This Almost Perfect Food Gobbles Up Your Body's Toxins
by Joseph Mercola: The
Silent Inflammation That Afflicts 3 Out of 4 Americans
Green Med Info has assembled a list of studies that found evidence
of over 40 conditions that chlorella can help to prevent or ease.
- Acute Stress
- Liver Cancer
one of the studies on the subject:
vulgaris (CV) has been reported to have antioxidant and anticancer
properties ... Our study shows that CV has definite chemopreventive
effect by inducing apoptosis ... in hepatocarcinogenesis [liver
cancer] induced rats”.
a single-celled fresh-water algae, is one of the most heavily researched
algae in the world. It's often referred to as a near-perfect food
as research through the years have identified an astounding range
of health benefits. While being well known for its ability
your body by binding to toxins and carrying them out of your
system, that's certainly not all it's good for.
Impressive Range of Health Benefits
As you will
see, chlorella seems to fit the description of a "wonder nutrient"
that serves far more than just one function. Here's a sampling of
some of the health benefits associated with this green algae:
your energy levels
your immune system
your blood sugar
your blood pressure
healthy pH levels in your gut, which in turn helps good bacteria
potentially toxic metals from your body
your ability to focus and concentrate
also be of benefit to vegetarians and vegans looking for proteins
and B vitamins from a non-animal source. About 60 percent of it
is protein, and because it contains all the essential amino acids
your body needs, it's considered to be a "complete protein."
Conditions Chlorella May Help Prevent or Treat
earlier, chlorella has and still is being researched for a number
of health conditions. Here's a list of six common health problems
and diseases where chlorella may be of particular benefit:
resistance Earlier this year, researchers discovered
has the ability to improve fructose-induced insulin sensitivity.
As I’ve discussed on numerous occasions, excessive fructose consumption
is the number one cause of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
In this animal study, after being fed fructose-rich chow for four
weeks, the rats were then given chlorella three times a day for
five days, which brought their elevated glucose-insulin values
back to normal.
The authors concluded that: “Oral administration of chlorella
has the ability to improve insulin sensitivity, which may be used
as an adjuvant therapy for patients with insulin resistance.”
Is particularly helpful when used in conjunction with
an infrared sauna and taken two hours before you go in the sauna.
This way the chlorella will be in your intestine and read to bind
to the toxins that are released when you are in the sauna. It
will bind irreversibly to the toxins and be safely excreted when
you have your bowel movement.
Additional evidence supporting the theory that chlorella
can improve insulin sensitivity can be found
in an earlier study. Here, the algae was found to improve
insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake in the liver in type 1
diabetic rats. The authors suggest chlorella’s hypoglycemic effects
may be due to improved glucose uptake in the liver and the soleus
muscles. Another mechanism may be related to decreased levels
of nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), since insulin sensitivity
is usually blunted by elevated NEFA in type 1 diabetes.
The results from a placebo-controlled, double-blind study
published two years ago suggest that chlorella can significantly
decrease high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension.
The authors proposed that it may be a beneficial dietary supplement
for preventing hypertension, with no apparent adverse side effects.
proteinuria and edema in pregnant women Pregnancy-induced
hypertension and anemia are common, and potentially dangerous.
One of the primary causes for these conditions is the woman’s
nutritional status. A
study published last year found that chlorella may help improve
both of these conditions in pregnant women, likely due to its
high folate, B12 and iron content.
Subjects took six grams of chlorella per day, starting somewhere
between the 12th to the 18th week of gestation, until delivery.
The chlorella group had significantly lower rates of anemia compared
to the control group. They also had fewer incidences of proteinuria
and edema; two symptoms associated with pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Here too, the authors concluded that: “Chlorella supplement may
be useful as a resource of natural folate, vitamin B-12 and iron
for pregnant women.”
Although the individual results were varied, it may be
worth considering chlorella if you suffer with fibromyalgia. A
study published in 2000 tested the effectiveness of two commercially
available chlorella-based products on patients diagnosed with
fibromyalgia, and the overall results showed a 22 percent decrease
in pain intensity. However, while seven patients reported improvement
in their fibromyalgia symptoms, six reported no effect at all,
and five claimed their symptoms had worsened during the trial...
