4

votes

Any thoughts on chlorella?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 10, 2010 at 6:50 PM

It has been popping up here and there, as one of the "superfoods". I generally ignore any "super-", but got intrigued. it's a one cell algae, and is considered a complete protein source. It is supposed to be anti-tumor and support immune system. Mercola is posting a whole list of benefits on his site.

I am especially intrigued with the supposed detoxifying and immunity busting qualities.

Anyone knows something more about it? Are these claims based on real science or another fad?

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on December 04, 2011
at 02:47 AM

Now Foods sells certified organic Chlorella with the cell walls broken down. I bought it to increase my intake of EPA/DHA omega 3 fatty acids.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on November 13, 2011
at 01:23 AM

Cruella de Vil? yeah she's bad for you (and dalmations)

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on September 11, 2010
at 11:27 PM

def. get back - I have fibromyalgia, and any positive results are highly appreciated! Changing to paleo helped tremendously, but any added help would be great.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on September 11, 2010
at 11:25 PM

Melissa - yes, I've read it. the product from NOW mentions it's "broken cell" product.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 11, 2010
at 12:09 AM

Can I blow your mind in two ways? First, the paper is freely available if you google the title! I skimmed it, and found that it is interesting but flawed (small sample sizes, non-statistically significant differences are sort of implied to be significant in the abstract, etc). Second, as someone whose symptoms overlap fibromyalgia, I may try a brief chlorella stint and report back on my findings.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 10, 2010
at 11:50 PM

Can I blow your mind in two ways? First, the paper is freely available if you google the title! I skimmed it, and found that it is interested but flawed (small sample sizes, non-statistically significant differences are sort of implied to be significant in the abstract, etc). Second, as someone whose symptoms overlap fibromyalgia, I may try a brief chlorella stint and report back on my findings.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 10, 2010
at 11:49 PM

Can I blow your mind in two ways? First, the paper is freely available if you google the title! I skimmed it, and found that it is interested but flawed (small sample sizes, non-statistically significant differences are sort of implied to be significant in the abstract, etc). Second, as someone who's symptoms overlap fibromyalgia, I may try a brief chlorella stint and report back on my findings.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 10, 2010
at 11:38 PM

Did your sources talk about the digestibility of chlorella? It's got a great nutrient profile, but I wonder if it's like the grass-cow-human continuum but not so extreme (we use the cows to digest it because we can't).

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 10, 2010
at 09:53 PM

it says that based on their results they think it has potential and should be studied further

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 10, 2010
at 09:42 PM

Dunno if this is reputable but " Many people ask us about the difference between Klamath Blue Green Algae (Aphanizomenon Flos Aquae or AFA), spirulina and chlorella. AFA and spirulina are blue green algaes while chlorella is a green algae, which means it has an indigestible cellulose wall. This wall must be mechanically broken in order for the body to be able to digest it. This is a very expensive process and is reflected in the cost of the product." http://www.momentum98.com/spirulinahistory.html

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:41 PM

does it mean that they didn't find anything or that they think it has a real potential indeed and should do more studies?

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:40 PM

Melissa - I see often spirulina and chlorella mentioned together, and read testimonies from people taking both as well. Are they more or less similar?

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:36 PM

Kamal - that was my thinking as well. Eating sea vegetables is very strongly advised (for example by Mark Sisson), chlorella just happens to be one-cell organism so it's more difficult to eat the way you can eat other algae. I am guessing it is great for vegetarians, as it's a complete protein. But that I already get from meat...

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:33 PM

I think they tried to grow it, when there were hopes that chlorella can become the perfect food for overpopulated Earth... but they couldn't produce enough amount.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:31 PM

Matthew - I see it each time I read about chlorella ;-)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 10, 2010
at 09:29 PM

Back when I was raw vegan, klamath lake blue green algae was trendy until someone realized it was possibly contaminated. I would wonder if chlorella is harvested or grown?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:13 PM

Also, you should specify "snake oil and snake fat", because saturated fatty content might solidify it at room temperature assuming it's not processed. Just an FYI.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:11 PM

Snake oil is higher in EPA/DHA than most oils, and is not seen as a panacea in cultures that traditionally use it. If chlorella is snake oil at best, that is quite alright.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:09 PM

Terrible response, at best. There are a number of studies on Chlorella (just glance at the wikipedia references) show some fairly beneficial effects. It is the processing of it that seems to destroy a lot of it's benefit.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 10, 2010
at 08:57 PM

Reminds me of this awesome article http://www.salon.com/life/food/eat_drink/2007/06/05/spirulina/index.html

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on September 10, 2010
at 06:56 PM

I read that and thought at first that you said Cholera :P

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4 Answers

3
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:02 PM

Whoah whoah...why did this get downvoted? Chlorella is just another possible food source, and Yoannah already disclaimed against "superfoods".

