Chlorella: Benefits, Nutrition and Side Effects

Chlorella: Benefits, Nutrition and Side Effects

OVERVIEW:


Vegetables, fruits and plants play a vital role in keeping our body healthy. One of these is chlorella, a type of aquatic plant, which in common language is also called algae or moss. Green colored algae that grows in clean water is called chlorella. Few people would probably know about this potent medicine. But this plant is really beneficial in terms of health. So, in this article, we’re going to tell you the potent health benefits of chlorella as well as its nutritional profile and the side-effects of chlorella.

WHAT IS CHLORELLA?


Chlorella is a type of single-celled green algae, which are commonly called mosses. It is considered to be rich in many healthy nutrients. Chlorella contains a good amount of proteins, minerals and lipids. The use of chlorella has increased in the past few years, as it may be beneficial in conditions such as high blood pressure and fibromyalgia (a disease that causes pain in the body).

Chlorella can be single-celled to multi-celled. It belongs to the Chlorellaceae family. The thickness of each cell of chlorella is about 2-8 µm. It grows rapidly under favorable conditions. It needs only a small amount of carbon-di-oxide, water, sunlight and minerals to grow.

Chlorella Vs. Spirulina

CHLORELLA NUTRITIONAL FACTS:


A variety of nutrients are found in chlorella, including 55-60% protein, 1-4% chlorophyll, 9-18% dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Apart from this, phosphorus, calcium and aluminum are also found in it.

However, it is not possible to tell the exact amount of these nutrients present in chlorella, as there is no scientific research available in this regard.

BENEFITS OF CHLORELLA FOR HEALTH:


Chlorella is rich in many essential nutrients. Its consumption can help in keeping away many physical diseases. The health benefits of chlorella may include:

1. In Diabetes:

The benefits of chlorella can be seen here. Chlorella is mainly found in chlorophyll, which can help protect against many problems. Those problems also include diabetes. Chlorophyll works to lower blood glucose, which can control diabetes.

2. To Improve Cholesterol:

Chlorella can reduce the risk factors for serum lipids. It mainly has beneficial effects on triglycerides which is responsible for body fat and total cholesterol. Also, hypercholesterolemic or high cholesterol curve has also seen the effect. (ALSO READ: High Cholesterol Diet : Foods to Eat and Avoid)

3. Chlorella for Weight Loss:

If someone is troubled by increasing weight and is thinking of reducing it, then consuming chlorella can be really helpful in this regard. According to a scientific research, many important nutrients are found in chlorella, one of which is fiber. Fiber is a nutrient that can help in reducing weight. According to the research, if chlorella supplements are taken on the advice of a doctor, then there can be little success in reducing weight.

4. To keep blood pressure balanced:

Chlorella can be used to avoid problems like high blood pressure (hypertension). Actually, a rich amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA (a type of amino acid) is found in chlorella, which has anti-hypertensive effect. It can work to reduce high-normal blood pressure i.e. pre-hypertension to some extent. Pre-hypertension is a condition in which blood pressure is higher than normal. (ALSO READ: High Blood Pressure : Causes, Risks and Recommended Diet Plan)

Here; we want to make it clear that in the severe stage of hypertension or high blood pressure, a doctor must be consulted.

Chlorella Powder

5. Chlorella for Heart Health:

Chlorella may work protect the heart by reducing the risk factors for heart disease. Actually, it contains fiber, amino acids, n-3 unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. All these nutrients can work reduce the stiffness in the arteries, which can reduce heart disease. Therefore, it is believed that the use of chlorella may be beneficial for the heart. (ALSO READ: Heart Healthy Foods : Top 10 Foods for a Healthy Heart)

6. Antioxidant Effect:

Chlorella works as an antioxidant. Antioxidants can work protect the body from free radicals, which prevent damage to deoxyribonucleic acid. With this, diseases such as coronary heart disease, aging, cancer, Parkinson’s, inflammatory diseases, periodontal and cataract can be avoided.

