Is This the Japanese Secret to a Longer, Healthier Life?
Some of the healthiest and longest-lived people in the world live in Japan. On average, the Japanese live 70 years without the health issues that hit Americans years – even decades – sooner. And the Japanese are six times more likely to live to 100 than Americans.
Why the big difference? One reason may be that the traditional Japanese diet is rich in…
Now, don’t say, “Yuck,” yet. I’m not talking about the stuff that grows inside a neglected fish tank. Seaweed is a popular vegetable in Japan. But about 10 million Japanese also take a type of algae as a nutritional supplement.
It’s a remarkable little plant called chlorella.
To begin with, chlorella is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s almost 60% protein. And it’s a complete protein. It contains adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids, a rarity in plants.
Chlorella is loaded with vitamin A. It also contains plenty of vitamins C and E. So it offers antioxidant power. Plus, it delivers lots of B vitamins and minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
Chlorella is best known for its detox power. It’s a naturally rich source of chlorophyll, Nature’s detox champ. And studies show chlorella supports your liver – your body’s own detox center.
- In a recent hospital study, people with liver problems took chlorella for 12 weeks. Almost all showed improved liver enzyme levels – a sign of better liver health.1
- In a study of a different liver problem, doctors got similar results. They also found that chlorella promotes healthy fat levels in the liver.2
Obviously, the Japanese are on to something with chlorella.
But that’s just the beginning. Research shows chlorella may contribute to better health in other ways…
- University researchers found volunteers taking chlorella had higher levels of a key immune system cell.3
- Doctors have tested chlorella on pregnant women. They’ve discovered chlorella promotes lower levels of certain toxins in breast milk. It also appears to boost key immune cell levels.4
- Smoking damages your body’s antioxidant defenses. Doctors in Korea gave chlorella to a group of male smokers. In 6 weeks, their antioxidant levels were up and DNA damage was down.5
- Doctors gave a group of pregnant Japanese women chlorella supplements. These women had fewer cases of high blood pressure and iron deficiency than a second group who didn’t take chlorella.6
But the most intriguing results of all may have come from a test-tube study in Malaysia.
Scientists there discovered that chlorella may help preserve telomere length in human cells.7 This is important because longer telomeres – the protective “caps” on chromosomes – are linked to longer cell life.
If you’d like to add chlorella to your diet, don’t worry. You don’t have to slurp down slimy seaweed. Chlorella is widely available as a nutritional supplement. You can get it alone, or as part of a health-boosting “greens” mix.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Azocar, J. and Diaz, A., “Efficacy and safety of Chlorella supplementation in adults with chronic hepatitis C virus infection,” World J Gastroenterol. Feb 21, 2013; 19(7): 1085-1090.
2 Panahi, Y., et al, “Investigation of the effects of Chlorella vulgaris supplementation in patients with non-alcoholic Fatty liver disease: a randomized clinical trial,” Hepatogastroenterology. Oct 2012; 59(119): 2099-2103.
3 Otsuki, T., et al, “Salivary secretory immunoglobulin A secretion increases after 4-weeks ingestion of chlorella-derived multicomponent supplement in humans: a randomized cross over study,” Nutr J. Sep 9, 2011; 10: 91.
Nakano, S., et al, “Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) supplementation decreases dioxin and increases immunoglobulin a concentrations in breast milk,” J Med Food. Mar 2007; 10(1): 134-142.
5 Lee, S.H., et al, “Six-week supplementation with Chlorella has favorable impact on antioxidant status in Korean male smokers,” Nutrition. Feb 2010 ;26(2): 175-183.
6 Nakano, S., et al, “Chlorella pyrenoidosa supplementation reduces the risk of anemia, proteinuria and edema in pregnant women,” Plant Foods Hum Nutr. Mar 2010; 65(1): 25-30.
7 Makpol, S., et al, “Chlorella vulgaris modulates hydrogen peroxide-induced DNA damage and telomere shortening of human fibroblasts derived from different aged inpiduals,” Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. Jul 3, 2009; 6(4): 560-572.
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