Chlorella

background

Chlorella spp. (species) are single-celled green algae that reproduce quickly using only carbon dioxide, water, sunlight, and a few minerals. In the 1940s, chlorella was believed to be a "superfood" that could supply calories, fat, vitamins, and the 10 then-known essential amino acids to feed a booming population. Scientists have explored using Chlorella spp. in bioregenerative life-support systems for spacecraft and other closed biological systems, such as Biosphere 2.
Current interest in chlorella includes using it for boosting the immune system and for detoxification. Because it is able to resist the damaging effects of toxic metals, chlorella may possibly be used to detoxify water, e.g., to remove arsenic from water.
Two clinical trials studying chlorella's effects on patients with fibromyalgia have shown positive results, although higher-quality studies are needed for all areas of chlorella research.

Related Terms

Arabinose, ARS-2, carotenoids, Chlorella kessleri, Chlorella pyrenoidosa spp., Chlorella seaweed, Chlorella vulgaris spp., chlorophyll, functional food, galactose, Immurella, living food diet, manganese, microalgae, ONC-107, Oocystaceae (family), RespondinĀ®, rhamnose, vitamin B12, vitamin K-rich foods.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
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Fibromyalgia (Grade: B)
Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal disorder of unknown cause. Limited research suggests that chlorella may have beneficial effects on the tenderness associated with fibromyalgia. Although the results are promising, more high-quality studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.
Adjunct in surgery (Grade: C)
Limited research has investigated chlorella's use as an adjunct to cryosurgery. More high-quality research is needed in this area.
High blood pressure (Grade: C)
Preliminary evidence suggests that ingestion of chlorella may reduce blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure. Further research is needed in this area.
Skin cancer (Grade: C)
Limited research has investigated the effect of chlorella on skin cancer. Additional high-quality research is needed in this area.
Ulcerative colitis (Grade: C)
Limited research suggests that chlorella may improve the symptoms of ulcerative colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disease). More high-quality studies are needed before a conclusion can be made.
Vaccine adjunct (Grade: C)
Limited research suggests that chlorella may lack an effect on stimulating the immune system when used together with a vaccine. Additional research is needed in this area.