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Active Compounds: Chlorophyll, Astaxanthin, Carotenes, β-1,3 glucan
Number of scientific references: 31
Level of Evidence: Level II What is this?
Note: Chlorella has a number of pharmacological properties that can benefit in chronic fatigue syndrome and help boost energy and immunity. It is also found to be helpful in detoxification.
However since there has been only one study on chlorella and ME/CFS, it’s best to wait for more research on this. Till then you can include chlorella powder in diet for nutrition.
Chlorella is a type of micro algae that is proven to help in fibromyalgia. It is a single cell organism and is found in an aquatic environment. Despite its single cell structure, this microorganism is a rich source of protein and nutrients.
It differs from spirulina which is a multi-cellular organism. The micro algae is rich in vitamins A, B, C, E, K, folic acid, and biotin. It also contains minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, sulphur, phosphorous, copper, calcium, etc.
It is considered as a superfood in China, Korea, and Japan. The algae is also used to extract oil rich in antioxidants, pigments, and fatty acids.
Proteins constitute 42-58% of the dry biomass of chlorella. The protein quality obtained from the micro algae is better than the standard profile prescribed for human nutrition by WHO as it comprises both essential and nonessential amino acids.
If grown under stable conditions, the fats from these micro algae are concentrated in poly unsaturated fatty acids and omega 3s which are great for health.
It is green in colour and chlorophyll is the most abundant pigment in it. It also contains carotenoids which impart therapeutic properties such as cancer prevention, protecting eye health, serving as an antioxidant, etc.
Clinical trials have proven that these micro algae help lower cholesterol levels, boost immunity and improves antioxidant status in diseased conditions.
It is popularly used as a food supplement, additive, colourant, preservative, biofertilizer and animal feed.
Chlorella helps in fibromyalgia by providing essential nutrients, boosting immunity and aiding in detxification. It is a good nutrional supplement for fibro.
Let’s learn how Chlorella algae can help in fibromyalgia.
Suggested Chlorella Supplements For Fibromyalgia
Please consult a health practitioner before taking any supplement.
Chlorella products are available in many forms: powders, supplements, extracts etc. but I would suggest using chlorella powder and adding it to your diet.
It’s convenient to consume in comparison to tablets (you have to take 5-10 chlorella tablets per day) and it provides necessary health benefits.
Chlorella Powder: Buy from Amazon
Chlorella Powder: Buy from iHerb
Sun Chlorella Corp. provides premier chlorella supplements that are made highly digestible by their exclusive DYNO-Mill process. Their products have been used in research studies. They are relatively expensive but their quality can be relied upon. (Buy Sun Chlorella Products from Amazon or iHerb)
Here are some other inexpensive and reliable brands that provide chlorella capsules.
|Dr. Mercola Fermented Chlorella||Solgar Chlorella|
Image Credit: Dr. Mercola
Image Credit: Solgar Inc.
|Provides 1g fermented chlorella powder per 5 tablets
||Provides 520mg broken cell wall chlorella powder per veg capsule
8 Evidence Based Benefits of Chlorella For Fibromyalgia
Diet plays a very important role in treatment and prevention of various diseases. Chlorella serves as an excellent nutritional supplement for fibromyalgia.
Table of Contents
- 1 Suggested Chlorella Supplements For Fibromyalgia
- 2 8 Evidence Based Benefits of Chlorella For Fibromyalgia
- 2.1 1. Chlorella intake alleviates fibromyalgia symptoms
- 2.2 2. It contains anti-inflammatory agents
- 2.3 3. It is a natural antioxidant and helps prevent muscle damage in fibromyalgia
- 2.4 4. It reduces fatigue and improves exercise capacity
- 2.5 5. It is rich in nutrients
- 2.6 6. It boosts immunity
- 2.7 7. Chlorella can help resolve mental health symptoms in fibromyalgia
- 2.8 8.Chlorella is a natural detox agent
- 3 Dosage of Chlorella For Fibromyalgia
- 4 Precautions with Chlorella Use
- 5 Conclusion
1. Chlorella intake alleviates fibromyalgia symptoms
20 patients with severe symptoms of fibromyalgia were enrolled in the study. At the start of the study, the average tender point index was 32.
