Chlorella is a unicellular, fresh water green algae that has a high amount of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and protein. It has been touted as a ‘superfood’ for its detoxification effects and wide nutrient properties. Both methylcobalamin (methyl B12), selenium, and superoxide dismutase are in high amounts in this product, therefore aiding in the methylation and detoxification of cells. (3) Research has proved it’s immune enhancing effect both in breastmilk of Japanese mothers and saliva samples in men. (1, 2) In the former study it was shown to decrease dioxin levels and increase IgA in breastmilk samples. Dioxin is a persistent organic pollutant that is one of many man-made chemicals being implicated in the ethology of developmental delay. Researchers proposed that there may be correlated increased levels of intestinal mucosal IgA secretion with chlorella administration as this is the first line of defense throughout the digestive tract.
The brain growth spurt occurs in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and first two years of life. This is when chemical insults have the most impact and when the brain needs to be protected. Animal studies show that flame retardants in clothes and furniture alter cognition, motor function (praxis), neuronal growth, and neuronal apoptosis. Other chemicals such as PCBs and dioxin compounds affect the neuroendocrine system during this growth window. Accidental PCB exposure in infants resulted in impaired cognition and ADHD. Casein peptides and ethyl mercury also increase autoimmunity in autism. (4) Detoxification is essential in those who have genetic weaknesses and autistic individuals harbour many of these chemicals. Chlorella is one tool, in conjunction with DMSA, to detoxify the body.
Chlorella vulgaris, like vitamin E, lessens lipid peroxidation and increases blood markers of glutathione, superoxide dismutase, vitamin E and vitamin C in adult smokers. (5) Uchikawa T, et al. studied the influence of chlorella on methylmercury levels in mice. Methyl mercury is ubiquitous in the environment and implicated in autism pathogenesis, along with the heavy metal lead. Both fecal and urinary mercury excretion increased with increasing chlorella dose over three weeks. Brain mercury levels also declined proportionately. (6) Chlorella can be used to up regulate glutathione and detoxify mercury as it impairs methylation and cell energy.
1). Shiro Nakano, Hideo Takekoshi, and Masuo Nakano. Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) Supplementation Decreases Dioxin and Increases Immunoglobulin A Concentrations in Breast Milk. Journal of Medicinal Food. May 2007, 10(1): 134-142. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2006.023
2). Takeshi Otsuki, Kazuhiro Shimizu, Motoyuki Iemitsu, Ichiro Kono. Salivary Secretory Immunoglobulin a secretion increases after 4-weeks ingestion of chlorella-derived multicomponent supplement in humans: a randomized cross over study. Nutrition Journal. Dec 2011, Vol. 10, No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-10-91
3). Kim SM, Han DH, Lyoo HS, Min KJ, Kim KH, Renshaw P. Exposure to Environmental Toxins in Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Psychiatry Investigation. 2010;7(2):122-127. doi:10.4306/pi.2010.7.2.122.
4). Y Panahi, et al. Investigation of the effects of Chlorella vulgaris supplementation on the modulation of oxidative stress in apparently healthy smokers. Clin Lab. 2013;59(5-6):579-87.
5). Uchikawa T, Kumamoto Y, Maruyama I, Kumamoto S, Ando Y, Yasutake A. Enhanced elimination of tissue methylmercury in Parachlorella beijerinckii-fed mice. J Toxicol Sci. 2011 Jan;36(1):121-6.