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The Benefits of Chlorella for Gut Health

Updated: Jan 3

Various herbs, mushrooms and plants have been used for thousands of years as part of traditional medicine. Today I want to talk about Chlorella, one of the most researched plants in the past years and considered as a Superfood due to its endless health benefits.

Chlorella is a freshwater alga that is rich in vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants, especially chlorophyll which is a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Chlorella is rich with protein (70%!), vitamin C, and a bunch of minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium and healthy fatty acids like omega 3.


Researches show that Chlorella has many valuable benefits that contribute to our gut health. It helps detoxify the body by removing heavy metals and toxins. Its ant-aging properties promote healthy skin and hair and protect our cells from early aging.

The documentation of all the health benefits of this special algae really is impressive, however, what impresses me the most, is its beneficial effect on the health of our digestive system. Few recent studies have found the beneficial effects of Chlorella on different digestive functions with amazing results. An American clinical study from 2001 found that high consumption of Chlorella helps decrease Ulcerative colitis symptoms by 61%!


As a strong anti-oxidant Chlorella increases oxygen flow to cells and improves organ function Increases energy levels and strengthens the immune system, which is mostly found in the intestines.


Chlorella is basically a type of prebiotic food that supports the proliferation of gut bacteria, especially Lactobacillus acidophilus, a bacterium that helps destroy bad bacteria like E-Coli and is extremely important for maintaining the intestinal health. Thanks to Chlorella’s amazing ability to clean and purify the intestines, it helps stabilize bowel movement, prevent bloating and treat chronic constipation.


Various chronic gastrointestinal conditions, like Inflammatory bowel diseases, inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the intestine. One of the most incredible benefits of the Chlorella is, that it actually improves nutrient absorption and their concentration in the blood. A great example of this is its ability to increase folate levels (an active form of vitamin B9) in the blood. Folate is a vitamin that is associated with improving the frequency of bowel movements, thus, helps prevent constipation.

Toxins in the intestinal lumen also damage normal bowel movements. Chlorella intake facilitates the eradication of these harmful substances from the gut. It is also an anti-inflammatory agent which modulates the immune function, suppresses inflammation of the colon and protects it from oxidative damage.


Here are some of my favorite chlorella supplements from IHERB:


Chlorella and gut health
Chlorella

References:

1. Diaz S, Bittar K, Mendez MD. Constipation. [Updated 2021 Jul 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan.

2. Nishimoto, Yuichiro et al. “The Nutritional Efficacy of Chlorella Supplementation Depends on the Individual Gut Environment: A Randomised Control Study.” Frontiers in nutrition vol. 8 648073. 31 May. 2021, doi:10.3389/fnut.2021.648073

3. Bito T, Okumura E, Fujishima M, Watanabe F. Potential of Chlorella as a Dietary Supplement to Promote Human Health. Nutrients. 2020;12(9):2524. Published 2020 Aug 20. doi:10.3390/nu12092524

4. Dietary Supplementation with Chlorella Pyrenoidosa Produces Positive Results in Patients with Cancer or Suffering From Certain Common Chronic Illnesses. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Feb, 2001, by Randall E. Merchant, Cynthia A. Andre

5. 2020 Jan 29;11(1):1098-1109. doi: 10.1039/c9fo01028a.

Microalgae aqueous extracts exert intestinal protective effects in Caco-2 cells and dextran sodium sulphate-induced mouse colitis

R. E. Merchant and C. A. Andre, "A Review of Recent Clinical Trials of the Nutritional Supplement Chlorella Pyrenoidosa in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia, Hypertension, and Ulcerative Colitis," Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 7, no. 3 (May/June 2001): 79–91.

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