Chlorella vs. Spirulina- What's The Difference?
By: Brandi Black, RHN
1 August, 2015 by
Chlorella vs. Spirulina- What's The Difference?
Sun Chlorella USA

When it comes to superfood nutritional supplements and plant based protein, algae is all the rage. And with so many types of algae in the form of natural health supplements, how do you know which will benefit you most and why?

Let's take a look at two of the most popular algae nutritional supplements today and compare chlorella and spirulina.

Benefits of Chlorella and Spirulina

High in Chlorophyll
Both chlorella and spirulina have a dark green hue, which is given to them from the life-giving nutrient, chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is an excellent blood cleanser and purifier due to the antioxidants it contains. The higher a food is in chlorophyll, the more cleansing it will be.

Blood Sugar Balance
The plant based protein contained in both chlorella and spirulina are helpful for blood sugar imbalances such as hypoglycemia and diabetes.

Multiple Uses
Both spirulina and chlorella can be taken in tablets, capsules and powders and used in smoothies. Spirulina and chlorella powder can also be used as an additional ingredient in recipes such as salad dressings and even baked goods.

According to a recent study, the chlorophyll content in both spirulina and chlorella may be helpful in supporting the immune system and antiviral conditions.[1]

Chlorella's Unique Properties

- Chlorella contains more than twice the amount of chlorophyll than spirulina. This means it is a powerful detoxifier, and may be helpful in addressing liver stagnation.

- Chlorella also contains twice the amount of nucleic acids than spirulina, which is an essential nutrient to cellular growth, repair and renewal. Since the body's production of nucleic acid declines as we age, chlorella may be useful in supporting the aging process by providing this critical nutrient to cellular health.

- Entirely unique to chlorella is Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF), which explains why chlorella can multiply and grow so rapidly under photosynthesis.According to Paul Pitchford, author of Healing With Whole Foods, this growth mechanism suggests that CGFin fact promotes growth, therefore supporting growth patterns in children and regeneration where injuries have occuredAccording to Paul Pitchford, author of Healing With Whole Foods, this growth mechanism suggests that CGFin fact promotes growth, therefore supporting growth patterns in children and regeneration where injuries have occured[2]

- Unlike spirulina, chlorella's cell wall binds to heavy metals, environmental toxins and PCB's to safely eliminate them from the body.

- Chlorella is also higher in omega 3 essential fatty acids than spirulina, which are needed by the body for cognitive function, cardiovascular and hormonal health.Essential fatty acids must be obtained through diet, as the body cannot produce them on its own. 

- We commonly see a lack of omega 3's and an excess of omega 6 being consumed in today's diet from vegetable oils and processed foods. Both essential fats are needed in a very specific ratio for optimal health.When too many omega 6's are being consumed without a sufficient amount of omega 3's, symptoms such as heart problems, mood disorders and poor memory can result.

- Chlorella can help restore this delicate balance of essential fatty acids required for optimal health.

Spirulina's Unique Properties

- Spirulina differs from chlorella in the type of plant protein it contains, called biliprotein. Biliprotein is a predigested protein that provides the body with antioxidants.
- Spirulina is a blue-green algae, that has nourishing properties to help build the blood.
- With a smaller amount of chlorophyll than chlorella, spirulina is considered to be more of a "builder” rather than a "cleanser”, although it still has the ability to mildly cleanse the organs of detoxification.
- While chlorella is high in omega 3's, spirulina is one of the richest sources of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an omega 6 essential fatty acid that fights against inflammation.

GLA is not to be confused with the linoleic acid (LA), the form of omega 6's found in vegetable oils, corn and other animal products that promote inflammation.

The benefits of chlorella and spirulina are endless.

Both types of algae in the form of natural health supplements can benefit your health in several ways.
Choosing the best algae nutritional supplement will depend on your unique health goals. To achieve enhanced nutritional results, you may want to consider taking both spirulina and chlorella together.

About Brandi Black, RHN
Brandi Black is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist from Vancouver, B.C. Experiencing her own health challenges at a young age led her to become passionate about educating on the healing properties of food, and how to achieve hormone balance, clear skin and sustainable weight loss naturally. In her spare time you'll find Brandi writing in her blog and hanging out with her teacup chihuahua, Coconut.

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[2] Pitchford, Paul Healing With Whole Foods Third Edition Berkeley, California. North Atlantic Books 1993, 1996, 2002. Print. 

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