Is Chlorella An Antioxidant? Can It Help With Chronic Illnesses?

is chlorella an antioxidant

Article at a glance:

  • Chlorella contains different antioxidants.
  • Its antioxidants have a synergistic effect with the other nutrients chlorella has.
  • Some of the benefits of chlorella’s antioxidants are improving brain, heart, and liver health.


Is chlorella an antioxidant? Yes — and a very good one at that!

As you may have heard, chlorella is one of the most nutrient-dense plant-derived foods out there. This includes antioxidants that can protect your body from disease-causing free radicals.

Even better, the antioxidants in chlorella have a synergistic effect with other nutrients. These interactions are why chlorella is associated with many health benefits like boosting your immune system, protecting brain function, reducing cholesterol levels, improving skin health, and may even protect against serious diseases like cancer.

By nourishing your body with chlorella antioxidants and nutrients, the body can function optimally for better overall health.


Does Chlorella Have Antioxidants?


One health benefit of chlorella is its potent antioxidant properties that allow the body to fight free radical damage. Chlorella’s antioxidant status can be attributed to the following:




Chlorella is a rich source of beta-carotene, lutein, and other carotenoids known for their antioxidant properties. Chlorella carotenoids also interact with other antioxidants to boost their activity and increase protection against serious diseases.




Besides detoxifying heavy metals and toxins, chlorophyll in chlorella also exhibits antioxidant activity. According to studies, chlorophyll may inhibit the oxidation of linoleic acid and hydroperoxides. This, in turn, helps lower oxidative stress.




Within the nucleus of this blue-green algae, you’ll find a unique complex called Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF). It includes polysaccharides, which help reduce chain reactions that lead to free radical generation, and polysaccharides also protect against oxidative damage.


Amino Acids


Chlorella contains 18 amino acids, including lysine, methionine, tryptophan, histidine, cystine, tyrosine, and arginine. According to research, these antioxidant amino acids may help remove pro-oxidants and aid in the regeneration of oxidized antioxidants.




The antioxidants also come from vitamins C and E. These vitamins help neutralize free radicals and stop them from producing reactive oxygen species (ROS). These can damage DNA, proteins, and lipids.

Zinc, selenium, and iodine contribute significantly to chlorella’s antioxidant potential. These minerals can increase antioxidant enzymes and help neutralize ROS.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids


Chlorella’s strong antioxidant properties can also be attributed to omega-3 fatty acids. They help neutralize free radicals and promote free radical detoxification.


Health Benefits of Chlorella as an Antioxidant


Chlorella consumption can nourish your body with antioxidants, which helps enhance your body’s ability to fight against free radicals. Chlorella’s antioxidants also help protect your immune system from damage that can lead to many serious, chronic diseases. The other impressive health benefits are:


1. Anti-Cancer and Anti-Tumor Activity


anti-cancer activity in cells


Antioxidants may contribute to chlorella’s anti-cancer and anti-tumor activity. According to studies, carotenoids in chlorella vulgaris helped inhibit human colon cancer cell growth. Chlorella was also observed to have a significant apoptosis-inducing effect.

Other studies have noted chlorella’s antioxidant activities, particularly when scavenging free radicals, reducing ferric power, and chelating metals. A treatment of chlorella vulgaris extract was found to reduce tumor cell migration, which may help inhibit lung cancer metastasis.

Meanwhile, chlorophyll was found to inhibit ROS and suppress the viability of pancreatic cancer cells. It also significantly reduced pancreatic tumor size in animal models.

Since cancer is a complex disease, more research is needed to fully understand the impact of chlorella supplementation and the role that chlorella’s antioxidants may play.


2. Brain Health


Chlorella supplementation may promote brain health. Antioxidants in chlorella also help reduce free radical damage that can cause chronic inflammation and lead to neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.

In a placebo-controlled trial, patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were given 8 grams of chlorella daily for 2 months. Results showed improved antioxidant status and reduced concentrations of phospholipid hydroperoxide, which may be beneficial in maintaining the normal function of erythrocytes and fighting off the development of dementia.

These antioxidants are also known to interact with essential fatty acids and nucleic acids in CGF to reduce free radical-induced inflammation in the brain. Zinc in chlorella can also help stimulate nerve connections to promote optimal brain health.


3. Eye Health


Chlorella’s carotenoids also promote eye health. Lutein, in particular, helps protect the retina from UV-induced free radical damage. They also have antioxidant properties that protect against eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.

Besides lutein, chlorella is also rich in B vitamins, which help preserve optic nerves. Zinc, magnesium, essential fatty acids, and amino acids like taurine are also essential for good eye health.


