
Karen is approved by Health Canada and according to company-led studies and anecdotal reports from those who have consumed it, Karen is effective in treating everything from digestive issues, inflammation, fibromyalgia and migraine to chronic pain, low energy and skin issues such as psoriasis and eczema.
“Karen is a single ingredient superfood phenomenon similar to Quinoa, where you have this ancient product that is suddenly seeing a surge in Western society,” said Dr. Melanie Wills, a University of Guelph PhD student in molecular and cellular biology who is part of a research team setting up a trial to investigate the product’s effectiveness in treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive problems”
Now that you have more information on the product, and why I have been using them for the past couple weeks, let’s talk about my experience and any changes I’ve noticed.
As I stated at the beginning of this post, my IBS is generally not much of an issue except in the fall and spring, but I still tend to lean on the constipated side of things if I’m not super careful to eat a lot of fibre. Back in the day my naturopath plainly put it by saying, “You’ve got a lazy bowel.” Obviously, it’s impossible for me to entirely attribute any differences I’ve noticed to just the addition Karen, but my stool has been scoring perfectly on the Bristol stool chart, and that isn’t normally the case for me on such a regular basis. Aren’t you glad I shared? Haha. As a healthy eating and weight loss coach poop-talk doesn’t bother me in the least, but it’s still a little odd to write about, haha.
On the other side, talking about my fibromyalgia, that one is really hard for me to say at this point. Our weather here in Nova Scotia has been ALL OVER the map so far this year. For example, it as -10C yesterday, and it was 7C yesterday afternoon, and now they are calling for 20-30cm of snow tonight. What that tells you is that my fibromyalgia has been bothering me more the past couple weeks than it normally does. But the question that remains is – am I in as much pain as I would be if I weren’t taking the Karen supplement, or am I in less? And I have no idea how to quantify that, so for now, I’m going to leave that on the table and will come back and update this post once I’ve been taking it long enough to report a better picture of how it’s helped me.
About The Company
The company behind Karen phytoplankton is New Brunswick-based Blugenics Innovations Ltd., which launched in November 2015. In one year alone, sales of its unique superfood have skyrocketed to $1.8 million. Company founder David Hunter credits Blugenics Innovations’ rapid growth to a remarkable discovery he made more than a decade ago when he decided to eat this “fish food.”
“At first I thought it was a joke, but when I agreed to try phytoplankton, it completely changed my life,” said Hunter, who was first introduced to the idea of eating phytoplankton while working at a fish farm, where phytoplankton was fed to shellfish. For years, Hunter suffered from “barn-burning” migraines, chronic fatigue and severe allergies. Within days after taking phytoplankton, his health improved. “It affected me in such a profound way – I remember feeling as though I had my life back,” said Hunter, adding that his headaches and allergies are gone, his immune system is stronger and he sleeps better at night. “I haven’t had a cold in years,” he said.
Now, Hunter is on a mission to bring the health benefits of phytoplankton to all Canadians. Today, Karen phytoplankton is cultivated in a state-of-the-art facility that is certified according to strict global food safety protocols HACCP and ISO 22,000, meaning the product is non-toxic and entirely safe for consumption.
Also included in the Karen lineup is a dermo-cosmetic moisturizing skin cream which is available online
Where To Buy
Karen products are available online via their website and you can use their store finder to locate the product in your area by clicking here. For my local readers, Karen is available at most valley pharmacies including Larry’s Pharmacy in Berwick, Pharmasave, PharmaChoice and Lawtons locations as well as most of our independent health food stores.
And don’t forget – all of the products come with a 30-day money back guarantee so you have nothing to lose!
What’s better than a money back guarantee? A giveaway! Karen has generously offered to give one of my readers a one-month supply of Blugenics Karen Phytoplankton ($49.99 value). To enter, all you need to do is head over to my Instagram profile and find this photo
and follow the instructions in the photo caption.
Valentine’s Day Promo
Don’t leave just yet! Karen is also running a Valentine’s Day promo where you can get a coupon code or your next online purchase, and enter to win a couples get away prize! Visit https://thekarenproject.ca/valentine/ to learn more and/or enter!
If you enter either giveaway good luck!
Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary product in order to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.