Chlorella VS. Spirulina. What is the difference?

Chlorella VS. Spirulina. What is the difference?

Chlorella and its close cousin Spirulina are two important nutritional supplements derived from green alga and blue-green alga respectively (Bito 2020, Karkos 2011). They are both gaining popularity worldwide as more people are becoming aware of their exceptional health benefits. 

Chlorella and Spirulina are single-celled microalgae. The phytochemical content and natural pigments in these microalgae is what makes them so colourful They are rich with the green pigment chlorophyll which is used for generating energy from the sunlight through the photosynthesis process and also may acting as an anti-aging and immune-enhancing agent (Kwak 2012, Suparmi 2016).

Chlorella and spirulina have many things in common, they both are nutrient-dense serving as a good source of vegan proteins containing about 4 grams of protein per tablespoon with all nine essential amino acids and also are packed with several other essential nutrients such as vitamin B1, B2, folate, and magnesium (Carl 2014, Bito 2020).

Below is a table showing the nutritional composition of chlorella and spirulina:

Nutrient

Chlorella (1 tbsp/7grams) DV*

Spirulina (1 tbsp/7 grams) DV*

Protein

8.2%

8.1%

Beta Carotene

118.7%

1.3%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

10.4%

14.6%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

23.1%

19.2%

Vitamin B6

5.8%

1.5%

Folate

1.6%

1.6%

Magnesium

5.2%

3.4%

Iron

50.6%

11.1%

Zinc

45.2%

1.4%

Copper

0%

47.2%

*Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on the FDA’s updated 2020 Nutrition Facts Label for a 2,000 calorie per day diet. Your requirements may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The main difference is with iron, zinc, and beta carotene content, which is significantly higher in chlorella, while spirulina has higher levels of copper. In general most people are looking for supplementation for beta carotene, zinc, and iron but copper deficiency is rare (McLean 2009, Akhtar 2013, Caulfield 2004, Paul 2014).

WHAT IS CHLORELLA?

 

Chlorella is a simple unicellular nutrient-dense photosynthetic freshwater green algae with numerous therapeutic benefits for enhancing human health and is now commercially produced and available worldwide as a vibrant green supplement (Bito 2020, Carl 2014).

What is in Chlorella that makes it a powerhouse for health?

Chlorella is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the Earth because it’s has an impressively unique and diverse nutrient profile that are thought to work synergistically for improving health (Carl 2014, Panahi 2016 ).

It is said chlorella is mother nature’s natural multivitamin because it has almost all vitamins needed to sustain life including vitamin D and B12 that are normally not in plant foods. It is rich in vitamin A, B complex, including B12, C, E, K, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and omega 3 essential fatty acids. Chlorella has all essential amino acids and it has been found that more than 80% of the proteins in chlorella are digestible (Komaki, 1998). It also has more than five times chlorophyll than wheatgrass, more beta-carotene than carrots and iron content making up to 40% of your daily needs.

Let’s dive deeper and know different aspects of chlorella in detail.

CHLORELLA: A POWERHOUSE OF CHLOROPHYLL:

According to research published in the ‘International Journal of Advanced Research and Publications’ Chlorella has the highest chlorophyll content among all plants on Earth (Yu, 2017). Chlorophyll is great for promoting detoxification of the body by binding the toxins in the gastrointestinal tract and promoting their excretion rather than absorption in the body (Takekoshi, 2005).

 

CHLORELLA IS RICH IN OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS

 

Chlorella has a good content of omega-3 fatty acids with 3 grams of chlorella giving 100mg of omega-3s that are good fats and have many health-friendly aspects such as reducing inflammation, anticoagulation, weight management, and may help improve cognitive function (Swanson 2012).

Chlorella is rich in antioxidants:

Chlorella has rich antioxidant content that can inhibit oxidation and protect against free radical damage reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease (Wilson, 2017). According to a study, 6.3 g of chlorella supplementation to 52 smokers for 6 weeks resulted in a significant increase in the antioxidant levels in these people and a significant decrease in the DNA damage (Lee, 2010).

CHLORELLA CONTAINS ZEAXANTHIN AND LUTEIN FOR EYE HEALTH WITH

Chlorella has a good content of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin that promote eye health. These two carotenoids protect your eyes and reduce the risk of eye strain, eye fatigue, vision loss, cataracts macular degeneration suggesting an important role of chlorella in enhancing your eye health (Ryu 2014).

IS CHLORELLA THE WORLDS MOST SUSTAINABLE CROP?

