Chlorella Benefits

Sonia Nair Mar 23, 2019
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Chlorella is one of the most widely used food supplements in some Asian countries, like Japan. This write-up provides some information about chlorella and its benefits.
Chlorella is a type of fresh-water algae, which are used as nutritional supplements and medicine. It is claimed to be one of the 'superfoods', that can prevent and control various diseases and disorders. These algae are processed and packed as tablets, powder, and liquid extract.
Chlorella is a rich source of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, chlorophyll, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Studies show that the dried form of chlorella contains around 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fiber, and 10% minerals and vitamins.
The nutrient content may vary according to the methods of cultivation, harvesting, and processing of the algae. It has also been claimed that the nutritional value of chlorella is considerably reduced, as its natural form is altered through processing.
However, chlorella is found to have various health benefits. Studies on animals show that chlorella has antitumor properties, and these algae are good for the cardiovascular system. While most of the users vouch for the health benefits of chlorella, some health experts too support such claims. However, there is no solid evidence to support these claims.

What is Chlorella?

Chlorella is a genus of single-celled, spherical-shaped algae, that belong to the phylum Chlorophyta. It is believed that, these microscopic algae emerged two billion years ago. Chlorella has the highest amount of chlorophyll, as compared to other plants.
These algae are used in the traditional Japanese medicine, for treating ulcers, hypertension, asthma, depression, diabetes, and constipation. Now, chlorella is being used as a nutritional supplement in many parts of the world, but studies regarding its health benefits are still underway.
The most common species of chlorella are Chlorella minutissima, Chlorella pyrenoidosa, and Chlorella vulgaris; but the last two types are mainly used as supplements and medicines.

Health Benefits

Apart from being a nutritional supplement, chlorella is also used as a herbal remedy for various medical conditions. As a supplement, it is rich in proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and some phytonutrients (especially CGF). It is a good source of essential fatty acids, chlorophyll, and beta carotene.
Chlorella contains vitamins A, C, E, K, B vitamins, biotin, folic acid, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous. The following are some of the medicinal uses of chlorella.
  • It is believed that, chlorella has healing powers. So, it is used for reducing problems caused by radiation exposure, and for protecting the body from ultraviolet radiation.
  • Chlorella benefits include its use in detoxification of the body. It is said to be effective in removing heavy metals, like lead and mercury, from the body. Even chemical toxins can be removed by using these algae for a stipulated period.
  • As they are rich in chlorophyll, these algae are beneficial for treating body odor, bad breath, and foul-smelling stools.
  • The chlorophyll content in chlorella is effective for treating anemia, and to boost production of red blood cells. It is believed that chlorella augments blood supply to the brain.
  • Chlorella can also act as a cleansing agent. It is used for cleansing bowels, and also to keep the blood clean.
  • Chlorella improves digestion, prevents/treats hypertension, promotes mental health and energy, and reduces asthma attacks. It is also said to be good for preventing cancer.
  • Hair loss can be prevented and reversed to some extent, by taking chlorella, which is also associated with weight loss. It is also used for treating skin conditions, like skin ulcers.
It is claimed that, chlorella is useful to slow down the process of aging. However, its efficacy depends on the proper dosage and use.
Intake of chlorella may cause side effects, like allergic reactions, diarrhea, nausea, flatulence, green stools, and stomach cramping. It has been observed that most of the users experience such side effects, only during the initial stages of consumption. However, taking chlorella for longer duration, is not recommended.
Avoid use of chlorella during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Those with iodine sensitivity, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and a weak immune system, should not use these algae. Consult a qualified herbal practitioner, and use chlorella according to his instructions. You may also seek the opinion of your doctor before starting chlorella.
Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.