Unicellular algae like chlorella have existed on earth since over 2.5 thousand million years.
Neither climate changes nor natural catastrophies have been able to annihilate them. Chlorella is a
« champion of survival » and is one of the first forms of life to have occurred. It was only in 1890, when the biologist M.W.Beyernick identified chlorella, that it was introduced to western science.
Chlorella pyrenoidosa is a freshwater alga which grows in colonies. Its (natural) biotopes are
inland waters,e.g. lakes and ponds. This minute unicellular organism is only visible through a microscope : that is why it is also called a microalga. Enlarged 600 times, one can see that chlorella has an ellipsoidal to spherical shape, so that it is suitably designated as a spherical alga or spherical cell alga. Seen transversally, a cell measures 2 to 12 microns.
• The name chlorella is from the Latin and means « young and minute greenery ». Its dark green colour is due to its high chlorophyll content, the highest amongst all plants known until now.
• There are ten genetically different varieties of chlorella. The best known representatives of the species are chlorella pyrenoidosa and chlorella vulgaris. In spite of their relative genetic resemblance, pyrenoidosa possesses particular characteristics which make it an exceptional food or food supplement.
It is the effects of the pyrenoidosa variety that are described further on. To avoid heaviness in the text and for more simplicity, henceforth the term used will be « chlorella ».
To develop best, chlorella needs intense sunlight and good natural conditions of climate. Luckily, there are still farm lands in tropical and subtropical areas which have the benefit of such conditions for farming and are hardly polluted (China, Thailand, Birmany). In order to get a more precise idea of the conditions of cultivation, since 1997 we have regularly been on a chlorella production farm, in the south of China. There, we have not only an overview of each stage of production, but also of the whole cultivation process.
• Small quantites of chlorella cells are put in bottles containing a nutritive solution, in very specific
• After the first division of the cells, they are put outdoors in cultivation ponds rich in nutriments
for 7 to 10 days.
• Next, various decantings follow, each in a larger pond, and finally meticulous operations to
transform it into powder.
• An intensive control of the final quality is made before the production stage for various chlorella
based products (tablets, extracts, drinks, food-stuffs – for example, noodles).
Only such a production process can guarantee hygiene as well as a completely natural production of chlorella green algae, and of their derived products (p.13). The production is conducted according to strict rules, forbidding the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The transformation of chlorella powder into tablets is performed without any additives and done by specialists.
One chlorella tablet therefore contains nothing else than chlorella pyrenoidosa in its purest form.
Chlorella captures toxic substances and disease-causing bacteria at an extraordinary speed. This useful and favourable property in the human body can be a problem in natural lakes or ponds, for example if cultivation is not controlled. Attracting different kinds of toxins, Chlorella can thus lose its helpful effects for human organisms if its detoxifying capacity has been considerably reduced. In other words,
if the chlorella cells have already absorbed the toxins before they have been transformed into food supplements, it is certain that their detoxifying capacity will be greatly reduced.
The efforts to cultivate chlorella in natural conditions and to treat it without rigorous supervision have always ended in deterioration of its quality. In order to constantly maintain the quality of the water in a lake, it would be necessary to prevent bacterial contamination from entering and also to ensure an optimal pH – this is almost impossible.
Inspite of the above conditions and strict control, it is not impossible to still detect tiny quantities of heavy metals in products derived from chlorella. Because chlorella has a tendency to absorb toxic materials, like a sponge, from its environment, it is not realistic to imagine that it could be totally devoid of pollutants. And if some people claim this, the truth of their analysis results can be questioned and even the subject of their research, which cannot be chlorella pyrenoidosa.
Without prior treatment, the digestibility level of chlorella would be less than 50% for human beings.
This is caused by the extreme solidity of the cellular membrane of this freshwater alga. Also, in contrast with the other unicellular organisms, having membranes constituted of two layers, chlorella pyrenoidosa's membrane has three layers instead of two. By means of a moderate dessication process, certain producers have been able to increase chlorella's digestibility to 80%.
Others have made use of a mechanical process to break the cellular membrane and thus reach a digestibility coefficient of 75%, a level under which to avoid descending, otherwise chlorella could
not absorb poisons while in transit in the intestins. Untreated chlorella would simply « slide » in the intestins and be eliminated without having been able to act on our organism.
Therapeutic agents of chlorella
Chlorella contains about all the nutrients needed in a healthy diet. It has a unique range of components, including all the essential amino acids, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, numerous precious vitamins, minerals and trace elements (p.20), as also other components, amongst
which is highly concentrated chlorophyll. The nutritition analysis clearly reveals the quality of this food supplement.
An overview of the nutrients contained in chlorella
• Proteins 60%
• Carbohydrates 20%
• Lipids 11%
• Various components 9% (water,food fibres, minerals, etc.)
The protein percentage of 60% is extremely high. The daily food intake should provide 60 to 8O gr. of proteins, in order to allow the body to build its own proteins. For comparison, fish, poultry and veal contain at most 25% of (animal) proteins and soya, which is rich in plant protein, contains 30%. Chlorella also contains a whole series of substances exclusive to it or in uniquely great concentration (p.16 to 22).
Unique and/or highly concentrated components of chlorella
• Chlorella Growth Factor (or CGF)
In the chloroplasts of chlorella, the chlorophyll absorbs the light of the sun. Like a solar captor, it attracts light particles which are rich in energy and absorbs them. Chlorophyll absorbs only red and blue from the solar spectrum, which reach the earth even in cloudy weather, and it reflects the colour green. At the same time, it protects the plant cells against ultraviolet rays, cools the cells and stops the plant from drying out. By using sunlight this way, above all chlorophyll stimulates the production of nutriments in plants. At the end of the food chain, human beings benefit from these concentrated active components, like those found in chlorella.
