Health

How Chlorella May Enhance The Immune System

How Chlorella May Enhance The Immune System Chlorella is a nutrient-dense simple single-celled photosynthetic green alga found in freshwater and has a long list of several therapeutic benefits for enhancing human health. It is now commercially produced on large scale and available worldwide as a vibrant green dietary supplement, taken in capsule, powder, extract, or … Continue reading How Chlorella May Enhance The Immune System

How Chlorella May Enhance The Immune System

Chlorella is a nutrient-dense simple single-celled photosynthetic green alga found in freshwater and has a long list of several therapeutic benefits for enhancing human health. It is now commercially produced on large scale and available worldwide as a vibrant green dietary supplement, taken in capsule, powder, extract, or tablet form (Bito 2020, Carl 2014).

What is in chlorella that makes it a powerhouse for health? It is considered as one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the Earth as it is packed with antioxidants and has an impressively unique and diverse nutrient profile which  includes Omega3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and proteins that all work synergistically for improving your health (Carl 2014Panahi 2016Guedes 2011).

It is said that chlorella is a natural multivitamin because it has almost all vitamins needed to sustain life including vitamin D and B12 that are normally not in plant foods. It is also rich in vitamin A, B complex, C, K, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, phosphorous, enzyme pepsin and essential fatty acids. Chlorella has all essential amino acids and it has been found that more than 80% of the proteins in chlorella are digestible (Komaki, 1998). It also has more than five times chlorophyll than wheatgrass, more beta-carotene than carrots and iron content making up to 40% of your daily needs.

Chlorella has an impressive amount of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin that are the ‘eye vitamins’ that can help protect your eyes and may prevent eye strain, eye fatigue, vision loss, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (Ryu 2014).

The antioxidant, immunomodulatory, antihyperlipidemic, antidiabetic, detoxifying, and antihypertensive nature of chlorella makes it capable of so many health benefits (Bito 2020). Here we will specifically explore how Chlorella may help strengthen immunity.

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM:

The immune system is responsible for fighting infections to keep you healthy and let the body function at its best. When an invader enters your body, the multiple protective mechanisms and cells in your complex immune system get activated to keep you safe from any negative effects of the foreign body (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare 2006Cohen 2019).

Maintaining good hygiene, getting enough rest, and including immune-boosting foods in your diet helps to keep your immune system in good condition. The daily supplementation of superfood Chlorella has the potential to enhance your natural immunity as is depicted by several double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical research studies. Chlorella growth factor has beta-glucan polysaccharide molecules that can have positive effects on the immune system by helping boost it and giving protection against harmful pathogens (Akramiene 2007Kim 2011).

SUPPORTING STUDIES:

According to a small study on 15 men, chlorella supplementation for 4 weeks resulted in more antibody production as compared to the placebo group (Otsuki 2011). These antibodies help in fighting foreign invaders in the body.

Another small 8-week Korean study published in the Nutrition Journal found markers of increased immune activity in 30 adults taking 5g of chlorella supplementation daily (Kwak 2012) suggesting an important role of Chlorella in helping boost immunity.

Intense exercise can disturb the immune system by decreasing salivary SIgA secretion which is an important part of maintaining immune health. Chlorella supplementation has been shown to help athletes perform better. A study published in the European Journal of nutrition involving 26 people found that taking 6g of chlorella supplement daily during intense training for 6 weeks led to positive effects on secretory IgA which is an antibody important for maintaining the integrity of the immune system (Chidley, 2018).

One study found enhanced immune function with chlorella supplementation in participants aged 50-55 making it a point that chlorella may help build immunity in some specific populations or age groups (Halperin, 2003). However, more studies are needed before we can say something conclusive in this regard as overall chlorella has all the essential properties needed to enhance your immune system irrespective of the age group.

MULTIPLE WAYS CHLORELLA CAN ASSIST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM:

Studies indicate that consuming Chlorella may help with enhancing several aspects of your immune system such as enhanced Th1 immune response or mucosal immunity (Otsuki 2011Kwak 2012).

Antioxidant:

Chlorella has important antioxidants such as carotenoids that give it the potential to protect your cells from free radical damage and oxidative stress by assisting your body get rid of free radicals with its antioxidant powers (Lordan 2011). If left unchecked, free radicals can damage your body and lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and mental health issues.

A study has found that chlorella decreased oxidative stress and significantly prevented cognitive decline in animal models, suggesting that prolonged chlorella consumption may help prevent the progression of cognitive impairment (Nakashima, 2009).

Apart from carotenoids, peptides, and polysaccharides in marine algae also give antioxidative effects (Lordan 2011).

Early Inflammatory response:

Initially, some inflammation is required for tackling invaders, preventing infection, and starting the healing process. Chlorella works for this early inflammatory response by boosting natural killer cells and some cytokines (Kwak 2012). Chlorella may help prevent illness or could assist faster recovery by boosting natural killer cells activity that removes infected or sick cells.

Anti-inflammatory response:

Too much inflammation is not good, chlorella has polyunsaturated omega 3s fatty acids that are considered as most promising and most prominent anti-inflammatory agents. They not only give inflammation controlling effects on their own but are also capable to increase the efficacy of anti-inflammatory medications. (Lordan 2011).

Polyunsaturated omega 3s fatty acids have been found to reduce breathing difficulties and drug doses of asthma patients with their anti-inflammatory action that results in reducing pro-inflammatory molecules production and increasing anti-inflammatory molecules (Venugopal 2009Masuev 1997a, Masuev 1997b).

These fatty acids also exert anti-inflammatory effects in arthritis conditions to relieve joint pain, inflammation, and use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as is indicated by a meta-analysis involving 17 randomized controlled trials (Goldberg, 2007).