Apart from this, the antioxidant property also improves the functioning of the immune system and muscles. In addition, it also keeps your bones and skin healthy.

7. Reduce Body Odor:

It is natural for the body to sweat. At the same time, when bacteria mix with sweat, it causes body odor. Since, chlorella has anti-microbial properties, which can help remove bacteria from the body. Therefore, it can be assumed that chlorella can be used to reduce body odor.

8. Improve Liver Health:

According to a scientific study, chlorella can be beneficial for people suffering from liver problems. Chlorella is rich in vitamin E, which can help relieve the problem of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This nutrient may have beneficial effects on triglycerides, transaminase serum levels and insulin sensitivity. This can reduce some of the problems related to the liver.

In addition, chlorella extract can act as a hepatoprotective for the patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The hepatoprotective effect serves to avoid damage to the liver.

9. To Relieve Acne:

The use of chlorella can be beneficial for the people with acne problems. For this, the anti-acne properties found in chlorella can help to great extent. These properties can reduce acne from the skin. Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that using chlorella you can get rid of acne. It can be applied on the face as a face mask.

10. Strengthens Immune System:

Consumption of chlorella can prove beneficial for the immune system. In a scientific research, some healthy people were given chlorella supplements for about 8 weeks. Consumption of these supplements was found to have immunostimulatory effects, which increased the activity of natural killer (NK) cells. Natural killer (NK) cells are part of the immune system. (ALSO READ: Immunity Foods: 12 Best Foods to Boost Immune System)

11. In Cancer:

It also has anti-cancer effect, which may help protect against prostate cancer cell lines and liver, lung and colon cancer.

Keep in mind that cancer is a fetal disease. If someone is suffering from cancer, then he/she should get proper treatment from the doctor. Also, the home remedies should be used only on the advice of a doctor. (ALSO READ: Skin Cancer : Types, Causes, Symptoms and Prevention)

HOW TO USE CHLORELLA?


Chlorella Benefits

Chlorella can be used in many ways to stay healthy. Here we’re telling some easy ways to use this:

  • Chlorella can be consumed as a powder.
  • Lemon juice and water mixed with chlorella powder can be drunk in the morning as a juice.
  • Capsules made from chlorella can also be used for food.
  • Chlorella can be made into a smoothie and drunk.
  • It can be used in making ice cream, which can be taken as dessert after lunch.
  • Chlorella can be used in chocolate, which can be taken after dinner.
  • Chlorella and avocado can be mashed together and put on bread and can be eaten in the morning or evening.
  • You can use dietary supplements of chlorella to meet nutritional deficiencies, but do consult a doctor before consuming it.

HOW MUCH TO EAT (RECOMMENDED INTAKE):


It may be appropriate to take chlorella supplements from 3 to 9 grams per day. Since the health of every person is not the same, so do consult a doctor regarding its right dose.

SIDE EFFECTS OF CHLORELLA:


Chlorella can also be harmful in some conditions, including:

  • Consumption of chlorella during pregnancy can cause problems like diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and bloating.
  • Chlorella can cause allergic reactions in some people, including asthma and anaphylaxis.
  • Chlorella can cause a photosensitivity reaction, which can cause red marks on the skin.
  • Chlorella contains vitamin K in plenty. Therefore, people who are taking warfarin should avoid chlorella. Warfarin is used as an anticoagulant drug. This medicine is used in the treatment of blood clots.

CHLORELLA VS. SPIRULINA: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHLORELLA AND SPIRULINA?


Chlorella is differ from spirulina in many ways; including:

  • Chlorella contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Spirulina may be higher in antioxidants.
  • Spirulina may have more protein. One tablespoon of spirulina contains about 4 gram of protein for just 20 calories.
  • Chlorella is higher in calories. Chlorella has about 36 calories per tablespoon whereas spirulina contains 20 calories for same serving.

TAKE AWAY


We hope that through this article you have got the complete information about chlorella. Along with this, how it can be included in the diet, you must have also understood. It is important to take care of the proper amount of its intake, so that it can help to avoid the side-effects of chlorella.

