Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach


Last Updated June 24th, 2019

What is chlorella?

With vast decades of history, Chlorella is the oldest food on the planet and has been deemed as the superfood for the present generation. Living in a chaotic world it is of pure bliss that you come across such a portion of wonderful food that meets all your health needs and provides you the necessary nutrients for a healthier life.

Chlorella is a freshwater alga native to Japan and Taiwan. It is a single-celled microorganism which is naturally rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other components of dietary fiber. It is covered with a thick nutshell which makes it difficult for digestion hence Chlorella is being processed before it enters into the food supplement chain. Belonging to the green algae family, it is found in fresh or salt water.

Chlorella was discovered in 1890 by Dr. Beijerinck, a Dutch microbiologist. He discovered the same with his microscope but it already existed billions of years before. The name Chlorella is derived from the Greek word “chloros” meaning green and was added a Latin suffix “ella” meaning small. It is an active member in photosynthesis and it only needs water, sunlight, carbon dioxide, and a small number of minerals to help it grow.

What are the benefits of chlorella?

Chlorella’s high nutritive values

It tops the nutrition chart and deemed as “very nutritious”. Chlorella is an impressive food with all the necessary nutrients. It is packed with several nutritional benefits that include protein, vitamin B12, iron, vitamin C, omega-3s, and fiber.

It helps maintain your complex immune system mechanisms. Several studies showed that it helped produce more antibodies when compared to other supplements. By increasing the antibodies it enhances the immune system with strength and helps you fight the disease of any kind.

Cholesterol-lowering in nature

Chlorella helps improve cholesterol by improving blood lipid levels. The active agents that help improve blood lipid are niacin (contains A B vitamin which is familiar to lower cholesterol), fiber (A cholesterol lowering agent), carotenoids (has a natural tendency to lower cholesterol), and antioxidants (prevents oxidation of LDL cholesterol and prevent the risk of heart disease). The major antioxidants that are present in Chlorella are chlorophyll, vitamin C, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein. Certain antioxidants play a vital role in reducing the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which is considered a major problem faced by a diabetic patient.

Protection from chronic diseases

It helps to maintain blood pressure. Chlorella supplements help promote heart and kidney health. Chlorella enhances a protective effect against free radical and reduces oxidative stress which causes cell damage and promotes rapid aging. With certain free radicals that are already worn out, it exhibits a bioremedial effect and helps repair telomeres and the destroyed parts of the DNA.

Chlorella as a detox

Its amazing detoxification qualities have made it a most sort weight loss supplement. According to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, researchers’ stated that “Chlorella intake resulted in noticeable reductions in body fat percentage, serum total cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose levels.” It helps to reduce weight by regulating hormones, initiating metabolism, blood circulation improvement, and promoting a higher level of energy. With the loss of weight, the body builds the capability to flush out toxins.

Anti-cancer

Chlorella is a treatment to fight cancer. It possesses the capability to build our immune system by attacking and preventing the entry of any harmful substance. Studies show that individuals affected with cancer were prescribed Chlorella. It enhances the action of the T cells that help fight the growth of any abnormal cell in the body.

Other numerous health benefits of chlorella

It helps to regulate your blood glucose level and serves a helping hand in treating type 2 diabetes. The neuroprotective components of Chlorella help fight depression and help in mental stability. Chlorella rich supplements help improve depressive symptoms in patients suffering from depression and anxiety. As it helps to reduce weight and blood glucose levels, it plays a vital role in improving liver function by decreasing inflammatory indicators.

The miracle detoxifier

The intake of toxins and harmful substance is a part and parcel of everyone’s routine. The most accredited benefit of Chlorella is its effortless detoxifying character. It also detoxifies heavy metals and also plays a part in detoxifying chemicals and radiations that evolve in the planet. Chlorella manages to be a superfood come amazing detoxifier as it is rich in chlorophyll which is a natural detoxifier. In recent studies, this single-celled algae has several other components that help to make detoxification more effective by removing poisonous and harmful substances from the body.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the prominent forms of cancer treatment in the present era. The high level of chlorophyll content in Chlorella helps protect the body against ultraviolet rays, ultraviolet radiation treatment, by removing the radioactive particles present in the body. If you are new to detoxification then here’s what you should do. It is the best detox to start off with and the most effective one too. The small particles present in Chlorella have a natural tendency to bind to unwanted toxins and chemicals and makes it easier to remove them from the body.

