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Natural and Alternative Treatments Index Page | Herbs & Supplements::


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:

  • Slow damage to cells and improve blood flow
  • Improve organ function

Chlorella can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. It can also be made into a tea.


  • 300 milligrams 4 to 5 times daily for slow damage to cells and improve blood flow.
  • 4 to 6 grams once daily to improve organ function.

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Anemia in pregnancy—may reduce the risk of anemia in pregnant womenC1 
  • Depression—may reduce physical symptoms and ease feelings of anxietyE1 
  • High blood pressure—may lower blood pressure when used with standard treatmentA1 
  • High cholesterol—may lower total cholesterol and triglycerides when used with standard treatmentD1 
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease—may improve liver function and lower triglycerides when used with standard treatmentB1, B2 

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.


Safety Notes

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 [ + ]

A. Hypertension

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.

C. Pregnancy

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.

D. Hypercholesterolemia

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.

E. Depression

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
Last Updated: 3/2/2019

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