Article at a glance:
- Healthy blood circulation is essentially where all healthy bodily functions begin because it’s how cells and tissues receive oxygen and nutrients.
- Along with healthy lifestyle practices, chlorella can be an amazing supplement to your diet for improving blood flow.
- Several studies showed that chlorella’s nutritional components may increase blood circulation.
Chlorella is one of the most nutrient-dense edible algae on the planet, so it’s unsurprising that many turn to chlorella supplements for its health benefits for the immune system, gut health, cardiovascular functions, and more.
Does Science back up these benefits, though? You’ll be glad to know that several compelling studies agreed that the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients naturally available in this green alga indicate that you may benefit from taking chlorella for blood circulation.
Blood Circulation: How Does It Work and Why It’s Important
Understanding how blood circulation works require us to discuss the cardiovascular system. Its main components include the heart, blood vessels (i.e., arteries, veins, and capillaries), and blood, which all play key roles in blood circulation, hence being called the circulatory system as well.
The cycle of blood circulation is complex and extremely vital. Here’s a simple step-by-step of how blood circulates through the body:
- The heart pumps oxygen-rich blood that delivers oxygen and nutrients to the entire body.
- As blood circulates and performs its roles, it becomes poor in oxygen and enters the veins to go into the right atrium and then the right ventricle.
- Low-oxygen blood moves into the pulmonary arteries to enter the lungs, where it will pick up oxygen.
- Pulmonary veins will pick up oxygenated blood from the lungs, allowing it to travel back into the heart through the left atrium.
- Oxygen-rich blood enters the left ventricle before the heart muscles pump it out through the arteries to repeat the cycle.
It’s worth adding that blood mainly comprises red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), plasma, and platelets, and it has several vital functions. Blood also helps fight infections by transporting antibodies, eliminating body wastes like carbon dioxide, and preventing excessive blood loss (creating blood clots or coagulation) when there is an injury.
But the mere fact that blood circulation is how the brain and other vital human organs receive oxygen and nutrients should be enough to highlight how important this process is to maintain a healthy body.
What Causes Poor Blood Flow?
Various factors leading to poor circulation can negatively affect blood flow, such as unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking and poor diet. An array of health conditions can cause poor circulation, too. For instance, high blood pressure (hypertension) means the blood pumps through the arteries more intensely than normal. This could make the blood vessels weaker or less pliable over time, leading to poor circulation.
Having high blood sugar can be a factor as well. Hyperglycemia means having elevated glucose levels in your blood that can lead to fatty deposits forming plaques in the blood vessels, thus, causing poor blood flow.
How to Improve Blood Circulation
In cases where poor blood flow is caused by severe factors like heart conditions, medical procedures or maintaining medication may be needed for treatment. The good news is that improving blood flow or maintaining healthy circulation is possible with a few lifestyle changes. You may also benefit from certain dietary supplements to boost blood circulation when needed
1. Take Supplements That May Help Blood Flow
If you’re worried that you’re not getting enough omega-3 from your diet, plenty of fish oil supplements are available in your favorite health store. You can also take B-complex vitamin supplements to help with blood circulation. One study found that dietary supplementation of folic acid (vitamin B9) and vitamin B12 improved vascular endothelial function, especially in patients with coronary heart disease. The vascular endothelium is what regulates the flow of substances from the blood to the tissues.
Fatty acids and B vitamins aren’t the only reasons to start taking chlorella for blood circulation. More on this in a bit!
2. Make Physical Activities Part of Your Routine
As they say, any form of exercise should get the blood flowing. Finding the time to do any physical activity regularly should have positive health benefits. Studies found that regular physical activity, like exercising several days a week, has several positive cardiovascular effects.
It can help lower the resting blood pressure in the long run and improve vasodilation. The latter happens when the blood vessel’s muscular walls relax, which improves blood circulation.
3. Tweak Your Diet for Heart Health
You’ll often see omega-3 as the highly recommended addition when it comes to tweaking your diet to promote cardiovascular health. Various clinical studies have shown that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can help lower triglycerides and blood pressure and boost endothelial function. All of which can contribute to improving blood circulation.
Omega-3 is a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids composed of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which mainly come from fatty fish, as well as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) present in nuts and flaxseed.
Does Chlorella Help Blood Circulation?
If you’re looking into whether chlorella improves blood flow, chances are you’re already familiar with the superfood status of this green algae. A food source is considered a superfood because it’s naturally packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids, promoting several aspects of human health.
What is chlorella? Chlorella contains several vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that aren’t commonly naturally available in plants. The combination of nutrients densely packed in chlorella is the main reason this green alga has been widely studied.
Many of these published scientific research and clinical studies found indications supporting the claims about potential chlorella benefits, including boosting blood circulation.
Why Take Chlorella for Blood Circulation?
As mentioned above, B-complex vitamins, especially vitamin B12, are some of the best supplements to improve blood flow. One issue here is that vitamin B12 is rarely found in plant-based sources, leaving vegans and vegetarians with fewer options for supplementing their diet for improved blood flow.
While some omega-3 fatty acids can be found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils, people with sensitivities or allergies to these foods might also have limited options.
This is where chlorella becomes a great dietary supplement option if one of your health goals is maintaining a healthy blood flow. Vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids are just some of the naturally available nutrients in chlorella that can contribute to better blood circulation.
How Does Chlorella Improve Blood Flow?
The various studies focused on chlorella’s effects on heart health have shed light on the likely mechanisms contributing to its potential vasodilatory properties. In separate clinical studies, scientists observed positive changes in blood circulation factors following chlorella supplementation in both humans and animals. While the experts have yet to conclusively identify the mechanism that makes it so, they suggest that chlorella’s nutritional profile could be the main proponent.
