Chlorella is a nutrient-dense type of green algae that contains chlorophyll. It’s said to promote good health and well-being, which is why it’s used to make nutritional supplements and medicine. Chlorella is especially popular in Asian countries.
Although more research is needed to understand the extent of chlorella’s potential benefits, several possibilities are already being explored.
It’s rich in antioxidants
Chlorella contains several antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, lutein, and beta-carotene. Antioxidants keep you healthy and help to prevent disease. A small study showed chlorella improved skin health and decreased fatigue in breast cancer patients.
Chlorella has also been shown to have antioxidant properties that can help reduce the growth of cancer cells in rats. It may also help kill cancer cells that already exist. More research is needed to determine the extent of chlorella’s anticancer properties.
It can detoxify radiation
Chlorella may be especially beneficial for people who are undergoing chemotherapy. Although chemotherapy works to kill cancerous cells, it can also damage the healthy white blood cells. This can result in a weakened immune system, which can put you at risk for infection.
Older research suggests that the chlorophyll found in chlorella helps protect the body against these harmful effects. For example, one 1990 study showed that people who took chlorella supplements during chemotherapy experienced less respiratory infections and flu-like illnesses.
Current theory being tested in research is that chlorella may be protective from the damaging radiation from the sun, and it’s possibly useful in radiation treatment for cancer.
It can boost your immune system
A 2012 study found that chlorella supplements boost immunity in healthy people and have a positive effect on immunity-related cell activity. Chlorella also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help boost overall health and help your body become more resistant to infection.
It can boost your metabolism
Chlorella is often praised for its slimming effects. Its complete nourishment can help you to feel sated and reduce cravings. Chlorella may also affect the genes involved in fat metabolism, which can lead to weight loss.
Researchers in one 2008 study found that people who took chlorella experienced a reduction in body fat percentage. Another study produced similar results: Chlorella consumption appeared to have anti-obesity effects, as well as inhibit the growth of fat cells.
It can help manage blood sugar and cholesterol
Chlorella has been shown to have a positive effect on blood sugar and cholesterol levels. This may make chlorella especially beneficial for people who have diabetes or are obese.
A 2013 study researched the effects of chlorella extract on obese mice and rats on a high-fat diet. Chlorella consumption was found to prevent the growth of fat cells and improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Blood fat levels were also reduced.
How to use chlorella
A typical dose of chlorella is 3 to 10 grams per day. You can take it as a powder, tablet, or capsule. It’s also available in liquid form, with a typical dosage of 4 to 10 milliliters per day.
Dosages may vary depending on the brand, so be sure to read the label and use as directed. Starting with a smaller dose and gradually increasing your intake can help minimize potential side effects. It’s safe to take it for up to two months at a time.