Research supports the nutritional benefits of the unicellular green algae chlorella, which is naturally rich in chlorophyll, proteins, nucleic acids, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibres.
Chlorella, is often incorporated into nutritional approaches to body cleaning. A lesser known application however, is for immunity. It has been shown through research, to have both antioxidant properties and enhance immune function.
One blind, randomised, controlled trial observed a group of men who took 30 placebo tablets a day for four weeks, followed by a 12-week washout period, then 30 chlorella tablets a day for four weeks.
Salivary secretory IgA (sIgA) concentrations were measured. There was no difference in concentration levels before or after the placebo treatment, however sIgA levels increased significantly after the chlorella ingestion, compared to baseline. SIgA plays a critical role in mucosal immunity and is the first line of defence for the human body against pathogenic microbial invasion. Salivary sIgA is the first line of defence against respiratory tract infections.
A further study, published in 2012, involved 97 patients with respiratory conditions. Patients who took chlorella demonstrated an increase in serum antioxidant status and also reported a reduction in frequency of coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and sputum production, compared to those who took a placebo.
Cracked chlorella refers to where the cell walls have been broken down, or "pre-digested", for use in the human body.
- Otsuki, T Shimizu K, Iemitsu M. et al. Salivary secretory immunoglobulin A secretion increases after 4-weeks ingestion of chlorella-derived multicomponent supplement in humans: a randomised cross over study. Nutr J 2011;10:91. [Full Text]
- Panahi Y, Tavana S, Sahebkar A. et al. Impact of adjunctive therapy with Chlorella vulgaris extract on antioxidant status, pulmonary function, and clinical symptoms of patients with obstructive pulmonary diseases. Sci Pharm 2012;80(3):719–30. [Full Text]