Chlorella Jewel of the East

Chlorella is the highest known source of chlorophyll, about 2 percent by weight, ten times the amount found in alfalfa. By Dr. Bernard Jensen

As a clinical nutritionist with over 50 years in sanitarium work, one of my main interests has been to find foods that help my patients recover from their ailments and remain as healthy as possible the rest of their lives-hopefully, the rest of their long, happy lives.

I have traveled through fifty-five countries in search of the secrets of health and longevity. I look for those special foods that are most effective in reversing disease and building high-level health. These are the foods that promote longevity, and chlorella is one of the best of them.

Chlorella is an edible microalgae discovered in the late 1800s by a Dutch biologist. Because it was found to be over 50 percent protein, German scientists during World Wars I and II investigated it as a possible means of alleviating wartime food shortages. After World War II, the Carnegie Institute in Washington, DC picked up where the German scientists left off and found a way to grow chlorella commercially. The Japanese took over the development of chlorella at that point and have made on of the finest health food supplements in the world from it.

I first heard about chlorella in the 1950s. At that time, I was traveling from city to city, giving lectures on nutrition with Dr. Leon DeSeblo, a California medical doctor in his 70s who had studied the long-life factors in foods. For several years, he had experimented with chlorella and other edible algae, and he used chlorella daily as a dietary supplement. A strong, vigorous man, he finally passed away at the age of 107.

Chlorella is a most unusual single-celled plant, with a two billion-year history on this planet, as scientists have discovered from fossils. Under fertile growing conditions, each chlorella cell divides into four new cells every 20 to 24 hours. This amounts to about 40 tons per acre annual harvest, as compared to under half a ton of soybeans, or two tons of rice, per acre per year. Of course, chlorella contains over 50 percent protein, a much higher percentage than either soybeans or rice. It contains 19 of 22 known amino acids essential to human nutrition.

Arsenic poisoning has been successfully detoxified with chlorella.

The nutritional profile of chlorella is impressive. Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, C, E, pantothenic acid, folic acid, biotin, PABA and inositol are found in chlorella. Over 124 micrograms of B-12 and over 55,000 I.U. of vitamin A are found per 100 grams, along with 221 mg of calcium, 315 mg of magnesium, 130 mg of iron, 71 mg of zinc, 04. Mg of iodine and 895 mg of phosphorus. This is a rich harvest for health, but here is more.

Chlorella is the highest known source of chlorophyll, about 2 percent per weight, ten times the amount found in alfalfa. Chlorophyll is effective in detoxifying the liver and bloodstream, cleansing the bowel and feeding the friendly bowel flora. Iron is more easily absorbed from the bowel in the presence of chlorophyll. Several years ago, during a visit to Taiwan, I was told that numerous cases of arsenic poisoning, due to contaminated well water supplies, were successfully detoxified with chlorella.

By far, the most fascinating feature of chlorella is found in its recorded cases of healing and prevention of disease.

During a three-month cruise, 458 Japanese sailors of the marine defense fleet were given tow grams of chlorella tablets daily, while 513 sailors on sister ships served as controls. Receiving no chlorella. The cruise was made in hot, tropical weather and the men worked hard. Over the 3-month voyage, 903 colds were reported among the 513 controls, 41 percent more than the chlorella-supplemented group, with 571 colds. Average weight loss among controls was 3.31 lb. While in the chlorella group, it was 1.5 lb. The chlorella-supplemented sailor showed a significantly higher resistance to cold viruses and weight loss. (1.)

Since this experiment, researchers have found a substance in chlorella that appears to increase production of interferon, a chemical in the body, which protects cells from harmful viruses. (2)

At Kyushu University Medical College in Japan, chlorellas was given to five patients with wounds that refused to heal under conventional medical treatment, including antibiotics. In three cases, the wounds healed satisfactorily in less than a month, while two of the more stubborn cases required about 2 months to heal.

Effective treatment of peptic ulcers using chlorella is now well established in Japan, as well as treatment of duodenal ulcers and gastritis. (3) Typically, treatment consists of taking chlorella along with prescribed medication to hasten healing. X-rays have been used to verify complete healing. For example, 76-year-old Sjiro Narita was hospitalized for three months with duodenal ulcers, went home, and suffered a relapse the following year. This time, he took chlorella along with his ulcer medication, and his symptoms disappeared. A medical examination confirmed complete healing.

Chlorella has been used in treating hypertension, diabetes, hypoglycemia, asthma, constipation and elevated cholesterol levels. Recent research indicates the substances in chlorella stimulate the natural immune system to protect the body from cancer. (4)

There is a fascinating reason why chlorella seems to reverse or protect from many diseases.

In the 1950s, Dr. Fujimaki of the People's Scientific Research Center in Tokyo separated a substance from a hot water extract of chlorella by electrophoresis, which was later named Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF). This extract was found to be rich in nucleic factors, a fact, which make sense of two different experimental research findings about chlorella.

Early experiments with young rats, rabbits, chicks and pigs showed that adding 5 percent to 10 percent chlorella to their regular feed brought dramatic increases in weight gain and size ranging from 10 percent to 47 percent over controls. Dr. Yoshio Yamagishi then arranged to try chlorella on healthy 10 year old students, 22 boys and 18 girls, at Okuno Primary School in Tokyo, while another group of 22 boys and 15 girls the same age served as controls. Two grams of chlorella were given daily to the test group (except Sundays and holidays) for a total of 112 days.

