Is Chlorella Good For Digestion And Gut Health?

is chlorella good for digestion

Article at a glance:

  • Maintaining gut health does more help than you can imagine — it affects more body parts besides the digestive system.
  • A healthy gut microbiome can fight infections and diseases as one of the body’s defense systems.
  • Chlorella is rich in dietary fibers, making it an incredible prebiotic that may help with digestion and promote gut health.


There’s growing evidence that gut health could influence other body functions, such as the immune system, mental health, and in killing bad bacteria that could cause illnesses. So it’s extremely important to consider digestion and gut health in your health regimen.

Is chlorella good for digestion? In this article, we will discuss how chlorella helps improve gut health. You’ll see that there are compelling studies that found the algae to be beneficial for the digestive system and overall health.


What Is Gut Health?


The history of popular phrases like “follow your gut” and “my gut tells me” are hard to track, but they all somewhat refer to the gut as intuition or instinct. But the gut has an entirely different meaning when discussing how our body functions.

In scientific papers and health articles, “gut” is commonly used to refer to the gastrointestinal system, including the stomach, colon, and intestines. These organs have major roles in the digestion of food and other substances we consume.

Determining gut health, however, involves more than digestive functions. A central factor to gut health is our gut microbiome, also known as gut microbiota or gut flora, which collectively refers to the bacteria and other microorganisms that live in our gastrointestinal tract.


Why Should You Care About Gut Health?


gut microbiome


The digestive tract interacts with substances from outside the human body as it breaks down the food, drinks, medicines, and other substances we take. These are also the most common ways the body gets nutrients every day.

It’s easy to see why healthy digestion and good gut health go hand in hand. The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in breaking down macronutrients, especially protein and carbohydrates, where we essentially get energy and other components for healthy functions.

Over the years, more evidence has surfaced suggesting that gut health can affect more than just the digestive system. For one, the gut microbiome has its defense system against disease-causing bacteria. One scientific review said the presence of good bacteria and probiotics could strengthen the gut lining to stop these pathogens from colonizing the gut.

It was then established that the gut microbiome also affects immune system responses. This further suggests that gut health is significantly involved in fighting the development of various diseases.

However, the review also found that diet can cause an imbalance in our gut microbiome. This phenomenon, known as dysbiosis, could then make us more vulnerable to several health conditions like obesity, diabetes, and chronic diseases caused by inflammation.

Its possible link to mental health has been widely studied, too. A study noted that gut microbiota may affect brain functions and cognitive behavior.


Is Chlorella Good for Gut Health?


Scientists and health enthusiasts have long recognized the nutritional composition of chlorella as a dietary source of essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carotenoids (like beta carotene), fatty acids, and antioxidants.

These essential nutrients are what give chlorella its long list of health benefits. It’s been widely researched as a nutritional supplement for its potential health benefits on blood sugar, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and the immune system.

What if your main concern is digestion and metabolism? There’s also mounting scientific evidence suggesting that chlorella promotes gut health through different mechanisms.

Maintaining a healthy gut primarily means having enough good bacteria and microorganisms to ward off pathogens. Remember, good bacteria also act to defend the gut from pathogens, where many types of diseases come from.

Several studies found chlorella does not just strengthen the gut structure, it may also promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut flora. For instance, Chlorella vulgaris demonstrated positive effects on the growth, l-lactic acid production, and enzymatic profile of the popular probiotic Lactobacillus.

Chlorella may also improve gut integrity, as observed in a 2022 study. Weaned piglets were fed a diet containing 5% Chlorella vulgaris for 21 days, which reportedly helped develop their small intestine lining (duodenum villi).

The same research also linked chlorella supplementation to a “higher abundance” of Lactobacillus and Oscillospira in the subjects. Both bacteria are present in the human gut microbiome, and the latter has been associated with regulating obesity and chronic inflammation.


Is Chlorella Good for Digestion?


The rise in popularity of green juice cleanse may have given you the impression that chlorella provides the same results by helping ease digestion. Well, you’re not wrong.

How does chlorella help digestion? We can, once again, turn to the essential nutrients we can get from taking chlorella supplements.

An earlier study reported that 55 patients with different chronic illnesses, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) ulcerative colitis, showed improvements after taking 10 g pure chlorella in tablet form and 100 ml liquid with chlorella extract daily for 2 to 3 months.

Chlorella may also help relieve digestive issues by keeping a healthy gut flora. This may be one of the best answers to why chlorella is good for digestion: having a healthy, balanced microbiome contributes to a proper digestive system function.

An in vitro study in 2021 observed that Chlorella pyrenoidosa could help increase certain beneficial bacteria in gut model systems from human donors. Samples from both healthy and coeliac gut microbiota saw an increase in Faecalibacterium, a good bacteria that reportedly promotes intestinal health and could counteract IBD and colorectal cancer.

