Not every health condition requires a doctor’s prescription or even an over-the-counter remedy. There are effective, safe, natural solutions to common health problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Chlorella, for example, is a microscopic green alga that qualifies as a superfood.
Chlorella’s rich chlorophyll content and its many nutrients can alleviate symptoms and underlying causes of many health issues. The proof of chlorella’s power and of its effectiveness is scientific, empirical, and anecdotal.
It commands a peerless, well-established reputation among holistic physicians, fitness buffs, and preventative health enthusiasts. Many athletes supplement with chlorella year-round, taking advantage of its extensive nutrient profile and antioxidants.
Health Benefits of Chlorella
This article looks briefly at the benefits of chlorella supplementation and health challenges chlorella can alleviate.
1. Boosts the Immune System
Chlorella boosts the immune system by supplying the body with zinc and by supporting natural killer (NK) cell activity. Natural killer cells are a critical part of the immune system, forming the first line of defense following viral infection.
These cells are also responsible for attacking cancerous tumor cells, offering both general and deep immune protection. The precise components of chlorella that boost natural killer cell activity aren’t known. What we know is natural killer cell activity increases up to ten percent with chlorella supplementation.
Chlorella’s dense nutrient profile seems to promote the natural killer cell production of type II interferon, which is a cytokine, a type of protein that positively affects communication between natural killer cells during routine and specialized immune responses.
Studies demonstrating the link between chlorella supplementation and increased natural killer cell activity suggest a daily five-gram dose is sufficient. One Japanese study found a daily two-gram dose reduced the onset of common cold among sailors by forty-one percent.
Chlorella may also boost the immune system through its natural ability to encourage probiotic activity. Probiotics, or ‘good’ bacteria, live in the stomach and lower digestive system. Their healthy presence is mostly what keeps malicious bacteria from acquiring purchase in the body via the digestive tract.
Chlorella’s nutritional and enzymatic support of probiotics lends yet another facet of strength to the immune system, helping the body fight off more diverse infections throughout cold and flu season.
2. Regulates Blood Pressure
Chlorella regulates blood pressure almost by accident. Its high amounts of potassium, the amino acid arginine, and omega-3 prevent hardening of arteries, which positively affects blood pressure.
Chlorella also augments the overall health of the kidneys and heart, another boost to optimal blood pressure. Artery stiffness is one of several leading causes of high blood pressure.
Omega-3 fatty acids decrease calcification of coronary arteries, keeping the arteries soft and pliable. There is some evidence indicating omega-3 thins the blood, which may catalyze the lowering of blood pressure.
Chlorella’s omega-3 content is so high and its blood-thinning power so pronounced, experts recommend avoiding ingesting anti-coagulants and chlorella supplements at the same time so as to avoid unhealthy thinning of the blood.
3. Benefits Respiratory Conditions
Chlorella’s impressive antioxidant profile benefits respiratory conditions, especially those associated with inflammation, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Antioxidants are substances that remove or neutralize damaging oxidizing agents called free radicals, which are essentially destabilized molecules containing unpaired electrons. Destabilization occurs in part as a result of exposure to toxins and stress.
Antioxidants are unique because they are the only substances in nature that can donate electrons without themselves destabilizing into free radicals. Free radical damage places oxidative stress on the body that leads to the sort of inflammation typical of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Chlorella’s array of antioxidants neutralizes free radicals in the body, effectively preventing the sort of oxidative damage that leads to asthma- and COPD-related inflammation.
In addition to this, Chlorella’s omega-3 content supplies the body with the building blocks to manufacture prostaglandins, substances that can decrease inflammation.
4. Assists Blood Sugar
Chlorella improves insulin sensitivity, which assists blood sugar. Insulin, a hormone, helps the body’s cells utilize glucose for energy. The pancreas produces insulin after digested carbohydrates from a meal enter the bloodstream as glucose.
Over time, a diet poor in nutrients and rich in refined sugars compels the pancreas to pump out excessive amounts of insulin. Excessive insulin production leaves the cells insensitive to insulin.
Insulin insensitivity prevents the body’s cells from absorbing and using glucose for energy. The result is more unused glucose circulating in the blood as well as blood glucose levels that rise and fall inconsistently and dangerously.
Improved insulin sensitivity helps the body use glucose more efficiently. Efficient glucose uptake is linked to superior nutrient absorption, fewer sugar crashes, and fewer cravings.
5. Improves Cholesterol
Chlorella is particularly adept at lowering triglycerides and total cholesterol. As stated, chlorella is an especially rich source of omega-3 fatty acid. Fatty acids are the most basic components of cell membranes and of an assortment of fatty acid-based hormones and biological substances.
Omega-3 fatty acids fall into two main categories: animal (fish) sources, such as eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic, and plant sources, such as alpha-linoleic acid. Chlorella’s omega-3 profile is unique because it contains both the animal and plant versions.
The exact interaction between omega-3 and biological agonists that results in improved triglycerides and overall cholesterol is unclear. There may be a synergistic relationship between all of chlorella’s nutrients and co-factors, including B vitamins and carotenoids.
Carotenoids convert to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin critical to the optimal function of the liver, the organ that metabolizes fats and produces cholesterol.
Similarly, B vitamins (especially B5) can lower both total cholesterol levels as well as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the ‘bad’ cholesterol that clogs and hardens arteries.