Chlorophyll in Chlorella & Spirulina 
By Walter Sorochan

Date Posted: April 01;  updated May 04, 2013; Updated June 24,  2013.   Disclaimer The information provided below is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to either directly or indirectly give medical advice or prescribe treatment. 

This article gives you the information you need to make a good decision about buying/ingesting chlorella and spirulina.

Eating green vegetables has revived the new old of eating and being healthy.   Besides providing fiber, green vegetables also provide vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates and proteins.  Overlooked in all of this new excitement are the health benefits of chlorophyll in green plants.  Research scientists claim miraculous healing and preventive benefits for chlorophyll. Since the amount of chlorophyll in green veggies is very small, we may need to supplement veggies with richer sources of chlorophyll in order to realize such claims. 

May 25 - June 15, 2013 update: This article is updated by the survey of responses from supplement marketers to 6 specific questions about chlorella and spirulina.  The responses are summarized in the table below:

Summary of marketer responses to:

 chlorella survey

Marketer1
Where
2
Species
3
Process
4
Protection
5
% absorb
6 List
Mercola Joseph
armservices@mercola.com
Hainan
Island China
Chlorella Vulgaris secret freshwater ponds 
org fertilizer
mixed Few
Dr. Dean Chai, Taiwan, Prime Chlorella
Pitchford, Paul,   info@natureodoc.com
Reseller: hello@heartwoodinstitute.com Reseller: Healing Whole Foods
 Reseller: Prime Chlorella Dist, Calgary, Ab.
drdean@primechlorella.com
Taiwan Chlorella
pyrenoidosa
soundenclosed man-made pondNo say Yes
Lee Stearns Thomas,  Reno, Nv.
contactus@aladdin-e.com;
Reseller: info@natureodoc.com
nr
Davis Jill, office@hherbs.plus.com do not grow
Reseller: Naturealways  info@naturealways.com dp not grow

Spirulina

Marketer1
Where
2
Species
3
Process
4
Protection
5
% absorb
6
List
Klamath Algae products E3Live,  
cindy@e3live.com
Klamath Lake, Oregon

Genius: Aphanizomenon 

Species: flos-aquae

freezing, to drying or into liquid Wild Harvested and tested for pathogens unknownYes
eblife: eblife@tiscalinl; do not grownr
RBC Life, Taiwan
CustomerCare@rbclife.com
rbctw.service@rbclife.com
Reseller: Clinton H. Howard, Irving, Texas
Taiwan ? nr
Nuts.com, Cranford, NJ
care@nuts.com 
do not grownr

Both surveys conducted by Walter Sorochan, Emeritus Professor: San Diego State University

Explanation of columns: nr = no information response

  • 1. where original supplement was grown
  • 2. species and genus of supplement
  • 3. processing system
  • 4. protect pond growth from animal contaminants
  • 5. biogradability - percent nutrients absorbed
  • 6. list of nutrient content provided

Survey conclusions:

Buyers beware!  Sellers of chlorella and spirulina supplements may not be providing all the information you need to make good decisions about purchasing their products.  Marketers contacted refrained from sharing their Certificate of Analysis [CofA] Brown: CofA 2008  and they do not provide references to backup their claims.  This lack of full disclosure should make you suspicious of the quality and safety of their supplement. More details about these supplements later on, but first information about chlorophyll, chlorella and spirulina. 


New information May 5, 2013

Chlorella products can vary significantly in content depending on the way chlorella is cultivated, harvested, and processed. Investigators have found that dried preparation of chlorella can contain from 7% to 88% protein, 6% to 38% carbohydrate, and 7% to 75% fat.

Claims have been made that the cell wall of chlorella must be broken down before people can digest chlorophyll and other encased nutrients. However, many important vitamins may be damaged when the cell wall is broken. Juicing is a mechanical process that may not break down the cell wall of plants and algae. 

Toshihara points out in his book that all chlorella are not alike and that skin size varies.  The chlorella vulgaris CK-strain has extremely think cell walls of about 20nm thick compared to chlorella ellipsoidea C-87 with 110-210 nm, to chlorella vulgaris C-30 with a width of 50nm and to chlorella vulgaris C-209 with a width of 200nm.  The thickness of the cell wall makes a big difference when it comes to digestion and absorption of a nutrient when it is processed into a health-food supplement.  Toshihara chlorella V Book 2005 

The digestibility of chlorella depends on the strain more so than on cell width.  The Japanese National Consumer Affairs in 1996 tested chlorella products for legitimacy of cell wall breakage. They reported that "cell wall breakage does not make a difference in digestibility of chlorella." Toshihara chlorella V Book 2005  This report was further substantiated by Komaki who agreed that cell wall breakage was not necessary to improve digestibility. Komaki: chlorella digestibility 1998

The CK-strain chlorella has a extremely thin wall and can be easily digested without breaking its cell wall.  Toshihara further claims that the Japanese Food Hygiene Association tested the digestion/absorption rate and found the rate with small animals was 82%, indicating excellent digestibility. Toshihara chlorella V Book 2005

The cell wall thickness and digestibility/absorption issue raises questions about the validity of chlorella supplemental products that make claims that digestibility is increased with broken cell walls and do not show evidence about percent of their product absorption.  Buyers should be aware that advertisements and container labels may not be honest nor reliable.  Insist sellers disclose the chlorella strain and proof of nutrient absorption of at least 70%.

