If you didn’t think “super algae” was a food status, then think again. Chlorella, much like it’s distant relative Spirulina is classified as you guessed it a “super algae”. Forget about your Kale and broccoli, this rogue greens powder, is in a class of its own when it comes to powerfully rich health benefits and unique nutritional profile.
What Is Chlorella
So we know that Chlorella has super status. But what the heck is it? Chlorella is classified as a microalgae, and is rich in bioactive compounds, carotenes, astaxanthin, lutein and fucoxanthin. In addition to these compounds, Chlorella contains healthy essential fatty acids or omega-3, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and is also comprised of 50-60% protein. Not only that, Chlorella has the highest level of chlorophyll in the entire plant kingdom [R]
What Are The Health Benefits Of Chlorella
Although Chlorella has an impressive nutrient profile, research is somewhat limited, and some health claims are better supported than others.
Chlorella Benefits: May Enhance Aerobic Capacity
A double-blind placebo-controlled trial published in the Journal of Clinical Biochem Nutrition examined the effects of 6g of chlorella supplementation on aerobic capacity in 10 adults. Peak oxygen uptake significantly increased after chlorella supplementation resulting in increased aerobic endurance capacity [R]. Improved oxygen uptake will definitely help you crush your HIIT classes or high-intensity training. A little bit of chlorella mixed with your pre-workout can go a long ways.
Chlorella Benefits: Extremely Nutritious
Super algae status is no easy task to accomplish. While it’s exact nutrient profile depends on the oceanic environment and growing conditions, Chlorella is packing some serious nutriment heat.
Lutein: A carotenoid with anti-inflammatory effects, a large body of evidence shows that Lutein, has specific benefits on eye health.
Chlorella Benefits: Powerful Antioxidant
Chlorella contains several antioxidant compounds including chlorophyll, beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein. Antioxidants inhibit oxidation, which protects your cells against free radical damage. Free radicals play a role in chronic disease states such as cancer and heart disease. A study published in the journal Nutrition investigated whether 6 weeks of chlorella supplementation is protective of oxidative damage to smokers. The study found that chlorella increased vitamin C levels 44%, and significantly decreased lymphocyte DNA damage [R].
Chlorella Benefits: May Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Like supergrass nemesis, wheatgrass, several studies have shown that chlorella may reduce cholesterol levels due to its niacin and carotenoid content. A meta-analysis reviewing double-blind randomized controlled trials, conducted at Virginia Common Wealth University found that chlorella supplementation may reduce high blood pressure and lower serum cholesterol levels in patients with hypertension [R].
Another study published in Nutrition Journal administered 5g of chlorella to 63 subjects per day for 6 weeks. the Chlorella group exhibited remarkable changes in total cholesterol and triglycerides, with improved blood lipid levels. Not only that, but “Bad” LDL cholesterol was lowered while “good” HDL cholesterol increased [R].
Chlorella Benefits: May Reduce Chronic Pain
A pilot study published in Phytotherapy Research administered 10g of Chlorella supplementation to 20 patients with fibromyalgia for a duration of 60 days. The average TPI or tender point index was measured at a 32 amongst enrolled patients. After two months, the average pain rating dropped 22% to a 25. The results indicate that chlorella may help relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia in some patients. A larger much more comprehensive trial will need to be conducted in order to validate test results [R].
Chlorella Benefits: Helps Detox The Body Of Heavy Metals
Chlorella may help rid the body of heavy metals and toxins. Heavy metals include elements that are found in the environment in small amounts such as cadmium and lead. Animal studies have shown promising results of weakening heavy metal toxicity of the liver, brain, and kidneys.
What’s The Best Greens Powder?
Before you buy your greens powder, make sure you look at the ingredients and ensure that it does not contain a blend or complex.
it’s important to find a greens powder that is transparent and tells you how much of each ingredient is in your product. Most greens powders use proprietary blends and complexes which do not disclose how much of each ingredient they use. Without knowing the amount your ingesting, you won’t know how much of each essential nutrient you’re really getting in your greens powder. Seems shady doesn’t it? That’s because it is. At Swolverine we use complete transparency and tell you exactly of each ingredient you’re getting.
Manufacturers do this so that they can save money and cut corners, by only sprinkling the ingredients you truly need.
Pay attention to the supplement label and make sure the amounts for each type of greens are listed. Most greens powders will place each category, of ingredient, greens, reds, or probiotics into their own complex and do not disclose how much of each ingredient it has.
Here’s an example of what not to buy. As you can see, each ingredient is in a complex or blend and does not disclose how much of each ingredient it has. It also contains corn maltodextrin in the “other ingredients” aka refined sugar.
Make Sure Your Greens Powder Has Higher Doses Of Chlorella
Often times, we think more is better. Wow, this greens powder has more ingredients so it must be better right? Wrong. Just like any other supplement, make sure your greens powder has higher amounts of each ingredient to actually improve your health. If a product has 10g per serving but has 50 ingredients, chances are your product isn't underdosed, its microdosed. Look for key nutrient-dense ingredients, which have higher doses. You'll actually reap the health benefits that way.
Current research is inconclusive on how much chlorella you need to receive therapeutic benefits. However, studies have found benefits with doses ranging from 1.2g – 6g per day. Make sure your Chlorella supplement or greens powder has a minimum of 1.5g per day. Swolverine’s Greens+Reds powder contains a clinical dose of 2g per serving.
What Is Chlorella: Takeaway
Chlorella is a potent algae rich in powerful vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. A growing body of evidence suggests that Chlorella may help reduce chronic pain, improve cholesterol, detoxify the body, and improve aerobic endurance in athletes.
Looking for an amazing proprietary blend free greens powder? Just wait, we have one in the making. Coming Jan 2021.
SWOLVERINE IS AN ENDURANCE ATHLETE AND ACTIVE LIFESTYLE BRAND. MADE FOR THE ELITE ATHLETE, AND THE STRONG-WILLED OUR PRODUCTS WERE DESIGNED TO FUEL YOUR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE. WE PERFORM WHEN YOU PERFORM.
Lee SH, Kang HJ, Lee HJ, Kang MH, Park YK. Six-week supplementation with Chlorella has favorable impact on antioxidant status in Korean male smokers. Nutrition. 2010;26(2):175-183. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2009.03.010
Merchant RE, Carmack CA, Wise CM. Nutritional supplementation with Chlorella pyrenoidosa for patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: a pilot study. Phytother Res. 2000;14(3):167-173. doi:10.1002/(sici)1099-1573(200005)14:3<167::aid-ptr560>3.0.co;2-r
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;7(3):79-91.
Umemoto S, Otsuki T. Chlorella-derived multicomponent supplementation increases aerobic endurance capacity in young individuals. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2014;55(2):143-146. doi:10.3164/jcbn.14-58
Ryu, N.H., Lim, Y., Park, J.E. et al. Impact of daily Chlorella consumption on serum lipid and carotenoid profiles in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults: a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Nutr J 13, 57 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-13-57