|Chlorella benefits, side effects and dosage
December 22, 2011
Chlorella health benefits claims
Pregnancy anemia and pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) are common and potentially dangerous disorder in
human pregnancy. Chlorella contains large quantities of folate, vitamin B-12 and iron, and can help improve anemia and
hypertensive disorder. A study of 70 pregnant women suggests that Chlorella supplementation significantly reduces the
risk of pregnancy associated anemia, proteinuria and edema. The subjects in the Chlorella group were supplemented
daily from 12th-18th wk of gestation until delivery with a dosage of 6 g of Chlorella supplement. Chlorella supplement
may benefit pregnant women by providing folate, vitamin B-12 and iron. [C3]
Vijayavel K and co-workers from University of Madras, India, proposed the anti-cancer or chemo-preventive effect an
alcohol extract of the marine algae Chlorella vulgaris based on its free radical scavenging activities.  However, more
works are needed to show chlorella benefits on this disease. 
Chlorella has been suggested to treat constipation. However, scientific evidence for this health benefit claim is
insufficient. [ as of December 12, 2011]
Oxidative stress is one of the major causes of age-dependent memory loss and cognitive decline. Cytotoxic aldehydes
are derived from lipid peroxides and their accumulation may be responsible for age-dependent neurodegeneration,
including Alzheimer's disease. Chlorella exhibits various anti-oxidative effects, Chlorella may have the benefits to
prevent age-dependent cognitive impairment. Alzheimer's disease animal model was fed with chlorella and oxidative
stress was reduced, the decline of cognitive ability was also declined. Thus, prolonged consumption of Chlorella may
have the potential benefit to prevent the progression of cognitive impairment, but more studies are needed to confirm
this findings. [B2]
It has been thought that Chlorella might benefit people at risk of diabetes, as chlorella vulgaris was once reported to
have hypoglycemic effects. In a study, chlorella ingestion tests on 17 subjects with high-risk factors for lifestyle-related
diseases were conducted. Researchers found that chlorella intake resulted in noticeable reductions in body fat
percentage, serum total cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose levels. The researchers identified genes with noticeable
variance in expression level resulting from Chlorella intake in the high-risk factor group. These included genes involved
in fat metabolism and insulin signaling pathways, which suggests that these pathways could be physiologically affected
by Chlorella intake. [C2]
Different people may experience different side effects and benefits of a product. You are encouraged to report
adverse side effects to FDA, its website is www.fda.gov., or report the adverse side effects to the manufacturer, you
should be able to find the contact information on the label.
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Reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document and the information provided herein is believed to be
accurate. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is important to seek
the advice of a physician about any medical condition or symptom or the benefits and side effects of a supplement or
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Chlorella is a genus of single-celled green algae, belonging to the phylum Chlorophyta. Chlorella is spherical in shape, about 2 to 10 μm in
diameter, and is without flagella. Chlorella contains the green photosynthetic pigments chlorophyll-a and -b in its chloroplast. Through
photosynthesis, chlorella multiplies rapidly requiring only carbon dioxide, water, sunlight, and a small amount of minerals to reproduce. Once,
Chlorella was thought to be a cheap source of protein for human diet, but it was found sophisticated process is needed for the mass production.
Thus, the cost is high, it is also hard to digest because of its cell walls. Now, Chlorella is marketed as a supplement for weight control, cancer
prevention, and immune system support. 
Chlorella is high in protein and other essential nutrients; when dried, it is about 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fiber, and 10%
minerals and vitamins.  Mike Adams published a book called "chlorella and spirulina", then "cllorella and spirulina' has been marketed as a
superfood, this combination is claimed to have many health benefits.
Sansawa H and co-workers from Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research, Japan, found that intake of
chorella regularies (dried cell powder) led to lower blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats.  At 21 week of
feeding, serum total cholesterol of the rats was significantly lowered. Intake of chlorella was also linked to a low
incidence of cerebral vascular accidents in the rats.  While, Shibata S and colleages from Yakult Central Institute for
Microbiological Research, Japan considered a chlorella powder as a hypocholesterolemic agent. In a rat study, they
found that chlorella powder exerted its hypocholesterolemic effect via an enhancement of cholesterol catabolism
through up-regulation of hepatic CYP7A1 expression. And, also a 3.08% Chlorella indigestible fraction contributed to
the hypocholesterolemic effect.
Merchant RE and Andre CA. from Virginia Commonwealth University, VA, recruited 55 patients with fibromyalgia, 33 with
hypertension, and 9 with ulcerative colitis. Each patient consumed 10 g of pure chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) in
tablet form and 100 mL of a liquid containing an extract of chlorella each day for 2 or 3 months. They found that daily
dietary supplementation with chlorella reduced high blood pressure, lowered serum cholesterol levels, accelerated
wound healing, and enhanced immune functions. 
Insufficient evidence is found for the health claims of chorella on conditions such as bad breath, colds etc.
Chlorella Safety Issues and Side Effects
Short term use of chlorella is probably safe to healthy adults at low dosages. The common side effects include diarrhea,
nausea, gas, green discoloration of the stools, and stomach cramping. Further, the side effects may also include
allergic reactions and skin sensitivity to the sun. One of my readers complains about a lift of plasma uric acid after
intake of chorella. A study does report the rise of uric acid in the blood stream after intake of chorella in an animal
study. High content of uric acid is known to be linked to gout. Gout is a rheumatic disease resulting from deposition of
uric acid crystals in tissues and fluids within the body. This process is caused by an uric acid overproduction or under
excretion. Other chlorella side effects may include nausea and stomach upset.