The study lasted for 2 months. Patients were given 10g of chlorella tablets and 100 ml of a liquid preparation of chlorella every day. 18 patients completed the study.
The average tender point index reduced to 25. Pain intensity reduced by 22%. 7 patients felt that their symptoms had reduced with treatment. 6 thought there was no change while 5 believed their symptoms had become worse.
Researchers concluded that dietary supplementation of the micro algae might help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms and larger studies are required to investigate these findings further.
Quick Gist: Results of a pilot study indicate that dietary supplementation with chlorella helps alleviate severe fibromyalgia symptoms. It helps reduce pain intensity and tenderness.
2. It contains anti-inflammatory agents
A recent study published in Journal of Pain Research, 2017 reveals that fibromyalgia patients experience both systemic inflammation and inflammation in the brain. This study demonstrated the presence of inflammatory agents in blood plasma and spinal fluid in the patients.
Even peptides (basic units of proteins) found in it help alleviate inflammation. They reduce the levels of inflammatory agents like nitric oxide and tumor necrosis factor alpha and halt inflammation progression.
Quick Gist: Various components of chlorella algae have the natural anti-inflammatory property that can reduce the circulation of pro-inflammatory agents in the body.
3. It is a natural antioxidant and helps prevent muscle damage in fibromyalgia
Oxidative stress is an imbalance between prooxidants and antioxidants in the body. The increase in oxidative stress leads to increase in the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms.
Glutathione is a natural antioxidant that is available as tablets and supplements. It is naturally present in our body and during oxidative stress glutathione levels are reduced. Research proves that chlorella is a better antioxidant than glutathione.
The micro algae ameliorate oxidative stress by raising the levels of natural antioxidant enzymes in the body. This antioxidant property helps to prevent muscle damage which may benefit in fibromyalgia.
Astaxanthin is a natural antioxidant and pigment found in chlorella. A study published in Nutrients, 2014 demonstrates that astaxanthin works as an antioxidant and protects from muscles from damage.
This study showed that astaxanthin acts on mitochondria which are cellular respiration units. This is of relevance to fibromyalgia, as mitochondrial dysfunction has been observed in this disorder.
Quick Gist: Chlorella is a powerful natural antioxidant that can help reduce oxidative stress and muscle damage in fibromyalgia.
4. It reduces fatigue and improves exercise capacity
Fatigue is a common complaint by fibromyalgia patients. Chronic pain, lack of sleep, anxiety, and depression exacerbate fatigue in fibromyalgia.
Gradual exercise performed under professional vigilance is beneficial for fibromyalgia. A study published in American Journal of Physiology, 2017 demonstrates that Chlorella intake increases exercise performance.
It acts as an antioxidant and boosts glucose metabolism. Lactic acid build up contributes to muscle pain and fatigue. It is proven to improve the action of exercise on lactate metabolism and eliminate lactic acid build up.
Chlorella algae supplementation for 4 weeks was found to increase exercise and aerobic endurance capacity in healthy individuals.
Quick Gist: Chlorella is a natural anti-fatigue agent. It enhances immunity, boosts physical stamina and improves exercise performance and capacity.
5. It is rich in nutrients
Chlorella is a highly nutritious food containing pigments and nutrients that are awesome for health. It is a rich source of vitamin A, B, C, E etc.
A study published in PloS One, 2015 reported that fibromyalgia patients respond to high dose vitamin B12 and folic acid. Chlorella is rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid which makes it an excellent nutritional supplement.
If grown under stable conditions, specific types of these micro algae provide oil rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids aid in reducing inflammation and muscular pain.
It is a rich source of protein that comprises both essential and non-essential amino acids. Plant based diets are found to benefit in fibromyalgia. The algae can be a great vegan or vegetarian source of protein.
