Though chlorella and chlorophyll are related, there are some key differences between these two. Chlorella is algae rich in phytonutrients that contain the highest percentage of chlorophyll than any other plant. Chlorophyll, on the other hand, is the green pigment in plants that, along with sunlight, plants use to make their own food.
Both chlorophyll and chlorella supplements have been found to provide several health benefits. Read on to learn more about these two superfoods.
- What is Chlorella and What Benefits Does It Provide?
- Understanding the Relationship Between Chlorella and Chlorophyll
- What is Chlorella Used For?
- What Other Algae Can Substitute for Chlorella
- Chlorella or Chlorophyll: Which Should You Choose?
What is Chlorella and What Benefits Does It Provide?
Chlorella is made up of 50-60% protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. Chlorella is a good source of Vitamin A, zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and B vitamins like thiamine and folate. Violaxanthin, an antioxidant found in chlorella, has anti-inflammatory effects. Potassium and fatty acids found in chlorella may reduce blood pressure by reducing blood vessel stiffness. Chlorella also stimulates the production of white blood cells, which helps to boost your immune system.
Understanding the Relationship Between Chlorella and Chlorophyll
One common question is, “Is chlorophyll and chlorella the same?” While the names sound very similar, “chlorella” and “chlorophyll” are not the same.
Chlorella is a single-celled freshwater algae native to Taiwan and Japan. Because it is naturally rich in healthy compounds, chlorella is now produced worldwide. Chlorophyll, on the other hand, is the pigment that makes plants green and which plants use to make food through photosynthesis. Chlorophyll has a number of health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease and improved blood sugar management.
Another common question is, “Does chlorella have chlorophyll?” Yes, in fact, chlorella has more chlorophyll than any other plant. But chlorella also contains many other nutrients, amino acids, and compounds that can help keep you healthy.
What is Chlorella Used For?
As a supplement, chlorella is processed and made into tablets and liquid extracts. Some of the chlorella health benefits include improved immunity, more youthful skin, natural detox, and weight loss.
As a medicine, chlorella is used to improve the response to flu vaccines, increase white blood cell count, prevent colds, and protect the body against toxic metals such as lead and mercury.
1. Skin Care
As a skin care supplement, chlorella helps support healthy aging. It contains nucleic acids, DNA and RNA, that support cellular repair and regeneration. Another way that chlorella improves skin health is by increasing the levels of antioxidants in your body. Antioxidants help protect your skin from free radicals which can harm skin cells.
Topical application of chlorella in the form of skin creams has been shown to result in firmer-looking skin, with reduced fine lines and wrinkles. Chlorella is also loaded with B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc, which help to calm skin inflammation.
Natural weight loss is one of the benefits of chlorella. Several studies show that chlorella can affect how fat cells behave in the body. In one study, it has been observed that chlorella helps to shrink fat cells and blocks the production of new ones. In another study, the chlorella supplement was found to reduce levels of lipids (fats) in blood serum.
Also, as chlorella is low in calories, rich in nutrients including iron which is essential for producing healthy red blood cells, and high in protein, it will make a great addition to any healthy balanced diet.
3. Detox Efforts
Taking chlorella supplements is one of the ways that you can enhance your natural ability to remove toxins from your body. Chlorella is effective at helping flushing out heavy metals and other harmful compounds from the body. While it is actually rare for people to have dangerous levels of heavy metals in their system, they can get exposed to these through pollution or certain occupations like mining.
Heavy metals include some elements that are essential in small amounts, such as iron and copper. However, these and other heavy metals like cadmium and lead can be toxic in larger amounts.
4. Remove Heavy Metals from Body
Chlorella has gained widespread scientific and medical attention for its ability to combine (chelate) heavy metals like lead and mercury. Chelation binds mineral ions on a molecular level and lets your body flush them away harmlessly.
Chlorophyll has a particular affinity for metals. It binds tightly to these toxins before they can accumulate in or damage your cells, then stays bound to them as they travel through your kidneys and away from your body. If you live or work in a crowded urban environment, chlorophyll-rich chlorella supplements can help you get rid of many common pollutants.
5. Acts as a Great Inflammatory Regulator
One of the greatest health benefits of chlorella is its anti-inflammatory powers. Nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB) regulates cellular signals and organizes resistance to bacteria and pathogens. But when NFkB is overstimulated, it causes inflammation and various autoimmune disorders. Chlorella reduces the activation of NFkB, thereby reducing swelling and alleviating many immune conditions.
While chlorella calms overly excited inflammatory factors, it also enhances the function of disease-hunting Natural Killer (NK) cells. NK cells kill out cells that are infected by disease. A 2012 study found that short-term chlorella supplementation significantly enhanced NK cell production.
6. Helps with Anemia
Chlorella stimulates the production of red blood cells and can help prevent iron deficiency anemia. Chlorella supplements can provide up to 40% of your daily iron needs. Chlorella is also high in vitamin C, which helps with iron absorption and can boost your ferritin levels.
Chlorophyll molecules are built around a magnesium atom. Many people don’t get enough of this essential mineral, and low magnesium levels have been linked to Type 2 diabetes, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer’s disease. Because chlorella is high in chlorophyll, it can supplement your magnesium levels.