Adding Chlorella pyrenoidosa also boosted the Ruminococcus in the healthy gut model and the Bifidobacterium in the coeliac sample. Both bacteria may aid in digesting resistant starches in the colon, which are carbohydrates that aren’t absorbed in the small intestine.

While further studies are still needed, these results support claims that chlorella improves digestion.


Does Chlorella Clean the Gut?


One of the well-known chlorella digestion benefits is its detoxifying effect. It’s no wonder that many people started their chlorella intake for the main purpose of detoxification.

Aside from helping clean the gut, the health benefits of chlorella through detoxification may serve a bigger purpose.

Chlorella may help clean the gut by working against heavy metals like cadmium and lead. Animal studies found Chlorella vulgaris may protect the liver from toxic levels of cadmium, which may help ward off liver disease.

As a dietary supplement, chlorella also has plenty of dietary fibers that may help lower mercury levels through fecal elimination.

While gut health heavily relies on a well-balanced microbiome, the gut immune system plays an important part in keeping pathogenic bacteria in check. And chlorella is effective in this aspect, too.

There’s a small 2011 study where 15 men consumed a chlorella-derived multicomponent supplementation in tablet form daily for 4 weeks. It resulted in increased of immunoglobulin A antibodies in saliva.

This adds to evidence that chlorella may enhance the gut’s immune system defense against harmful bacteria and infections.


Does Chlorella Help With Bloating?


In some cases, bloating can be caused by changes in hormones or stress levels. However, it’s more often due to digestive problems like constipation or bowel obstructions in more serious conditions. If you’re experiencing bloating due to constipation, adding chlorella supplementation to your diet may provide some relief.

One study suggested that chlorella may have an effect on bowel movement frequency in constipated individuals. It was pointed out, though, that a balanced healthy diet is recommended as the existing intestinal environment is also a large factor.

Taking chlorella supplements also reportedly increased the blood folate level of participants who experienced more frequent bowel movements. This vitamin promotes the creation of digestive acids, which are enzymes and other substances that help down food in the stomach.

Why is chlorella causing bloating for some people? Like other supplements, chlorella may have minor side effects. They usually go away after a few days when the body is more familiar with chlorella supplements.


Does Chlorella Make You Gassy?


Does Chlorella Clean the Gut?


Flatulence is also a possible side effect when you’re starting with chlorella supplementation, although it’s not always the case, and there are ways to minimize this risk.

The standard daily dose of chlorella supplements is 3 to 5 grams. If you’re new to any algae supplement, you can start with a lower dosage that may help minimize the side effects.

However, the quality of the chlorella products you purchase can be a huge factor, too. It might even answer the question many ask, “Does chlorella cause gas?” in some cases.

Although chlorella is an alga, it shares some similarities with most plants. For instance, how its cell walls are composed of cellulose. It’s a type of polysaccharide that humans can’t digest naturally. This could cause stomach upset and other digestive side effects.

Don’t worry! Many of the chlorella tablets and chlorella powder available today are processed by mechanically cracking the cell walls.

You can look for chlorella supplements with labels that mention “micronized,” “cracked cell,” or “open cell.” This gives you an idea that the chlorella has been processed so it would be absorbed or digested better in your system.

It’s highly advised that you opt for cold-pressed chlorella products, though. The green alga is known to lose some nutrients and potency when processed with heat-based cell cracking methods.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is Chlorella a Probiotic?


No, but chlorella can be a robust prebiotic.

Probiotics have live microorganisms, like bacteria and yeast. These can be consumed through foods or supplements to enhance our microbiota in the gut and other parts of the human body.

Prebiotics are food sources or supplements rich in dietary or plant fibers. These serve as food for microbes to aid in the healthy growth of bacteria in the gut.

One study found that polysaccharides from Chlorella pyrenoidosa have “prebiotic functions.” And there’s research that the dietary fibers from chlorella may aid in regulating bowel movement in humans.


Is Chlorella Better on an Empty Stomach?


Chlorella supplements, in powder or tablet form, are generally safe for healthy adults, whether taken with or without food.

Introducing this superfood to your diet might help lessen the chances of getting digestive side effects when you take it with meals at any time of the day.


Take Chlorella Supplements for a Good Gut Feeling


A healthy digestive system, which primarily includes the gastrointestinal tract, is responsible for breaking down food and absorbing nutrients used for all body functions. However, the digestive system does more than process our food.

Studies have shown that gut health encompasses several important body functions. It will need all the help possible so that the good bacteria always win against harmful bacteria that enter the body.

Thus, maintaining gut health not only ensures we have better digestion. It also strengthens our defenses against infections and pathogens that could lead to serious health conditions.

There’s scientific evidence showing how is chlorella good for digestion. This adds to the long list of reasons adding chlorella daily to your diet is one of the best moves you can make that may improve your overall health.



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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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