So keep that in mind if you decide to try it. While it may help
some, it might not work at all for others.
study published in 2009 discovered that chlorella triggers
cell death (apoptosis) in rat liver cancer cells, which suggests
it may be useful in the prevention of liver cancer. The authors
concluded that: “Our study shows that chlorella has definite chemopreventive
effect by inducing apoptosis via decreasing the expression of
Bcl-2 and increasing the expression of caspase 8 in hepatocarcinogenesis-induced
research findings, check out Green
Med Info's chlorella page, which lists more than 40 health conditions
for which chlorella may be of benefit.
A Potent Detox Agent
toxicity, just like chemical toxicity, has become one of the most
pressing health hazards of our day, and this is where chlorella
may be profoundly useful. Its ability to bind to heavy metal toxins,
allowing them to be safely excreted from your body, has been well
established. It's particularly crucial for systemic mercury elimination,
because the majority of mercury is rid through your stool. Once
the mercury burden is lowered from your intestines, mercury from
other body tissues will more readily migrate into your intestines
where chlorella will work to remove it.
can also add cilantro, which works as a synergetic detoxification
aid along with the chlorella. This combination is particularly useful
to take when you're consuming seafood, as most are invariably contaminated
with heavy metals and chemicals. Ideally you would take it with
the meal so the chlorella can bind directly to the toxins while
they are in your gut, before they absorbed into your body.
In order to
optimize heavy metal detox, you'll want to take at least four grams
of chlorella every day, year-round.
Be aware that
side effects may occur. As your body starts to detox, you may initially
experience some slight nausea, and/or mild diarrhea. If these symptoms
are too bothersome, you may want to lower your dose initially, and
slowly increase the dose. As your body is cleansed of toxins, these
side effects should disappear. Infrared saunas are another phenomenal
detox approach. I seek to do a 20 minute sauna virtually every day
I am home. I will be writing more about this useful tool in the
Detail that Determines Chlorella's Effectiveness
The key to
chlorella's detoxing abilities lies within its membrane,
but the fibrous cell wall of chlorella is actually indigestible
to humans. This is why most chlorella products use the term "broken
cell wall," to describe the fact that the chlorella has been rendered
If a product
does not specifically tell you that the cell wall has been broken,
you are likely flushing your money down the toilet as the chlorella
will simply pass right through you without doing you any good. As
Banks explains in this previous interview, it's in your best
interest to make sure you're getting a high quality product for
How to Verify
the Quality of a Chlorella Product
are a number of proprietary methods to break the cell wall, the
key comparison you need to pay attention to is the nutritional profile
of the end product. In addition to making sure it's "broken cell
wall" chlorella, this is the other factor that will help you evaluate
the quality of any given product. Keep in mind that, according to
the legal requirements, a natural product may contain plus or minus
20 percent of the stated level of any nutritional component. Therefore,
I recommend sticking with reputable companies only, as they will
adhere to certain processes that increase your chances of getting
the levels of nutrients stated on the label.
to the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) guidelines and the labeling
requirements now make it much easier for you to investigate and
verify company claims, because companies are now required to list
their phone number and website on every label. They must also maintain
a paper trail showing where the material came from and any testing
that has been done.
to ask when calling a company directly include:
- How often
do you test batches for nutritional consistency?
- Ask for
a specification sheet ('spec sheet'), or the Certificate of Analysis,
known as the 'C of A'. These are documents that itemize every
single test that the final product gets tested for.
- How and
where is the chlorella grown? Variations in climate and season
can cause nutritional variations, but if the chlorella is grown
in artificial ponds the producer has greater control over consistency.
You'll also want to make sure the chlorella is grown in unpolluted
areas, since chlorella binds to heavy metals.
- Does the
producer test for heavy metal contamination? A high quality producer
will perform regular heavy metal analysis', for which there should
also be a verifiable paper trail. And organic producers must adhere
to even more stringent rules in order to become certified organic,
which is another sign of a clean, high quality product.
do not promote the use of many supplements in general, believing
it is far better to get your nutrition from food, there are exceptions
to this rule. In this case though, chlorella truly is a
food, but it must be properly processed into supplement form in
order to unlock its greatest health benefits. Whether you want to
help reduce your toxic burden, prevent a particular health ailment,
or just boost overall nutrition, I believe chlorella can be a phenomenal
addition to a healthy diet.
2011 Dr. Joseph Mercola
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