Quick Gist: Chlorella algae is rich in nutrients and protein that can help mitigate fibromyalgia symptoms.
6. It boosts immunity
Viral infections are also considered a causative factor of fibromyalgia. (Read Understanding Fibromyalgia) Chlorella is a proven anti-viral agent. Also, it has immunity boosting property that can help fight infections.
A study published in Nutrition Journal, 2012 demonstrated Chlorella’s immunostimulatory property.
The 8 week study involved a therapy of 5g chlorella tablets or placebo daily. Micro algae supplementation increased the levels of natural killer cells and immune boosting agents that are increased by T helper cells.
Both natural killer cells and T helper cells are immune cells that help fight infection. The micro algae’s immune boosting action was significantly better than placebo.
Quick Gist: Chlorella has proven immune boosting activity that can help fight viral or other infections that may cause fibromyalgia. Also, this property can help boost immunity and well being in fibromyalgia patients.
7. Chlorella can help resolve mental health symptoms in fibromyalgia
Depressive and anxiety related symptoms are common in fibromyalgia patients.
The algae are proven to act on the HPA axis to reduce secretion of stress related hormones. HPA or hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis connects the major endocrine glands to the brain.
It is responsible for the production of stress hormone cortisol. It’s dysfunction can contribute to stress and anxiety.
Chlorella algae supplementation (1.8g per day) in addition to standard antidepressant therapy is found to reduce depressive symptoms in 6 weeks in major depressive disorder.
Quick Gist: Chlorella supplementation can help reduce depressive and anxiety related symptoms in fibromyalgia.
8.Chlorella is a natural detox agent
Extracts of these micro algae have metal chelation activity- it forms complexes with heavy metals and aids in its elimination. It helps protects the liver and bowel from contaminants.
Lee et.al have proven that Chlorella supplementation in healthy individuals can help in detoxification and protect from dietary carcinogens (cancer causing agents).
Quick Gist: Environmental toxins can contribute to fibromyalgia symptoms. Chlorella algae intake can help detoxify and protect the body from such toxins.
Dosage of Chlorella For Fibromyalgia
There is no specific dosage of Chlorella for fibromyalgia. The study proving its therapeutic effect in fibromyalgia utilised a dose of 10 g (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) tablet and 100 ml liquid extract.
Most studies utilise a dose range of 1.8-10g. It is best to consult a health practitioner before taking chlorella supplements.
Chlorella is also available as a powder. It can be included in tea, smoothies, and soups. Foods fortified with these micro algae are also available, but for a therapeutic effect, it is best to include the organic powder in the diet.
Precautions with Chlorella Use
Chlorella is used as a food additive and preservative since it is safe for consumption. At high doses (3-6g and above) gastric side effects such as diarrhea and loose stools have been noted.
It is a rich source of iodine and other minerals so please use with caution in case of thyroid issues or if you are facing any health condition (such as kidney disorders) which requires you to limit certain mineral intake.
Consumption of the algae has proven to be safe during pregnancy. But is best to exert precaution and confirm with a health practitioner about chlorella usage in pregnancy and lactation.
One of the major concerns about Chlorella supplements is bioaccumulation and heavy metal contamination. Make sure you get the supplements from reputed suppliers and ensure that they are free from environmental toxins.
Avoid taking chlorella at the same time of taking medications. Consult a health practitioner before taking supplements.
Chlorella is proven to reduce pain and severity of fibromyalgia symptoms. So is it a miracle cure for fibromyalgia? May be not. It has only one pilot study in humans suggesting its effectiveness.
However, it has many components and also therapeutic properties that make it an excellent nutritional supplement for fibromyalgia treatment. It is a natural antioxidant and anti-fatigue agent.
Also, it is rich in vital minerals and vitamins, whose supplementation may help relieve fibromyalgia symptoms.
Have you tried Chlorella for alleviating fibromyalgia symptoms? Do share your feedback below.