Supplementing with chlorella can hasten recovery from intense training and exercise

Chlorella, a single-celled, water-grown micro-algae, is a popular superfood supplement. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that taking six grams (g) of chlorella supplement every day can speed up recovery from intense training and exercise, which are known to disturb the immune system. It was found to increase salivary secretory IgA (sIgA), an antibody essential for the stability of the immune system, concentration, and secretion at rest.

Researchers in England aimed to evaluate the effects of chlorella supplementation on salivary sIgA in response to a two-day intensive training exercise. To carry out the study, researchers in England recruited 26 people with an average age of 29 to take part in the study. They randomly gave the participants either six g of chlorella or placebo every day for six weeks. In the fourth week of the study, both groups accomplished two days of intensified training, and the researchers evaluated their immune responses.

The results revealed that participants who took chlorella supplements for six weeks showed increased levels in their resting saliva sIgA concentration starting from the first day of intensive exercise in the fourth week of the study; while those who took the placebo did not show any significant changes.

The researchers also suggested that a longer supplementation period may be needed for the beneficial effects of chlorella supplement to manifest fully and be translated to protection against upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) and upper respiratory symptom (URS) reports. This is because resting sIgA concentration was not significantly increased before or during the intense training period, but in the weeks after the exercise.

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They also noted that chlorella contains specific polysaccharides and glycoproteins or protein/polysaccharides complexes that have immunostimulating properties, and have previously been shown to enhance immune system function.

More on chlorella and its other potential health benefits

Chlorella is almost completely indigestible to humans because of its very hard outer shell. It must undergo a special process for humans to be able to digest it. It is available in different forms, such as capsule, tablet, powder, and extract. Chlorella is packed with nutrients and has been gaining a lot of attention because of its health benefits. Listed below are some of the potential health benefits of chlorella:

  • It is dense in nutrients: Chlorella provides protein, iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A, B2, and B3.
  • It helps to detoxify the body: Chlorella is commonly known as a detoxifying supplement. It works as a great detoxifying supplement because of its tiny size and unique properties that make it able to bind to heavy metals and unwanted chemicals in the body. It is also believed to support the liver and aid detoxification pathways without stripping beneficial minerals from the body. Chlorella for detoxification is often consumed only in small amounts over time. However, if you have been exposed to any type of heavy metal, it is best to consult a medical practitioner first. Improperly removing heavy metals with the wrong substances can make things worse.
  • It strengthens the immune system: Chlorella is said to enhance the immune system. One study found that regular intake of chlorella can increase the body’s natural killer cell activity and early inflammatory response. (Related: Chlorella: A powerful medicinal plant that can prevent inflammation-related diseases, researchers find.)

Before taking chlorella supplement, make sure that it is of high quality. Low-quality chlorella supplements may contain mercury in them or not have a cracked cell wall, which makes them useless to the body.

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