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Questions we answer with our in-depth guide to the best chlorella supplement of 2020 include:
- What is chlorella?
- Why should you take a chlorella dietary supplement?
- What are the benefits of chlorella?
- Chlorella vs. Spirulina
- How do you take a chlorella supplement?
- What is the best chlorella supplement?
We’ll rank our top six picks for the best chlorella supplements right now, to help you make a choice.
What is Chlorella?
So, what is chlorella, and why is it becoming such a popular nutritional supplement?
Chlorella is a type of algae, and it grows in freshwater. The primary uses of chlorella are to make medicines and nutritional supplements. Most chlorella that we consume here is grown in Japan or Taiwan.
Chlorella can be processed and then turned into liquid supplements or tablets.
Chlorella supplements have something called chlorella growth factor. Chlorella growth factor is an extract of the algae with amino acids, proteins, vitamins, peptides, and nucleic acids.
The levels of the nutrients in chlorella can vary widely, depending on how the crop was cultivated, harvested, and processed.
For example, dried forms of chlorella can contain anywhere from 7% to 88% protein.
Some people call chlorella the ultimate superfood.
Chlorella’s history as an alternative food source goes back to the 1940s. There are more than 30 chlorella species, but the two types most commonly used in research are Chlorella Vulgaris and Chlorella pyrendiosa.
Interestingly, chlorella has a hard cell wall, so you can’t digest it unless you take it in supplement form.
If you’re looking for a chlorella supplement, they come in capsule, extract, powder, and tablet form.
The Benefits of a Chlorella Supplement
There are some impressive potential benefits of chlorella. Some believe this supplement can help with everything from immunity to detoxifying the cells.
Some claims about taking a chlorella supplement are backed up with more research than others, but it does look promising in many ways.
Regardless of research in other areas, we do know for certain that chlorella is packed with nutrition and that in and of itself makes people consider taking a chlorella supplement.
The following are some of the valuable nutrients in a chlorella supplement:
- Chlorella contains anywhere from 50 to 60% protein, and it’s a complete protein source. A complete protein source is one that has all nine of the essential amino acids.
- Some types of chlorella are high in vitamin B12, but not all.
- Chlorella is a good source of iron and it also has vitamin C, which boosts iron absorption.
- Chlorella is high in antioxidants.
- There are small amounts of zinc, magnesium, copper, potassium, folic acid, and other B vitamins.
- Chlorella is packed with healthy fats—omega 3s.
- Chlorella can be a source of fiber.
As far as the protein, studies have found the body can absorb it from chlorella supplements particularly well, which is rare in a plant protein source. That means chlorella can be a good protein source if you’re vegetarian or vegan.
Chlorella supplements are believed to help strengthen your immune system in human and animal studies.
For example, there was a small study that found men taking chlorella made more antibodies as compared to a placebo.
A separate study found that healthy adults who took a chlorella supplement had markers signifying increased immune activity.
Heavy Metal Detox
There are animal studies that have found chlorella may help remove heavy metals from the body, and that chlorella supplements may help stimulate detox altogether.
Heavy metals such as lead and cadmium can be toxic in high amounts.
Algae, like chlorella, has been found in animal studies to weaken levels of heavy metal toxicity in the kidneys, brain and liver.
Chlorella may also help reduce the amount of other harmful chemicals in the body, many of which come from our food.
Dioxin is an example. Dioxin is a hormone disruptor that’s sometimes in our food supply.
Respiratory Disease Management
Chronic inflammation is linked to respiratory diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Chlorella may help reduce inflammation, in large part because of the antioxidants it contains, so that may help keep symptoms of respiratory disease more controlled.
There are a few reasons chlorella might be a useful supplement during pregnancy. First, it is high in iron. It also has high amounts of folate and vitamin B12. Researchers have also theorized a chlorella supplement may reduce high blood pressure during pregnancy.
For example, in a study of 32 Japanese women who took 6 grams of daily chlorella supplement from weeks 12 to 18 of their pregnancy, with the supplement, they had lower levels of anemia and fewer signs of pregnancy-induced hypertension compared to participants who took a placebo.
It’s important before taking a chlorella supplement or any supplement during pregnancy that you speak with your doctor first because some aren’t considered safe when pregnant.