Hope you liked this article. If you have any question of suggestions, please leave in the comment box below.

REFERENCES:

  1. The Effect of Chlorella vulgaris Supplementation on Liver En-zymes, Serum Glucose and Lipid Profile in Patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; Mehrangiz Ebrahimi-Mameghani, Soodabeh Aliashrafi, Yousef Javadzadeh and Mohammad Asghari Jafarabadi; PMID: 25097844. PMCID: PMC4122038.
  2. Effects of Chlorophyll on Body Functioning and Blood Glucose Levels; Amnah Mohammed A, Nora Mohammed A, Amal Hassan Als and Nora Abdullah ALFaris; March 2017; Asian Journal of Clinical Nutrition 9(2):64-70.
  3. A comprehensive review on chlorella- its composition, health benefits, market and regulatory scenario; Komal Rani, Dr. Nidhi Sandal, PK Sahoo; The Pharma Innovation Journal 2018; 7(7): 584-589.
  4. A Comparative Study on the Antioxidant Property of Chlorella (Chlorella sp.) Tablet and Glutathione Tablet; Phyllis T. Bengwayan, Jemuel C. Laygo, Allyn E. Pacio, Jenniel Lovely Z. Poyaoan; E-International Scientific Research Journal; ISSN: 2094-1749 Volume: 2 Issue: 1, 2010.
  5. Anti-hypertensive effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-rich Chlorella on high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension in placebo-controlled double blind study; Morio Shimada, Chiaki Nishimura, Hiroko Kan, Takashi Hasegawa, Toshihiro Kanno, Toshio Nakamura and Tsuneo Matsubayashi; PMID: 19811362.
  6. Impact of daily Chlorella consumption on serum lipid and carotenoid profiles in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults: a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study; Na Hee Ryu, Yeni Lim, Ji Eeun Park, Joohee Kim, Ji Yeon Kim, Sung Won Kwon and Oran Kwon; PMID: 24920270. PMCID: PMC4066283.
  7. Changes in arterial stiffness and nitric oxide production with Chlorella-derived multicomponent supplementation in middle-aged and older individuals; Takeshi Otsuki, Kazuhiro Shimizu and Seiji Maeda; PMCID: PMC4639594. PMID: 26566309.
  8. Sweat; Medline Plus.
  9. Beneficial immunostimulatory effect of short-term Chlorella supplementation: enhancement of natural killer cell activity and early inflammatory response (randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial); Jung Hyun Kwak, Seung Han Baek and Yongje Woo; PMID: 22849818.  PMCID: PMC3511195.
  10. Chlorella sorokiniana induces mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis in human non-small cell lung cancer cells and xenograft tumor growth in vivo; Ping-Yi Lin, Ching-Tsan Tsai, Ya-Hsuan Chao, Wan-Ling Chuang, I-Horng Pan, Chi-Chen Lin and Bing-Yen Wang; PMCID: PMC5286777. PMID: 28143460.
  11. Effect of Vitamin E and Metformin on Fatty Liver Disease in Obese Children- Randomized Clinical Trial; Kobra SHIASI ARANI, Abbas TAGHAVI ARDAKANI and Razieh MOAZAMI GOUDARZI; PMCID: PMC4441895. PMID: 26060704.
  12. Chlorella, Wikipedia.
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  14. The Nutritional Value of Sewage-Grown Samples of Chlorella and Micmctinium in Broiler Diets; BIANKA LIPSTEIN AND SHMUEL HURWITZ.
  15. Impact of daily Chlorella consumption on serum lipid and carotenoid profiles in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults: a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study; Na Hee Ryu, Yeni Lim, Ji Eeun Park, Joohee Kim and Ji Yeon Kim; PMCID: PMC4066283. PMID: 24920270.
  16. Inhibition of lipase and inflammatory mediators by Chlorella lipid extracts for antiacne treatment; G. Sibi; PMCID: PMC4330611. PMID: 25709963.
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