Easy green

Being green may not be easy – even if you’re an internationally
famous frog puppet. But when it comes to the “green food”
supplement called chlorella, being green is a very good thing to be.

On the HSI Forum, a member named Gidget asks if anyone has
used chlorella, wonders what sort of results they had, and adds this
question: “Has anyone done any research on chlorella?”

The quick answer to that last question: Yes, we’ve seen some
research. But not nearly enough for a supplement that shows
tremendous promise as a natural detoxifier, immune system
booster, and perhaps even a cancer fighter.

Pain relief

In the e-Alert “Giving and Taking Care” (9/16/04), a member
asked for advice on how to help her father get some much-needed
nutrition after his appetite was suppressed by radiation treatments
for lung cancer. HSI Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., suggested
chlorella, which he described as nutrient dense and easily digested
(not to mention “inexpensive and excellent”).

Chlorella is a freshwater algae that contains such a wide variety of
vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids that it’s considered
to be a nearly perfect whole food. Chlorella is also the richest
source of chlorophyll on earth.

In the e-Alert “Supplement From the Sea Can Treat Many
‘Incurable’ Conditions” (12/6/01), I told you how animal studies
have revealed that chlorella may stimulate the production of
immune system factors like macrophages, leukocytes, and
interferon. But in recent years, chlorella research has moved
beyond animal trials with studies that have examined the
therapeutic effects of chlorella on fibromyalgia.

The primary symptoms of fibromyalgia involve inflammation or
pain in joints and muscles, often accompanied by fatigue. This
chronic condition is difficult to diagnose and not easy to treat.

In two separate clinical trials conducted in Japan, researchers
found that daily therapy with 10 grams of chlorella in tablet form
and 100 milliliters of chlorella liquid extract brought
improvements in pain, sleep, and anxiety – all common measures
of fibromyalgia severity. After three months, 62 percent of the
fibromyalgia patients taking the chlorella scored better on pain
assessment measures – an improvement that was not seen when the
same patients took a placebo. Overall, 71 percent of the
participants said that chlorella helped to improve their
fibromyalgia symptoms, with no side effects.

Inflammation relief

In the 2001 e-Alert, I also told you about chlorella research on
patients with ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the large intestine,
characterized by abdominal pain and chronic diarrhea).

In a study of eight people with ulcerative colitis, researchers found
that chlorella significantly improved patients’ symptoms. Each
subject took 10 grams of chlorella in tablet form and 100 milliliters
of chlorella liquid extract daily. After two months, the subjects
completed a 32-question survey, noting the supplement’s effect on
four areas: symptoms related to the primary bowel disturbance,
systemic symptoms, emotional impact, and social impact.

The results showed strong improvement across the board. The
participants also reported that the severity of their attacks lessened
considerably soon after they began taking chlorella, and that their
symptoms continued to reduce or remained stable over the course
of the study.

Cancer and chemo

Chlorella’s use as a cancer-fighting agent is still relatively

According to The Cancer Chronicles – published by the renowned
cancer researcher Ralph Moss, Ph.D. – chlorella has been shown to
significantly prolong the lives of mice implanted with cancer cells.
In one study, the benefits of chlorella were particularly strong
when chlorella was given before the cancer was introduced,
indicating a potential course of cancer prevention.

Dr. Moss also reports that more than 40 years ago researchers
found chlorella to be effective in reversing the fatigue associated
with chemotherapy. Chlorella has been shown to quickly restore
white blood cells that are killed by chemotherapy, without
affecting the potency of the chemo.

When using a natural agent such as chlorella as a therapy for
cancer, ulcerative colitis, fibromyalgia or any other health
problem, it’s always best to consult a doctor or a trusted health
care professional. Chlorella is not known to cause side effects, but
its use may be associated with mild adverse reactions triggered by
the detoxification of pesticides and heavy metals stored in the


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and another thing

When it comes to antidepressant drugs, some people are thinking
outside the box. In fact, they’d rather not bother with the box at all.

The recent debate over prescribing antidepressant drugs to children
heated up this month when FDA officials announced that the
agency “generally supports” the recommendations of an advisory
panel that came right out and said what everyone (including the
FDA) has known for more than a year: Antidepressants may
increase the risk of suicidal behavior in some adolescents and

By an overwhelming majority, the 23-member panel voted to
recommend that the FDA require a “black box warning” on the
drug information flyer that comes with each prescription. As the
name implies, this warning is set off by a black box, designed to
catch the eye and highlight the importance of the warning.

But according to a Reuters report on the panel’s recommendation,
some experts have expressed concerns that this type of warning
could alarm doctors and parents and discourage them from using
the drugs.

How’s that again? Don’t those experts understand the concept of
what a warning is intended to do? It’s a warning! It’s SUPPOSED
to be alarming.

Maybe they’d like the box better if it weren’t so severe. Instead of
an ominous black box, maybe they’d rather see a sunny yellow
box. Or maybe a pink box with a border of yellow smiley faces.
That wouldn’t be as scary at all. And gosh, we wouldn’t want to
send a message that would actually make people think that there
were any DANGERS associated with these drugs.

In the end, all the hand wringing by experts over the size, shape or
color of the warning box is really beside the point, because earlier
this year it was reported that FDA officials had decided not to go
public with an internal analysis that showed a clear risk of suicidal
tendencies among young people who took certain antidepressant
drugs. (See the e-Alert “Safety for Sale” 4/12/04.)

The controversial fallout from that report did more than any
official black box could do to remind the general public that
antidepressants aren’t happy pills, but rather powerful drugs with
powerful consequences.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson
Health Sciences Institute


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(if you can’t open here use the HTML links listed below)


“Nutritional Supplementation with Chlorella Pyrenoidosa for
Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled,
Crossover Study” Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain, Vol. 9, No. 4,
2001, immunesupport.com
Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association; Vol. 4, No. 2,
Summer 2001,
“Chlorella Shows Promise as Anti-Cancer Supplement” Ralph W.
Moss, Ph.D., The Cancer Chronicles #23, September 1994,
“Chlorella: A Natural Wonder Food” Dr. Joseph Mercola,
“Chlorella” The American Cancer Society, cancer.org