What is chlorophyll?

chloro-photosynthesis  Chlorophyll  [ CHl ] is the green pigment in sea algae and land plants that catches energy from sunshine and converts sunlight energy, water and carbon dioxide into our primary source of fuel --- starch in plants and releases oxygen into the atmosphere.  Chlorophyll is made up of a central mineral, magnesium, which gives chlorophyll its ability to harness the sun's energy.  Two major types of chlorophyll are a and b. 

Best sources of Chlorophyll: More abundant and richest sources of chlorophyll may be found in chlorella, spirulina, wheat grass and barley grass and lesser amounts in green vegetables. As you can observe from the table below, chlorella and AFA algae have more chlorophyll per unit weight than spirulina, wheat grass or barley grass:

NutrientAmt  Chlorophyll /10grams
AFA algae spirulina300 mg
Chlorella280 mg
Spirulina115 mg
Barley grass149 mg
Wheat grass55 mg

Source: Cousens: Research AFA algae

Our interest in chlorophyll is also in its content in green vegetables.  The chlorophyll contents of selected vegetables are presented in the table below:

Chlorophyll Content of Selected Raw Vegetables

Food Serving
Chlorophyll (mg)
Spinach 1 cup 23.7
Parsley ½ cup 19.0
Cress, garden 1 cup 15.6
Green beans 1 cup
8.3
Arugula 1 cup 8.2
Leeks 1 cup 7.7
Endive 1 cup 5.2
Sugar peas 1 cup 4.8
Chinese cabbage 1 cup 4.1

Source: Higdon: Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin 2005

The chlorophyll content in the above two tables use different serving amounts and should not be interpreted as comparable equal units of measureable servings. 

Although scientists recognize the importance of chlorophyll in plant life, good research about chlorophyll's impact on human well-being is lacking.  Although chlorophyll has been overlooked by the medical community, Russia has used it [ spirulina ] to help radiation victims in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion and many Japanese eat sea weed that is linked to longevity of Japanese people. A chlorophyll rich diet also minimizes the affects of radiation in victims of Fukushima nuclear power plant radiation. 

Keep in mind that the claims made about chlorella and spirulina may include benefits from chlorophyll as well as accompanying nutrient ingredients.  Thus there may be a co-factor affect.

Claims made for chlorophyll:  WebMD: Chlorella  Nemes: chlorella miracle food  May: chlorophyll biochemistry Vogel: chlorophyll prevents cancer 2004   Bailey: Chlorophyll prevention 2002

  • cleanses the bowel
  • cleanses other elimination systems (liver and the blood)
  • transports more oxygen to the body and the brain
  • relieves inflammation
  • is a natural pain reliever; reduces pain in fibromyalgia
  • reduces hypertension
  • detoxifies body by binding to toxins, such as mercury,  and carries them out of your system. Nakano: chlorella detoxifies mother's milk 2007
  • stimulates the immune system
  • increases “good” bacteria in the intestine
  • reduces cholesterol
  • provides magnesium
  • provides anti-oxidants
  • removes free radicals caused by radiation 

Chlorophyll, as found in chlorella, spirulina and plants, is triggered by magnesium and is accompanied by a rich balance of co-factors: vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, making this an all-round nutrition package that may be better than artificial/synthetic vitamin-mineral supplements.  Mother nature includes co-factors to accompany chlorophyll, helping chlorophyll work optimally in plants and humans. 

Numerous fraud accusations have been made against the claims that chlorophyll heals the body.  Lowell: Fallacy claims chlorophy 2004 The accusations appear to be orchestrated, biased, lack validity and attempt to discredit good research.   

Safety: Natural chlorophylls are not known to be toxic, and no toxic effects have been attributed to chlorophyllin despite more than 50 years of clinical use in humans. Higdon: Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin 2005

Be cautious when in the sun and ingesting chlorella and spirulina.

Chlorophyll retrieved from chlorella are breakdown products produced by exposing plant material to chemicals such as acetone, hexane gas, and copper. The resultant material is no longer chlorophyll. Lowell: Fallacy claims  One such by-product is chlorophyllin. 