It’s Rich in B Vitamins
A 2020 research published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nutrients said several chlorella products deliver “substantial amounts” of vitamin B12 and other nutrients not found in plants. The same paper added that dietary supplements made with Chlorella vulgaris have higher folate content of about 2.5 mg per 100 g dry weight.
These are important bits of information supporting the benefits of chlorella for blood circulation. For instance, a 2017 study also concluded that folic acid consumption helps increase blood flow in skeletal muscle.
Other Minerals, Vitamins, and Nutrients Help
According to scientists, other nutrients in chlorella supplements could help improve blood flow. A 2013 study aimed to determine the effects of chlorella supplementation on arterial stiffness in young, healthy men. Subjects in the chlorella group consumed 30 tablets (200 mg dose each) per day. After 4 weeks, they showed a decrease in brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), a unique measurement to determine systemic arterial stiffness.
At the time, the scientists suggested that chlorella’s positive effects on arterial stiffness were likely due to certain nutrients detected in the administered supplement tablets, which included:
- Potassium can help relax the blood vessels’ walls
- Antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E work well together to improve endothelial function
- Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids due to their anti-inflammatory properties
Then in a 2015 study, 17 out of 32 participants between ages 45 and 75 consumed chlorella tablets for 4 weeks to see its effects on arterial stiffness in older individuals. Other health factors like body weight and body mass index did not change in all 32 participants. But those in the chlorella group once again demonstrated a decrease in baPWV, supporting previous findings that taking chlorella may help improve arterial stiffness.
This time, however, scientists found a correlation between chlorella’s baPWV-lowering activity and high concentrations of plasma nitrite/nitrate following chlorella intake in the form of chlorella tablets. Plasma nitrite/nitrate is a by-product of nitric oxide, which plays a key role in regulating blood circulation by helping the blood vessels dilate.
The presence of arginine (one of the amino acids in chlorella) and other antioxidants like beta carotene were possible contributors, too. Experts suggested that chlorella intake could promote nitric oxide production, which may lead to high concentrations of blood arginine.
Is Chlorella a Vasodilator?
A vasodilator is a type of medicine that opens or dilates blood vessels. It helps relaxes the arterial walls to help blood flow better. A more recent animal study further backed earlier findings that chlorella improves blood circulation. From the study’s in vitro model, it was concluded that taking chlorella induced vasorelaxation in aortas and mesenteric arteries isolated from healthy rats. However, oral administration of chlorella to mice subjects offered a different result.
Scientists noted that administering chlorella at 900 mg per kg of the subject’s weight, which translates to about 6 g per day (standard dose for humans), did not cause immediate changes to the mice’s blood pressure, heart rate, and blood flow. The paper, however, added that improved peripheral circulation might be achieved with long-term supplementation of chlorella in healthy individuals.
They also suggested that chlorella’s vasorelaxation properties could be activated when there’s a decrease in nitric oxide production in older, hypertensive individuals.
Does Chlorophyll Increase Circulation?
Researchers have encouraged the inclusion of wheatgrass for improving circulatory functions mainly due to its chlorophyll content. They pointed out that chlorophyll enhances the activities of capillaries, which are small blood vessels that deliver blood, oxygen, and other nutrients throughout the body.
Chlorophyll is also known to contain iron that the body uses to make hemoglobin, the protein in RBC that transports oxygen to the different parts of the body. Additionally, chlorophyll is structurally similar to hemoglobin, leading scientists to believe that the complex pigment may be able to replicate the activity of hemoglobin in our bodies.
Does Chlorella Cleanse the Blood?
If there’s one health benefit of chlorella that needs no introduction, it would be its detoxifying properties. This green alga stands out in this area because of its high chlorophyll content, an incredible detoxifier. As research suggests, the benefits of chlorella in terms of detoxification include the potential to eliminate heavy metals and other toxins.
Scientists noted in a 2019 study that heavy metals like mercury had been found to linger in the blood even after 5 years since amalgam fillings restorations were completed. And their findings backed long-running claims about the powerful detoxifying benefits of chlorella. Subjects with long-term dental implants and fillings showed boosted detoxification with reduced levels of heavy metals, including mercury, silver, tin, and lead, after taking Chlorella vulgaris and Fucus sp (brown algae) extract.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Chlorella a Blood Thinner?
Chlorella is a good source of vitamin K, which the body uses to make proteins to promote blood clotting. No, chlorella is not a blood thinner. This also explains why there is a safety warning for patients taking blood thinners about chlorella’s potential drug interactions with anticoagulant drugs.
How Much Chlorella Can I Take Per Day?
The conventional dosage for chlorella powder or chlorella tablets is 3 to 5 g per day. Some clinical studies have administered as much as 10 g of chlorella to human subjects and noted no severe side effects. But it’s best to stay within the recommended daily serving indicated on the packaging of your chlorella supplement.
Take Chlorella for Better Blood Flow
The human body is often referred to as a perfect machine. It’s further exemplified by how blood circulation works, especially if you realize that blood circulates through the body in just a minute. Only a superb machine can do that. However, even the greatest machine will need upkeep from time to time, and that’s a better approach than waiting for things to get worse.
So apart from lifestyle changes, you must take advantage of chlorella’s multitudes of health benefits. With studies that showed the potential of chlorella for blood circulation and managing cholesterol and blood pressure, you shouldn’t waste any more time. Start supplementing your diet with this wonderful green alga that may enhance your cardiovascular functions and overall health!
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