The carotenoid astaxanthin in chlorella also has anti-inflammatory action (Guerin 2003Yuan 2010) and it helps decreases the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators namely necrosis factor, nuclear factor, and interleukin-6 (Lee 2003Macedo 2010) and may suppresses activation of T lymphocyte (Mahmoud 2004).

Chlorella may assist your immune system with its anti-inflammatory action and work with you for helping with other inflammatory conditions. Chronic inflammation if left untreated can lead to severe conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, obesity, heart disease, and neurodegenerative problems like Alzheimer’s.

Antimicrobial:

Chlorella can assist for modulating the immune response in case of bacterial (Queiroz 2003) and viral infections (Ibusuki 1990Santoyo 2010) hence act as an antimicrobial agent (Tanaka 1986Ibuski 1990Hasegawa 1989, Hasegawa 1994Hasegawa 1995). The polysaccharides in Chlorella are especially highlighted to have antiviral effects (Lordan 2011).

It has been demonstrated that administration of chlorella extracts orally improved the resistance to Listeria monocytogenes infection which is an intracellular bacterium. This effect was achieved through the augmentation of T-helper-1 (Th1) cell response in both immunocompromised and normal hosts (Hasegawa 1994Hasegawa 1995).

Activation and increase of specific immune cells:

Chlorella supplementation for 8 weeks resulted helped increase serum concentration of powerful immune chemicals such as interleukin-1β, interleukin 12, and interferon-gamma, the T helper cell-induced cytokines in healthy individuals. Natural killer cell activity also significantly increased in the chlorella group and it was positively correlated with those of serum interferon-gamma and interleukin-1β. Changed levels of serum cytokines with chlorella intake were also positively correlated (Kwak 2012) suggesting a possible beneficial immunostimulatory impact of Chlorella.

Natural killer cells have cytotoxic activity against tumour cells and are important mediators of innate immunity against a variety of intracellular pathogenic microorganisms (Brombacher, 1996). They are responsible for early and extremely fast interferon-gamma production upon infection which then activates antimicrobial macrophage functions (Teixeira 1994Nathan 1983Dunn 1991Bancroft 1993Kaufmann 1993Denis 1991).

Interleukin-1β is linked with inflammatory response and is also involved in cell apoptosis (Cheng, 2004). This cytokine stimulates several cells that act as immune or inflammatory response effector cells (Hunter, 1995). An increase in antibody levels and microbe cell surface receptors interaction for enhancing the immune response are also achieved with chlorella supplementation (Halperin, 2003Otsuki 2011Chou 2012).

Conclusively, chlorella cells may have immunostimulatory effects that stimulate a T-helper cell-1-based response.

WHAT MAKES CHLORELLA ONE OF THE WORLDS MOST SUSTAINABLE CROPS

Chlorella is microalgae that yield biomass more efficiently than land-based plants because of its high performance in utilizing sunlight and carbon dioxide and leading to chlorella’s extremely high rate of growth (Bito, 2020).

The simple structure of chlorella with its ability to reproduce rapidly because of the chlorella growth factor in it makes it one of the most sustainable foods (Katerina, 2014). Chlorella makes superb asexual reproduction. It grows from 3 microns to 8-10 microns through the photosynthesis process using sunlight and carbon dioxide from fresh water. When chlorella is matured to 8-10 microns, there are two nuclear divisions and continuously a parent cell goes through cell divisions to form 4 new cells at a time. This organism is in existence and diving for more than two billion years now.

What helps chlorella in its fast growth and reproduction? Chlorella Growth Factor present in the nucleus of chlorella aids growth for rapid energetic reproduction and increased growth. Chlorella growth factor or CGF is produced during the photosynthesis process in plants and is a unique physiologically active complex of substances such as proteins, nucleic acids, peptides, sugars, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins present only in the chlorella nucleus that allows the chlorella cells to multiply rapidly into 4 cells every 24 hours allowing it’s rapid growth (Merchant, 2001).

Chlorella produces more biomass than regular plants as the daily yield is 20 grams per square meter. If one gram of chlorella is 5.6 kcal, then the yearly calories produced will be 40,880 kcal per square meter which is much more than grains as grains generate just 800kcal per square meter meaning that chlorella is producing 50 times more food.

WHAT IS CHLORELLA GROWTH FACTOR?

The nucleic acid complex Chlorella growth factor in the nucleus of chlorella produced during the photosynthesis process not only makes chlorella a sustainable food source by allowing its rapid reproduction but also may help for stimulating the immune system. Chlorella growth factor can assist healthy regeneration and repair of your cells through its key nutrients (proteins, nucleic acids, peptides, sugars, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins) helping your body heal (Akramiene 2007Kim 2011, Katerina, 2014).

Apart from helping improve your immunity, Chlorella also may assist detoxification of your body (Uchikawa 2011Nakano 2007), helps protect your liver (Mameghani, 2016), may assist lowering blood sugar levels (Itakura, 2015), been researched for it’s anti-aging effects (Bito 2020Sikuru 2019), assists in reducing anemia (Nakano, 2010), may promote eye health (Ryu 2014), helps improve digestion (Holscher, 2017), can help enhance aerobic endurance (Umemoto, 2014), also can support lowering blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels (Merchant, 2001Ryu 2014Mizoguchi 2008Shimada, 2009), and may assist with preventing hardening of the arteries (Otsuki 2013Sansawa 2006). All these researched benefits help promote Chlorella as a complete package for maintaining overall good health.

 

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    • Diago 7 years ago
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    • Diago 7 years ago
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  2. Diago 7 years ago
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