Chlorella: Superfood from the Sea

bowl of chlorella tablets surrounded by green chlorella powder on a tableChlorella is a single-celled freshwater microalgae “superfood from the sea.” It is rich in amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals—including B-vitamins, vitamins A and D, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. This unique combination of nutrients is a primary reason why scientists from around the globe have, since the World War II era, been actively researching* medicinal uses for this superfood.

With about about 60 percent protein content, chlorella is one of the highest vegetarian protein sources. Chlorella’s potential benefits for health and vitality include:

  •        detoxification from heavy metals, including mercury;
  •        supporting optimal immune system function;
  •        antioxidant properties;
  •        anti-inflammatory properties;
  •        healthy cholesterol metabolism; and
  •        support for digestive health.

It is widely accepted that the structure of the cell wall in chlorella allows it to bind with heavy metals, essentially keeping the phytonutrient healthy, and it’s the primary reason chlorella has survived for millennia, even in polluted aquatic environments. This rare ability to bind to toxins has given rise to preclinical studies on the role chlorella may play in detoxification for optimal health in humans, as our internal environment is primarily aquatic.

There are many types of chlorella on the market, in pill and powder form. The cellular properties of chlorella must be broken down for human digestion, known as “broken cell-wall chlorella.” Therefore, chlorella must be developed under careful quality control conditions. Additionally, Daily Values for this nutrient have not been established. It is imperative to consult with your health practitioner before selecting a chlorella supplement.

*(chemical assays, animal and limited human studies)


Merchant, R.E., 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.” Abstract. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 7, no. 3 (May-June 2001): 79-91.

Wu, Y., and W.X. Wang. “Intracellular Speciation and Transformation of Inorganic Mercury in Marine Phytoplankton.” Abstract. Aquatic Toxicology 148 (March 2014):122-9.


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