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Benefits & Uses for Chlorella Powder

By Jody Braverman

Chlorella is a single-celled algae and one of the earth's oldest organisms. Containing large amounts of chlorophyll -- the compound that plants use for photosynthesis -- it is blue-green in color and grows mainly in sunny areas of freshwater. In the last century, scientists have begun to study chlorella's uses in treating such conditions as fibromyalgia, high blood pressure and cholesterol, bacterial and viral infections and even cancer.

Check with your health care provider before using any herb or supplement to treat a medical condition.

Improved Overall Health

Chlorella could be beneifical to your health in a number of ways, including fighting obesity, boosting your immune system and reversing cancer, according to a 2009 study in the "Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences." Researchers also claim that chlorella is effective in boosting energy, improving digestion and fighting depression. The American Cancer Society says that current scientific research does not support these findings, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings against falsely promoting the benefits of chlorella to web sites selling the supplement.

Immune Enhancement

Chlorella contains large amounts if vitamin C and carotenoids, known antioxidants found also in the foods we eat such as citrus fruits, carrots and leafy greens. According to the American Cancer Society, these antioxidants are effective in blocking the action of free radicals, which are activated oxygen molecules that damage cells and cause cancer, among other conditions. Vitamin C and carotenoids are widely used to increase immune function, and there is some connection between eating a diet high in these antioxidants and reduced risk of cancer. However, the American Cancer Society says there is still not enough evidence to prove this connection.

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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that results in muscular soreness, fatigue and tender spots on the body, and and has no known cause or cure. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, there is evidence to support chlorella's effectiveness at reducing the symptoms of fybromyalgia. In a clinical study in a 2001 issue of "Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine," improvement of symptoms were demonstrated in participants who took a specific dose of two different kinds of chlorella; however more research is needed.

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