Benefits of taking chlorella
Chlorella is a microalga that grows in fresh water. It has the highest content of chlorophyll of any know plant. Chlorella is highly nutritious. Its nutritional composition is: 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrates, 5% fiber, and 10% minerals and vitamins. Chlorella is a good source of Chlorophyll, Iron, protein, amino acids, and magnesium (1).
Regarding protein and amino acids, as much as 5% of Chlorella consists of amino acids, (19, including all eight of the essential amino acids). In 100 g of Chlorella powder there is: 1990 mg Isoleucine, 4320 mg Leucine, 3430 mg Lysine, 1280 mg Methionine, 2360 mg Phenylalanine, 2530 mg Threonine, 1030 mg Tryptophan, 2910 mg Valine, 1080 mg Histidine, 730 mg Cystine, 1980 mg Tyrosine, 3080 mg Arginine, 4320 mg Alanine, 4700 mg Aspartic Acid, 6180 mg Glutamic Acid, 2960 mg Glycine, 2370 mg Proline, 2060 mg Serine (2).
Chlorella is a good source of beta-glucan and nucleic acids. It has omega fatty acids in it that promote hormone balance (3 Natures Balance) and cardiovascular health (4 Dockery et al., 2004). Chlorella also has pro-vitamin A, and vitamins B 12, C, K, E. it is high in beta-creatine, lutein, thiamine, riboflavin, and pyroxidine, niacin, pantothenic acid, and folic acid (4 Dockery et al., 2004) as well as biotin, iodine, and inositol.
Chlorella has high ratios of RNA/DNA (3), 3 percent for RNA and 0.3 percent for DNA (5). RNA and DNA are needed by cells to form and divide properly. When there is a breakdown in the production of RNA and DNA, which happens with age, physical deterioration and a loss of energy can occur (5). Chlorella even has mucopolysaccharides (long-chains of sugar molecules), which are found in joint fluid and mucus amongst other things in the body (6).
Three tablespoons (1-once) of Chlorella has the following nutritional value:
16 grams of protein
133 percent of the daily recommended value of zinc
202 percent of the recommended daily value of iron
22 percent of the daily recommended value of magnesium
287 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A
71percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin B2
33 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin B3.
Chlorella also has phosphorus, and vitamin B1 and B6. (7)
Cellular health: Chlorella has high ratios of RNA/DNA (3 Natures Balance), 3 percent for RNA and 0.3 percent for DNA (5). RNA is ribonucleic acid and DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid. Both have anti-aging functions, RNA and DNA are needed by cells to form and divide properly. When there is a breakdown in the production of RNA and DNA, which happens with age, physical deterioration and a loss of energy can occur (5). Further, Chlorella is also high in GLA or Gamma Linoleic Acid, which is a building block of cellular membranes (6).
Chlorella has something called CGF or Chlorella growth factor in it. This stimulates the production of human growth hormones in the pituitary gland. This helps enhance the replacement of cell tissue and healing (6). Chlorella is also a good source of both the amino acid Arginine and GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), both of which increase the production of human growth hormone (8 Organic News Room). This effect is even more pronounced when taken together, or with one of following: L-Dopa, L-Ornithine and Alpha-GPC (Alpha-glycerophosphocholine).
Weight-loss and metabolic disorder/prediabetes: taking Chlorella supplements can be helpful for weight management. People often over eat in an attempt to get enough of the nutrients (vitamins, minerals and fatty acids) their diet lacks. This overeating results in excessive insulin production, and a dysfunctional endocrine system, which then leads to more cravings for unhealthy or refined foods. Chlorella is a great source of nutrition and provides most, or all, the essential nutrients the body needs (6).
Chlorella also assists in insulin signalling while providing a consistent, balanced supply of insulin. Insulin resistance can contribute to nutritional deficiencies by disrupting glucose homeostasis. Insulin is the hormone primarily involved in breakdown, absorption and uptake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats (called intermediary metabolism). This metabolic process underpins glucose homeostasis or blood sugar balance. This is very important as it greatly impacts how glucose and glycogen are used or stored. This decision by the body will be a reaction to how much energy the body is using, and how much it is taking in in the form of food. This mechanism underlies the body’s use of fat as a source of energy for the brain and muscles. Also for skeletal muscle uptake of amino acids and the liver’s conversion of amino acids into proteins (34).
Chlorella has a balance of carbohydrates and proteins. This provides a consistent supply of energy without the production of excess insulin. This helps to balance blood sugar and it is the reason Chlorella acts as a natural appetite suppressant (6).
In a human study using both at risk and normal weight subjects, both groups benefited by taking Chlorella supplements. It helped both groups to reduce body fat percentage, total serum cholesterol and to lowered blood glucose levels. The researchers also found, regarding the at-risk group, that Chlorella positively impacted genes that were involved with fat metabolism and insulin signaling (9).
In animal studies Chlorella supplementation improved blood glucose (blood sugar) sensitivity and lowered serum triglycerides, or fat in the blood. Further, Chlorella inhibited the build up of visceral fat, or fat around major organs like the kidneys, liver and pancreas. Chlorella also improved lipid metabolism disorders, when the body is not able to break down fat or fat-like substances (fatty acids, waxes, oils and cholesterol) properly (10 Noguchi, et al., 2013). In an animal study, Chlorella was shown to reduce serum (blood), and liver cholesterol levels significantly in animals fed Chlorella powder. It was shown in this study that Chlorella converts cholesterol to bile acids in the liver (30).
Chlorella is high in essential fatty acids, including Gamma Linoleic Acid, or GLA. These acids help the body regulate or control cholesterol levels in the blood (6). Chlorella has the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine, which can act as apatite suppressants (11).
Chlorella stimulates intestinal peristalsis, or the contraction and relaxation of muscles to move food through the digestive system. This helps to optimize digestion, which can aid in weight loss (11). The faster the food moves through the digestive system, called the transit time, the fewer nutrients are absorbed and the more likely the person is to lose weight. Conversely, the longer the transit time, the more likely they are to gain weight (12).
See page on Chlorella for sources.
Please note, this information is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Contact a medical professional if you need assistance.