Chlorophyllin [CHL] is a water-soluble derivative of chlorophyll (Chl) in which magnesium has been replaced with copper and the phytol chains have been lost.  Castro: chlorophyllin 2008  Chlorophyllin is easily and inexpensively made from crude chlorophyll and has been used for decades without known human toxicity as a food dye, a wound-healing accelerant, and for odor control. The anticancer properties of chlorophyllin have been extensively reported in dozens of studies from cell culture to rats, where different chemical carcinogens were used to initiate cancer. From these studies researchers have learned that chlorophyllin acts primarily as a blocking agent against chemical initiation of carcinogenesis.   Simonich: chlorophyll prevents cancer 2006

Chlorophyllin has been shown to have DNA-protective and antioxidant properties, inhibiting DNA adduction. Chlorophyllin acts to protect mitochondria.  Chlorophyllin has a role in preventing unavoidable dietary exposure to aflatoxin, a naturally occurring mycotoxin, by reducing its oral bioavailability. Egner: prevent aflatoxin 2003   Chlorophyllin has also been used in alternative medicine as an  antioxidant or anti-inflammatory aid .

Older people take chlorophyllin for controlling body, fecal and urine odors; and for treating constipation and gas (flatulence). Chlorophyllin is used to reduce the odor of bowel movements (feces). It works by preventing bacteria in the intestines from forming odor-producing substances in stools.  

Metabolism and Bioavailability: Little is known about the bioavailability [ absorption from digestive system into the blood circulation system ] and metabolism of chlorophyll or chlorophyllin. The lack of toxicity attributed to chlorophyllin led to the belief that it was poorly absorbed. However, significant amounts of copper chlorin e4 were measured in the plasma of humans taking chlorophyllin tablets in a controlled clinical trial; indicating that it is absorbed. More research is needed to understand the bioavailability and metabolism of natural chlorophylls and chlorin compounds in synthetic chlorophyllin.  Higdon: Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin 2005

What is chlorella?

chlorella algae Chlorella is a single-cell micro-algae that grows in fresh and ocean water. It is a “miracle whole food” which gets its name from the amount of chlorophyll it possesses. The whole chlorella plant is used to make nutritional supplements and medicine. 

 Most of the chlorella that is available in the U.S. is grown in Japan or Taiwan.  Chlorella is often packaged in the USA, but it is not grown in the USA. Adams: cleanest chlorella 2013 McCauley: chlorella market 2012   It is processed and made into chlorella tablets and liquid extracts.  These extracts contain "chlorella growth factor," which is described as a water-soluble extract of chlorella containing chemicals including amino acids, peptides, proteins, vitamins, sugars, and nucleic acids. Chlorella's Nutritional Analysis

Unique features of chlorella: 

Chlorella has the unique ability to grow faster than any other plant on earth, quadrupling every 20 hours! This is due to a substance called chlorella growth factor [CGF] that is programmed into its DNA. WebMD: Chlorella This growth factor is similar to Superoxide Dismutase [ SOD ] found in new born babies and mother's milk.  Chlorella CGF promotes growth and tissue repair in humans. Pitchford: Chlorella info

Chlorella contains “sporopollenin” which is more effective at binding neurotoxic debris than any other natural substance; thus it has the ability to detox the body from biotoxins such as tetanus, Lyme disease, and tuberculosis. Chlorella turns on the natural detoxification switch by increasing intracellular reduced glutathione.

Chlorella is also an immune booster, as it contains a compound known as “chlorellan", which stimulates the body to make more interferon, and it also helps protector cells (macrophages) function more effectively.

Contains phycocyanin, a potent anti-cancer phytochemical.

Nutritional analysis for chlorella e.g.: vitamins, minerals, amino acids

Chlorella has been applied to the skin in treating skin ulcers, rashes caused by radiation treatment, and a sexually transmitted disease called trichomoniasis.

Those selling chlorella make marketing claims that chlorella can give you magic health benefits. [ refer to marketer survey summary above ]  Although many of the claims may be valid, there is usually little scientific documentation to back up their claims and instead a lot of hype to sell chlorella [ and spirulina ]. Adams: cleanest chlorella 2013  

Below is a video that provides only some information about chlorella: 

Dr.Mercola's  Chlorella tablet supplement:

Mercola: video chlorella

New processing to extract chlorophyll from chlorella:

There has been a big concern that the contents of chlorella cannot be digested due to its thick walls.  Scientists assumed that the thick cell walls of chlorella needed to be "broken" in order for chlorophyll inside chlorella to be absorbed during digestion. 

Breaking the cell walls in the past was done with a physical "milling" process and by heating.  Heating destroyed vitamins.  The problem of heat extraction [ destruction of nutrients ] was solved by Jubert and his researchers in 2007.  They successfully developed a freeze process that does not damage chlorophyll and other nutrients.  Jubert: Chlorophyllin isolation 2007  Kong and associates have recently developed another new extraction process, using ultrasound vibration to break the cell wall and extract chlorophyll.   Kong: ultrasound extraction 2012  Wiki: chlorophyll  Hosikian has summarized the extracting of chlorophyll from microalgae.  Hosikian: chlorophyll extactions 2010 

But not all chlorella have thick walls.  According to Adams, chlorella grown in Korea has thin cell walls and can be readily digested.  AAdams: cleanest chlorella 2013  Such chlorella digestibility has also been confirmed by Toshihara. Toshihara chlorella V Book 2005 

The obvious questions to ask sellers is the source and kind of chlorella used, how chlorophyll is extracted from chlorella and "how is their product being processed?"  Most sellers of chlorella, spirulina, wheat grass and barley grass neglect to mention how their products are processed. 

