What's the 411 on Spirulina, Chlorella, and Chlorophyll

Chlorella and spirulina are algae that are typically consumed as powders. Both are high in nutrients, and spirulina is amazing for cardiovascular health. Chlorophyll is the green pigment that plants use to get energy from light. It’s naturally found in chlorella, spirulina, other algae, and green veggies. And chlorophyll is also available in supplement form. 

Greens are mostly associated with detoxing or cleansing. If a detox is what you’re interested in, there’s some interesting research on purified chlorophyll supplements. With any supplement, it’s important to think about possible risks as well as benefits. Chlorophyllin has been used safely for many years, so the following risks are rather unlikely but good to be aware of. As well as binding toxic compounds, chlorophyllin could bind beneficial ones, so it could have unexpected side effects if taken with every meal for a long time. It’s important to beware that Chlorophyllin could cause a false positive result for blood in your stool.

Of course, you can get natural chlorophyll from eating green veggies. Just about a cup of kale or a couple ounces of parsley or spinach will give you as much chlorophyll as a one-hundred-milligram capsule.

It’s been noted that chlorophyll in vegetables we eat counteract harmful effects of eating red meat. One certain chemical, dioxins, which are industrial pollutants that are found in red meats. (Dioxins reduce sperm production in animals, in particular affecting male sperm so that fewer males are born. And there’s evidence that this may happen in human, too.)

This could be why when researchers try to link eating red meat to health problems, there’s a connection in some studies that have been conducted.

You can get chlorophyll together with many nutrients from algae like chlorella and spirulina. These are foods, not purified compounds. One serving size of chlorella or spirulina is a teaspoon or two of powder, which is more than would fit in a capsule. Chlorella and spirulina contain protein, B vitamins, carotene, astaxanthin, and more. Studies have shown that some chlorella and spirulina products contain vitamin B12, which would make them a great rare source of this natural vitamin that is needed.

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