Estrogen is one of our body’s naturally-occurring hormones, but some substances mimic estrogen’s activity and can damage the body.
The substances are referred to as xenoestrogens. They enter our bodies through contamination in plastics, water, soil, and air. Xenoestrogens can increase the likelihood of developing cancer.
There was a study of chlorella supplements in 2009 that found it removed 90% of one particular xenoestrogen—BPA—from a lab culture.
Some research has indicated chlorella may have anti-tumor properties. This doesn’t mean in any way that chlorella supplements are a treatment or prevention for cancer, but there may be further research to be done on the topic.
There was a 2009 Malaysian study where rats with chemically-induced liver cancer were treated with varying concentrations of a chlorella extract. After three months, the rates with chlorella had increased levels of proteins that trigger cell death in cancer cells.
There is some evidence to suggest that a chlorella supplement may help when a person is taking chemo treatments as well. When you’re on chemo, your immune system is suppressed, making you more susceptible to bacteria and viruses.
Chlorella, since there’s evidence it is an immune-system booster, may be helpful for your health overall if you’re going through chemo. Some supplements can interfere with chemo, so speak to your doctor about any supplement you’re considering.
There was a 2014 study published in Nutrition Journal that found a daily dose of chlorella in adults improved blood lipid levels. There were significant decreases in bad cholesterol, but increases in so-called good cholesterol.
A study which was published in 2013 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that a chlorella supplement may help with the management of chronic hepatitis C, perhaps because it can reduce liver inflammation.
During the 2013 study, adults with chronic hepatitis C infection were given a 30 mL dose of a chlorella supplement twice a day, and also a 1500 mg dose of chlorella tablets two to three times. At 12 weeks, participants had a significant lowering of liver inflammation as measured by their AST and ALT tests.
It should be noted that the chlorella didn’t alter the viral load of the hepatitis C, meaning it doesn’t help the underlying infection, but instead helps the associated inflammation.
There was a study in 2014 in which researchers looked at how taking 15 chlorella tablets twice a day for four weeks might affect human oxygen intake. The study participants who took chlorella saw an increase in their peak oxygen intake, which led researchers to conclude that chlorella has the potential to increase aerobic endurance capacity.
Chlorella supplements may help promote better kidney and heart health, both of which play a role in blood pressure levels. For example, there was a study of people with mildly high blood pressure who took four grams of chlorella each day for a total of 12 weeks. By the end of the study, the people taking the chlorella supplement had lower blood pressure than the study participants taking a placebo.
There was also a study in healthy men that found chlorella supplements were potentially linked to less artery stiffness, which is a factor that plays a role in blood pressure.
While researchers aren’t entirely sure why chlorella supplements help lower blood pressure, it may be because of the nutrients including potassium, calcium, arginine, and omega-3s.
Blood Sugar Levels
If you take chlorella supplements, there’s the possibility it can help lower blood sugar levels. There was a study of people taking chlorella for 12 weeks that found it lowered fasting blood sugar levels in both people considered healthy and participants at risk for lifestyle-related diseases.
Other studies have found potential benefits for taking a chlorella supplement to lower blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Other Benefits of Chlorella Supplements
Along with the benefits above, other possible benefits of chlorella supplements can include:
- Promotes eye health because it contains lutein as well as zeaxanthin. Both are carotenoids that provide protection to the eye and reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
- There has been at least one pilot study showing some benefits of taking a chlorella supplement for depression. In this particular study, 1800 mg of chlorella taken daily reduced symptoms of major depressive disorder more than a placebo.
- Some people with fibromyalgia report feeling better when they use a chlorella supplement.
Are There Side Effects of a Chlorella Supplement?
If you’re considering taking a chlorella supplement, it’s important to first talk to your doctor or health care provider. Overall, researchers don’t believe there are any major side effects of a chlorella supplement for most people.
For example, researchers did a study on mice in 2018 and found that an algae-based diet including chlorella didn’t have any adverse effects. According to that particular study, the diet was well-tolerated, and the mice didn’t show any signs of damage to the heart, liver or kidney functions.