Chlorella is microalgae that yield biomass more efficiently than land-based plants because of its high performance in utilizing sunlight and carbon dioxide and leading to chlorella’s extremely high rate of growth (Bito, 2020).

The simple structure of chlorella with its ability to reproduce rapidly because of the chlorella growth factor in it makes it one of the most sustainable foods (Katerina, 2014). Chlorella makes superb asexual reproduction. It grows from 3 microns to 8-10 microns through the photosynthesis process using sunlight and carbon dioxide while in fresh water. When Chlorella is matured to 8-10 microns, there are two nuclear divisions and continuously a parent cell goes through cell divisions to form 4 new cells at a time. This organism has been in existence and dividing successfully for more than two billion years now.

What helps Chlorella to fast growth and not mutate in reproduction? Chlorella Growth Factor present in the nucleus of Chlorella aids Chlorella for rapid energetic reproduction and increased growth. Chlorella growth factor or CGF is produced during the photosynthesis process in plants and is a unique physiologically active complex of substances such as proteins, nucleic acids, peptides, sugars, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins present only in the Chlorella nucleus that allows the chlorella cells to multiply rapidly into 4 cells every 24 hours allowing Chlorella’s rapid growth (Merchant, 2001).

Chlorella produces more biomass than regular plants as the daily yield is 20 grams per square meter. If one gram of Chlorella is 5.6 kcal, then the yearly calories produced will be 40,880 kcal per square meter which is much more than grains as grains generate just 800kcal per square meter meaning that Chlorella is producing 50 times more food.

When correctly cultured or grown, chlorella is an important plant useful enough to be a future food source and a million-acre pond will be enough to fulfill the protein needs of about 2 million people that is the entire population of the US, that’s why chlorella is called as the food of the 21st century.

HEALTH-PROMOTING CHLORELLA GROWTH FACTOR

Dietary CGF may have several health benefits including promoting growth and healing, stimulating the immune system, enhancing the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria, managing body weight, and cholesterol levels, detoxifying the body, improving energy levels, anti-aging effects, and encouraging tissue repair (An 2010, Merchant 2001, Hidaka 2004).

CHLORELLA: UNIQUE GUT-NOURISHING AND PREBIOTIC COMPONENTS:

The chlorella growth factor in chlorella helps promote the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria that may assist in balancing the gut microbiome (Martins 2022, Jin 2021). Having healthy digestion and a healthy gut is linked with healthy overall health and if you are having gut imbalances, your overall health will suffer.

Good fibre content also serves as a contributing factor to its prebiotic nature helping the good bacteria feed on it and making chlorella great for balancing the gut microbiome (Holscher, 2017).

CHLORELLA MAY ENHANCE AEROBIC ENDURANCE

A positive effect of chlorella is enhancing aerobic capacity with its branched-chain amino acids that can improve aerobic performance (Gualano 2011, Kim 2013).

According to a double-blind placebo-controlled study, 10 young adults who took 6 grams of chlorella daily for 4 weeks had a significantly improved ability for saturating their lungs with oxygen which means improved aerobic endurance compared to the placebo group (Umemoto, 2014) suggesting that chlorella supplementation may help athletes and those doing high-intensity training.

CHLORELLA & ATHLETES

Chlorella growth factor can play an important role for athletes and bodybuilders in helping build stronger muscles as it stimulates the tissue repair process. When your body can repair itself it has a faster recovery time between workouts, and this may help with improved athletic performance. The nucleic acid in CGF and their rapid growth aid in reducing the recovery time by promoting tissue repair. It can also utilize this benefit of tissue repair for wound and ulcer healing and optimized inflammation levels in the body ( Merchant 2001, Cheng 2004).

CHLORELLA ASSISTS WITH DETOXIFICATION

Chlorella has the potential to detoxify the body and studies have found it effective for removing harmful compounds and heavy metals from the body,(Sears 2013, Queiroz 2003, Uchikawa 2011, Zhai 2015).

Foods with heavy metals like mercury-rich fish or certain employment like working in the mining industry can expose people to heavy metals (Alissa, 2011). Chlorella may have a detoxifying effect by reducing the absorption of harmful chemicals in the body and assisting their elimination (Bito, 2020).

According to a Japanese study published in ‘The Journal of Toxicological Sciences’ chlorella was found to reduce mercury levels in the body (Uchikawa 2011).

