Chlorella Benefits: Does It Support Detoxification?

Brimming with nutrients such as chlorophyll, protein and vitamin A, chlorella is packed with nutrition. This superfood boosts aerobic endurance, and chlorella benefits healthy blood pressure.


What is chlorella capable of doing for your health? Whether you choose chlorella powder or chlorella tablets, this green superfood is a great source of protein. A chlorella supplement can lower high blood sugar to healthy levels. And studies show chlorella benefits detoxification, helping to rid the body of harmful heavy metals.    

Chlorella has been called a superfood, and the reasons that support this claim are pretty compelling.  

First of all, chlorella offers lots of nutrition. A chlorella supplement contains nutrients such as amino acids, beta-carotene, potassium and magnesium. 

Then there’s the issue of detoxification. Chlorella binds with heavy metals and can help flush them out of the body. For this reason, chlorella tablets and powdered chlorella are often used to help people detoxify from these harmful substances. This algae can remove toxin buildup and give your body a fresh start. 

And research shows that chlorella benefits health in many other ways. It boosts immunity and can help lower cholesterol to healthy levels. And chlorella is effective at treating high blood pressure and high blood sugar. 

So, what’s the full scoop on this nourishing food, and what is chlorella good for in your journey toward improved health? 

In this article, we will:

  • Explain what chlorella is
  • Discuss chlorella nutrition
  • Explain how chlorella differs from spirulina
  • List key chlorella health benefits
  • Find out if there are chlorella side effects
  • List an optimal chlorella dose

What is chlorella?

Chlorella is a single-celled freshwater algae that’s part of the Chlorellacae family. It has a rich green color, and chlorella benefits wellness thanks to its dense concentration of nutrients. 

There are many different chlorella species. However, the two that are most commonly used in Western nutrition and research are Chlorella vulgaris and Chlorella pyrenoidosa.

There’s one thing that sets chlorella apart: This algae is known for having one of the toughest cell walls in the plant kingdom. If you want to access this plant’s nutrients, the cell wall has to be softened or removed before consumption. 

With a chlorella supplement, the cell wall can be treated in a couple different ways to assist with digestibility. Firstly, the cell wall can be cracked or broken. This is sometimes done using sound waves. Another option is to pulverize the cell wall. During the pulverization process, most of the cell wall is removed, making it easy for your body to access chlorella’s nutrients. 

Chlorella products

If you’re wondering which chlorella product to choose, know that you have a couple of options. 

This green superfood is most commonly sold as chlorella powder or chlorella tablets. It’s also available as granules or as a liquid extract. 

When choosing chlorella products, look for one in which the cell wall has been cracked or pulverized, since this process is essential for digestibility.

Also, choose a product that has been dried at low temperatures. Chlorella is dried when processed; drying at low temperatures helps ensure that this algae doesn’t lose any of its nutrients to heat. 

What is chlorella growth factor?

It’s clear that chlorella benefits health. Many of these benefits stem from the presence of a nutrient known as chlorella growth factor. 

Chlorella growth factor is a compound that’s found in the cell nucleus of the chlorella plant. This growth factor is unique to chlorella. It’s not found in spirulina or any other micro-algae. 

The chlorella plant is known for its ability to exhibit rapid growth. Research shows that chlorella growth factor is produced by the plant during periods of intense photosynthesis. It’s this complex that allows chlorella to grow with such staggering speed. Every 20 hours, each chlorella cell multiplies into two new cells; chlorella growth factor helps sustain this rate of reproduction. 

So, what is chlorella growth factor good for when it comes to health and wellness? Studies show this complex can help heal damaged genetic material in human cells. This ultimately helps preserve good health, and it slows the aging process. 

Chlorella growth factor can help strengthen and stimulate the immune system, giving the body the assistance it needs to fight off pathogens. Since it’s high in chlorophyll, this complex provides excellent support as an antiviral and anti-inflammatory agent. And chlorella growth factor aids the body’s digestive system by supporting good bacteria. 

What’s the best way to access chlorella growth factor? This nutrient is found in high-quality chlorella supplements.

Chlorella nutrition

Chlorella has a lot to offer when it comes to nutrition. It’s low in calories and high in chlorophyll. And it’s composed of more than 50 percent protein.  

