June 26, 2016

Chlorella

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What other names is Chlorella known by?

Algue Verte d'Eau Douce, Bulgarian Chlorella, Bulgarian Green Algae, Chinese Chlorella, Chlorella Algae, Chlorella pyrenoidosa, Chlorella vulgaris, Chlorelle, Clorela, Freshwater Green Algae, Freshwater Seaweed, Green Alga, Green Algae, Japanese Chlorella, Seaweed, Yaeyama Chlorella.

What is Chlorella?

Chlorella is a type of algae that grows in fresh water. The whole plant is used to make nutritional supplements and medicine.

Most of the chlorella that is available in the U.S. is grown in Japan or Taiwan. It is processed and made into tablets and liquid extracts. These extracts contain "chlorella growth factor," which is described as a water-soluble extract of chlorella containing chemicals including amino acids, peptides, proteins, vitamins, sugars, and nucleic acids.

Be aware that chlorella products can vary significantly depending on the way "the crop" used to make them was cultivated, harvested, and processed. Investigators have found that dried preparation of chlorella can contain from 7% to 88% protein, 6% to 38% carbohydrate, and 7% to 75% fat.

As a medicine, chlorella is used for preventing cancer, reducing radiation treatment side effects, stimulating the immune system, improving response to flu vaccine, increasing white blood cell counts (especially in people with HIV infection or cancer), preventing colds, protecting the body against toxic metals such as lead and mercury, and slowing the aging process.

Chlorella is also used to increase "good" bacteria in the intestine in order to improve digestion; and to help treat ulcers, colitis, Crohn's disease, and diverticulosis.

Some people also use chlorella for the prevention of stress-related ulcers; treatment of constipation, bad breath, and hypertension; as an antioxidant; to reduce cholesterol; to increase energy; to detoxify the body; and as a source of magnesium to promote mental health, relieve premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and reduce asthma attacks. It is also used for fibromyalgia.

Chlorella is applied to the skin for treating skin ulcers, rashes caused by radiation treatment, and a sexually transmitted disease called trichomoniasis.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Fibromyalgia. Some people with fibromyalgia say they feel better when they take chlorella tablets plus a liquid extract containing malic acid daily for 2 months.
  • Brain tumor (gilioma). Early research suggests chlorella tablets plus chlorella liquid extract might help people with a type of brain cancer called gilioma better tolerate chemotherapy and radiation treatments, possibly by boosting the immune system. However, chlorella does not seem to slow the progression of the cancer or improve survival.
  • High blood pressure. Early research suggests that taking chlorella daily for 1-2 months does not reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
  • Cancer prevention.
  • Colds.
  • Crohn's disease.
  • Ulcerative colitis.
  • Ulcers.
  • Constipation.
  • Bad breath.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of chlorella for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

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