Chemotherapy is a lifeline for many people diagnosed with cancer. But while it's widely used, this treatment comes with a whole host of unpleasant side effects ranging from nausea to hair loss. With the body being put under so much stress during chemotherapy, it's important to give it the nutrition it needs to overcome the toll of cancer and intrusive treatments.
That's where Chlorella could be of help. This blue-green algae has been shown to help negate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation thanks to its impressive nutritional credentials and natural detoxing properties. Here we explore the potential of Chlorella to support your health during chemotherapy, aiding a full and fast recovery.
What is Chlorella?
Like its cousin Spirulina, Chlorella is a blue-green algae that's packed with some incredible health benefits. Superfoods like Turmeric and Maca might be ancient, but as a single-celled, algae Chlorella takes the crown for one of the oldest nutritional supplements around.
Not only that, but it's also one of the most nutritionally dense. Why? Its color explains a lot. This algae's distinctive blue-green hue comes from a high concentration of chlorophyll, which has the potential to accelerate wound healing, improve digestion, and improve liver detoxification.
Add Chlorella into your diet and you'll also enjoy a boost of vitamins and minerals that your body needs on a daily basis. In fact, Chlorella is more nutrient-dense per gram than almost all your favorite superfood greens, including spinach, kale and broccoli.
What is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer. Often paired with surgery, radiotherapy or immunotherapy, chemotherapy is used to shrink tumours or help mop up cancer cells following other forms of treatment.
Chemotherapy works by causing cancer cells to undergo a type of forced suicide, called apoptosis. Unfortunately, however, this aggressive treatment frequently causes side effects. These may include:
- Hair loss
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep problems
The severe side effects associated with chemotherapy are due to the drugs’ poor selectivity for cancerous tissue over healthy tissue.
Chlorella and Chemotherapy
Chlorella has been shown to support chemotherapy in a number of ways. Thanks to its unique nutritional profile, there's evidence that it can help fight certain cancers, as well as helping the body adapt to chemotherapy.
May Contain Anti-Cancer Properties
As Chlorella is proven to increase the white cell content of the body, it may help in the fight against cancer. A 1998 study in Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy showed that Chlorella helped to slow down the spread of cancer in mice, while 2009 research concluded that it was effective in treating liver cancer in rats. Although more human studies need to be carried out, Chlorella shows promise in supporting the results of chemotherapy.
Could Help Detox the Body
Research suggests that Chlorella may help detox the blood – particularly important when your body is undergoing the toxic side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The detoxing potential of Chlorella was shown in a 2008 study published in The Journal of Medicinal Food. Researchers found that when they gave rats chlorella as well as cadmium, they displayed lower levels of liver damage. This ability to detoxify the body means that Chlorella could aid recovery after cancer treatment, helping to prevent the cancer from returning.
A Natural Immune Booster?
One of the side effects of chemotherapy is a weakened immune system, meaning you're more susceptible to potentially dangerous infections. Luckily Chlorella has been shown to have the potential to help boost immunity. It's believed the algae supports the immune system thanks to its ability to increase interferon production, which in turns stimulates macrophages and T-lymphocytes.
While they may not be the cure for cancer, certain superfoods contain the nutrients needed to support the body's recovery and boost the success of treatment. Chlorella is one of these superfoods. Packed with nutrients, antioxidants and detoxing ability, chlorella tablets and chlorella powder can help the body recover after chemotherapy, and maybe even help ward off cancer cells. Check out our post on The Best Chlorella Supplement brand.