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News - Chlorella found to have favourable impact on smokers' antioxidant status

By Holly Taylor BSc(Hons) DipCNM MBANT NTCC

Chlorella is a single-celled green microalgae that is rich in chlorophyll, minerals and protein. It has been around for about two billion years, but is now specially grown and harvested to meet the increased demands of the food supplement industry.

As a potent package of nutrients and beneficial phytochemicals, Chlorella has great potential as a wholefood antioxidant. This was the focus of a recent study, which aimed to investigate whether six weeks of Chlorella supplementation can protect smokers against oxidative damage.

The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted using a group of 52 smokers, aged 20-65. The participants were given 6.3g of Chlorella or a dummy pill every day for six weeks. Blood samples were taken at the beginning and end of the supplementation period, so the researchers could measure levels of antioxidant vitamins and markers of oxidative stress.

The results showed that Chlorella supplementation increased the participants’ blood levels of vitamin C by 44% and vitamin E by 15.7%, as well as increasing the levels of antioxidant enzymes present in the participants’ red blood cells.

Commenting on their findings, the researchers wrote: “Chlorella supplementation resulted in the conservation of plasma antioxidant nutrient status and improvement in erythrocyte antioxidant enzyme activities in subjects. Therefore, our results are supportive of an antioxidant role for Chlorella and indicate that Chlorella is an important wholefood supplement that should be included as a key component of a healthy diet.”

Article References

Lee SH. Six-week supplementation with Chlorella has favourable impact on antioxidant status in Korean male smokers. Nutrition. 2010; 26(2):175-83.

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