You need to be aware that most chlorella may be indigestible, as we humans simply do not have the enzymes to break down its cell wall.  Nemes: chlorella miracle food 

Spirulina:

Spirulina is a cyanobacterium, phylum of blue-green bacteria that obtain their energy through photosynthesis

cyanobacteria Spirulina lacks cellulose cell walls and therefore can be easily digested by humans and other animals. Karkos: spirulina research studies 2011  It is made primarily from two species of cyanobacteria: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima .  The largest commercial producers of spirulina are located in the United States [ Klamath Lake, Oregon ], Mexico, Thailand, India, Taiwan, China, Pakistan, Burma [ Myanmar ], Greece and Chile. The largest concentrations of spirulina today can be found at Lake Texcoco in Mexico, around Lake Chad in Central Africa and along the Great Rift Valley in east Africa.

Interest in spirulina today is for the amount of chlorophyll more so than protein or other nutrients. In the past interest was as a protein supplement. Research to validate health benefits from spirulina are incomplete and speculative at best.

Klamath lakeA new spirulina product is being marketed by a company, E3Live®, in Klamath Lake, Oregon.  Aphanizomenon flos-aquae [AFA] is a freshwater species of cyanobacteria [ spirulina ] found in and harvested from the deepest waters of Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon.  E3Live claims that its product, AFA, has the highest amount of chlorophyll, contains a complete balance of vitamins except for vitamins "D" and "E"; almost every organic mineral in trace amounts, and 22 amino acids, 8 of which are essential. E3Live states that its product, AFA, is carefully harvested, processed and monitored for contaminants. Cousens: Research AFA algae  Saiber: blue green algae benefits  Although AFA is a product with a lot of promise, there is some controversy about the safety of AFA spirulina supplement. Dietrich:AFA algae toxic 2008

Protection for radiation sickness:  Those negatively affected by high levels of radiation after working on cleanup efforts following the 1986 Chernobyl disaster experienced improvements in the "autoregulatory functionality of their bodily organs and other systems, as well as long-term remission from overall radiation damage," after being treated with a regimen that included spirulina.  Zozulia: spirulina heals radiation 2000

In 1994, a Russian Patent was awarded for spirulina as a medical food to reduce allergic reactions from radiation sickness. 270 Children of Chernobyl consuming 5 grams a day for 45 days, lowered radionucleides by 50%, and normalized allergic sensitivities. Zozulia: spirulina heals radiation 2000

Spirulina, like chlorella, is rich in gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, a compound found in mother's breast milk that helps develop immunity in babies.  

Spirulina health benefit claims: [ incomplete ] 

Many of these claims for chlorophyll may be attributed to magnesium and vitamin D.  Both regulate the metabolic on/off switches that regulate over 400 body processes in our bodies.  We need more research to verify the above claims. 

Nutritional analysis for Spirulina dried:  vitamins, minerals, amino acids

Differences between chlorella and spirulina: 

Item: Chlorella Spirulina
organism algae plant bacteria
Thick cell wall Yes No
Raw Digestible   No Yes
Needs extractingYes No
Location growthsalt ocean fresh water
ChlorophyllYes Yes
VitaminsYes yes
MineralsYesYes
Amino AcidsYes Yes
can be contaminatedYes Yes

Chlorophyllin Safety:  Chlorophyllin is different from chlorella and spirulina. This part of information is presented in case you have been or are ingesting chlorophyllin.  When taken orally, chlorophyllin may cause green discoloration of urine or feces, or yellow or black discoloration of the tongue. This is not a big deal, as these symptoms will disappear when one ingests a lesser dosage.  There have also been occasional reports of diarrhea related to oral chlorophyllin use. When applied topically to wounds, chlorophyllin has been reported to cause mild burning or itching in some cases. Oral chlorophyllin may result in false positive results on guaiac card tests for occult blood. Since the safety of chlorophyll or chlorophyllin supplements has not been tested in pregnant or lactating women, they should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation. Higdon: Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin 2005 

Dosage:   The appropriate dose of chlorella and spirulina depends on several factors --- such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for chlorella or spirulina. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.  Keep in mind that we have different biochemical bodies and can respond differently to dosage. 

Buying Alert: Do your homework:  Nutrition labels on a variety of chlorella and spirulina products may vary, and they often tend to have “more nutrition” listed than what is listed in official food nutrient databases, such as the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference from which we get most of our nutrient information from. Russell: spirulina questionable Do not trust the label information nor the hype on the seller's web-site. 