You shouldn’t take any excessive doses of chlorella either, because that could potentially be toxic. Also, if you take a chlorella supplement and notice any signs of sensitivity or an allergic reaction, stop taking it immediately and talk to your health care provider.
If you have an autoimmune disease, speak to your doctor before taking a chlorella supplement because it can stimulate your immune system. If you have an iodine-sensitive thyroid condition, you should also talk to your doctor about chlorella supplements, because they can have iodine.
How to Choose a Chlorella Supplement
There are a lot of chlorella supplement options out there, and we’ll cover our favorites below, but the following are some factors to consider as you choose the right product for you.
- Look for a product with pyrenoidosa if possible as you choose the best chlorella supplement. As was touched on, there are two commonly found types of chlorella on the supplement market. In addition to pyrenoidosa, the other is Vulgaris. Both are packed with nutrients, but overall pyrenoidosa has more nutrients.
- Cracked wall chlorella is extremely important because the outer wall of a chlorella supplement is hard to digest so you won’t get as many benefits without the wall being broken.
- If you can find a chlorella supplement that’s organic, that may be optimal, particularly if your primary goal of taking the supplement is detoxing.
- Two of the most popular types of chlorella supplements available are powders and tablets. Tablets tend to be more convenient because they’re portable. Powders tend to absorb better because the body doesn’t have to break them down.
Chlorella vs. Spirulina: How Do They Compare?
Spirulina is a similar nutritional supplement to chlorella, but there are a few differences to be aware of.
First, both chlorella and spirulina are algae, but chlorella is a single-cell algae with a nucleus. Spirulina is a plant without a nucleus. Chlorella is a green algae, and spirulina is a blue-green algae. Chlorella has more nucleic acids than spirulina—nucleic acids are factors for our body’s RNA and DNA.
Spirulina tends to be higher in things like iron and protein than chlorella, while chlorella is higher in chlorophyll.
Chlorella is uniquely suited for heavy metal detox compared to spirulina, because its cell wall binds to contaminants, while spirulina doesn’t do this.
How to Take a Chlorella Supplement
First, follow the instructions for dosing when you take a chlorella supplement. The packaging should tell you how much to take.
You should try to take chlorella in the morning on an empty stomach, although you can break up your doses throughout the day and before meals.
Try to avoid taking chlorella with caffeine like coffee or tea because this will diminish its bioavailable iron.
Where Can I Buy a Chlorella Supplement?
Our favorite place to buy chlorella supplements is on Amazon. We include our unbiased ranking and reviews of the best chlorella supplements below, all of which are available on Amazon.
Top 6 Best Chlorella Supplements of 2020
The following are our picks for the 6 best chlorella supplements of 2020, as well as some of the key points we like about each.
Best For Overall Digestive Health
- This green juice powder includes more than three servings of greens, fruits, and vegetables
- Certified organic, gluten-free and plant-based
- Includes not just chlorella but also spirulina, alfalfa, wheatgrass and barley grass
- This product also includes a unique antioxidant blend that includes ingredients like maca root, beetroot and acai berry
- Organic fiber included as an additional fiber source
We like the Amazing Grass Green Superfood because it gives you the nutrition of cracked cell-wall chlorella, but this supplement has a lot of other great ingredients packed into it for energy and digestive support.
The Amazing Grass Green Superfood mix includes alkalizing vegetables and nutrient-packed superfoods to help balance and increase your body’s alkalinity. It also aids with your natural digestive function and supports your immune system.
This chlorella supplement has thousands of reviews, many of which are positive. For example, people say that they feel a difference in their overall health within just a few days of starting Amazing Greens.
Reviews say that people have a good balance of energy when they use this, and it also helps reduce their cravings for sweets.
The biggest complaint about this product is that people don’t love how it tastes, although it can be mixed in smoothies pretty easily.
Best For Chlorella Plus Healthy Fats
The Garden of Life Raw Organic Perfect Food Green Superfood is a great way to get your greens and all of the nutrition you need easily.
- This superfood product is a chlorella supplement but also contains a mix of vegetable juices, sprouts, and raw organic greens
- Contains natural antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, and essential fatty acids
- Supports healthy metabolism and blood sugar levels
- Immune system support
- Vegan, certified organic, dairy-free, no preservatives
The Garden of Life Raw Organic Perfect Food Juiced Greens goes beyond just being a chlorella supplement. It’s packed with so much of what you need for optimal health, but it’s also GMO-free and free of synthetic ingredients.
