Article at a glance:
- Chlorella is a superfood that many use for its wide array of benefits.
- Consuming chlorella green algae supplements may also help support cardiovascular health.
- As such, it is also known to help lower blood pressure in multiple ways.
Can chlorella reduce blood pressure, and can chlorella help with hypertension? This algae superfood has a slew of health benefits people can take advantage of, including those suffering from constant high blood pressure. Read on to discover the chlorella health benefits for blood pressure and how it supports cardiovascular health.
What Is Chlorella?
Chlorella is a superfood derived from freshwater green algae. It has become a popular nutritional supplement due to its chlorophyll content, chlorella growth factor, and impressive nutritional profile. Some of the essential nutrients it carries include vitamins, minerals, and proteins, among others. It also provides healthy compounds like antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
When it comes to supplementation, you may find two common chlorella strains in the ingredients list: chlorella vulgaris and chlorella pyrenoidosa. Both strains are nutrient-dense. However, most chlorella users prefer chlorella pyrenoidosa supplementation because of its better overall nutritional value than chlorella vulgaris.
Common Chlorella Health Benefits
- Chlorella intake may help boost the immune system by supporting natural killer cell activity.
- Chlorella consumption helps reduce blood glucose levels.
- Chlorella may help remove harmful toxins and heavy metals in the body.
- Chlorella may help boost a person’s aerobic endurance capacity.
- Chlorella may help support psychological health among those with major depressive disorder.
If you’re looking for chlorella supplements, you may find them available in tablets, powders, and extracts.
What Is Hypertension?
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a disorder characterized by excessive blood pressure levels in the arteries.
Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood on the artery walls as it flows through the body. When this pressure is constantly high, it can cause artery damage and raise the risk of serious heart conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
Because it typically has no symptoms and can go undiscovered for years, hypertension is sometimes called a “silent killer.” Treatment for hypertension often includes lifestyle changes like regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and blood pressure medications.
Diagnosing High Blood Pressure
When you get a blood pressure reading, you usually get two numbers. These numbers correspond to your systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels.
The first number in your reading is the systolic blood pressure, which represents the blood pressure exerted against the walls of your arteries during a heartbeat. The second number, diastolic, measures blood pressure against your arteries’ walls between heartbeats.
In 2017, The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults categorized blood pressure levels.
According to these guidelines:
- Normal blood pressure involves having a systolic under 120 mmHG and a diastolic reading under 80 mmHg
- Slightly elevated blood pressure involves a systolic reading between 120-129 mmHg and a diastolic reading under 80 mmHg
- High blood pressure or hypertension has a systolic reading of 130 mmHg and above and a diastolic reading of 80 mmHg and above
Chlorella Benefits for Hypertension
Does chlorella lower high blood pressure?
One of the most widely known health benefits of chlorella is that it may assist in maintaining your cardiovascular health. It may lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure and may keep hypertension at bay.
With that said, taking chlorella can lower your risk of heart problems such as stroke and heart attacks. By helping reduce your blood pressure, chlorella may also help support kidney health. It reduces the damage to the sensitive blood vessels in the kidneys, which are crucial to how well it functions.
Backed by Science: Chlorella for High Blood Pressure
Many health claims regarding chlorella’s benefits on high blood pressure reduction have been backed by science. Multiple clinical studies have sought to answer the question: can chlorella reduce blood pressure? These trials have reported promising results.
A placebo-controlled study in 1995 showcased the effectiveness of chlorella in potentially reducing blood pressure among hypertensive men. It reported that chlorella supplementation that lasted 6 months managed to lower the blood pressure of respondents who took chlorella more significantly than those in the control group. Additionally, the researchers determined that taking chlorella supplements for long periods did not result in any adverse effects among the respondents, reinforcing this superfood’s safety.
However, can it also help maintain the ideal blood pressure?
Another study in 2002 found that chlorella pyrenoidosa can be an effective supplement to reduce blood pressure among people with mild to moderate hypertension. Apart from lowering their BP, the study suggested that chlorella helped keep their ideal blood pressure levels stable.
How Does Chlorella Help Lower High Blood Pressure?
What’s in chlorella that helps with blood pressure?
Most believe that the rich nutritional profile of chlorella is characteristic of this superfood that helps keep blood pressure from rising. A 2006 animal study on chlorella supplementation and hypertension concluded as such.
The said research found that chlorella managed to lower the blood pressure of subjects characterized as “stroke-prone” and “hypertensive.” The study posits that the antioxidant content of chlorella, especially carotenoids like beta-carotene and lutein, helped lower blood pressure. It also says that the arginine in chlorella helps improve the function of blood vessels, while phospholipids aid in the metabolism of collagen and elastin in the aorta.
The claims in this animal study have been backed by a more recent study on humans in 2013. The human trial observed that chlorella supplementation helped reduce arterial stiffness among healthy young men. Arterial stiffness is both a good indicator of hypertension and a factor that may cause higher blood pressure levels. They have a chicken-and-egg relationship.
The 2013 trial also posits that chlorella components helped achieve this result. It has similarly named chlorella’s antioxidant vitamin components (C, A, and K) and arginine. It also mentioned that nutrients like potassium, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids help decrease arterial stiffness, thus helping reduce blood pressure.
Chlorella Supplementation for Controlling Hypertension
What’s the right chlorella dosage for hypertensive individuals?
Chlorella is generally safe for people to consume. Its side effects are rare, and most involve an underlying condition like allergies or autoimmune conditions. Taking chlorella tablets or chlorella powder for blood pressure shouldn’t worry you.
Regarding hypertensive individuals, chlorella is both safe to consume and beneficial. Since it doesn’t have contraindications, the daily recommended dosage for chlorella for people with hypertension is 3-10 grams of chlorella daily.
For best results, especially for people with hypertension, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider to determine the optimal dose for your health conditions. In this way, you will surely reap the positive effects of chlorella based on your health condition.
How to Supplement with Chlorella
You can easily reap the health benefits of chlorella by supplementing your diet with it.
It can be done directly by taking the recommended dose of chlorella tablets or capsules. It can also be consumed directly by mixing chlorella powder with water and drinking it.
Alternatively, chlorella can also be mixed with your drinks and dishes. You may add chlorella powder to your food or drinks. The same can also be done with chlorella in extract form.
Will taking chlorella be an issue with people who take medicine for hypertension?
In most cases, there’s no conflict between chlorella and blood pressure medication. Chlorella is safe to be taken with most common hypertension medicines prescribed.
However, you should avoid taking chlorella or take chlorella with caution if you’re on blood thinning medication. While this type of medication is not commonly prescribed to those with high blood pressure, some cases call for it. It is used by people prone to blood clots that may lead to worse health crises such as heart attack and stroke.
Chlorella lowers the effectiveness of warfarin and similar medications, so avoiding chlorella is best when you’re on blood thinners.
Chlorella Benefits for High Blood Pressure and Heart Health
Can chlorella lower blood pressure? That’s a resounding yes! Thanks to its rich nutritional content, chlorella contains the nutrients needed to help manage most aspects of our health, especially the heart. It is also safe to take with most prescribed medications for hypertension but still make sure to consult your doctor first.
Support your cardiovascular health today and start supplementing with chlorella!