Chlorella (Chlorella vulgaris), is a green emerald. They are single-celled freshwater algae that grow naturally in lakes and ponds. It’s one of the best super foods, and it’s packed with nearly ten times the healthy chlorophyll of similar vegetables like wheatgrass , barley, and alfalfa. In fact, the name chlorella is due to its high amount of chlorophyll, an important nutrient for cleaning your body .

Chlorella algae benefits and side effects

Chlorella seaweed is at least 60% crude protein, and it is also a complete protein, meaning it contains a complete balance of all nine essential amino acids. The nutritional benefits of Chlorella are many, taking a Chlorella supplement will increase your daily intake of: iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin C and vitamin E.

Heavy metal removal

Chlorella is a powerful aid for the detoxification of heavy metals and other pesticides . Numerous research projects in the US and Europe indicate that Chlorella can also assist the body in breaking down persistent hydrocarbons and metal toxins such as mercury, cadmium and lead, DDT, and PCBs, while strengthening the immune system response. In Japan, interest in chlorella has focused largely on its detoxifying properties – its ability to remove or neutralize toxic substances from the body.

This detoxification of heavy metals and other chemical toxins in the blood will take 3 to 6 months to accumulate enough to start this process depending on the amount of chlorella a person is taking. Chlorella is a food. As such, it is almost impossible to take too much Chlorella.

It is also made of fibrous material which greatly enhances healthy digestion and overall digestive health.

How does Chlorella work to detoxify your body?

Chlorella is made up of a fibrous, indigestible outer shell (20%), and inner nutrients (80%). It is fibrous material that has been shown to bind with heavy metals and pesticides – such as PCBs – that can accumulate in our bodies.

A clean bloodstream, with an abundance of red blood cells to carry oxygen, needs a strong natural defense system. Chlorella’s cleansing action on the gut and other elimination channels, as well as its liver protection, helps keep blood clean. Clean blood ensures that metabolic wastes are carried out of the tissues.

Chlorella algae owes its name to the large amount of chlorophyll it has . It contains more chlorophyll per gram than any other plant. Chlorophyll is one of the major food substances for cleaning the intestine and other elimination systems, such as the liver and blood.

Green algae are the largest sources of chlorophyll in the plant world. And of all the green algae studied so far, chlorella has the largest, ranging from 3 to 5% pure natural chlorophyll.

Chlorella is a key tool for anemia

Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that binds with oxygen and gives blood its bright red color. Chlorophyll cells are almost identical to hemoglobin, with one exception: Chlorophyll has a magnesium molecule at its center while hemoglobin has an iron molecule at the center of it. This is important as magnesium is essential for the heart to function properly. Every time your heart beats, it uses magnesium to do so.

Chlorophyll is effective against anemia and stimulates the production of red blood cells in the body . It also helps carry oxygen throughout the body and into the brain. This is why chlorella is often called a “brain food.”
Several researchers have suggested the use of chlorophyll as a medical treatment for anemia.

It will improve your digestive system

Since Chlorella is high in chlorophyll, people find that chronic bad breath is often eliminated in just a few days with its consumption. Smelly stools are also greatly improved and chlorophyll has been attributed to relieve constipation.

Useful in the fight against cancer

Interferon is one of our body’s greatest natural defenses against cancer. One of the ways we fight cancer is by using agents to stimulate macrophage production and activity. Interferon is a natural secretion of the body that is thought to be a macrophage stimulator and tumor necrosis factor.

Chlorella stimulates macrophage and T-cell activity by increasing levels of interferon, thus increasing the immune system’s ability to fight foreign invaders whether they are foreign viruses, bacteria, chemicals, or proteins.

Chlorella contains natural digestive and other enzymes

It contains enzymes such as chlorophylase and pepsin , which are two digestive enzymes. Enzymes perform a number of important functions in the body. In addition, it has many different types of enzymes that our body needs.
It is essential that any chlorella you take is not freeze-dried or pasteurized. If so, then you have lost the crucial advantage of enzymes like these.

Alkaline and helps balance the body’s pH

It is important to maintain a balanced pH in the body of ideally 7.2-7.4, which is roughly neutral. However, due to our poor diet of junk food, cooked processed food, fast food, including carbonated drinks that have a pH of 2.7, most of us are not balanced.
This is important because most diseases start, live, and develop in an acidic environment, and they do not live well in an alkaline environment. Cancer rates have risen steadily so now fully 1/3 of all people, just in the US, will have cancer in their lifetime.
The rise in fast, junk and processed foods is paralleling the rise in cancers. 30 years ago, cancer in children was almost unknown. Now they have entire wards of hospitals dedicated to children with cancer. Including whole foods like this algae in the diet is a step that can be taken to reduce the risks of cancer.

Chlorella normalizes blood sugar and blood pressure

Studies have shown that chlorella tends to normalize blood sugar in cases of hypoglycemia . In hypoglycemia, your blood sugar is too low. Proper blood sugar levels are necessary for normal brain function, heart function, and energy metabolism, all of which are crucial in maintaining good health and preventing disease.

High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for heart attack and stroke, representing one of the diseases with more deaths than any other disease. Laboratory experiments have shown that regular use of chlorella reduces blood pressure.

Chlorella availability and preparation

Chlorella algae grow naturally in fresh water, but for general human consumption it is grown in mineral-rich freshwater ponds, and processed under the supervision of microbiologists to ensure quality and purity. It is available in tablet, capsule, powder, or liquid extract form and is sometimes combined with other natural foods such as spirulina, barley, wheatgrass, and seaweed.

Some chlorella supplements have loads of calcium that can be considered white spots and may be cheaper because you are buying calcium instead of pure chlorella. Check the labels for calcium carbonate (fillers).

How to take it

Chlorella can be taken as a pill or it can be added to food and drinks. Just follow the instructions on the label

Chlorella side effects

Chlorella is taken all as a detoxifier, but in some cases, as a result of the detoxification process, unfavorable side effects appear which can include nausea, flatulence, stomach cramps, diarrhea, etc. In consideration of this, it is best to start your chlorella regimen on weekends and stay close to home. In case the side effects are very intense, reduce your consumption and gradually increase the recommended dose in a few days to soften the side effects. Symptoms of side effects usually go away within a few days.

This algae has been known to cause severe allergic reactions, such as asthma and other dangerous respiratory problems. It may also contain iodine, so be careful if you have an allergy to iodine. Chlorella can also cause increased sensitivity of the skin to the sun.

Chlorella seaweed contains vitamin K and can reduce the effects of blood-thinning medications such as warfarin .

Autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions on that spectrum, such as fibromyalgia, can be affected by chlorella through increased activity of the immune system and this could increase the symptoms that these diseases bring. If you have any of these conditions, it is best to avoid using chlorella.

Chlorella is considered safe if taken at the recommended dose and for no more than 2 months.

Although there are not enough studies on the side effects of chlorella in pregnant and lactating women, it is recommended to avoid the use of supplements with this algae during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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