There are a few complaints to be aware of, however. The first is the taste, which is often described as being earthy. The other big complaint is that it’s an expensive product.
Best Chlorella Supplement #3: NOW Chlorella 1000 mg Super Green
- This chlorella supplement also contains naturally-occurring chlorophyll and beta-carotene
- Broken cell-wall algae
- Chlorophyll has a number of its own benefits including its ability to clean the intestines, provide you with a natural energy boost, and it’s also known as a blood builder because it may help improve the quality of red blood cells
- Soy-free, non-GMO project verified
We like the NOW Chlorella supplement because it’s affordable and delivers 1000 mg of chlorella along with chlorophyll.
According to reviews, there are a lot of benefits of using this chlorella supplement. For example, some feel that it gives them energy and mental clarity without making them feel jittery like they would with coffee. Other views say that it helps them to lose weight, and it helps reduce or eliminate body odor.
Users say it’s easier to take these tablets than to take a powder.
Best For Value and Affordability
- High in protein, iron, and zinc
- Cracked cell-wall chlorella
- Also includes spirulina
- Four-month supply with 1,250 tablets
- Smaller tablet size to help with swallowing
This Chlorella Spirulina product from Good Natured includes 13 vitamins, 10 minerals, 8 essential amino acids, 10 non-essential amino acids and 3 phytonutrients per serving. The algae are blue-green, and it contains chlorophyll and GLA. There is a unique method used to make this product which is called low-pressure flash expansion. It explodes the cell walls, improving the digestive rate to more than 80% and simultaneously maintaining all of the nutrients.
The spirulina in this product provides you with vitamin B12 and can also help improve the health and appearance of your skin and nails.
There are no preservatives, binders, artificial flavors or colors, additives or stabilizers.
According to reviews, when starting with this chlorella supplement, they started quickly noticing the effects, likely of detoxing.
Some of the benefits reviewers say they’ve found with this product include easing of arthritis symptoms and symptoms of candida, as well as improved energy levels.
Best for Immune Health and Support
- 3000 mg of chlorella per serving
- 720 tablets—a 4-month supply
- Broken cell wall made from organic chlorella powder
- Packed with immune vitamins including C and D, as well as antioxidants, zinc, and polyphenols
- No GMOs, no preservatives, no artificial colors, no flavors, no fillers, and no gluten
MicroIngredients often has high-quality supplements available, and their chlorella tablets are no exception.
According to people who reviewed the MicroIngredients chlorella supplement, they feel that it helped rid their body of toxins and that it’s much easier for them to take the tablets as opposed to using a powder-based chlorella supplement.
Other reviews describe the product as a great product at a good price.
Some reviews say using this chlorella supplement helped strengthen their hair and nails, and improve the quality of their skin.
Best for All-Around Wellness and Nutritional Support
- Contains chlorella but also blue-green algae and spirulina
- Other ingredients are spinach, wheatgrass, kale, and aloe vera
- High in vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants
- Has high amounts of B vitamins and vitamin C
- The fizzy drink can be taken with you on the go, and you can enjoy it anywhere
- No sugar, but still tastes great
8Greens is one of our favorite supplements overall, and it also has chlorella, so we had to include it. 8Greens has a lemon-lime taste so it’s easy to drink and it’s touted by celebrities like Andy Cohen and Gwyneth Paltrow. It has as much vitamin C as six oranges, and as much vitamin B12 as seven cups of milk.
All of the ingredients are included to help you look and feel your best.
For example, wheatgrass is alkalizing, boosts red blood cell production, and fights inflammation.
Blue-green algae is good for your metabolism and your immune system, and aloe vera helps heal your body from the inside out, while also helping boost your immune system.
Summing Up—The Best Chlorella Supplements of 2020
Chlorella supplements may be something valuable to add to your daily routine for better health. Taking a chlorella supplement may help rid your body of toxins, including heavy metals. It may help improve your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Chlorella supplements are also packed with important nutrition including omega-3s, protein, and vitamin B12, as well as iron.