Chlorella may be effective for removing dioxins which are a hormone disruptor that enters the system from food (Nakano 2007). All this suggests chlorella has the potential for enhancing the natural ability of the body to clear toxins that can be pesticides, herbicides, molds, heavy metals, and plastics.(Ogawa, 2016)

CHLORELLA IS HEART FRIENDLY

Chlorella supplements may help lower blood cholesterol levels (Merchant, 2001, Ryu 2014, Mizoguchi 2008). Studies have found that daily taking 5-10 grams of chlorella decreased LDL, triglyceride, and total cholesterol in those with hypertension or slightly increased cholesterol.

Niacin, fibre, and the carotenoids in Chlorella may lower blood lipid levels (Panahi 2016, Sano 1988, Ryu 2014, Brady 1996) and antioxidants may help prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol  (Trpkovic, 2014).

Chlorella supplements may help with kidney and heart health which is linked with maintaining normal blood pressure. According to a study, lower blood pressure was recorded in those hypertensive patients who daily took four grams of chlorella compared to the placebo (Shimada, 2009).

Another study found that healthy men who took chlorella supplements had less stiffness of the arteries, which some believe can cause high blood pressure. Chlorella has arginine, calcium, omega-3s, and potassium that may help it prevent the hardening of arteries (Otsuki 2013, Sansawa 2006).

 

CHLORELLA & IMMUNITY

The immune system is responsible for fighting infections and keeping us healthy. Chlorella growth factor has beta-glucan polysaccharide molecules which may have positive effects on the immune system by boosting against harmful pathogens (Akramiene 2007, Kim 2011).  According to a small study on 15 men, Chlorella supplementation for 4 weeks resulted in more antibody production as compared to the placebo group (Otsuki 2011). These antibodies help in fighting foreign invaders in the body.

According to a Korean study published in the Nutrition Journal, taking 5g of chlorella supplement daily for 8 weeks resulted in increased levels of immune proteins to protect against bacteria in 51 healthy adults (Kwak 2012).

CHLORELLA & YOUR BLOOD

The good iron and folic acid content may assist in reducing anaemia. According to a study involving 32 pregnant women in the second and third trimester, taking 6g of Chlorella supplement daily for 12-18 weeks resulted in significantly reduced markers of anaemia compared to the control group (Nakano, 2010), suggesting that taking Chlorella supplement can reduce the risk of anaemia.

 

 

CHLORELLA MAY HELP YOU STAY HEALTHY AND YOUNG

The antioxidants in Chlorella may help reduce disease risk, aging effects, and complications associated with diabetes by decreasing the production of advanced glycation end products (Lordan 2011, Yamagishi 2014, Makpol 2009) (Lai, 2011). The antioxidants in Chlorella also help reduce free radical damage and may assist with antiaging effects (Bito 2020, Sikuru 2019).

A study indicated that Chlorella supplements can help chronic cigarette smokers by increasing antioxidant levels and reducing diseases because of oxidative damage (Panahi 2013).

A decrease in nucleic acid levels responsible for cellular regeneration and repair are linked with aging effects. Taking foods high in nucleic acids such as Chlorella Growth Factor may assist with cellular regeneration (Lai, 2011). Chlorella has 5 times the RNA content of canned sardines that was once thought of as the best nucleic acid source. The antioxidants in CGF may also reduce free radical damage (Bito 2020, Sikuru 2019).

CHLORELLA HAS A HEPATOPROTECTIVE EFFECT

Chlorella has a strong hepatoprotective effect. In a study, 1.2g chlorella supplementation daily for 8 weeks to seventy non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients resulted in a decrease in mean body weight and liver enzyme concentrations compared to the placebo group suggesting a beneficial effect of Chlorella for reducing weight and improving inflammatory biomarkers and liver function in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (Mameghani, 2016).

CHLORELLA MAY ASSIST WITH BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

Research has shown that Chlorella may have a positive effect with blood sugar levels (Panahi 2016). According to a study, taking chlorella for 12 weeks resulted in lower fasting blood sugar levels in both healthy persons and those having a high risk of lifestyle-related diseases taking chlorella for 12 weeks (Mizoguchi 2008).

Some other studies have also found that chlorella supplements may help manage blood sugar control and enhance insulin sensitivity in those with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (Mameghani 2017, Mameghani 2014, Panahi 2012).

