Looking for a healthy, natural way to cleanse your body for continued health? Although chlorella is a newly discovered organism, it's currently being hailed as the perfect detox supplement.
Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) is a single-celled type of freshwater algae typically grown in the rivers of Japan and Taiwan. Before it can be made into a tablet or liquid extract, the cell wall must be broken down otherwise it won't be possible to digest.
Chlorella has been used in Japan for generations to treat a variety of health conditions ranging from colds to tumors. Chlorella is 57 percent protein, providing a complete source of protein in an average dose. For example, in a typical serving of chlorella, a person can expect to receive only 2 g of protein, but they'll be two complete grams of protein full of all the amino acids.
Popular Uses for Chlorella
As previously mentioned, chlorella is taken for many reasons, ranging from disease prevention to detoxification. Here are the most popularly researched uses for chlorella:
1. Blood Cleanser -- Eliminating toxins from the body helps protect the liver and eases the stress put on your bowels. Your liver is then better equipped to produce cleaner blood. Chlorella was praised on "The Dr. Oz Show" by Dr. Mehmet Oz for its ability to remove mercury and other heavy metals from the blood. If you have silver fillings in your teeth, which emit mercury over time, Dr. Oz recommended taking a daily chlorella supplement.
2. Preventing Cancer -- Chlorella has been used as to prevent cancer due the cleansing properties it possesses. When chlorella is digested, it clings to heavy metals and toxins found throughout the digestive tract. Since chlorella eliminates the heavy metals before they would normally reach the liver, the liver is better able to prevent toxins from entering the blood stream. Even though chlorella clings to heavy metals, it somehow doesn't remove the minerals necessary for everyday function, such as zinc, magnesium and copper.
3. Tumor Reduction -- Although mostly due to it's detoxification properties, chlorella is believed to reduce the size of a tumor by consistently removing the tumor's cells, reducing the size little by little.
More concrete evidence is needed to confirm or disprove chlorella's benefit in any of the situations or conditions mentioned above. A study conducted in Japan on cell cultures in animals suggested chlorella may prevent the growth of cancer cells by rendering the molecules responsible for creating those cells to be inactive. However, no studies have been performed with human subjects. A study conducted by Kebangsaan University in Malaysia suggested a certain strain of chlorella (Chlorella vulgaris) may have anti-cancer properties, but researchers don't view it as an absolute. They believe the particular strain releases certain proteins which protect DNA from being manipulated by cancer cells and eventually dying off. However, they were unable to make a direct correlation between these proteins and cancer.
A very recent study conducted by the South China University of Technology suggested chlorella may have properties which could lead to a strengthened intestinal tract, but was unsure of what the application could be in a pharmaceutical application. Research has begun into other uses for chlorella with positive results. Studies show chlorella can increase the amount of albumin, a protein, present in the bloodstream. Albumin has shown positive effects in preventing conditions such as diabetes, cancer and multiple sclerosis.
Although there are no known side effects, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning a chlorella regimen as an allergic reaction can occur, or if you're pregnant, nursing or being treated for a medical condition.
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