Spirulina and Chlorella – Algae of Distinction?
Spirulina and Chlorella belong to a family of tiny organisms, many millions of years old, and generally classified as algae. They are the two most commonly, commercially cultivated algae produced for today’s health food and health supplement market. Many claims have been made for the truly remarkable beneficial properties of these two organisms, as health supplements and as ‘neutroceuticals’.
If all the hype is to be believed, they could be the answer to many of today’s nutrition induced health problems and diseases.
They could be the instant fix for all our ills!
What are Algae?
Algae are classified according to colour. Spirulina is one of the blue – green algae, while Chorella is one of the green algae. There are other important differences between Spirulina and Chlorella. More later. The colour pigment is important , however, in the health claims, as these elements are said to be responsible for helping to boost the immune system and to help remove toxins from the body.
Spirulina and Chlorella – Ancient History
Spirulina is many millions of years older than Chlorella and scientists believe that it came into being at a time when plants and animals began to differentiate. As a result Spirulina has no hard cell wall characteristic of plants, though like a true plant it grows and spreads by photosynthesis.
Chorella, on the other hand, does have the hard cell wall and is therefore much further along the evolutionary road to being a plant than is Spirulina. It too survives by the process of photosynthesis.
Spirulina and Chlorella – How do they grow?
All plants, algae and even some bacteria use photosynthesis. Animals breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Photosynthesis is the process by which a organism containing the green pigment chlorophyll, changes chemicals and nutrients into food, using carbon dioxide and sunlight, and giving off oxygen as a waste product. Plants clean up the world, as well as feeding us.
Spirulina and Chlorella – What’s in them?
Both Spirulina and Chlorella contain very high levels of protein, wide variety of minerals, trace elements, essential fatty acids, vitamins, anti oxidants and pigments. They are said to be the most complete food source, in themselves, for human and animal alike.
Spirulina and Chlorella – What are they good for?
They have come to be classified as superfoods which are health supplements, containing just about everything a human body needs to thrive, particularly for those people on less than perfectly balanced diets, ( all of us?) of which there are many in the west, or those on very poor diets, as in developing countries.
As well as being second to none as nutritional supplements, claims have been made for their ability to detox the body, improve the immune system, rebuild nerve tissue, improve mental function, fight against cancer, help in osteoporosis and arthritis, weight loss, amongst many others. The answer to everything, in other words.