Another possible problem may be contamination of chlorella and spirulina.   Spirulina side effects may be caused by blue-green algae harvested from wild sources or poorly controlled environments. Wild spirulina can contain bacteria from animal waste that can cause severe diarrhea or vomiting. Microcystins, a type of toxin produced by algae, can accumulate in the liver and cause liver damage or failure. Chlorella and spirulina can also absorb heavy metals from the water where these are grown. Spirulina contamination  For these reasons, it is important to buy spirulina and chlorella from sources that fully disclose the product information [ that may not be on the label ].    

Adams reports that some fairly well-known nutritional supplement brands in the USA are actually "cutting" their chlorella with cheap fillers in order to make it appear their customers are getting a better value. They will sell, for example, 500mg chlorella tablets, but the tablet turns out to be a combination of chlorella and cheap calcium filler!  Adams: cleanest chlorella 2013  Read the label: Look for calcium carbonate. If it's there, your chlorella has been "cut" and compromised.

Do your homework:  Ask the trusted seller for evidence:

  • Request Certificate of Analysis [CofA] Brown: CofA 2008
  • Where the product is grown?
  • Chlorella genus and cell wall thickness?
  • Is it free of contaminants?
  • How it is processed?
  • How is the supplement safeguarded against animal waste pollution?
  • How is the supplement safeguarded against radiation fallout? Radiation testing 2012
  • % biogradeability? How much is absorbed by your body?

Conclusion:  

It is the opinion of this researcher that both chlorella and spirulina are a mixed bag!  On the one hand, the claims made by marketers about health benefits are exciting but lack good references to back these up.  On the other hand, both supplements are safe and appear to provide health benefits. 

Chinese chlorella is the most contaminated while the cleanest is from Taiwan. Adams: cleanest chlorella 2013 McCauley: chlorella market 2012   Spirulina is claimed to be readily bio-digestible in humans whereas chlorella may not be, although the exact amount may be less than 70-80%.  Not having to break the cell wall and extract chlorophyll is the key in preferring spirulina over chlorella.  Both supplements are similar in the vitamins, minerals and amino acids they provide.  The two most overlooked  nutrients in chlorella and spirulina are chlorophyll and magnesium.

Chlorella cell wall breakage does not improve bio-digestibility. Chlorella vulgaris C K-strain CVE has the thinnest cell walls. Toshihara chlorella V Book 2005 

Both chlorella and spirulina supplements may have more Recommended Daily Allowances per day nutrients than synthetic vitamin-mineral supplements.  In spite of lack of good human trials research at this time, research supports spirulina and chlorella as safe food supplements without significant side-effects. Karkos: spirulina research studies 2011 

The nutrients found in chlorella and spirulina exist in natural harmony and integrity with mother nature, in approximate proper co-factor ratios, making them much more highly bio-available than those found in synthetic multi-vitamin and mineral supplements.  Although chlorella and spirulina supplements are sold in various forms, tablets are less expensive than capsules, and are much easier to take than powder, liquid or dried powder form. 

In spite of weak scientific documentation, there is ample scientific evidence to support ingesting chlorella or spirulina.

Since the American diet is deficient in green vegetables and nutrients, one should also consider supplementing one's diet with chlorella or spirulina.  Keep in mind that ingesting either one of these is no assurance that one's body is able to absorb and metabolize these supplements.  You should have your medical doctor monitor your intake for tracer nutrients as markers that chlorella or spirulina are being absorbed by your body. 

Otherwise, you have natural body sensors that monitor and recognize the benefits of chlorella and spirulina.  How you feel --- better or worse? Do you have more energy than before? How often do you get sick? Do you feel good?  These may not be scientific or sophisticated ways of monitoring the benefits of such supplementations, but this is how your body works and communicates with you! 

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Feedback to author: E-mail

References:

Adams Mike, "Cleanest sources for chlorella revealed: Natural News publishes metals contamination test results for world's most famous superfood," Chlorella factor, Natural News, February 19, 2013.   Adams: cleanest chlorella 2013

Bailey George S., "Chlorophylls and Cancer Prevention: Passing the First Hurdle," Lineus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, November, 2002.   Bailey: Chlorophyll prevention 2002

Bohn T, Walczyk S, Leisibach S, Hurrell RF., "Chlorophyll-bound magnesium in commonly consumed vegetables and fruits: relevance to magnesium nutrition."  J Food Sci. 2004;69(9):S347-S350.   Bohn: Mg in veggies

Brown Paula, "Certificates of Analysis," Nutraceuticals World • November 2008.   Brown: CofA 2008

Castro David J. and others, "Identifying efficacious approaches to chemoprevention with chlorophyllin, purified chlorophylls and freeze-dried spinach in a mouse model of transplacental carcinogenesis," Carcinogenesis, 2008, Volume 30, Issue 2, Pp. 315-320.   Castro: chlorophyllin 2008

"This is the first demonstration that CHL can provide potent chemoprotection in a transplacental carcinogenesis model and support a mechanism involving complex-mediated reduction of carcinogen uptake."

