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Health Products > Chlorella

Detox for a longer healthier life

Chlorella is a genus of single-cell green algae, belonging to the phylum Chlorophyta. It is spherical in shape, about 2 to 10 μm in diameter, and is without flagella. Chlorella contains the green photosynthetic pigments chlorophyll-a and -b in its chloroplast. Through photosynthesis, it multiplies rapidly, requiring only carbon dioxide, water, sunlight, and a small amount of minerals to reproduce.  This green algae is one of longest living single celled organisms having survived on Earth for over 2.5 billion years.

It contains the green photosynthetic pigments chlorophyll-a and -b in its chloroplast and scientists are fascinated as to how this organism has survived for so long.  There are over 23,000 known varieties of algae and some have been cultivated. Spirolina (actually an Arthrospira, a free-floating filamentous cyanobacteria and not an algae) is a better known product.

Food shortages in the early 1900's inspired several German scientists to complete basic research on the algae because of its very high protein content, over 50%. Then in 1948 American researchers at Stanford and Carnegie showed that Chlorella could be continuously harvested in massive amounts. Chlorella was seen an attractive potential food source because it is high in protein and other essential nutrients as when dried, it consists of about 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fibre, and 10% minerals with a quantity of fats, and vitamins.

Use today

Chlorella is an attractive potential food source because it is high in protein and other essential nutrients; when harvested and dried, it consists of about 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fibre, and 10% minerals, vitamins.

Because of its ability to bind with mercury, lead, and cadmium, Chlorella vulgaris has been increasingly used in alternative medicine to detoxify the body of certain heavy metals. Several studies demonstrate that it has an ability to safely draw toxic metals that accumulate in the gut and intestinal tract.

In 1951 Dr Hiroshi Tamiya of the Japanese Kokugawa Institute pioneered technology to grow, harvest and process Chlorella on a commercial scale. Much of the scientific work focussed on one species of Chlorella, C.pyrenoidosa.  Nicknaming it 'concentrated sunlight', the Japanese were the first to shatter its tough cell wall. This released the rich nutritional cell contents containing all our essential amino acids, many vitamins, minerals and a unique finding called Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF).

The late Dr Bernard Jensen, who devoted much of his life to researching Chlorella pyrenoidosa, interviewed Dr Liang-Ping Lin, a globally respected micro-algae specialist from Taiwan. Dr Lin stated CGF to be a unique finding that separates Chlorella from other algae. “This nucleic acid, when given to people or animals, stimulates the healing, replacement and growth of tissue. This has been proven by laboratory experiments with animals and in hospital studies with humans.”

Initially growing chlorella on any large scale remained difficult and it had a major drawback as its tough cell wall prevented its use as a food as human digestive systems can’t breakdown this tough protective layer.  But in 1951 Dr Hiroshi Tamiya of the Japanese Kokugawa Institute pioneered technology to grow, harvest and process Chlorella on a commercial scale and his research is believed to have provided a way to break down its tough protective coat making it biologically available as a food source.

Beneficial effects

  • Supporting Immune Function Your primary defence mechanism against illness is your immune system and white blood cells are a major part of this protection. Chlorella supplementation has been shown to significantly improve the effectiveness of these white cells: B lymphocytes (active against bacterial invasion), T lymphocytes (active against viruses and tumours) and macrophages (active against, cancer, foreign protein and chemicals). As well it stimulates the production of Interferon.
     
  • Improving Colon HealthIn 1957 Dr Takechi was the first to show Chlorella stimulates growth of Lactobacillus, a powerful contributor to optimum colon health, by 400%. One of the first things you'll notice when you take Chlorella is that it'll stimulate and normalise an under-active bowel. This is a huge relief to many people eating a modern diet crammed with pre-processed or additive rich food. Their bowel motions are irregular and may be difficult to pass.
     
  • Detoxification Chlorella's tough cell wall binds irreversibly with heavy metals (lead, cadmium and mercury) and with poisonous chemicals such as Dioxin. The chlorophyll content, 2-3 times more than Spirulina and 3-5 times that of wheatgrass juice, provides efficient cleaning and detoxification while the CGF completes the process providing nutrients needed for repair of the damaged intestinal linings.
     
  • Improving Liver Function Your liver is the largest and one of the busiest internal organs. It makes bile to settle the acid leaving the stomach, to front line filtration and processing of the blood as it leaves the intestinal tract full of freshly absorbed materials.  The liver sorts and pre-process these fresh nutrients, converts extra sugar into storage format and stores minerals and vitamins. It's also responsible for disposing of worn out blood cells, recycling their nutrients such as iron and making blood proteins and clotting agents. It's also partly responsible for maintaining blood volume. Your liver is busy, vital and is exposed first to absorbed toxic insult from materials in the digestive system. Scientific studies have shown that adding Chlorella to the diet helps the liver resist toxic insult and recover more quickly. Anecdotal claims suggest significant improvement with conditions even as severe as alcohol induced liver cirrhosis!

While Chlorella has been proven to stimulate the immune system, improve bowel function and act as a powerful detoxifier, it is the Japanese who have wholeheartedly adopted its use into noodles, breads, soups, tofu, pastries, yoghurt and other foods.  Direct supplementation with this whole food concentrate is very high in Japan. They reportedly consume more Chlorella per capita than the Americans do Vitamin C. But Americans are catching on with many integrative medical specialists advising their patients to take Chlorella.

Comments such as this from Dr Shera Ralsen, M.D., a specialist in integrating western medicine with complimentary therapies are becoming increasingly common. She says "Chlorella is an amazing detoxifier."

While chlorella has received some criticism mostly from its competitors, the health benefits seem to outweigh any risks and if eating is does cause any allergic reaction, simply stop eating it.

Chlorella can be purchased from many health food stores.

References
WebMed
Wikipedia
 

 



 

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