Chlorella makes blood vessels supple
Supplements containing the microalgae Chlorella can probably reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease. At least the results of a Japanese human study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition would suggest this. According to this study, Chlorella makes the blood vessels suppler.
The suppler your blood vessels are, the less likely you are to develop cardiovascular disease. One indicator of the suppleness of blood vessels is the Brachial-Ankle Pulse Wave Velocity [baPWV]. If this is too high, you are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
The figure below was published by researchers at Tokyo Medical University in 2002. [Hypertens Res. 2002 May;25(3):359-64.] It gives an idea of the correlation between the baPWV and cardiovascular disease.
Scientists have been searching for years for nutrients that make blood vessels suppler. And studies have shown that modestly dosed cocktails of protective substances – such as 120 mg vitamin C, 30 mg vitamin E, 6 mg beta-carotene, 100 mcg selenium and 10 mg zinc daily – can make blood vessels more supple. [Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2004 Aug;24(8):1485-91.]
Chlorella is in fact a natural cocktail of these protective ingredients.
Researchers at Ryutsu Keizai University in Japan wanted to know whether Chlorella really does increase the suppleness of the blood vessels, so they gave 14 healthy and reasonably physically active students 30 Chlorella tablets a day for three months. The researchers used SunChlorella A, manufactured by the Japanese company of the same name, and yes, you've guessed it already: the company also paid for the study.
One tablet of SunChlorella A contains 200 mg Chlorella pyrenoidosa powder. That meant that the students ingested a total of 6 g Chlorella daily. They took half at breakfast and the other half at the evening meal.
On another occasion the Japanese gave their subjects a placebo.
The supplementation reduced the baPWV by about fifty m/s, according to the figures below. So Chlorella makes blood vessels suppler.
The effect is not so strong that Chlorella supplementation completely wipes out a high risk of cardiovascular disease, but it's theoretically strong enough to have some beneficial effect.
"Larger studies in older and hypertensive individuals are the next step", the Japanese write.
J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2013 Nov;53(3):166-9.
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