The right way to consume chlorella

This natural detoxifier is available in the form of a powder, capsules or tablets. It is more effective when it is taken in prescribed doses over a particular time frame. Below are the recommended doses for taking Chlorella.

Powder: Adults: 1-2 teaspoons (3-4 g)
Children: 1 teaspoon (1-2 g)

Tablets (500mg) : Adults: 6-8 tabs (3-4 grams)
Children: 2-4 tabs (1-2 grams)

Capsules (600mg): Adults: 5-7 caps (3-4 grams)

These detox drink can be blended into a smoothie with water, and the capsules and the tablets can be consumed based on the prescription and dosage. To make it tastier smoothie ingredients like banana, coconut water, flavored protein powder, and lime juice can be added. These ingredients help mask the detestable flavor of the Chlorella smoothie and present a more nutritious drink. Chlorella is safe for pregnant women, 2 grams of Chlorella thrice a day from 12 to 18 week of gestation until delivery helps treat iron deficiency.

The ancient use of chlorella

Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine used Chlorella powder to enrich their ojas. Ojas is closely translated to “vitality” and “life force”. This primordial energy (fundamental energy) present in your body helps you balance it and stay healthy. It is evident that with age this primordial energy (fundamental energy) deteriorates.

But its efficiency can be balanced and maintained with the intake of Chlorella which helps resupply the body with this energy and strength them both physically and mentally. When taking a look at the Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy Chlorella is a predominant source of Yin energy showing that it restores the deepest levels of the body. This helps to calm the nervous system and portrays a rejuvenating and refreshing feeling to the individual.

Side effects of too much chlorella intake

Chlorella powder and other forms of Chlorella supplements can cause side effects in some individuals. Some of the side effects of Chlorella consumption is as follows:

  • Swelling of the face or tongue sensitivity to sunlight
  • Digestive upset
  • Acne
  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Headaches
  • Vertigo
  • Shaking

These major side effects can be seen most from any detoxification program. The intake of Chlorella can affect an individual when taken in excess. Chlorella may also cause green-colored stools. Other chlorella dangers include potential allergic reactions. The consumption of Chlorella can cause you to experience severe breathing problems or a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis (an acute allergic reaction).

Chlorella supplements often contain iodine. It is therefore mandatory for individuals that are prone to iodine allergy or are watching their iodine intake should beware. People that are being treated for a medical condition or are currently taking any type of medication should check with their doctor before taking chlorella. Chlorella is known to interact with immunosuppressant drugs as well as blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin).

Find the right kind of chlorella

Determining the right Chlorella: There are two different strains of Chlorella that are used for medicinal purposes. They are Chlorella Pyrenoidosa and Chlorella Vulgaris. The most commonly used Chlorella is Chlorella Pyrenoidosa. It is genuine in quality and showcases more medicinal qualities when compared to Chlorella Vulgaris. Several producers opted out on Chlorella Vulgaris as it was blessed with the ability to grow under pristine conditions but were insufficient of the necessary nutrients. At times certain manufacturers took up the challenge to grow Chlorella Vulgaris with great care and rich in quality, still, a common man would rather be safe choosing Chlorella Pyrenoidosa.

Processing of the Chlorella’s cell wall: As mentioned earlier, the wall of the Chlorella is indeed a hard nut to crack. One of the best methods to check on the best Chlorella algae is to identify how its cell wall is being processed. Chlorella is deemed to have the hardest cell wall in the plant kingdom. It is of great necessity that the cell wall of the Chlorella be broken in order to avail the rich nutrients that it showers.

The best way to break the shell of a Chlorella is by sound vibration. This process is performed by processing the Chlorella through a sound chamber. This process helps to crack the walls without using any high heat or excessive grinding. By doing so the nutrients remain intact within the Chlorella and only the shell is removed. While some manufacturers make use of chemicals and extreme heat to break open the shell and in the process they tend to lose all the nutrient present within the Chlorella. More common methods to remove the shell of the Chlorella include milling and pressurizing the Chlorella.

Chlorella: A life-saving algae

Chlorella is, without doubt, a distinguished nutrient that has all its necessary nutrients within its nutshell. It initiates a healthier living and provides your body with the relevant nutrient needed to lead a healthy life. It is indeed touted as a highly nutritious dietary supplement that doesn’t just help you lose unwanted weight but also keeps a track of your mental and physical health. However, with it not being regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it can be tricky to find the right one.  This leads to confusion about its efficacy and safety. It is, therefore, most important to consult your doctor before you plan on taking it. As a dietary supplement, it is loaded with several beneficial factors and you should take care in consuming it with caution.


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