In a rare case, a boy with acute tubulointerstitial nephritis, who developed it following ingestion of Chlorella tablets as a
food supplement for 3 months. The patient's renal function improved after initiation of corticosteroid therapy and
discontinuation of Chlorella for 6 months. Chlorella may be a causative allergen inducing tubulointerstitial injury in
kidney. [C4] Please, note that this case of side effect is very uncommon.
Chlorella might make the immune system more active. That could counter offer the effectiveness of
immunosuppressants. Popular immunosuppressants include azathioprine, basiliximab, cyclosporine, daclizumab,
muromonab-CD3, mycophenolate, tacrolimus, sirolimus, prednisone, corticosteroids, and others.
At this time, insufficient scientific data to determine the dosage of chlorella. However, a study of 55 subjects with
fibromyalgia, 33 with hypertension, and 9 with ulcerative colitis, subjects consumed 10 g of pure chlorella in tablet form
and 100 mL of a liquid containing an extract of chlorella each day for 2 or 3 months. Promising data was obtained with
daily dietary supplementation with chlorella supplements. [B1]
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorella  Merchant RE, Andre CA. A review of recent clinical trials of the nutritional supplement Chlorella
pyrenoidosa in the treatment of fibromyalgia, hypertension, and ulcerative colitis.Altern Ther Health Med. 2001 May-Jun;7(3):79-91. 
Merchant RE, Andre CA, Sica DA. Nutritional supplementation with Chlorella pyrenoidosa for mild to moderate hypertension.J Med Food.
2002 Fall;5(3):141-52.  Merchant RE et al, Nutritional supplementation with Chlorella pyrenoidosa for patients with fibromyalgia
syndrome: a pilot study.Phytother Res. 2000 May;14(3):167-73  Vijayavel K, Anbuselvam C, Balasubramanian MP. Antioxidant effect of
the marine algae Chlorella vulgaris against naphthalene-induced oxidative stress in the albino rats.Mol Cell Biochem. 2007 Apr 25 
Shibata S, Hayakawa K, Egashira Y, Sanada H. Hypocholesterolemic mechanism of Chlorella: Chlorella and its indigestible fraction
enhance hepatic cholesterol catabolism through up-regulation of cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase in rats.Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2007
Apr;71(4):916-25. Epub 2007 Apr 7. Sansawa H, Takahashi M, Tsuchikura S, Endo H. Effect of chlorella and its fractions on blood
pressure, cerebral stroke lesions, and life-span in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats.: J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2006
Dec;52(6):457-66.  Saleh AM, Hussein LA, Abdalla FE, el-Fouly MM, Shaheen AB.The nutritional quality of drum-dried algae produced in
open door mass culture.Z Ernahrungswiss. 1985 Dec;24(4):845-63.  www.bealydecker.com/Products.htm MebMD.com November 02,
2011 Rxlist.com November 03, 2011  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorellav Saleh AM, Hussein LA, Abdalla FE, el-Fouly MM, Shaheen
AB.The nutritional quality of drum-dried algae produced in open door mass culture.Z Ernahrungswiss. 1985 Dec;24(4):845-63. [B1]
Merchant RE, Andre CA. A review of recent clinical trials of the nutritional supplement Chlorella pyrenoidosa in the treatment of
fibromyalgia, hypertension, and ulcerative colitis. Altern Ther Health Med. 2001 May-Jun;7(3):79-91. B2 Nakashima Y, et al, Preventive
effects of Chlorella on cognitive decline in age-dependent dementia model mice. Neurosci Lett. 2009 Oct 30;464(3):193-8. C1. Aizzat O, et
al, Modulation of oxidative stress by Chlorella vulgaris in streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic Sprague-Dawley rats.Adv Med Sci. 2010 Dec
30;55(2):281-8. C2 Mizoguchi T, et al, Nutrigenomic studies of effects of Chlorella on subjects with high-risk factors for lifestyle-related
disease. J Med Food. 2008 Sep;11(3):395-404. C3 Nakano S, et al, Chlorella pyrenoidosa supplementation reduces the risk of anemia,
proteinuria and edema in pregnant women. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2010 Mar;65(1):25-30. C4 Yim HE et al, Acute tubulointerstitial
nephritis following ingestion of Chlorella tablets. Pediatr Nephrol. 2007 Jun;22(6):887-8.
However, in a study of male Sprague-Dawley rats, Chlorella vulgaris did not have any effects on glucose levels in diabetic rats. On the other hand,
chlorella vulgaris reduced significantly DNA damage and blood malondialdehyde levels (lipid peroxidation) in the diabetic rats compared to the
control group. Thus, chlorella vulgaris did not have hypoglycaemic effect but it has a protective role in the diabetic rats. [C1]
Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common, chronic musculoskeletal disorder of unknown aetiology. Some people with fibromyalgia say they feel better
when they take chlorella tablets with malic acid daily for two months. In a study, Merchant RE and co-workers recruited 32 patients suffered from
fibromyalgia syndrome. Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common, chronic musculoskeletal disorder of unknown aetiology. Patricipants consumed two
commercially available Chlorella-based (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) products, 10 g of 'Sun Chlorella' tablets and 100 mL of liquid 'Wakasa Gold' each
day for two months. Seven patients felt that the dietary supplement had improved their fibromyalgia symptoms, while six thought they had
experienced no change, and five believed the symptoms had worsened over the time of the trial.  Thus, chlorella may have somewhat benefits on
fibromyalgia syndrome to some users.
GI tract conditions
Insufficient evidence is found for its benefits on crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, ulcers, constipation
Merchant RE and co-workers further recruited 33 people with blood pressure of 115/90 mg Hg. The people cosumed dietary chlorella supplements
(either 10 g Chlorella tablets or 100 mL of Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) extracts for two months. At the end of the study, only 25% of the
subjects had their diastolic blood pressure reduced to the goal.