Sun Chlorella is a popular brand of this food. The brand makes chlorella tablets and chlorella powder. According to Sun Chlorella’s nutrition label, 6 grams of chlorella contain the following: 

  • Calories – 25
  • Carbohydrates – 1 gram
  • Protein – 3 grams
  • Vitamin A – 116 mcg
  • Vitamin D – 84 mcg
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2) – 0.3 mg
  • Niacin – 2 mg
  • Folate – 72 mcg
  • Vitamin B12 – 4 mcg
  • Calcium – 18 mg
  • Iron – 3 mg
  • Lutein – 8 mg
  • Chlorophyll – 149 mg
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – 164 mg
  • Omega-6 fatty acids – 62 mg

Chlorella vs. spirulina: How do they differ?

Chlorella and spirulina share certain similarities. Both of these foods are nutrient-dense single-celled algae that are commonly used for supplementation. But there are some key differences worth noting.

So, how do these green superfoods compare to each other? 

Relative to spirulina, chlorella algae has much higher levels of iron, phosphorus, vitamin A and zinc. And chlorella has a slightly higher amount of B2 and magnesium. Also, chlorella outdoes spirulina when it comes to omega-3 content. 

Spirulina has fewer calories than chlorella, and it contains a higher amount of copper and B1. 

Chlorella benefits

Here are some key chlorella health benefits:

Chlorella benefit #1: Supports detoxification

If heavy metals build up in the body, they can cause health problems. Some heavy metals — such as copper and iron — are essential in small amounts. But when large amounts of heavy metals are present, the health consequences can be dire. 

Research shows that chlorella benefits health by helping to flush heavy metals from the body when amounts are excessive. A 2015 meta-analysis noted that in animal studies, a chlorella supplement was effective at reducing cadmium and lead toxicity in the liver, brain and kidneys. 

Chlorella’s detox benefits don’t end with heavy metals. This dietary supplement can also help reduce other harmful contaminants and chemicals that are sometimes found in the food we eat. 

One such contaminant is dioxin, a substance that can compromise immunity and harm the body’s nervous system. Research shows that chlorella supplementation can help clear dioxin from the body. 

Chlorella benefit #2: Boosts immune function

We rely on the body’s immune system to keep us safe from viruses and pathogens. What is chlorella good for when it comes to immune function? Research shows chlorella benefits immunity in powerful ways. 

2011 study looked at 15 participants over a four-week period. The data showed that those who took a chlorella supplement experienced improved immune function. 

Chlorella benefit #3: Supports healthy blood pressure levels

High blood pressure can be a causative factor in heart disease. Research indicates that chlorella benefits high blood pressure and can help lower it to healthy levels.

2009 study looked at the effects of chlorella supplementation over a 12-week period on subjects with high blood pressure and borderline hypertension. The data showed that a chlorella supplement was effective at lowering blood pressure to healthy levels. 

Chlorella benefit #4: Supports healthy blood sugar levels

If you have high blood glucose levels you may be at increased risk for developing diabetes. According to research, chlorella benefits the treatment of high blood sugar. 

2008 study looked at the effect that chlorella supplementation had on 17 subjects. The study showed that chlorella intake reduced fasting blood sugar levels. 

Chlorella benefit #5: May help lower high LDL cholesterol 

High LDL cholesterol could put you at greater risk for heart disease. Research indicates that chlorella benefits heart health by helping to bring high LDL cholesterol down to a healthy range. 

2001 meta-analysis looked at the results of several clinical trials. The trials showed that chlorella consumption can help lower serum cholesterol levels. 

Chlorella benefit #6: May help boost aerobic endurance

According to one study, chlorella benefits aerobic endurance.

In the 2014 study, participants were given either 6 grams of chlorella or a placebo each day over a four-week period. Those who received the chlorella supplement showed a significant improvement in their ability to saturate their lungs with oxygen; this ability is a measure of aerobic endurance. Those who got the placebo didn’t show any changes in aerobic endurance. 

Chlorella side effects

Chlorella is generally recognized as safe. Typically, side effects are rare and few. 

However, some people have reported nausea when taking this supplement. And some have experienced abdominal discomfort. 

These side effects may be due to the detoxifying effect of chlorella powder and tablets. 

Chlorella dose

It’s common for adults to take between 3 to 6 grams of chlorella each day. Many of the clinical trials that have been done have used dosages that fall within this range. 

When supplementing with chlorella powder, liquid, granules or tablets, it’s best to start at the low end of the spectrum discussed above. This will give your body time to adjust to the supplement. You can gradually increase the dose over time. 

Next steps

What is chlorella capable of contributing to your overall health evolution? Whether you opt for chlorella powder, a chlorella tablet or a liquid extract, this chlorophyll-rich supplement has the potential to ramp up your wellness by a significant degree. You can find a wide range of chlorella products available online. 

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