Anywho, I know people who have considered eating algae or algae supplements to get DHA/EPA. Chlorella is a type of algae, is it not? Algae was one of the first living things occupying the murky waters of young Earth. If that isn't paleo, I don't know what is.

As far as detoxifying and immunity busting, I'm not sure. I used to think Mercola was a quack, but he is spot on for some stuff and actually seems quite intelligent when he's not shilling his own products.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 10, 2010
at 11:38 PM

Did your sources talk about the digestibility of chlorella? It's got a great nutrient profile, but I wonder if it's like the grass-cow-human continuum but not so extreme (we use the cows to digest it because we can't).

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:33 PM

I think they tried to grow it, when there were hopes that chlorella can become the perfect food for overpopulated Earth... but they couldn't produce enough amount.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:36 PM

Kamal - that was my thinking as well. Eating sea vegetables is very strongly advised (for example by Mark Sisson), chlorella just happens to be one-cell organism so it's more difficult to eat the way you can eat other algae. I am guessing it is great for vegetarians, as it's a complete protein. But that I already get from meat...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 10, 2010
at 09:29 PM

Back when I was raw vegan, klamath lake blue green algae was trendy until someone realized it was possibly contaminated. I would wonder if chlorella is harvested or grown?

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on December 04, 2011
at 02:47 AM

Now Foods sells certified organic Chlorella with the cell walls broken down. I bought it to increase my intake of EPA/DHA omega 3 fatty acids.

1
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 10, 2010
at 09:30 PM

Dudes, Pubmed is awesome and haz this here lovely review:

CONCLUSIONS: The potential of chlorella to relieve symptoms, improve quality of life, and normalize body functions in patients with fibromyalgia, hypertension, or ulcerative colitis suggests that larger, more comprehensive clinical trials of chlorella are warranted.

Can anyone with university access read the actual study? But personally I wouldn't be surprised if sprulina or other more widely available algaes have similar effects.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 10, 2010
at 09:53 PM

it says that based on their results they think it has potential and should be studied further

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 10, 2010
at 11:50 PM

Can I blow your mind in two ways? First, the paper is freely available if you google the title! I skimmed it, and found that it is interested but flawed (small sample sizes, non-statistically significant differences are sort of implied to be significant in the abstract, etc). Second, as someone whose symptoms overlap fibromyalgia, I may try a brief chlorella stint and report back on my findings.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 11, 2010
at 12:09 AM

Can I blow your mind in two ways? First, the paper is freely available if you google the title! I skimmed it, and found that it is interesting but flawed (small sample sizes, non-statistically significant differences are sort of implied to be significant in the abstract, etc). Second, as someone whose symptoms overlap fibromyalgia, I may try a brief chlorella stint and report back on my findings.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 10, 2010
at 11:49 PM

Can I blow your mind in two ways? First, the paper is freely available if you google the title! I skimmed it, and found that it is interested but flawed (small sample sizes, non-statistically significant differences are sort of implied to be significant in the abstract, etc). Second, as someone who's symptoms overlap fibromyalgia, I may try a brief chlorella stint and report back on my findings.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:41 PM

does it mean that they didn't find anything or that they think it has a real potential indeed and should do more studies?

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on September 11, 2010
at 11:27 PM

def. get back - I have fibromyalgia, and any positive results are highly appreciated! Changing to paleo helped tremendously, but any added help would be great.

0
D30b9ab240a461a1cac392fa35e9b7f0

on April 24, 2013
at 04:23 AM

I absolutely love chlorella. I wasn't sure if it was paleo so I checked in here but I can say that it definitely helped me with energy levels, particularly, I think due in part to it being a complete protein. It also has the added benefit of working like an internal deoderant. If you don't know what that means... think about it for a second ;) From what I understand, it is more bioavailable than spirulina, also, and is an excellent source of absorbable vitamin D.

-2
93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on September 10, 2010
at 08:55 PM

Snake-oil. At best.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:09 PM

Terrible response, at best. There are a number of studies on Chlorella (just glance at the wikipedia references) show some fairly beneficial effects. It is the processing of it that seems to destroy a lot of it's benefit.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:13 PM

Also, you should specify "snake oil and snake fat", because saturated fatty content might solidify it at room temperature assuming it's not processed. Just an FYI.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:11 PM

Snake oil is higher in EPA/DHA than most oils, and is not seen as a panacea in cultures that traditionally use it. If chlorella is snake oil at best, that is quite alright.

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