Cherng JY, Liu CC, Shen CR, Lin HH, Shih MF., "Beneficial effects of Chlorella-11 peptide on blocking LPS-induced macrophage activation and alleviating thermal injury-induced inflammation in rats," Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2010 Jul-Sep;23(3):811-20.   Cherng: Chlorella prevents inflammation 2010   A 2010 study found that Chlorella contains a peptide, known as Chlorella-11, that actually inhibits the inflammation caused by Lipopolysaccharides from Gram-negative-bacteria.

Chlorella's Nutritional Analysis.  Natural Ways To Health.   Chlorella's Nutritional Analysis

Chlorophyll - a Formula = C55H72MgN4O5

Choi Hyukjae, Samantha J. Mascuch, Francisco A. Villa, Tara Byrum, Margaret E. Teasdale, Jennifer E. Smith, Linda B. Preskitt, David C. Rowley, Lena Gerwick, William H. Gerwick., "Honaucins A−C, Potent Inhibitors of Inflammation and Bacterial Quorum Sensing: Synthetic Derivatives and Structure-Activity Relationships," Chemistry & Biology, May 25, 2012 DOI. Choi: Biochemical potential 2012

Cousens Gabriel, "research scientific studies The positive response from the use of E3Live.   Cousens: Research AFA algae    Radiation testing 2012

Aphanizomenon flos-aquae [AFA] is a freshwater species of cyanobacteria [ spirulina ] found in and harvested from the purest and healthiest algae from the deepest waters of Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon. AFA contains a complete balance of vitamins except for vitamins "D" and "E"; almost every organic mineral in trace amounts, and 22 amino acids, 8 of which are essential.  

Dietrich Daniel,"AFA algae - toxic cocktail fountain or health?" University of Constance, 2008, Press Release No. 12 of 15.01.  Dietrich:AFA algae toxic 2008

"Prof. Daniel Dietrich, a toxicologist at the University of Konstanz, warns against the careless consumption of AFA algae preparations. He has investigated eight AFA algae supplements [ Klamath Lake in Oregon ] from the market in Germany and Switzerland on toxins and concludes: "We have sixteen different products that are sold on the German and Swiss markets tested. Ten have exceeded the sum guideline for the toxin Microzystin. And sometimes quite violently. Microzystine are a powerful liver poison, which has a similar effect as the poison amanita mushrooms. Mikrozystine can also be toxic to the brain and the kidneys."

Egner PA, Muñoz A, Kensler TW., "Chemoprevention with chlorophyllin in individuals exposed to dietary aflatoxin," Mutat Res. 2003 Feb-Mar;523-524:209-16.   Egner: prevent aflatoxin 2003

Feedback from chlorella growers/marketers May 25, 2013:

  • May 23, 2013: Pritchard Paul, author of the landmark nutrition book: Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition [North Atlantic Books; 780 pages, 2002
    • May 23, 2013: Dr. Dean D.G.Chai, Taiwan, drdean@primechlorella.com
    • May 23, 2013: Prime Chlorella Distributor, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, info@primchlorella.com
  • May  23, 2013: Marcola Joseph & Judy Nicassio: amrservices@mercola.com

Finkle Bernard J. and David Appleman, “The Effect of Magnesium Concentration on Chlorophyll and Catalase Development in Chlorella,” Plant Physiol. October; 1953, 28(4): 652–663.   Finkle:Mg affect on chlorella growth 1953   “Magnesium is required for both chlorophyll and catalase synthesis.”

Higdon Jane, Victoria J. Drake and Roderick H. Dashwood, "Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin," Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, December 2005.   Higdon: Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin 2005    Higdon: References chl 2005

Hosikian Aris, Su Lim, Ronald Halim, and Michael K. Danquah, "Chlorophyll Extraction from Microalgae: A Review on the Process Engineering Aspects," International Journal of Chemical Engineering Volume 2010, Article ID 391632, 11 pages. Hosikian: chlorophyll extactions 2010

Jabr Ferris, "A New Form of Chlorophyll?" Scientific American, August 19, 2010.   Jabr: New chlorophyll 2010   Researchers discover evidence for a new type of chlorophyll in cyanobacteria that can absorb near-infrared light

Jubert Carole and George Bailey, "Isolation of chlorophylls a and b from spinach by counter-current chromatography," Journal of Chromatography A, Volume 1140, Issues 1–2, 26 January 2007, Pages 95–100. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University.  Jubert: Chlorophyllin isolation 2007

Chlorophyllin isolation Abstract: A method for the isolation of chlorophylls from spinach by counter-current chromatography was developed. An initial extraction protocol was devised to avoid the notorious sensitivity of chlorophylls to degradation by light, heat, oxygen, acids and bases. Further purification and separation of chlorophylls a and b were achieved using counter-current chromatography. Chlorophyll structures and purities were established by HPLC, fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance. Purity was estimated to be >95% (100% by HPLC). Typical yields from 30 g of freeze-dried spinach were 300 mg of chlorophyll a and 100 mg of chlorophyll b.