4. Heart Health


The cardiovascular system naturally produces reactive oxygen species. However, when ROS levels become too high and exceed the body’s antioxidant capacity, it can lead to oxidative stress. This can lead to conditions like atherosclerosis or the thickening of artery walls, leading to heart disease.

Studies show that carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E may help reduce the risk of adverse cardiac events. Chlorella’s antioxidants can also help reduce cholesterol levels. Lower cholesterol levels help keep artery walls clean and flexible — which is essential for heart health. In one study, chlorella supplementation was associated with decreased brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity, which measures arterial stiffness.

Additionally, chlorella supplementation has also been found to lower high blood pressure and reduce blood lipid levels. In a placebo-controlled trial, hypotensive patients were given chlorella pyrenoidosa for 2 months. In a placebo-controlled trial, hypotensive patients were given chlorella pyrenoidosa for 2 months.

Maintaining healthy blood pressure is also crucial to keeping your arteries flexible, which can decrease the risk of heart disease.


5. Liver Health


Antioxidants also play an important role in our liver health. It can protect against oxidative stress that can cause liver disease.

In one study, patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease who took 1.2 grams of chlorella supplement for 8 weeks saw improvements in their liver enzymes — as measured in their fasting blood glucose levels and lipid profile — compared to the placebo group.

Studies also found that chlorella extract had an inhibitory effect on human liver cancer cells.


6. Skin Health


woman smiling | chlorella for skin health


Oxidative stress can lead to premature aging. Chlorella antioxidants and amino acids can help stimulate collagen and elastin production to keep skin soft, supple, and hydrated.

Nucleic acids in CGF can also fight off oxidative stress from damaging existing collagen and elastin fibers, leading to dry skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. Chlorella is also rich in vitamin E, which can help address sun damage and hyperpigmentation.


Can Chlorella Help with Chronic Illnesses?


Apart from helping reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer, chlorella supplementation may also help with diabetes.

In a notable study, chlorella pyrenoidosa was found to exhibit anti-diabetic actions. Chlorella inhibits the enzymes α-amylase and α-glucosidase, delaying the breakdown of carbohydrates and glucose absorption in the bloodstream. This can improve blood sugar control among those with type-2 diabetes.

In addition, chlorella’s antioxidants may increase the scavenging of free radicals and chelation of metals — which otherwise could affect the glycation process and lead to diabetes.

Animal models also found that chlorella supplementation may help increase insulin sensitivity. As such, chlorella supplementation has promising potential to complement the treatment of diabetic patients with insulin resistance.


What Other Health Benefits Does Chlorella Have?


Apart from the aforementioned chlorella antioxidants, this blue-green alga contains crucial vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D and folic acid, essential amino acids, healthy fats, protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber. Given its nutrient composition, there are many other health benefits associated with chlorella supplementation, including:


  • Strong Detoxification: A hard cell wall and rich chlorophyll content allow chlorella to bind with heavy metals and toxins and release them from the body.
  • Beneficial Immunostimulatory Effect: Chlorella supplementation can boost your immune system. This includes increasing natural killer cell activity and increasing salivary secretory immunoglobulin levels for better protection against pathogens.
  • Reduce Allergy Symptoms: Chlorella may inhibit the early inflammatory response that can activate asthma, allergies, and infections.
  • Reduce Risk of Having Iron Deficiency Anemia: Chlorella is rich in iron. Studies show that chlorella supplementation increases iron levels and reduces the risk of iron deficiency anemia. This is beneficial for pregnant women and those with high serum methylmalonic acid levels or those who primarily eat a plant-based diet.
  • Support Overall Health: Chlorella’s impressive nutritional value as a dietary supplement can ensure that the body is well-nourished with the nutrients it needs to function optimally. As such, chlorella supplementation may help support your overall health.


How to Get the Most Out of Chlorella’s Antioxidant Properties


By now, you know that taking chlorella supplements can help boost your body’s antioxidant status. This helps avoid an overaccumulation of free radicals, which can lead to oxidative damage and increase your risk of chronic diseases.

You can take chlorella powder or chlorella tablets as a dietary supplement. You can also choose between two of the common chlorella species: chlorella vulgaris and chlorella pyrenoidosa. Pyrenoidosa has a higher nutritional value and a thicker cell wall. Whatever option you choose, just make sure you’re buying the best quality chlorella supplement — online or via health food stores.

This is because the level of quality control in the cultivating, harvesting, and processing of chlorella will impact the bioavailability of chlorella’s antioxidants and nutrients. So, choosing a chlorella supplement can provide you with amazing health benefits that can support your overall health is important.


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John Riedl

Simply put that’s why I’ve gone down the health journey of research and creating health brands.

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