Chlorella benefits

The emergence of Whole Foods as a popular spot for grocery shopping gives some insight into the concerns that people have about the harmful toxins in the foods they eat. Whole Foods is known for organic foods—foods that contain no antibiotics, no metallic toxins, few if any preservatives, and nothing that would be considered unnatural. Of course, some people can’t afford the hefty price tag that accompanies this kind of health food shopping. And those who can don’t always stick to the eating plan because busy schedules, tight deadlines and other obligations sometimes make it impossible to eat properly at all times. For these people there are supplements like Chlorella to help break down some of the harmful components of the foods we eat and help our bodies to flush them.

What is Chlorella?
Chlorella is an algae that contains a high amount of chlorophyll. It actually has the highest chlorophyll numbers of any plant. Chlorella grows in fresh water and has been dated to have been around for more than two billion years. It is unknown when people first started using Chlorella for its supposed health benefits. As a plant, it was discovered, examined and named late in the 19th century. There are no stories of other cultures using the plant to stave off illness or infection.

Chlorella Benefits
The supposed Chlorella benefits to be had are numerous. Chlorella contains many important nutrients including calcium, beta-carotene, folic acid, magnesium, iron, essential fatty acids, potassium and more so the plant can definitely pack a nutritional punch. Those who sell it promote its ability to fight or improve:

Crohn’s Disease: Chlorella improves the level of good bacteria in the bowels which helps fight Crohn’s disease as well as diverticulitis and colitis.

Immune System Booster: Because of the many vitamins in this plant, it can boost your immune system and help you fight off disease.

Radiation Protection: Chlorophyll protects the human body against the effects of ultraviolet radiation. This is very valuable for cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.

Chlorella benefits extend beyond what is mentioned above, although no real clinical data has been found. Other purported benefits include: helping asthma, fibromyalgia, lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol (this could be due to the essential fatty acids that can move LDL cholesterol out of the arteries), balance hormones and fight infection. It is important to note that several side effects have been noted with the use of chlorella. The most disturbing of these is nausea and vomiting. There is no real research on the plant in terms of medical use, so it is uncertain what could be causing the side effects.

Research and Studies
There have been very few research studies conducted to determine the effectiveness of chlorella. Many physicians who choose to talk about the supplement mention that any food that is good for you can provide you with positive health benefits. In short, they are basically saying that if you eat enough carrots, you could see an improvement in your health but that doesn’t mean carrots are a new miracle drug. The Food and Drug Administration has yet to review any of the supplements containing Chlorella and, therefore, has yet to opine on their safeness or efficacy. Before you decide to take Chlorella or any other supplement, it is important to discuss your decision with your primary care physician. He or she can review the supplement you plan to take and can help you decide if it is a good and healthy choice for you. Remember that supplements, even those with supposedly safe herbs and plants, can be dangerous when combined with certain medications.


Last updated on Dec 6th, 2009 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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