(NaturalNews) If you could only have one supplement, which one would you choose? For its high nutrient content and potent defense against disease and the ravages of aging, many people have put chlorella at the top of their list. Now there are even more reasons to cheer for chlorella. Scientists are documenting its potent cancer fighting abilities including its ability to repair damage to DNA and influence gene expression.
Carotenoids from chlorella make cancer cells die
Scientists in South Korea recently found that carotenoids from chlorella may be effectively used to prevent cancer in humans. They discovered the primary carotenoid from C. ellipsoidea is violaxanthin, while the major carotenoid from C. vulgaris is lutein. They examined the activity of semi-purified extracts of these carotenoids against human cancer and found they inhibited cancer cell growth in a dose-dependent manner.
When both were used together, appropriate programmed cell death, known as apoptosis, was enhanced. The reason cancer cells are so problematic is that they refuse to die on cue. Chlorella made sure they followed through when it was their time to die. The researchers also discovered that C. ellipsoidea extract was 2.5 times more effective than C. vulgaris at inducing the apoptotic effect. (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, November 26, 2008).
Chlorella influences how genes express themselves
Scientists in Malaysia backed up this study by finding that C. vulgaris kills cancer cells by decreasing expression of the Bcl-2 gene. When this gene is mutated, it prevents cells from dieing and allows cancers to develop. C. vulgaris also increased the expression of capsase 8, a gene that plays a central role in the execution phase of cell apoptosis (Journal of Zhejiang University, Science B, January).
These findings offer a graphic example of how what we chose to put into our bodies governs the way our genes express themselves. The more we are able to regulate gene expression, the greater the control we have over our physiological destiny.
More recent research has shown other anti-cancer bioactivity of chlorella, including its ability to inhibit the COX-2 enzyme that leads to cancer-causing inflammation and the pain that accompanies it. Chlorella was shown to have anti-thrombotic effects that can lead to increased blood flow and reduce the possibility of platelet aggregation that might induce blood clots. It reduces PLA2, an important marker of heart disease, and encourages the production of proteins that regulate cell function, and enzymes that regulate calcium in the body. Formation and production of tumors, and viral replication were inhibited by chlorella, and the anti-tumor response of the immune system was strengthened. (International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition), December 23, 2008.
Chlorella fights cancer by boosting the immune system
Cancer cells develop in everyone's body. People who have never been diagnosed with cancer have hundreds or thousands of cancerous cells in their bodies on a daily basis. It is the job of the immune system to make sure these dangerous cells are found and destroyed before they can develop into full blown cancers. When a person is diagnosed as having cancer, it means that something has gone seriously wrong with their immune system. Many health gurus have declared that cancer is a result of immune system failure.
This means that one of the best ways to prevent cancer is to strengthen the immune system. For people who have had cancer and want to prevent recurrence, this is critical. The need for a strong immune system to destroy cancerous cells is why health advocates are so strongly against chemotherapy, which destroys the body's immune system and leaves the person wide open for more cancer.
Chlorella stimulates the immune system and the production of interferon, one of the body's greatest natural defenses against cancer. Increased production of interferon stimulates macrophages, T-cells and tumor necrosis factor, the battery of armed soldiers the body uses to fight off cancer. When the immune system is strengthened, the body becomes again able to fight off cancer as well as defend itself against viruses, bacteria, chemicals, and foreign proteins.
Chlorella has a distinguished history as a cancer fighter
Although Western medicine has generally ignored chlorella, scientists in the East have widely researched and documented its cancer fighting abilities. One such study involved mice given chlorella prior to being transplanted with breast tumors. The results indicated a 70 percent survival rate in the chlorella fed group, and a control group survival rate of zero.
In another study, fifteen patients with extremely deadly glioblastoma were treated with high levels of chlorella, in some cases combined with chemotherapy and radiation. There was an immediate increase in their health and immune status, and they experienced a 40 percent two-year survival rate, compared to the normal two year survival rate of 10 percent for this type of cancer.
Chlorella is a treasure chest of life enhancing properties
Chlorella is a tiny, single-celled water-grown green algae with a nucleus. It is chocked of nutrients including an immense amount of readily available chlorophyll, the life blood of plants. Chlorophyll absorbs energy from the sun to facilitate photosynthesis. It is central to plant metabolism and critical to plant functions such as growth and respiration. Without this green blood of plants, life as we know it would not exist. Chlorophyll is chemically similar in composition to human blood, except that the central atom in chlorophyll is magnesium, while iron is the central component in human blood.
Chlorophyll neutralizes environmental toxins and pollutants. It helps the blood carry oxygen to all cells and tissues. Cancer cannot thrive in cells that are fully oxygenated. Chlorophyll plays a part in chlorella's ability to detoxify heavy metals, and is a natural wound healer. There is evidence that chlorophyll reduces the ability of carcinogens to bind with DNA in major organs. Its anti-mutagenic properties make it protective against toxins such as pharmaceutical drugs.
The vitamins and minerals in chlorella are plentiful. It is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, and is one of the few whole food sources of vitamin D. Chlorella has the complete vitamin B complex with more B-12 than liver by weight. Beta carotene and lutein, two carotenoids with a wealth of disease fighting benefits, are found in abundance.
