Chlorella pyrenoidosa is a green unicellular alga; is a popular food in the world for its high content of amino acids, protein, fibre, antioxidants and bioactive substances. The properties of chlorella are varied so that results to be an interesting food from a nutritional and therapeutic point of view.
Protein content and amino acids
Alga Chlorella is widely used as a nutritional supplement due to its high protein content as well as being a good source of vitamins and minerals: it contains about 60% protein, 20% carbohydrates and about 11% of unsaturated fatty1.
Chlorella contains many essential and nonessential amino acids: high content of alanine, leucine, arginine, serine and glutamic acid 2.
Vitamin and mineral source
The contained vitamins include vitamin C, provitamin A (β-carotene), thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, vitamin B12, biotin, choline, vitamin K, lipoic acid and inositol as well as minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, zinc, iodine, magnesium and iron1.
Studies show that the Vitamin B12 algal is a bioavailable source for mammals 3,4,5, furthermore a study of different types of algae and higher plants to verify the contents of the B complex vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, nicotinic and folic acid), ascorbic acid and carotene has shown that Chlorella has the highest concentration of vitamin and that, in general, the green algae contain a greater amount of thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, and carotene compared to plants that were analyzed, finally it is detected that the algae have an ascorbic acid content higher than that found in carrots 6.
Many studies have mainly covered the ability of certain components of chlorella to stimulate the immune system.
The immunostimulating activity has been put into evidence by studying its polysaccharide of high molecular weight; this compound has been shown to be a potent activator of monocytes and macrophages by modulating, in this way, the immune responses7,8.
In a clinical trial, some of chlorella polysaccharides have proved to be useful selectively in increasing antibody response to flu vaccine since they are able to stimulate the proliferation of B cells and activate macrophages9,10.
In research carried out on tumor cells was discovered that the preparation of chlorella showed no direct cytotoxicity against tumor cells but the documented anti-cancer effects may be mediated by the host immune response11, furthermore, these polysaccharides have proven to be 101.000 times more active than the preparations of polysaccharides currently used for immunotherapy of cancer12.
Chlorella has been shown to have a good potential for absorption of Nickel, Copper and Cadmium 13,14,15,16. The toxicity caused by cadmium can be alleviated by increasing the excretion through the stool: the administration of Chlorella algae counteracts the heavy metal poisoning because it can reduce the damage to tissues by decreasing metal absorption17.
Other studies have shown that the increase in the amount of chlorella biomass increases the amount of Chrome which is bound 18 and furthermore that the assumption of a basis of chlorella preparations accelerate the excretion of Mercury, thereby decreasing the metal tissue levels19.
Microalgae are an important source of antioxidants so that algae-based foods are consumed worldwide; Chlorella contains compounds with a high antioxidant action 20,21.
In icterus, Chlorella has been shown to have significant effects on the intestinal mucosa: its intake resulted in a reduction of intestinal lipid peroxidation, increased values of reduced glutathione (GSH), a decrease of oxidized glutathione (GSSG) and a significant reduction in ‘ villous atrophy compared to the control group22.
CGF-Chlorella Growth Factor
Dietary supplementation with chlorella may reduce blood pressure, lower serum cholesterol levels and accelerate wound healing.
Research done on various diseases such as hypertension and ulcerative colitis have highlighted the potential of chlorella to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life 23.
In addition, there was evidence that dietary supplementation Chlorella may help alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia24.
Of great importance is the CGF-Chlorella Growth Factor which it is contained in the extract of chlorella: is an extract soluble in water which contains a variety of substances such as amino acids, peptides, proteins, vitamins, sugars and nucleic acids. Several Japanese research have suggested that this compound is able to promote growth and healing, stimulate the immune system, offering protection from infection and exert a significant anti-tumor activity 1,25.
Chlorella pyrenoidosa represents a food known all over the world for its high content of amino acids, protein, fibre and antioxidants.
Its high content of active substances makes it a product suitable for various ailments: it stimulates the immune system, provides protection against infection and exert a significant anti-tumor activity as well as helping in the reduction blood pressure and lower serum cholesterol levels.
Melcalin Vprotein is a supplement made from 100% di Chlorella pyrenoidosa, its high content in proteins, minerals and vitamins makes it an interesting product from a nutritional and therapeutic point of view. It can then be shown to improve the immune defences, to have chelating action in respect of the heavy metals and to provide an adequate intake of protein and amino acids in the case of protein deficiency as a result, for example, of a vegetarian or vegan diet.
- A Review of recent clinical trials of the nutritional supplement chlorella pyrenoidosa in the treatment of fibromyalgia, hypertension, and ulcerative colitis. Randall E. Merchant, PhD, and Cynthia A. Andre, MSc
- Biomed Chromatogr. 1997 Nov-Dec;11(6):335-6.Determination of free amino acids in microalgae by high-performance liquid chromatography using pre-column fluorescence derivatization.Betancort Rodríguez JR, García Reina G, Santana Rodríguez JJ.
- J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2002 Oct;48(5):325-31.Characterization and bioavailability of vitamin B12-compounds from edible algae.Watanabe F, Takenaka S, Kittaka-Katsura H, Ebara S, Miyamoto E.
- J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Aug 14;50(17):4994-7.Purification and characterization of a corrinoid compound from Chlorella tablets as an algal health food.Kittaka-Katsura H, Fujita T, Watanabe F, Nakano Y
- J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Feb 27;56(4):1210-5. Determination of cobalamin in nutritive supplements and chlorella foods by capillary electrophoresis-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.Chen JH, Jiang SJ.