Karkos C. D., Karkos,S.,  Leong, N. Sivaji, and D. A. Assimakopoulos, "Spirulina in Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Human Applications," Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative MedicineVolume 2011 (2011), Article ID 531053, 4 pages.   Karkos: spirulina research studies 2011

Komaki,H., Yamashita,M., Niwa,Y., Tanaka,Y., Kamiya,N., Ando,Y., Furuse,M., "The effect of processing of Chlorella vulgaris: K-5 on in vitro an in vivo digestibility in rats," Animal Fed Science Technology, 1998, 70, 363-366.   Komaki: chlorella digestibility 1998 The results suggested that Chlorella strain vulgaris: K-5 may be an efficient protein source even without cell rupture.

Kong Welbao, and others, “Optimization of untrasound-asisted extraction parameters of chlorophyll from chlorella vulgaris residue after lipid separation using response surface methodology,” Journal of Food Science Technology, April 29, 2012.   Kong: ultrasound extraction 2012 W. Kong: email: kwbao@163.com

Konishi F, Tanaka K, Himeno K, et al., "Antitumor effect induced by a hot water extract of Chlorella vulgaris (CE): resistance to Meth-A tumor growth mediated by CE-induced polymorphonuclear leukocytes," Cancer Immunol Immunother, 1985;19:73-8.

Lewis Ari S., "Organic versus Inorganic Arsenic in Herbal Kelp Supplements," Environ Health Prospect, 2007 December; 115(12).   Lewis: arsenic in kelp 2007

Abstract: This study has measured the content of total and inorganic forms of arsenic in seaweed available on retail sale for consumption, to provide data for dietary exposure estimates and to support advice to consumers. A total of 31 samples covering five varieties of seaweed were collected from various retail outlets across London and the internet. All of the samples were purchased as dried product. For four of the five varieties, soaking was advised prior to consumption. The recommended method of preparation for each individual sample was followed, and total and inorganic arsenic were analyzed both before and after preparation. The arsenic remaining in the water used for soaking was also measured. Arsenic was detected in all samples with total arsenic at concentrations ranging from 18 to 124 mg/kg. Inorganic arsenic, which can cause liver cancer, was only found in the nine samples of hijiki seaweed that were analyzed, at concentrations in the range 67-96 mg/kg. Other types of seaweed were all found to contain less than 0.3mg/kg inorganic arsenic, which was the limit of detection for the method used. Since consumption of hijiki seaweed could significantly increase dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic, the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued advice to consumers to avoid eating it.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food standard for arsenic of 2 ppm, which applies only to animals treated with veterinary drugs, is not relevant.

FDA guidance recommends levels for seafood that are much higher. For example, the level of concern for total arsenic in crustaceans is 86 ppm, a concentration 10 times higher than the amount found in the kelp supplement.

Lowell James A., "Amazing Claims for Chlorophyll," Quackwatch, August 14, 2004. Lowell: Fallacy claims chlorophy 2004

... breakdown products are produced by exposing plant material to chemicals such as acetone, hexane gas, and copper. The resultant material is no longer chlorophyll.

May Paul, "Chlorophyll." University of Bristols. May: chlorophyll biochemistry

McCauley Bob, "The Truth About the Chlorella Market," Bob McCauley blog, April 25, 2012.   McCauley: chlorella market 2012

Mercola, Joseph M., "Use This Remarkable Food to Help Flush Potentially Toxic Metals Out of Your Body has chlorophyll amount in chlorella," Mercola.com.    Mercola: chlorophyll amount in chlorella

Minton Barbara L., "Add Spirulina to Your Diet and Replace those Expensive Supplements," Natural News, February 23, 2009. Minton: spirulina best supplement 2009

Mišurcová Ladislava, Soňa Škrovánková, Dušan Samek, Jarmila Ambrožová, Ludmila Machů, "Chapter 3 – Health Benefits of Algal Polysaccharides in Human Nutrition," Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, Elsevier, Volume 66, 2012, Pages 75–145. Mišurcová: Advances in nutrition 2012

Nakano Shiro, Hideo Takekoshiand Masuo Nakano, "Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) Supplementation Decreases Dioxin and Increases Immunoglobulin A Concentrations in Breast Milk," JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL FOOD, 2007,10 (1) , 134–142.   Nakano: chlorella detoxifies mother's milk 2007 "Chlorella supplementation not only reduces dioxin levels in breast milk, but may also have beneficial effects on nursing infants by increasing IgA levels in breast milk."

