The recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has emerged as one of the most serious health issues that’s ever been experienced in the modern world. The highly infectious disease, which was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China, has now spread to almost every continent, causing thousands of deaths and leading to Government-enforced lockdowns in an effort to curb the rate of infection.
COVID-19 affects the respiratory tract, with infections ranging from the common cold, to bronchitis, pneumonia, and even severe acute respiratory syndrome. While some people who contract COVID-19 will only experience mild symptoms, there are many people who will get very sick very quickly. Those who are most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 include the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.
As COVID-19 is a new disease, there’s no existing immunity in our society, which is one of the reasons it’s having such a devastating impact. Spread from person-to-person via droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze, practising good hygiene such as regular and effective hand washing, along with distancing yourself from people as much as possible, are methods that are being encouraged to slow down the rate of infection.
Having a strong immune system is also important in reducing the symptoms of COVID-19, as it is for any other viral infection or disease. Maintaining a nutritious, well-balanced diet and physical activity can help, along with incorporating natural health supplements that have been proven to boost immunity.
Chlorella is one such supplement, with numerous studies showing that Chlorella has a positive effect on the immune system. While research hasn’t yet been conducted on Chlorella and COVID-19 specifically, here’s what the science says in relation to Chlorella’s anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties:
In a study on mice conducted by Miyazaki Medical College in Japan, Chlorella was found to have an antiviral effect. Mice were treated with 10mg of Chlorella vulgaris extracts and then exposed to murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection. The mice who were treated on days 3 and 1 before the virus exposure survived lethal infection. The protective effect of Chlorella was demonstrated by a decrease in the infectious viruses replicated in the organs, as well as a reduction in organ damage.
Resistance to infection
Research has shown promising results in relation to Chlorella's ability to help our bodies fight infection. A small study of 15 men conducted by researchers from Ryutsu Keizai University, Japan, looked at whether Chlorella increases the salivary secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) in humans, which plays an important role in fighting infection. The study found that the salivary SIgA concentrations were significantly elevated after Chlorella ingestion, suggesting that it may improve immune function in humans.
Enhanced healthy cell activity
Chlorella can enhance healthy cell activity which can stimulate the body’s immune response. A 2012 study published in Nutrition Journal gave healthy participants either 5g of Chlorella or a placebo each day. Researchers found that at the end of the 8-week trial, the Chlorella group exhibited higher levels of healthy cell activity, confirming a beneficial immunostimulatory effect of short-term Chlorella supplementation.
In 1990, Phytotherapy Research published a study that was conducted on patients with malignant brain tumours. The researchers discovered that patients who were given Chlorella were found to have had fewer respiratory infections and flu‐like illnesses over a two-year period. The evidence suggests that adding Chlorella to the diet provides important nutrients necessary to resist infection and restore immune function.
As we face the devastating consequences of this global pandemic, it’s important to follow the latest COVID-19 advice from the Australian Government in an effort to protect ourselves and others from infection. It’s also a good time to focus on doing what we can to boost our immunity naturally. A daily Chlorella supplement may be a great way to start.