How Chlorella Could Help Cholesterol and Triglycerides
People who live with high cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease, should know that a new study offers a treatment option for this and other serious health issues. If you want to lower your cholesterol and other lipid levels and do it naturally, the green supplement known as chlorella can help. In fact, this natural supplement can lower both cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
In a recent double-blind study, the investigators found that levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides declined significantly among people who took supplements of chlorella. Other health benefits were noted as well.
Chlorella is a type of freshwater alga that is rich in antioxidants, including the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and alpha-carotene. It also contains a significant amount of iron and B-complex vitamins and is said to boost the levels of a protein called albumin in the bloodstream. This latter benefit is said to help protect the body against cancer, arthritis, hepatitis, anemia, and other serious health problems.
The study involved 63 individuals who were given either supplements of chlorella (5 mg daily) or a placebo for four weeks. The authors measured total cholesterol, triglyceride, apolipoprotein, lutein/zeaxanthin, and alpha-carotene levels at the start and end of the trial. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and alpha-carotene are antioxidants that have been widely studied for their health benefits.
At the end of the trial, the authors reported that significant declines had occurred in levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides along with an increase in the levels of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. The participants also showed important reductions in their levels of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, non high-density lipoprotein, and apolipoprotein.
What these findings could mean
Reductions in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as VLDL, non high-density lipoprotein, and apolipoprotein, can be important in supporting and promoting overall health. In particular, these factors can be involved in the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, diabetes, vision problems, thyroid disorders, and other serious conditions.
Increases in the levels of lutein and zeaxanthin may be beneficial in reducing the risk of macular degeneration or other eye disorders. In addition, the authors of a new study published in Nutritional Neuroscience reported that while both of these antioxidants have been shown to have a role in both cognitive and visual function, they also are instrumental in auditory functioning as well.
The bottom line
Chlorella supplements could be helpful in reducing levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and thus the risk of developing conditions associated with elevated levels of these factors. Before you take chlorella supplements, consult a qualified healthcare provider about the best form to consider and the dosage. This warning is especially important for anyone who is taking blood thinners or who suffers with any type of blood disorder.
Ryul NH et al. Impact of daily chlorella consumption on serum lipid and carotenoid profiles in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults: a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Nutrition Journal 2014; 13:57
Wong JC et al. Lutein and zeaxanthin status and auditory threstholds in a sample of young healthy adults. Nutritional Neuroscience 2014 July 10.