by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News
Chlorella is a super-food that offers many detoxification and health boosting qualities. It is single cell algae that can be produced in open pools of fresh water with lots of exposure to sunlight. Since each cell can only be seen through a microscope, it is categorized as a microalgae.
Researchers in the West have become increasingly aware of its extremely high nutrient density over the past 100 plus years.
A Summary from a Recent Review of Many Chlorella Studies
In 2016, the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design published a review, Chlorella vulgaris: A Multifunctional Dietary Supplement with Diverse Medicinal Properties. Here are some excerpts from the abstract of that meta-study review:
Chlorella vulgaris [vulgaris means common] is a green unicellular microalgae with biological and pharmacological properties important for human health.
C. vulgaris contains a unique and diverse composition of functional macro- and micro-nutrients including proteins, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, polysaccharides, vitamins and minerals. Clinical trials have suggested that supplementation with C. vulgaris can ameliorate … hyperglycemia, and protect against oxidative stress, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
In this review, … we summarize the findings on the health benefits of Chlorella supplementation and the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects. (Abstract source) 
Chlorella is not some sort of exaggerated super-food fad; chlorella could replace a lot of supplements that are not as natural.
What Chlorella Can Do for You
Chlorella single celled algae are harvested from open pools or pools within large greenhouses that allow plenty of sunlight to create the photosynthesis that is essential to this algae’s extremely high chlorophyll content.
Chlorophyll’s composition is similar to human blood, except the central atom in chlorophyll is magnesium. Human blood cells have iron as its central atom. This is why chlorella is a good source of internal energy throughout the body, as magnesium is involved with over 300 organ and cellular metabolic processes. It is considered the master or mother mineral.
Magnesium is the element that causes plants to be able to convert light into energy and chlorophyll is identical to hemoglobin except the magnesium atom at the center has been taken out and iron put in. According to Dr. Mark Sircus, “magnesium is the lamp of life.” It seems chlorophyl’s magnesium is the essence of solar energy distilled into a plant, or in chlorella’s case, algae mineral. (Source) 
Chlorophyll is common to all green plant growth, but chlorophyll density is highest in chlorella. Chlorophyll tends to purify whatever it comes into contact with, and it boosts hemoglobin, a protein in the blood that carries oxygen to tissue cells.
The most mysterious factor of chlorella is chlorella growth factor (CGF). Its exact mechanics are not completely understood. In-vitro  lab testing has demonstrated chlorella’s nucleic acids ability to generate new cells by providing what cells need to synthesize RNA and DNA, which along with CGF’s polysaccharide beta-glucans provide the following general conditions:
1. Increased Energy Levels
3. Immune System Boost
4. Tissue Repair (Source) 
You may have read or heard of CGF extracts that remove and concentrate the compounds involved with CGF. Chlorella has many other attributes to create a convenient synergestic effect beyond CGF’s attributes.
Chlorella also has detoxification qualities, able to bind to toxins and remove them. It’s often said that in order to receive the maximum benefits of nutrients, one must purify or remove toxins. Interestingly, supplementing chlorella provides both actions.
Chlorella works on eliminating heavy metals, including mercury, through binding to them in the liver, and the GI tract and bowels to eliminate them safely in the stool. Some suggest consuming lots of organic cilantro while using chlorella to maximize detoxing mercury.
“A three year test of 350 foundry workers in Russia demonstrated that chlorella combined with using cilantro not only removed specific metals involved with foundry work, it removed all heavy metals.” (Source) 
Chlorella’s remaining cell walls, which have to be cracked or opened in order to digest its nutrients, are mostly responsible for binding and carrying out toxins. Since these single cell algae are so good at binding with heavy metals and toxins, you should research chlorella sources to ensure the pools from which they are harvested are not exposed to environmental toxins.
Chlorella pyrenoidosa is considered to be superior to chlorella vulgaris for detoxing and Yaewana is a vulgaris sub-species from Japan, mostly harvested from pools in southern Japanese island territories that are closer to Taiwan than Fukushima and in the opposite direction of radioactive air or water currents.
Liver health is greatly enhanced with chlorella vulgaris, even to the point of inducing apoptosis (cell suicide) in liver cancer cells according to a 2010 in-vitro study  and an earlier animal (in vivo) study .
Chlorella Nutrient Content
Earlier we mentioned how chlorella can replace a lot of supplements that many of us use. The following long list of chlorella nutrients shows why. Consider that all the nutrients listed are well beyond negligable, some vastly exceed “official” recommended daily allowances (RDA).
- 60% complete protein in 19 free amino acid forms making it easy to digest.
- Up to 10% chlorophyll, the highest of any known food.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- All the known B vitamins although B-12 analogues may inhibit absorption.
- Trace minerals
- Omega-3 fatty acids (ALA, DHA and EPA)
- GLA (Gamma-linolenic acid) and other rare fatty acids
- Nucleic acids RNA and DNA
- Digestive enzymes chlorophyllase and pepsin (Source) 
The Evolution of Chlorella as a Supplement
There were reports of Chinese families cultivating and consuming chlorella to overcome famines even before Dutch microbiologist and botanist Martinus Beijnerinck initially discovered its value in the Western world around a hundred years ago.
The efforts at creating a steady supply of chlorella as a reliable food for difficult times continued through WWI and WWII. It was estimated that 100 grams of chlorella a day could supply all the protein and most other necessary nutrients for an adult human. Yet, each effort at creating a steady annual supply failed until the Japanese figured out how to do that as 1950 approached.
However, one more obstacle remained: How to make chlorella more digestable for better nutrient assimilation, since at least 50 percent of the protein is eliminated without absorption because each single cell chlorella algae is bound and protected by a hard shell.
This obstacle was overcome by partially crushing or weaking those cell walls with technoligies that don’t intefere with the cells’ nutrients. These solutions appeared during the 1970s, mostly in Japan. That resulted with making chlorella easier to digest and assimilate at least 80 percent of its nutrients. (Source) 
There are four different preferred methods of cracking open the cell walls that avoid chemicals and excess heat:
3. Jet Spray Drying
4. Sound Vibration
When searching for your ideal chlorella source, look at producers’ websites for information on which algae cell cracking technique they use.
Due to the expense of cracking chlorella’s cell walls and its unsavory taste, the notion of using it as a food for mass consumer consumption was abandoned.
As a powder it can be mixed into a liquid solution that nullifies its unusual taste.
Tiny tablets are usually without fillers and make it easy to bypass the unsavory taste. Tablets work very well as a daily supplement.
Consumers are warned to choose only chlorella with “cracked cells” or “broken cell walls,” but I haven’t seen any chlorella products that are otherwise. The only caveats are which method is used and if the product is pure. Capsules can contain fillers; the powders or small tablets tend to be without added ingredients.
Chlorella is harvested in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, China, and even Germany. Most experts consider Japanese and Taiwanese chlorella products generally the most reliable for quality and purity. It’s possible to experience minor Herxheimer reactions from detoxing. Some tough it through but others need to back off the dosage temporarily. (Source)