Groene Dag.org

made to trust nature

HB chlorella
WHY CHLORELLA ?

In many nutritional medicine circles, chlorella, a simple algae plant, is being held in high regard for its health benefits.
Though chlorella isn’t the most requested product in the EU, it has been both a food and supplement in Asian cultures for many years [Source: Kay]. In this algae, there are several nutrients that can improve health. Chlorella is a source of B-12, a vitamin commonly found in proteins [Source: Watanabe]. It also contains B-1, B-2, folic acid, and vitamins C and K [Source: Baianova, Ohkawa]. Its unique composition gives this plant significant antioxidant properties and provides a boost to the body [Source: Miranda].
As concerns increase over pollution and environmental toxins, chlorella offers a simple avenue to better handle these elements. Studies in rats have confirmed that chlorella aided in protection from, and detoxification of, certain toxic chemicals [Source: Pore, Vijayavel]. A study looking at mothers breastfeeding found that those taking chlorella had increased levels of IgA, the body’s natural defense antibodies that can help protect babies. Chlorella also helped clear dioxin, a toxin, from the milk [Source: Nakano]. This, unfortunately, stresses the need for nutrients like this to keep our detoxification systems strong, since nearly all of the women tested in the study had some level of dioxin.
Chlorella has shown mild benefit for high blood pressure and ulcerative colitis [Source: Merchant]. It has demonstrated some positive effect for pain in fibromyalgia as well [Source: Merchant]. Study has also been done with chlorella and diabetes, with animal testing showing chlorella improves insulin sensitivity and may provide protection against the chronic effects of the condition, such as vision loss and early cataracts [Source: Cherng, Shibata]. Chlorella didn’t consistently lower blood sugar levels, but did lower the test HgA1c (or Hemoglobin A1c), which looks at average blood sugars over several weeks. Further research demonstrated that rats on a high fat diet were able to lower their triglycerides and LDL cholesterol when feed was combined with chlorella [Source: Cherng].
Because of these benefits, the nutrient may prove to be a significant supplement for diabetes patients, who are at higher risk for heart disease.
Chlorella is tolerated well, with most human studies listing no significant side effects. That said, one study did find that patients on low doses of chlorella complained of fatigue [Source: Halperin]. Another case documented kidney problems in a child taking the nutrient [Source: Yim]. And a third report suggested that chlorella may have caused high manganese levels in an elderly man [Source: Ohtake]. These were all isolated cases.
Supplements that contain chlorella typically use chlorella pyrenoidosa or chlorella vulgaris. The pyrenoidosa was more commonly used in the studies referenced above, though the vulgaris form also contains vitamin benefits. A typical starting dosage for adults is 500 mg taken twice a day, at or after a meal. This dosage could then be titrated to 1,500-2,000 mg a day, in divided doses. Patients who are on the blood thinner Coumadin (warfarin) should take chlorella with a physician’s supervision.
Chlorella has great potential as a supernutrient for the body. Its detoxification abilities make it an important part of a treatment program, especially for those want to cleanse the body of toxins. Patients with diabetes or fibromyalgia should also consider chlorella, not as a primary treatment, but as part of a program. Hopefully, research will help demonstrate further benefits for heart disease, as chlorella has already proven its benefit in high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Sources
  • 1. Watanabe, F. (2002). Characterization and bioavailability of vitamin B-12-compounds from edible algae. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo), 48(5):325-31.
  • 2. Baianova, IuI. (1981). Comparative evaluation of the vitamin composition of unicellular algae and higher plants grown under artificial conditions. Prikl Biokhim Mikrobiol, 17(3):400-7.
  • 3. Miranda, M.S. (2001). Antioxidant activity of the microalga Chlorella vulgaris cultured on special conditions. Boll Chim Farm,140(3):165-8.
  • 4. Kay, R.A. (1991). Microalgae as food and supplement. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 30:555-73.
  • 5. Pore, R.S. (1984). Detoxification of chlordecone poisoned rats with chlorella and chlorella derived sporopollenin. Drug Chem Toxicol, 7(1):57-71.
  • 6. Vijayavel, K. (2007). Antioxidant effect of the marine algae Chlorella vulgaris against naphthalene-induced oxidative stress in the albino rats. Mol Cell Biochem, 303(1-2):39-44.
  • 7. Nakano, S. (2007). Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) supplementation decreases dioxin and increases immunoglobulin a concentrations in breast milk. J Med Food, 10(1):134-42.
  • 8. Merchant, R.E. (2002). Nutritional supplementation with Chlorella pyrenoidosa for mild to moderate hypertension. J Med Food, 5(3):141-52.
  • 9. Merchant, R., Andre, C. (2001). A review of recent clinical trials of the nutritional supplement Chlorella pyrenoidosa in the treatment of fibromyalgia, hypertension, and ulcerative colitis. Altern Ther Health Med, 7:79-91.
  • 10. Merchant, R., Carmack, C., Wise, C. (2000). Nutritional supplementation with Chlorella pyrenoidosa for patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: a pilot study. Phytother Res, 14:167-73.
  • 11. Cherng, J.Y. (2006). Improving glycogenesis in Streptozocin (STZ) diabetic mice after administration of green algae Chlorella. Life Sci, 78(11):1181-6.
  • 12. Shibata, S. (2003). Antioxidant and anti-cataract effects of Chlorella on rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo), 49(5):334-9.
  • 13. Cherng, J.Y. (2005). Preventing dyslipidemia by Chlorella pyrenoidosa in rats and hamsters after chronic high fat diet treatment. Life Sci, 76(26):3001-13.
  • 14. Halperin, S.A. (2003). Safety and immunoenhancing effect of a Chlorella-derived dietary supplement in healthy adults undergoing influenza vaccination: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. CMAJ, 169(2):111-7.
  • 15. Ohkawa, S. (1995). Warfarin therapy and chlorella. Rinsho Shinkeigaku, 35(7):806-7.
  • 16. Yim, H.E. (2007). Acute tubulointerstitial nephritis following ingestion of Chlorella tablets. Pediatr Nephrol, 22(6):887-8.
  • 17. Ohtake, T. (2005). Manganese-induced Parkinsonism in a patient undergoing maintenance hemodialysis. Am J Kidney Dis, 46(4):749-53.