Chlorella: an immunity boosting superfood

Contains key vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, proteins & essential amino acids

Chlorella, a single-cell green algae, has been used in medicine for hundreds of years and has long been a popular nutritional supplement in Asia.

It's increasing popularity on in health circles on Australian shores lead us to take a closer look at its reported benefits.

Chlorella is said to be one of the most nutritionally dense foods found in nature. Discovered in the late 19th Century, it’s a type of algae that grows only in fresh water.
This marine superfood contains an abundance of key vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, proteins, essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, and is also reported to contain high concentrations of iron, B-complex vitamins, and chlorophyll, which have potent detoxification properties.

Where it’s found
Most of the chlorella available in Australia is grown in the freshwater lakes of Japan or Taiwan. It is harvested and processed into tablets, liquid extracts or powders for dietary supplementation.

Health Benefits

Aside from its popularity as a supplement for general wellbeing, its abundance of nutrients are specifically utilised for:

Chlorella has become known for promoting detoxification in the body. It is said to assist with cancer prevention due to its ability to cleanse the body of toxins and heavy metals. Following the Fukushima disaster in Japan, it was also widely used to help those affected by the radioactive fallout to detox their bodies of toxic chemicals.

Protection against disease
Supporters state that chlorella supplements increase the level of albumin in the body. Albumin is a protein normally present in the bloodstream, and chlorella advocates claim it protects against diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, AIDS, pancreatitis, cirrhosis, hepatitis, anaemia, and multiple sclerosis.

Chlorella contains a compound called ‘chlorella growth factor’, which has been shown in research to promote normal cell growth and boost the immune system. It’s commonly used to supplement diets of those regularly suffering from colds and flu.
In addition, chlorella has been credited with improving digestion, enhancing mental clarity, and promoting a healthy pH balance in body tissue. While more evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of chlorella for these uses, its nutrients may help those who have low levels of certain vitamins or minerals.

Sources and dosage
Chlorella is available in tablets, liquid extracts, and as a powder. Some herbalists recommend two to three grams per day (approximately one teaspoon), though higher doses may be suggested for detoxification.

Chlorella is widely available for purchase online, or through health food and supplements stores. It can be taken alone, with water, mixed into baked goods, or used as an addition to smoothies.

Top Tips
Chlorella products can vary significantly depending on the way the ‘crop’ used to make the supplements was cultivated, harvested and processed, so be sure to read the nutritional label.
Some people taking chlorella may experience diarrhoea, nausea, gas and stomach cramping, especially in the first week of use. Introduce it to your diet gradually to avoid unpleasant side effects.


It’s important to note that self-treating a chronic condition with chlorella may have serious consequences. If you’re considering the use of this or any other nutritional supplement in the treatment of a chronic condition, consult your primary care provider. 

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Author: Sally O'neill 


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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read our Medical Notice.