Chlorella, scientifically known as chlorella pyrenoidosa, is a solitary-celled edible plant that grows in fresh water. Distinguished as a 'green food', chlorella forms a group of food products that are derived from other micro-algae. Normally, chlorella is grouped with essential phyto-chemicals that possess exceptional qualities to combat different diseases. It is also packed with amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

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Chlorella is widely used in Japan where it is advertised as a dietary supplement capable of removing or detoxifying damaging chemicals, heavy metals and noxious wastes from the body. Herbal medical practitioners recommend usage of chlorella for general illnesses like fatigue and also for people who usually wish to experience a stronger and healthier life. Physicians practicing alternative medicine also recommend ingestion of chlorella as a part of their overall cancer healing course.

Researchers in Japan have found that ingestion of chlorella is capable of raising the blood levels of the protein albumin. It may be mentioned here that albumin is one of the most influential antioxidants found in the body. Albumin is also present in the body's foremost transport system that carries vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, hormones and other vital materials all the way through the body. Significantly, albumin is also involved in carrying toxins or contaminants away from the cells. Albumins carry these toxins to the liver where they are disintegrated and later excreted from the body. Various researches carried from time to time have established that without sufficient levels of albumin in the body, crucial organs like the kidneys, liver, and others cannot function properly. Low albumin presence in the body also prevents the immune system in the body from functioning effectually.

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Over the years, several researches, both clinical studies as well as experiments on animals, have shown that stumpy levels of albumin in the body is an indicator for various diseases, including cancer and heart ailments. The researches have found that people having lowest serum albumin levels suffered the maximum rate of death from diverse causes, including heart diseases. It has been found that as the levels of serum decline in our body, we age faster. This is another suggestion that albumin may play a crucial role in keeping our bodies vigorous, physically powerful and young.

Incidentally, albumin levels have been found to be lesser than average among smokers. Hence it is not unusual for the researchers to assume that enhancing albumin levels in the body will have a beneficial effect. Substantiating their views, these researches point out that the test-tube studies have corroborated the fact that enhancing albumin levels in the body is beneficial in thwarting cancerous growth as well as increasing the life span of human cells.

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Scientists as well as herbal medical practitioners have been promoting the use of chlorella to combat and cure a wide range of diseases. Advocators of chlorella assert that the substance eliminated different types of cancers, combats infections caused by bacteria and viruses, and strengthens the immune system in the body, enhances the development of 'friendly' germs in the digestive tract, reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In addition, chlorella also helps in curing disorders like intestinal ulcers, diverticulosis and Crohn's disease. According to researchers, chlorella is also known to rinse out the digestive system, blood, and the liver.

People advocating the use of chlorella also claim that dietary supplements prepared from the substance helps in enhancing the albumin levels in the body. Incidentally, albumin is a key protein found in the blood stream. They further assert that albumin protects us against diseases like cancer, diabetes, anemia, arthritis, pancreatitis, cirrhosis, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis and even AIDS! The remedial properties of chlorella are also reported to thwart cancer owing to its aptitude to purify the body of toxins, venoms and heavy metals.

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A broad analysis of the chemical contents of chlorella has established that it comprises vitamin C and carotenoids - both of which are rich antioxidants. It may be mentioned here that antioxidants are amalgams that obstruct the exploits of stimulated oxygen molecules generally called free radicals. These activated oxygen molecules or free radicals have the capability to harm cells. In addition to the above properties, chlorella is also known to possess rich intensity of vitamin B-complex.

During pregnancy, women may suffer from some very hazardous disorders, such as pregnancy-induced hypertension (also known as PIH) and pregnancy anemia. Since chlorella encloses significant amounts of vitamin B12, folate and iron, it possesses the aptitude to aid in rectifying anemia as well as the hypertensive disorder. A study undertaken on 70 pregnant women hints that using chlorella supplements may significantly diminish the risks associated with pregnancy, especially anemia, edema and proteinuria. All these women were given chlorella supplements in dosage of 6 grams every day from the twelfth to the eighteenth week during the gestation period and till the delivery. At the end of the study it was found that using chlorella supplements may possibly be beneficial for pregnant women, as it supplies them with additional vitamin B12, folate and iron to make up for the deficiencies, if any.

In addition to supplying these vital nutriments, chlorella provides other health benefits, which include getting rid of toxic heavy metals, especially mercury, from the body. In fact, mercury is the most widespread toxic substance present in the environment. The amount of mercury present in vaccines, sea foods, compact fluorescent lights is highly toxic. What is worse is that till today a number of dentists continue using mercury fillings.

Chlorella possesses the aptitude to attach itself to mercury and thereby aids in eliminating it from the body in a safe and natural way. It has also been found that chlorella binds with other heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and uranium, in addition to pesticides that build up inside our body. This single celled green food also possesses the aptitude to get rid of various toxic chemicals, for instance, polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs and dioxin; chemical substances used in flame retardants, insulation and plastics that may lead to cancer and also damage the liver.

Chlorella is also effective in purifying the blood by means of rinsing out the bowel as well as cleansing other channels through which bodily wastes are excreted. In addition, this supplement is useful for protecting the liver. In order to stay robust, the immune system requires a purified bloodstream having plenty of red blood cells (erythrocytes) that ensures the steady supply of abundant oxygen. In addition, clean blood also ensures that all metabolic wastes are removed from our tissues effectively.

Chlorella is extremely beneficial for people who are undergoing any strong physical training, as it supports such trainings. It may be noted that the tissues in our body release toxic substances and free radicals when the body is under pressure. Chlorella contains chlorophyll that aids in getting rid of these waste materials and also to cleanse the blood, liver and the kidneys. When the liver and kidneys function effectively and without any trouble, all other things inside the body also function in a better manner.

People who are following any type of low-carb diet, such as South Beach diet, Atkins diet and others, will also find the cleansing action of chlorella to be extremely valuable. This is primarily owing to the fact that this type of diets may put a lot of burden on the kidneys and liver. In fact, when the surplus ketones are removed from the tissues, they exert extra pressure on the body.

Usual dosage

Commercially chlorella is available in the markets in different forms - tablets, powder as well as liquid extracts of the substance. Many herbal medicine practitioners recommend ingestion of two to three grams of the substance daily. However, there are many herbalists who recommend higher dosages for detoxification of the system. There are also some people who intake doses as high as 10 to 15 grams (measuring two to three teaspoons in case of liquid extracts) daily. While it is safe to intake chlorella individually, it is advisable to mix the chlorella powder with bread, cookies or any other food made with flour.

Side effects and cautions

While chlorella is a valuable 'green food', a number of people taking it have reported that they experienced nausea, stomach disorders, flatulence, diarrhea, discoloured stool, and water retention. In addition, chlorella has the potential to enhance uric acid levels in the body, increasing the hazards of developing heart disease. In fact, augmented uric acid levels may even result in gout, wherein crystals of the acid form inside the joints thereby making mobility worse.

Chlorella may also change the skin's sensitiveness to sunlight, thereby resulting in problems related to the skin, such as itching and swelling. Many people using chlorella have reported that they experienced mild exhaustion as well as absence of interest in undertaking jobs. It may also cause headache, tetchiness, muscle debility, and impaired concentration.


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