Chlorella pyrenoidosa is a single celled fresh-water, microscopic algae, measuring between 2 and 8 micons in diameter. It is one of the oldest forms of plant life on the planet.
Fossils of chlorella have been found that are over 3 billions years old. It has the highest chlorophyll content of any known plant and this gives it its characteristic emerald green colour. The name chlorella is derived from the Latin for leaf (green) and small. Discovered in 1890 by Beyerinck, chlorella was not studied closely until the 1940s.
Nowadays, chlorella is cultivated in man-made filtered fresh water ponds. With the favourable conditions of strong sunlight, pure water, clean air, the remarkable algae multiplies at an incredible rate, reproducing four times in twenty-four hours.
Chlorella is one of the most scientifically researched foods and has many clinically attested health benefits. Although it has yet to gain popularity in the UK, it is claimed that in Japan chlorella is taken regularly by 30% of the population. There it is regarded as a functional whole food, rather than a dietary supplement.
Chlorella consists of approximately 60% protein in the form of amino acids. It is superior to animal proteins such as meat and eggs, because the body has to break these down into their component amino acids before it can utilise them for its own particular types of protein. Chlorella is considered a complete protein because it contains all 8 essential amino acids
Chlorella is a perfect food that provides nearly all of the body’s nutritional needs. A single gram typically contains the following nutrients:
Beta Carotene 1.8mg Calcium 9.76mg
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) 15µg Copper 0.8µg
Riboflavin Vitamin B2) 0.048mg Iron 1.08mg
Niacin (Vitamin B3) 0.26mg Magnesium 3.99mg
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) 17µg Manganese 19.4µg
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) 17µg Phosphorus 0.22mg
Vitamin B12 1.26µg Potassium 9.27mg
Vitamin C 0.15mg Selenium 7µg
Vitamin E 0.09mg Sodium 0.3mg
Biotin 1.91µg Zinc 11.2µg
Cancer – Chlorella contains beta-carotene, which has been shown to destroy cancer cells. It also provides antioxidant vitamins C and E and selenium. Chlorella increases levels of inteferon, one of the body’s greatest natural cancer defences, which in turn stimulates the activity of T-cells and macrophages, thus enhancing the immune system’s ability to combat bacteria, viruses, chemicals and foreign proteins.
Cardiovascular health – Chlorella is the richest natural source of chlorophyll, which has a structure almost identical to that of haemoglobin. Chlorophyll cells have a magnesium molecule at the centre and this mineral is essential for the heart to function properly. Chlorella is also a good source of Omega-3 oils, which are known to protect against heart disease. Research programs have indicated that regular use of chlorella helps guard against heart disease, reduce high blood pressure and lower blood cholesterol levels.
Anaemia – Chlorophyll stimulates the production of red blood cells and is effective against anaemia.
Digestion – Chlorella contains digestive enzymes. It also causes the friendly lactic bacteria in the gut to multiply at four times the usual rate, improving digestion and the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream. The indigestible shell acts as a bowel fibre, stimulating peristalsis. Chlorella also strengthens the intestine and relieves chronic constipation.
Detoxification – The indigestible outer shell of chlorella binds with heavy metals and other toxins in the body and removes them. This cleansing of the blood, bowel and liver begins after chlorella has been taken regularly for 3 months or more depending on the amount taken.
Alzheimers – The use of aluminium in deodorants and cooking utensils has been incriminated in Alzheimers disease. Regular long term use of chlorella cleanses the system from such heavy metals. A greater supply of oxygen to the brain aids alertness and mental focus in Alzheimers’ patients and those suffering from dementia and Attention Deficit Disorder.
Immunity – Chlorella induces higher levels of interferon and stimulates macrophages, cells that actively protect against disease by digesting foreign substances in the body. Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) unique to chlorella stimulates healing and replacement of cell tissue.
Wound healing – The high amount of chlorophyll accelerates wound and burn healing when applied topically. Chlorella also promotes the healing of diabetic skin ulcers, which can lead to amputation if they become infected. This is thought to be due to an increased production of TNF which promotes fibroblasts, the cells the body uses to repair wounds. Taking chlorella on a regular basis over a long period of time will increase the body’s ability to heal itself of cuts, scrapes, rashes and more serious wounds without the need to apply it externally.
Arthritis – Because chlorella is very alkaline, it helps to neutralise the body’s pH, which is frequently too acidic as a result of consuming too many processed foods and fizzy soft drinks. Arthritis is one condition associated with an acidic constitution. Chlorella also contains vitamins A C and E and Selenium, which together combat arthritis. Chlorella’s outer wall contains glucosamine, which cartilage, tendons and ligaments rely on for constant renewal.
Promotes growth in children – CGF stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete hormones for growth.
Anti-ageing – Not only does it contain powerful antioxidants, chlorella has an abundance of RNA (ribonucleic acid) and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), which are associated with anti-aging.
Culinary Use – Chlorella extract can be added to dough to improve the appearance and flavour of bread and to keep it fresher for longer. It can also improve the flavour of other foods, such as wine, cakes, biscuits, pasta, rice.
For general maintenance, a daily dose of 3-4 grams is recommended. If it is being taken to relieve actual symptoms, the dosage should be increased to 5-6 grams. It is best taken about half an hour before meals for the optimum digestive benefits.
Chlorella can safely be taken by adults, the elderly and children aged over two years. It contains all the components essential to life, making it the most nutritionally potent wholefood available. Because it is a whole food, rather than a concentrated extract it can be taken in large amounts with no unpleasant side effects. In fact, chlorella has not been found to have a single detrimental affect on human health.