What Other Algae Can Substitute for Chlorella
The most popular algae supplement on the market today is spirulina. Spirulina shot to popularity when NASA used spirulina food supplements on space missions. Kombu, dried kelp or seaweed algae, is popular in Japan and has iodine and Vitamins A and C as well as other trace minerals, but is not as nutrient-dense as spirulina or chlorella. Neither is bladderwrack, another popular edible algae available in health food stores.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that grows in both freshwater and saltwater environments. Spirulina is more widely distributed than chlorella and can be found in many health food stores. Spirulina is very high in protein (a 100-gram serving contains 62 grams of protein) and omega-3 fatty acids that can increase good cholesterol levels while reducing bad LDL cholesterol.
Spirulina also contains many antioxidants and vitamins and can help with detoxification by removing heavy metals or other poisons. To learn more about spirulina’s many benefits, check out our article on chlorophyll vs spirulina.
The Relation Between Spirulina and Chlorella
While chlorella grows only in freshwater and is primarily grown in China and Japan, spirulina can be found in fresh and saltwater environments around the world. While both are high in nutrients, chlorella is more nutrient-dense than spirulina. Spirulina can be digested in a whole food form, while chlorella has a hard cell wall that must first be removed by pulverizing or fermentation. Both can be part of a complete wellness plan.
What are the Benefits of Spirulina
Spirulina is one of the world’s most popular supplements, thanks to its ability to lower bad LDL levels, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, reduce blood glucose, and improve blood iron levels. Spirulina is also very nutrient-dense and packed with protein and amino acids, as well as antioxidants that help repair cells. The benefits of chlorella and spirulina are very similar, but chlorella is a bit more nutrient-dense.
Spirulina vs Chlorella
Chlorella and spirulina look and taste very much alike, and are both nutrient-dense and loaded with antioxidants. But while spirulina is safe to eat in its natural form, chlorella’s thick cell walls must first be broken by cracking or fermentation. Chlorella is higher in nutrients, but spirulina contains copper. Both spirulina and chlorella can be useful for detoxification. If you can’t decide between the two, spirulina and chlorella can be taken together barring health issues.
Chlorella or Chlorophyll: Which Should You Choose?
If you are looking for a nutritional supplement, you should choose chlorella. Chlorella is high in chlorophyll but also has many nutrients, nucleic acids, and other healthy ingredients. If you are looking for a detoxifier, you may want to try a chlorophyll supplement. Chlorophyll is especially helpful for problems with bad breath or body odor. You can also use both in tandem and take advantage of their many health benefits.
What Chlorophyll Has That Chlorella Doesn’t
While Chlorella has many additional nutrients, there are some situations where the benefits of chlorophyll may prove more useful.
Chlorophyll really shines as a detoxifier. If you want to reduce body odor or bad breath, chlorophyll supplements are your best choice for those issues. Topical chlorophyllin gel has shown promise in caring for acne, large pores, or sunburn. Chlorophyll can also be good for relieving gas, something chlorella is more famous for causing.
Chlorella vs Chlorophyll: What Chlorella Has That Chlorophyll Doesn’t
In addition to chlorophyll, chlorella also has many other beneficial compounds. Chlorella contains over 50% protein and contains all necessary amino acids. This makes chlorella an excellent choice for athletes and fitness buffs looking for a complete vegan protein supplement. Chlorella is also rich in nucleic acids and unsaturated fats. In this case, it doesn’t make much sense to pit chlorophyll vs chlorella – because the two are interconnected, and the choice to use either one is a personal preference.
What’s the Main Difference Between Chlorella and Chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll makes plants green and allows them to make food through photosynthesis. Chlorella is a single-celled algae that has become increasingly popular as a dietary supplement. Chlorella contains high concentrations of chlorophyll combined with other healthy nutrients that have led some to call chlorella a “superfood.” And while chlorella has a tough cell wall that can make it hard to digest, fermented chlorella is easier on the stomach and makes the nutrients more readily available.
Is Chlorella the Same as Chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll has powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is said to boost energy and immunity and facilitate wound healing. The green algae chlorella, a popular dietary supplement, contains a higher concentration of chlorophyll than any other plant. But chlorella also has many vitamins, antioxidants, unsaturated fats, and proteins that offer additional health benefits. Chlorella can be used on its own or in conjunction with a chlorophyll supplement like Chloroglow Liquid Chlorophyll.
Chlorella Side Effects
Chlorella is likely safe when used in reasonable amounts. The most common side effects include nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and green stools. Chlorella might cause an allergic reaction in some people who are sensitive to iodine or molds, and chlorella can make your skin more sensitive to light. If you are taking any other medication, be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before using chlorella.
What Are the Benefits of Chlorella for Your Skin?
Chlorella is used for improving skin tone, restoring collagen, fighting aging and sun damage, and soothing redness and inflammation. Chlorella’s combination of antioxidants and amino acids makes it a valuable part of any skincare regimen. If you want to protect your skin against direct sun and industrial pollution, a chlorella face mask at night and regular chlorella supplements can keep you looking your best even in the harshest environments.