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Chlorella is a genus of green algae. Due to the fact that Chlorella is high in protein, calories, fat, and other nutrients, there was once a great deal of interest in the possibility of developing Chlorella-based substitutes for certain foods. This would, in theory, be a simple way of delivering food with high caloric content to the Third World. Today, it is more popular as a staple of health food quackery and often marketed as a "superfood".
Hardcore woo-meisters will hawk it as part of detox diets or chelation regimens as it allegedly flushes "toxins" and heavy metals out of the body. Unsurprisingly, like many organisms, Chlorella produces its own toxins: lipopolysaccharides that can cause inflammation.
Like most food woo, Chlorella is advertised on any and every diet page that will take their advertising money. With no evidence whatsoever, it is sold as a supplement that makes weight loss easier, in that vague, non-committal, not testable way that is so popular with food wooists.
- Warren Belasco. Algae Burgers for a Hungry World? The Rise and Fall of Chlorella Cuisine. Technology and Culture, Vol. 38, No. 3, Jul. 1997
- Quick, purchase your Mercola BrandTM Chlorella here!
- Systemic LPS Causes Chronic Neuroinflammation and Progressive Neurodegeneration by Liya Qin et al. (2007) Glia 55(5): 453–462. doi:10.1002/glia.20467.