Chlorella consists of unicellular green algae with a spherical shape, and a high percentage of chlorophyll. It is even considered as the food with the highest percentage of chlorophyll on the planet.
The Chlorella algae are rich in nutrients and have been getting a lot of buzz about the benefits to health. Also, as a supplement it has been shown to improve cholesterol levels and release toxins by heavy metals in the body.
Discover what science says about the health benefits of chlorella, and if it is advisable to take it in the form of a supplement.
6 Benefits of chlorella algae
1.It is very nutritious
Due to all the good nutritional components of chlorella algae for the body, some have dared to describe it as “superfund “.
The nutrient content depends on the conditions of the crop, specifically the species used. However, it is clear that any of the different alternatives of this supplement includes at least the following components:
- Around 50-60% of proteins. It is even considered as a complete source of protein, which means that it contains the 9 essential amino acids.
- B12 vitamin. Some varieties of chlorella contain it, but more studies would be needed to confirm it.
- Iron and vitamin C. It is considered a good source of iron, and depending on the supplement, could offer between 6 and 40% of your daily needs. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps absorb iron.
- It provides a wide range of antioxidants, small amounts of magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, calcium and folic acid. In addition to being a good source of fiber.
- Omega 3. As with other algae it contains some of these fatty acids, and according to the research only 3 g of chlorella provide 100 mg of omega-3.
2.Detoxifies the organism
Chlorella has been a subject of conversation for its ability to help in the detoxification of the body. In fact, animal studies indicate that it is effective in helping to eliminate heavy metals and other compounds harmful to health.
Although some heavy metals such as iron and copper are essential for health in small quantities, in other cases, such as cadmium and lead, they can be toxic, especially if they are found in high amounts.
Science has found how chlorella can weaken the toxicity capacity of heavy metals in the liver, brain and kidneys of animals. It can also help reduce the amount of other harmful chemicals that are sometimes in food, such as dioxin.
3.Improve the immune system
A strong immune system helps maintain health and fights infections. The chlorella has shown to improve the immune response in animals and in people, although scientific evidence so far is limited.
In a small study, men produced more antibodies when taking chlorella. In another eight-week study, healthy adults who took it showed better immune activity. However, the results have been mixed, because some show little or no effect.
For example, one study found that chlorella supplements improved immune function in participants 50-55 years of age, but not in those older than 55 years.
4.Help control cholesterol
Several studies point out that chlorella supplements can help lower cholesterol . Specifically, they indicated that a consumption of 5-10 grams per day reduced total cholesterol and triglycerides in people who had it slightly elevated.
This is possible due to some components of chlorella that can improve blood lipid levels such as the following:
- The niacin.
- The carotenoids.
- Antioxidants, to help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein).
5.It is good for aerobic endurance
Only one investigation has examined the effect of chlorella algae on aerobic resistance, giving good results for this purpose.
In this research, a group of young adults was administered 6 grams of chlorella daily for 4 weeks. At the end of the study, the group that took chlorella showed a better capacity to supply oxygen to the lungs , while the group that did not consume the supplement showed no improvement.
According to this study, this effect can be attributed to the content of amino acids present in the branched chain of chlorella. These are a collection of three amino acids that have in turn shown to improve aerobic performance according to other studies.
Chlorella algae can improve aerobic performance
6.Helps maintain the sugar level
Science indicates that chlorella can help control blood sugar levels. For example, it was shown that taking chlorella for 12 weeks reduced the level of sugar, both in healthy individuals and in those at high risk of type II diabetes. It has also been suggested that it may increase insulin sensitivity.
However, there is still not enough research to indicate that you must supplement with chlorella to control blood sugar, but it can be very helpful when combined with other therapies.
What is the recommended intake of Chlorella seaweed?
The recommended intake of chlorella is based on the dose used in the studies; that is, 2 to 3 grams, which is also specified in most supplements. On the other hand, for now, there does not seem to be any proven harm in taking chlorella supplements.
The best way to take chlorella is through supplements, in order to take advantage of all its benefits, because part of this algae cannot be digested by people. In this way, it is available in capsule, tablet, powder and in the form of extract.