- Prikl Biokhim Mikrobiol. 1981 May-Jun;17(3):400-7.[Comparative evaluation of the vitamin composition of unicellular algae and higher plants grown under artificial conditions].Baianova IuI, Trubachev IN.
- Neveu PJ, Morin O, Miègeville M, Le Mevel BP, Vermeil C. Modulation of antibody synthesis by an anti-tumour alga. Experientia. 1978 Dec 15;34(12):1644-5.
- Hsu HY, Jeyashoke N, Yeh CH, Song YJ, Hua KF, Chao LK. Immunostimulatory bioactivity of algal polysaccharides from Chlorella pyrenoidosa activates macrophages via Toll-like receptor 4. J Agric alimentare Chem. 2010 Jan 27; 58 (2) :927-36.
- Vermeil C, Morin O. [Experimental role of the unicellular algae Prototheca and Chlorella (Chlorellaceae) in anti-cancer immunogenesis (murine BP8 sarcoma)]. C R Seances Soc Biol Fil. 1976 Oct;170(3):646-9.
- Kralovec JA, Metera KL,Kumar JR, Watson LV, Girouard GS, Guan Y, Carr RI, Barrow CJ, Ewart HS. Immunostimulatory principles from Chlorella pyrenoidosa–part 1: isolation and biological assessment in vitro.Phytomedicine. 2007 Jan;14(1):57-64. Epub 2005 Nov 2.
- Miyazawa Y, Murayama T, Ooya N, Wang LF, Tung YC, Yamaguchi N. Immunomodulation by a unicellular green algae (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) in tumorbearing mice. Ethnopharmacol. 1988 Dec;24(2-3):135-46.
- Pugh N, Ross SA, ElSohly HN, ElSohly MA, Pasco DS. Isolation of three high molecular weight polysaccharide preparations with potent immunostimulatory activity from Spirulina platensis, aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Chlorella pyrenoidosa. Planta Med. 2001 Nov;67(8):737-42.
- Surya Kant Mehta, Jai Prakash Gaur. Removal of Ni and Cu from single and binary metalsolutions by free and immobilized Chlorella vulgaris.European Journal of Protistology Volume 37, Issue 3, 2001, Pages 261-271.
- Surya Kant Mehta, Jai Prakash Gaur. Characterization and optimization of Ni and Cu sorption from aqueous solution by Chlorella vulgaris.Ecological Engineering Volume 18, Issue 1, October 2001, Pages 1-13.
- Z. Aksu. Determination of the equilibrium, kinetic and thermodynamic parameters of the batch biosorption of nickel(II) ions onto Chlorella vulgaris.Process Biochemistry Volume 38, Issue 1, September 2002, Pages 89-99.
- Qian H, Li J, Pan X, Sun L, Lu T, Ran H, Fu Z. Combined Effect of Copper and Cadmium on Heavy Metal Ion Bioaccumulation and Antioxidant Enzymes Induction in Chlorella vulgaris. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2011 Nov;87(5):512-6. Epub 2011 Jul 23.
- Shim JA, Son YA, Park JM, Kim MK. Effect of Chlorella intake on Cadmium metabolism in rats. Nutr Res Pract. 2009 Spring;3(1):15-22. Epub 2009 Mar 31.
- Zümriye Aksu , Ünsal Açikel. Modelling of a single-staged bioseparation process for simultaneous removal of iron (III) and chromium(VI) by using Chlorella vulgaris. Biochemical Engineering Journal Volume 4, Issue 3, February 2000, Pages 229-238.
- J Toxicol Sci. 2011 Jan;36(1):121-6.Enhanced elimination of tissue methylmercury in Parachlorella beijerinckii-fed mice.Uchikawa T, Kumamoto Y, Maruyama I, Kumamoto S, Ando Y, Yasutake A.
- Qiuhui Hu, Bishu Pana, Juan Xua, Jianchun Shenga and Ying Shia Effects of supercritical carbon dioxide extraction conditions on yields and antioxidant activity of Chlorella pyrenoidosa. PR China Received 6 May 2005; revised 26 June 2006; accepted 26 June 2006. Available online 1 September 2006.
- Inbaraj BS, Chien JT, Chen BH. Improved high performance liquid chromatographic method for determination of carotenoids in the microalga Chlorella pyrenoidosa. J Chromatogr A. 2006 Jan 13;1102(1-2):193-9. Epub 2005 Nov 18.
- Bedirli A, Kerem M, Ofluoglu E, Salman B, Katircioglu H, Bedirli N, Yilmazer D, Alper M, Pasaoglu H Administration of Chlorella sp. Microalgae reduces endotoxemia, intestinal oxidative stress and bacterial translocation in experimental biliary obstruction. Clin Nutr. 2009 Dec;28(6):674-8. Epub 2009 Jul 8.
- Altern Ther Health Med. 2001 May-Jun;7(3):79-91.A review of recent clinical trials of the nutritional supplement Chlorella pyrenoidosa in the treatment of fibromyalgia, hypertension, and ulcerative colitis.Merchant RE, Andre CA.
- Phytother Res. 2000 May;14(3):167-73.Nutritional supplementation with Chlorella pyrenoidosa for patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: a pilot study.Merchant RE, Carmack CA, Wise CM.
- Biotechnol Prog. 2013 Mar 13. Separation, antitumor activities and encapsulation of polypeptide from Chlorella pyrenoidosa.Wang X, Zhang X.
Effetti positivi di proteine e aminoacidi vegetali – Alga Chlorella pyrenoidosa
Autore: Dario Boschiero, Laura Converso – Rev. 0 Data: 13/11/2013