Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:
• Chlorella vulgaris; Chlorella pyrenoidosa
Chlorella is a green algae that grows in fresh water. It is high in vitamins and minerals. It has been used to:
Chlorella can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. It can also be made into a tea.
What Research Shows
May Be Effective
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe to take chlorella in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
References [ + ]
A1. Shimada M. Hasegawa T, et al. Anti-hypertensive effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-rich Chlorella on high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension in placebo-controlled double blind study. Clin Exp Hypertens. 2009;31(4):342-354.
B. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
B1. Panahi Y, Chamarchereh ME, et al. Investigation of the effects of Chlorella vulgaris supplementation in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a randomized clinical trial. Hepatogastroenterology 2012;59(119):2099-2103.
B2. Ebrahimi-Mameghani M, Sadeghi Z, et al. Glucose homeostasis, insulin resistance and inflammatory biomarkers in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: Beneficial effects of supplementation with microalgae Chlorella vulgaris: A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial. Clin Nutr. 2017;36(4):1001-1006.
C1. Nakano S, Takekoshi H, Nakano M. Chlorella pyrenoidosa supplementation reduces the risk of anemia, proteinuria and edema in pregnant women. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2010 Mar;65(1):25-30.
D1. Ryu NH, Lim Y, et al. Impact of daily Chlorella consumption on serum lipid and carotenoid profiles in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults: a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Nutr J. 2014;13:57.
E1. Panahi Y, Badeli R, et al. A randomized controlled trial of 6-week Chlorella vulgaris supplementation in patients with major depressive disorder. Complement Ther Med. 2015;23(4):598-602.
Last reviewed March 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Eric Hurwitz, DC