At present it is recognized that chlorophyll allows the photosynthesis of plants. This has incited scientists the world over to examine more closely the influence chlorophyll has on the health of man.
However, the benefits of this unique natural substance to our health are as yet not well known by the general public. And yet, till now, the results revealed are both surprising and joyful.
• Is effective against a large number of pathogenic bacteria.
• Stops the growth of kidney stones.
• Eases pains.
• Has an effect on red corpuscles (probably because the molecular structure of chlorophyll is similar to that of haemoglobin).
• Stabilizes blood pressure and breathing.
• Fortifies the heart muscle like a cardio-tonic.
• Drains gently.
• Sustains resistance.
• Slows down the oxidation process of cell membranes and thus stops premature aging, as well
• Eliminates free radicals which can harm cells.
• Accelerates healing of wounds.
• Protects against harmful radiation (anti-mutagen).
• Prevents cancer.
• Regulates intestinal transit.
• Eliminates toxins.
• Diminishes bad smells, like a deodorant does (breath, body odours, sweat, urine, stools).
Chlorella alone has this growth factor. CGF is a unique element situated in chlorella's cell nucleus.
It is a complex set of various precious substances which favour growth in a natural way.
• Lactobacilli, indispensable for the right effect of intestinal flora, increase four times on absorption of CGF. Thus chlorella works on intestinal flora like a probiotic (p.19).
• Sustains the immune system, specially in people of mature or old age. Moreover, CGF has a regulatory effect on diabetes.
• It is also necessary to mention the gain in physical resistance after regular absorbing of chlorella or CGF (p.92).
• CGF might also be a factor towards longevity. In laboratory experiments, it was possible to lengthen the life of mice and other animals by about 30% by giving them CGF.
• The increase of pathogenic bacteria and viruses and also the heightening of cellular division in cases of benign or malignant tumours is quite certainly checked. Other experiments on animals have shown the anti-carcinogenic effect of CGF in cases of liver tumours, leukemias, of tumours due to hormonal disturbances, like breast cancer.
As in the case of royal jelly (yet CGF composition is much richer and more varied), no exhaustive inventory has as yet been made of all the active components of CGF. It is though known that CGF is extremely rich in nucleic acids, which, among other properties, are necessary for constituting and
maintaining the various organs.
Apart from the above components, CGF also contains numerous vitamins, amino acids, substances similar to glucose, complex proteins, enzymes and glycoprotein, known for their cancer-prevention qualities as well as detoxifying properties. The nucleic acids are helpful in renewal, repair and regular cell growth. The proportion of nucleic acids,which begin to diminish as from the beginning of the thirties, entails premature aging and a continual weakening of the immune system. CGF is active against this process.
Detoxifying is often necessary, by means of medical treatment, for an organism carrying toxic substances from the environment, as, for example, heavy metals and organic solvents. Till the discovery of chlorella, all I could offer my patients were traditional methods for eliminating toxins, like the sauna or other draining systems. The active detoxifying principal contained in chlorella is called sporopollein. It is able to bind toxic substances irreversably (p.70). As far as concerns natural methods of detoxification , chlorella is without a doubt unique of its kind, as it alone contains sporopollein.
Chlorella works on the one hand like a probiotic, by favouring the growth and diffusion of natural acido-lactic bacteria in the vagina or in the large intestins. Probiotics sustain the increase of intestinal bacteria of great importance for human health. On the other hand, chlorellin, contained in chlorella, acts like a natural antibiotic. In contrast to chemical antibiotics, it combats pathogenic bacteria without altering the intestinal flora. Chemical antibiotics often have undesirable side effects as they identically attack useful and harmful bacteria. In cases of bacterial infections, chlorella has proved to be an extremely efficient therapeutic method of an extraordinary attacking capacity.
In the course of the first half of the 20th century, dietetics were dominated by extensive research studies about basic nutritive substances : proteins, glucids and lipids. During these last decades, it has been vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, saturated and unsaturated fatty-acids which have caused interest, as also food fibres. These elements, which are absorbed by the organism in the gastro-intestinal tract, constitute essential food supplements. Today, their concentration is considerably reduced in a largely industrialized diet. We should consume, as often as possible, fresh fruits and vegetables, in order to give our organism the natural vitamins and minerals they contain.
From time to time, in order to fill a possible deficiency, you can also take a vitalizing concentrate. Yet effects of « superdoses » of synthetic vitamins are not equivalent, for the same quantity, to those of chlorella : 1 mg of vitamin B12 from chlorella has a biological effect ten times superior to 1 mg of synthetic vitamin.
Chlorella has the particularity of a high vitamin B12 content. By taking an average of 2 to 3 gr. of chlorella every day, more than three times the recommended daily dose, according to « Deutschen
Gesellschaft für Ernährung » (DEG)* is absorbed. A vitamin B12 deficiency often sets in insiduously. Consequently, red corpuscle formation is perturbed, which results in weakened blood and premature exhaustion.
Disturbances of the nervous system can also follow, for example in muscular coordination. The most frequent causes of vitamin B12 deficiency are : chronic gastritis, a too strict vegetarian diet, excessive alcohol, reduced food assimilation due to aging, chronic nerve inflammations.