The height and weight of all children in the experiment were recorded monthly. At the end of the experiment, the average increase for boys taking chlorella was one inch in height and 2.3 lb in weight, while the boys in the control group grew 0.6 inch in height and 1.6 lb in weight. The girls of both groups gained an average of 0.9 inch in height, but the girls who took chlorella gained 4.2 lb on the average, while the controls gained 2.7 lb. (5)

What this experiment showed is that human children as well as young animals and chickens experienced a measurable growth spurt while taking chlorella supplements.

This sheds light on why chlorella works to stimulate healing of many diseases. The same substances and processes that promote growth in young animals and children also promote repair of damaged tissue in mature animals and humans. (The processes of detoxification and immune system stimulation, also associated with chlorella, are not part of the tissue repair process itself, even though they help make tissue repair possible.) Apparently one or more components in CGF promote growth and tissue repair.

When we realize that CGF is primarily made up of nucleic material from chlorella cells, the findings of Dr. Benjamin Frank, in his research on the aging process, help us understand what is going on here.

Dr. Frank believes that the loss of energy and the physical deterioration associated with aging are due to the increasing breakdown of nucleic factors (DNA, RNA) that are needed for healthy cell functioning. When he put his patients on a diet rich in DNA and RNA foods, he expected to see improvements in energy levels and well being as the nucleic components were made available for repair and replacement of cellular nucleic acids. (DNA and RNA in all living things are made up of the same basic chemical building blocks.)

To his surprise, Dr. Frank found that not only did his patients begin to gain back more youthful energy and appearance, but health problems such as arthritis, emphysema, heart disease, deteriorating vision, memory loss and depression simply disappeared in many of them.

Dr. Frank recommended using high RNA foods such as canned or fresh sardines, salmon, other seafood, legumes, wheat germ and green, leafy vegetables at mealtimes. Canned sardines have been thought to be the food highest in RNA, at 590 mg of RNA per 100 grams. (6)

But, the latest research by Dr. Minchinori of Japan has reported levels of 10 percent RNA and 3 percent DNA in chlorella. This means chlorella is 17 times higher in RNA than canned sardines! The same long-life factors we find in certain foods are highest in chlorella.

It is interesting to notice the overlapping of diseases that have responded to Dr. Frank's RNA-rich diet and those that have responded to regular dietary supplements of chlorella and CGF. I feel this is far more than coincidence.

Of course, we find out that nucleic acids aren't everything. They need to be taken together with a balanced nutritional regimen. It is of absolute importance that they be used together with the proper enzymes, peptides, sufficient vitamin B-12 and other vitamins and minerals.

One disadvantage of chlorella in the past has been its limited digestibility due to a tough outer wall, which has reduced the availability of nutrients for assimilation to around 40 percent. In recent years, a patented process for breaking down the cell wall has increased digestibility to 80 percent, effectively doubling the good we can get out of it.

Many of those who have reported overcoming chronic diseases have taken both chlorella tablets and liquid CGF daily. CGF contains the nucleic factors in a more concentrated form.

Keep in mind that the fast pace of modern life, high stress, poor diet, junk foods, drugs, smoking, alcohol abuse, pollution and various negative lifestyle factors common in our time hasten the breakdown of our DNA, RNA and immune systems, creating an unnecessary vulnerability to disease and breakdown. We are capable of breaking down the body faster than it can be built up with nutritious foods and powerful food supplements such as chlorella.

We must learn to live wisely, even though it isn't always possible to slow down as much as we should in this technological age. I think it is interesting that chlorella, the "jewel of the East," has been developed largely be Japan, one of the most technologically advanced countries on our planet, at a time when we need such a supplement more than any other time in history.

Chlorella, detoxifies, stimulates the immune system, improves bowel function, enhances tissue repair, guard's cellular integrity and promotes longevity-without undesirable side effects. What more could we ask?


  1. "Changes induced by Chlorella on the Body Weight and incidence of Colds Among Naval Trainees." Midorf, 1, 1970.
  2. Umexawa, et al., "Physico-Chemical and Biological Properties of Chron A, an Acid Polysaccharide Originating from Chlorella," Chemotherapy, Vol. 30, No. 9, Sept 1982
  3. Yamagishi Yoshio "The Treatment of Peptic Ulcers by Chlorella,: Nihon III Shimpo. No 1997, 1962.
  4. Yamaguchi Shimizu, et al., "immuno Modulation by Single Cellular Algae (Chlorella Pyrenoldosa) and Anti-tumor Activities for Tumor-Bearing Mice," paper presented at the 3rd International Congress of Developmental and Comparative Immunology, Reims, France: July 1985.
  5. Yamada, Yoshio, et al., 'School Children's Growth and the Value of Chlorella." Nihon III shimpo, No. 2196, 1988.
  6. Frank, Dr. Benjamin, "Dr. Frank's No-Aging Diet, B of A Communications Co., Baton Rouge, LA (1981).

In regard to food, many people use chlorella as the basis of a weight loss program since it is high in protein and vitamins and minerals. If weight loss is desired, the tablets should be taken with a glass of water before meals that consist of vegetables, cereals, salads, and fruits.

Our Oriental neighbors certainly recognize the advantages of partaking daily of this small, green, one-celled algae and perhaps Americans will likewise. Chlorella may well be Manna from Japan!

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