According to a double-blind, randomized, placebo-control study on 28 borderline-diabetic individuals, taking 8g of chlorella for 12 weeks demonstrated a difference in the expression level of 252 genes, including six linked with type 2 diabetes. Resistin is an insulin resistance inducer and its mRNA level was significantly lower in the Chlorella group as compared to the placebo group and correlated with the expression level of tumour necrosis factor-alpha, haemoglobin A1c, and interleukin-6, all of these are associated with glucose metabolism and inflammation (Itakura, 2015).

Conclusively, chlorella is capable to help with managing blood sugar levels.

IS BIOGENESIS NATURAL THE MOST SUSTAINABLE CHLORELLA PRODUCER IN THE WORLD?

 

BioGenesis Growth System with innovative ponds

Marine algae grow naturally in oceans and flowing river systems. Water movement is critical to algae growth, ensuring that they receive sufficient sunlight, air, and nutrients as they flow. Most conventional commercial algae farms use large mechanical paddle wheel type systems that are heavily dependent on electricity, to physically push the water around oval shaped “racetrack” type ponds, or alternatively the algae is grown in industrial Bioreactor type internal systems, often using sugars to replace natural sunlight. Both systems are reliant on fossil fuels.

BioGenesis Natural has an advanced energy-efficient hydrodynamic irrigation system that replicates natural river flow by using the pressure of water as the moving force. This mechanism is like nature where water flows from the top of mountains to the ground and moves across river plains to the ocean. It is

The system used by Biogenesis copies a river by using narrow maze-type channels that allow flowing the water back to the start of the maze for each circuit. This system enables algae growth as much similar and of high quality as done through the natural process.  

 

BioDynamic Cell Cracking System

Chlorella has a protective hard outer shell for keeping the nutrients intact and preserved within, but this hard outer cellulose covering can’t be digested by the human body. Breaking open the cell by cracking the cell wall makes the nutrients readily accessed by our bodies during digestion. Many Chlorella companies usually use a pulverizing or grinding process to break the cell wall however it is believed that this process may damage the chlorella cell resulting in nutrients becoming susceptible to nutritional losses and oxidation. 

The innovative BioDynamic cell cracking technology developed by BioGenesis gently splits the cell wall upon harvesting without any mechanical grinding or pulverizing, rather just utilizing a combination of ultrasonic technology and vacuum that ensures the maximum availability of the cell nutrients without any oxidation or nutritional loss risk forming a chlorella supplement as natural and fresh as possible for full bodily absorption.

Pollution and chemical-free zone for chlorella production:

Another important point employed by BioGenesis is that Chlorella is grown in a biosecure environment that is pollution free, chemical-free, and pesticide-free.

All these systems make it possible to produce pure and organic nutrient-rich chlorella supplements.

WHAT IS SPIRULINA?

Spirulina is a blue-green algae-like organism found in both fresh and marine waters. Its use as a food has a long history and has been reported to be used during the Aztec civilization. Spirulina is a filamentous microscopic photosynthesizing cyanobacterium rather than true algae and got its name from the helical or spiral filaments (Dillon 1995). It has a festive history with relevance to St. Patrick’s Day and is an important staple human diet that serves as a source of protein, vitamins, and primarily copper without causing any significant side effects (Karkos 2011).

SPIRULINA  PROTEIN NAMED PHYCOCYANIN

Phycocyanin is a highly dominant pigment protein in spirulina that may assist in many biological activities such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiplatelet, cholesterol-lowering, and liver-protecting effects (Grover, 2021)

SPIRULINA IS RICH IN OMEGA 6 FATTY ACIDS

Spirulina has high levels of Omega-6 fatty acids including gamma-linolenic acid that the body can’t produce naturally. Most people have an imbalanced ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 with Omega 6 being higher. Kent 2015, Patterson 2012)

 

ENDING REMARKS

Both chlorella and spirulina are nutritious supplements with several health benefits. Some people whom are have copper or Omega-6 essential fats deficiency may need to take spirulina but generally speaking, our recommendation is chlorella. It is superior for detoxifying cleansing and nourishing your body because its higher levels of chlorophyll, vitamins, antioxidants, micronutrients, and unique with Chlorella Growth Factor.

 

BioGenesis Chlorella is organically grown in the pristine Great Barrier Reef region of northern Australia. Bathed in golden sunshine the Chlorella thrive in the fresh spring water ponds. We have developed an innovative advanced energy efficient hydrodynamic growth system that replicates a natural river flow. When harvested we apply an advanced biodynamic technology to gently crack the hard outer cell wall making the nutrients fully available.

Australia’s only Licenced Chlorella grower. No.9298. Produced in a USA FDA accredited Bio Secure site.

 

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