What’s the difference between chlorella and spirulina?
Chloretraea (chlorella) is a type of algae found in warm seas, rivers, lakes and ponds. It grows in fresh water or saltwater. Chlorella is used as food supplement and medicine. It contains vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E and K. Chlorella is considered a good source of protein, calcium, iron, zinc and copper.
Spirulina (spirula) is a type of marine microalgae which grows in cold waters. It has been used as food supplement and medicine for centuries. Spirulina contains many nutrients including proteins, minerals and vitamins.
There are other types of algae such as cyanobacteria but they do not contain any nutritional value. They are only useful as food supplements.
The two algae species differ mainly in their cell structure and growth rate. Chlorella is able to grow at lower temperatures than spirulina. Chlorella can survive longer periods of time without oxygen while spirulina cannot tolerate high levels of carbon dioxide in its environment.
What are chlorella and spirulina used for?
Chlorella and spirulina are used as food supplements. They are rich in nutrients which the body needs. They can be found in tablets, pills or powders.
Chlorella and spirulina are sometimes recommended in alternative medicine. They are believed to reduce cholesterol naturally, improve liver and heart health, increase energy and improve digestive system. There is not enough evidence to support these uses.
Chlorella and spirulina are thought to help prevent cancer, lower blood pressure and protect against toxins. These uses have not been proven in clinical trials.
Chlorella has been investigated for its potential to remove toxic substances from the body. It may be useful in treating lead, mercury and arsenic poisoning.
There are no good human trials to support spirulina and chlorella as weight loss supplements.
Chlorella and spirulina are sometimes used for HIV positive patients to improve the health of immune system. They can also treat other conditions where the immune system is compromised such as cancer.
How much chlorella and spirulina should you take?
Not enough is known about the safe use of chlorella and spirulina. It is not known what the lethal dose is, however due to the large size of the tablets, it can be assumed that it would take a very large amount to cause serious harm. The therapeutic dose is between 1-3 grams daily.
Chlorella and spirulina should not be taken by people who are allergic to green plants.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Chlorella and Spirulina: Green supplements for balancing the body by A Vonshak – 1997 – CRC Press
Catalytic hydrothermal gasification of algae for hydrogen production: composition of reaction products and potential for nutrient recycling by R Mason – Alternative & Complementary Therapies, 2001 – liebertpub.com
Nutrient removal and algal succession during the growth of Spirulina platensis and Scenedesmus quadricauda on swine wastewater by JA Onwudili, AR Lea-Langton, AB Ross… – Bioresource …, 2013 – Elsevier