Nemes Claudin Calin, “Chlorella – miracle food,” Nemes: chlorella miracle food

Pak Wing, "Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of spirulina on rat model of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis," J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2012 November; 51(3): 227–234. Pak: Spirulina anti-iflam affect 2012

Pitchford Paul, “Chlorella: A Nutrient-Rich Algae,” NaturoDoc,   Pitchford: Chlorella info Nutrition table ; excellent info

Pitchford, Paul "Healing with Whole Foods" Daily OM, 2004. From Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford, published by North Atlantic Books, copyright © 2002.   Pitchford: 2004

Russell Tracy, "Spirulina Nutrition & Health Benefits – Is It Worth The Cost?" Incredible Smoothies, September 9th, 2011.   Russell: spirulina questionable

Saiber Michael & Tamera Campbell, "Blue Green Algae Benefits: The Frozen Food That's Preventing, Fighting, and Healing Everything from Colds to Blindness," Raw Glow, Klamath Lake, Oregon.   Saiber: blue green algae benefits  

"The benefits of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae are directly related to the care and attention given to sourcing and harvesting the product. Our quality care begins with the selection of the freshest AFA "blooms" from pristine Eagle Ridge. The harvesting is quickly followed by rapid chilling of the AFA to 34 to 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, our E3Live® is Further purified by careful centrifugation, leaving a product chilled and scrupulously clean. E3Live® is handled more expeditiously from harvest to freezer than any competitive product."

Siah Kua Chai, Tho X. Phama, Youngki Parka, Bohkyung Kima, Min Sun Shinb, Insoo Kangb, Jiyoung Leea, "Edible blue-green algae reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting NF-κB pathway in macrophages and splenocytes," Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects, Volume 1830, Issue 4, April 2013, Pages 2981–2988. Siah: Spirulina reduces inflammation 2013

Simonich Michael T., "Cancer Prevention by Chlorophylls," Lineaus Pauling Institute, Research Newsletter-Fall/Winter 2006.   Simonich: chlorophyll prevents cancer 2006

Spirulina dried, Self nutritional data, March 21, 2012.   Spirulina: Nutrition analysis 2012  

The George Mateljan Foundation, "Can you tell me more about chlorophyll, including what foods it can be found in and the effect that cooking has upon it?"   George Mateljan Foundation

 Toshihara Kanna, "Chlorella Vulgaris and chlorella vugaris extract [CVE]," Woodland Publishing, Orem, 2005 Utah, book.   Toshihara chlorella V Book 2005

Tse Paul, “THE DETOXIFICATION, IMMUNOSTIMULATION AND HEALING PROPERTY OF CHLORELLA,” World Convention of Traditional Medicine & Acupuncture Singapore, March 18 and 19, 2000 [ Summary of research ] Tse: 2000  

Vogel Johan de, Denise S.M.L. Jonker-Termont, Esther M.M. van Lieshout, Martijn B. Katan1, and Roelof van der Meer1, "Green vegetables, red meat and colon cancer: chlorophyll prevents the cytotoxic and hyperproliferative effects of haem in rat colon," Carcinogenesis (2005) 26 (2): 387-393.   Vogel: chlorophyll prevents cancer 2004

"green vegetables may decrease colon cancer risk because chlorophyll prevents the detrimental, cytotoxic and hyperproliferative colonic effects of dietary haem."

WebMD, "Find a Vitamin or Supplement CHLORELLA.” WebMD.   WebMD: Chlorella

Wikipedia, “Chlorella.” Wiki: chlorella   Wiki: chlorophyll

"A variety of claims are made for chlorophyll in alternative medicine, none of which has any sound scientific basis. Key claims are that it is a powerful remover of odours, that it has very chemical similar structure to haemoglobin and thus performs the same function in plants, and that it increases the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.[28] None of these is true. Chlorophyll does not enter the blood, is markedly less effective than antibiotics in killing bacteria, and while its structure is similar to haemin (not haemoglobin) its action in plants is not a close analogy to the action of blood.[29] The claims for chlorophyll, especially as a deodorant, have been around for a long time, but have been known to be false for most of that time."

Wikipedia, "Chlorophyll."  Wiki: chlorophyll

Extracted liquid chlorophyll was considered to be unstable and always denatured until 1997, when Frank S. & Lisa Sagliano used freeze-drying of liquid chlorophyll at the University of Florida and stabilized it as a powder, preserving it for future use. 

Wikipedia, "Spirulina." Wiki: spirulina

Zhang HQ, Lin AP, Sun Y, Deng YM., "Chemo- and radio-protective effects of polysaccharide of Spirulina platensis on hemopoietic system of mice and dogs," Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2001 Dec;22(12):1121-4.   Zhang: Spirulina protects against radiation 2001 Spirulina has chemo-protective and radio-protective capability, and may be a potential adjunct to cancer therapy.

Zozulia IS, Lurchenko AV., "The adaptive potentials of those who worked in the cleanup of the aftermath of the accident at the Chernobyl Atomic Electric Power Station under the influence of different treatment methods," Lik Sprava. 2000 Apr-Jun;(3-4):18-21.    Zozulia: spirulina heals radiation 2000