Chlorella, a green food supplement derived from algae, has grown in popularity in recent years due to some striking new research on its potential benefits, especially for people susceptible to insulin resistance/diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure). It’s also been studied recently for its potential use in eliminating toxins such as mercury from the body, and for its potential as a chemopreventive agent against liver cancer.
See the NYBC entry for more details:
A 2011 lab study found that chlorella had the ability to significantly improve insulin sensitivity, improving the digestion of sugars. The study authors suggest that chlorella may therefore be useful as an additional therapy for people with insulin resistance or pre-diabetes.
In a 2009 report on a study involving 80 patients, researchers found that “Chlorella significantly decreased high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension, and is a beneficial dietary supplement for prevention of the development of hypertension.”
Y. J. Chiu, et al. Improvement of Insulin Resistance by Chlorella in Fructose-rich Chow-fed Rats. Phytother Res. 2011 Feb 10. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3379.
M. Shimada et al. Anti-hypertensive effect of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-rich Chlorella on high-normal blood pressure and borderline hypertension in placebo-controlled double blind study. Clin Exp Hypertens. 2009 Jun;31(4):342-54.
See also Journal of Toxicological Sciences 2010; 35(1): 101-105 (for chlorella’s ability to eliminate mercury from the body; and J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2009 Jan;10(1):14-21 (for chlorella’s chemopreventive effect against liver cancer cells).