Chlorella is a green algae that grows in fresh water, and Chlorella pyrenoidosa is a species of this algae. Algae supplements might contain a combination of green algae, blue-green algae and spirulina, so if you want this particular species, buy a supplement labeled Chlorella pyrenoidosa from a reputable manufacturer. Consult with a qualified health care provider before taking any herbal supplements.
The single-celled microscopic plants called Chlorella originated over 2 billion years ago, according to an article published in the February 2001 issue of the "Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients." It was first identified in the late 19th century. Chlorella multiplies rapidly. Its single cell divides into four cells in less than 24 hours when conditions are optimal. These divided cells are called daughter cells.
Farmers of chlorella for human consumption usually cultivate the plant in large, freshwater pools under direct sunlight, according to the "Townsend Letter" article. This produces high-quality dark green chlorella high in nutrition. The plant must be lightly processed or it is not digestible, because the cell walls are very strong.
Chlorella pyrenoidosa has the largest amount of chlorophyll of any known plant, according to the "Townsend Letter" article. It contains all the essential amino acids along with provitamin A, various B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, choline, inositol and lipoic acid. Chlorella pyrenoidosa also contains the minerals calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and a substance called chorella growth factor.
An article appearing in the May/June 2001 issue of "Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine" notes that daily supplementation with chlorella may lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, speed wound healing and enhance immune function. The authors conclude that chlorella might also alleviate symptoms, normalize body functions and improve quality of life in people with fibromyalgia and ulcerative colitis. Research published in the February 2004 issue of "Phytotherapy Research" found that a hot water extract of Chlorella pyrenoidosa containing chlorella growth factor may help control cholesterol and triglyceride levels and weight in menopausal women.
Begin with a low daily dose of chlorella and increase it gradually over a few weeks to allow your body to adapt to the substance, recommends supplement supplier Health Products Distributors, Inc. Start with 1/2 to 2 tsp. and build up to 1 to 2 tbsp. for a maintenance dose, or 2 to 5 tbsp. for a therapeutic dose. Athletes can gradually increase to 6 to 8 tbsp. The "Townsend Letter" article notes that 15 tablets and 30 ml liquid extract also is a daily maintenance dosage. People with serious medical problems can increase their daily intakes up to three times that amount.