Chlorella contains 58% highly digestible complete vegetarian protein. Zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, rare trace minerals, essential fatty acids including gamma linolenic acid (GLA), and polysaccharides are found in chlorella. One of the ways chlorella eases digestion is through its broad spectrum of enzymes that includes pepsin.
These nutrients were combined by nature, not a corporation. As such, they exist in natural harmony and synergy and are highly bioavailable for use in the body. This makes chlorella a better choice than isolated compounds taken individually, or combination compounds like multi-vitamin capsules. Chlorella can replace many expensive individual supplements and drastically lower the cost of supplementing while increasing its quality.
Just over 18% of chlorella is growth factor produced in its nuclei. Chlorella growth factor offers many of the benefits found in human growth hormone. Chlorella is up to 10% RNA, and up to 3% DNA.
There is plenty of fiber too. The fibrous outer cell wall of chlorella provides material to enhance digestion and keep the digestive tract healthy.
Chlorella provides natural detoxification, inflammation control, cholesterol regulation, immune system strength, estrogen balance, blood sugar stabilization, and digestive bliss. It is loaded with antioxidants to keep you looking and feeling young, and even reduces the percentage of body fat.
Chlorella reduces body fat
Researchers in Kyoto, Japan fed chlorella for a 16 week period to 17 people with high-risk factors for lifestyle-related diseases, and 17 healthy subjects. They found that in both groups, chlorella intake resulted in noticeable reductions in body fat percentages, total serum cholesterol levels, and fasting blood glucose levels. They found that many genes influencing metabolism and insulin signaling pathways were influenced in their expression by chlorella. When chlorella was no longer ingested, the genes returned to their pre-ingestion state (Journal of Medicinal Food, September, 2008).
Chlorella is powerful detoxifier
The tough outer fiber rich cell wall of chlorella binds with toxins, pesticides, and heavy metals making chlorella an excellent choice for detoxification. It is useful in the breakdown of persistent hydrocarbon and metallic toxins such as DDT, PCBs, mercury, cadmium, and lead. These toxins remain in the environment for long periods of time and degrade very slowly. Many actually become more toxic as they degrade, such as PCBs' formation of dioxins.
These fat soluble toxins have accumulated in the food chain and permeated the food supply. Virtually all Americans have been shown to have excessive amounts of these chemicals stored in their body fat. Anyone who is trying to lose weight should be aware that environmental toxins are released from fat storage and dumped into the blood stream as fats cells are broken down. They need to be cleared from the body by a natural detoxification system such as that offered by chlorella. Such toxins are also harmful to thyroid function and one of the reasons so many Americans suffer from thyroid insufficiency. When the body is detoxified, many people find their thyroid condition improves.
One of the reasons new mothers are given for why they should not breast feed is the accumulation of dangerous levels of dioxin in breast milk. Scientists in Japan analyzed dioxin levels in breast milk and maternal blood samples from 35 pregnant women. They measured immunoglogulin A (IgA) concentrations in the milk and investigated correlations with dioxin concentrations. In addition, 18 of the 25 women took chlorella supplements during their pregnancies.
The scientists found that toxic equivalents were significantly lower in the breast milk of the women taking chlorella tablets than in the control group. The results suggested that supplementing with chlorella reduces transfer of dioxins to the child through breast milk, although the lowered levels seen may have been the result of more toxins being cleared from the bodies of the mothers taking chlorella. IgA levels were significantly higher in the chlorella group. Increased IgA levels in breast milk are considered a sign of reduced risk of infection in nursing infants (Journal of Medicinal Food, March, 2007).
Chlorella is a potent chelator, binding heavy metals and escorting them out
A group of 40 rats was divided into one control group and three groups that were treated with cadmium. One cadmium group received no chlorella, one received 5% chlorella, and one received 10% chlorella. After 8 weeks, the relative liver weight was significantly lower in the group receiving no chlorella compared with both groups receiving chlorella, indicating severe liver damage in the no-chlorella group. The group displayed significantly higher concentrations of cadmium in their livers than did the groups receiving chlorella. Liver RNA was high in the chlorella treated groups (Journal of Medicinal Food, September, 2008).
In another study assessing the chelating abilities of chlorella, levels of interleukine-6, a stimulator of red blood cell production, were investigated along with the number of adherent and non-adherent cells. Mice that had been drinking water containing 1300 ppm of lead acetate were treated with chlorella for 10 days. The researchers found that chlorella improved cellular function, increased the ability of cells to produce interleukin-6, and restored the reduced number of non-adherent cells. Monitoring of lead poisoning demonstrated that chlorella treatment significantly reduced lead levels in blood and tissues, completely restoring the normal levels of healthy fats in the liver, and decreasing abnormally high plasma levels of fats (Food Chemistry Toxicology, July, 2008.
These findings make chlorella a highly desirable addition to any meal containing foods in which the presence of heavy metals is suspected, such as fish. Taking chlorella while undergoing removal of dental fillings containing mercury will allow the chlorella to bind with the mercury and escort it out of the body.
Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.