The Chlorella Cell Wall
By: Brandi Wagner, RHN
1 June, 2016 by
The Chlorella Cell Wall
Sun Chlorella USA

Chlorella is a single-celled, freshwater algae that has survived on Earth for more than two billion years[1]. Just think about that number for a moment: Can you imagine anything that has the capability to survive on Earth for that long? This makes chlorella one of the oldest plant forms known to us on earth. In comparison, the evolution of humans only began 6-7 million years ago[2].

It's speculated that planet Earth faced an extreme extinction around 540 million years ago [3], prompted by the evolution of organisms. This means that chlorella must have properties serving as extremely efficient survival mechanisms, strong enough to withstand the ever changing conditions on our planet. In other words, chlorella is the original superfood.

The Chlorella Cell Wall

If you're confused as to how chlorella survived on Earth for such a long stretch of time, a tough outer shell may begin to offer an explanation.

Chlorella's cell wall is made out of cellulose, an extremely fibrous and insoluble type of polysaccharide. This powerful cell wall has, without a doubt, played a key role in chlorella's survival. It can also explain why chlorella's existence has not been interfered with throughout the process of evolution.

While the chlorella cell wall has allowed the organism to thrive on Earth, it is much too tough for the human body to break down. As humans, we lack the necessary enzyme to efficiently digest cellulose and therefore cannot receive the health benefits of chlorella beyond the cell wall.

Chlorella: A Natural Health Product You Don't Want to Miss Out On

Although it sounds impossible to digest, chlorella contains high concentrations of chlorophyll, plant-based protein, antioxidant vitamins that act as immune system boosters, Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF), magnesium and beta glucans - several nutrients your body can use to produce more energy and healthier cells. For this reason, it's a superfood and natural energy supplement that should not be skipped when it comes to your health and wellness. Chlorella also helps alkalinize the body, provide oxygen to cells and binds to and safely removes the toxic heavy metals that we ingest from our food and water supply and the air we breathe.

Now that we know the benefits of chlorella, we are left with the question of how chlorella can become more digestible so we can reap the benefits of this highly intelligent plant food.

The Only Way Chlorella Can Be Digested

In order for the human body to be able to efficiently digest, absorb and assimilate the nutrients from chlorella, the tough chlorella cell wall must be processed. Naturally, an effective processing method for pre-digesting the outer shell must be in place for this to happen.

Various processing methods have been created to allow the cell wall to open to leave us with a highly nutritional supplement. Without an efficient processing method, chlorella is simply of no use to our healthy diets and cannot live up to its full potential as one of the best supplements for energy.

The Problem With Chlorella Supplements Today

As with any of the various nutritional supplements on the market today, the method of processing matters. The way a natural supplement is processed can make or break its nutritional use, value and safety, and precautions are especially important with chlorella products.

Multiple methods have been discovered that work to break down the cell wall and make chlorella digestible. The only problem with this is that while effective in breaking the chlorella cell wall down, not all processing methods are safe and keep the essential nutrients in tact to serve as beneficial natural health product.

One method commonly used to help destroy chlorella's cell wall is blanching. Blanching breaks down the outer shell with extreme heat; however, the heat also has the ability to destroy the nutrients in chlorella at the same time. This mechanism simultaneously eliminates the nutrients located within the cell wall.

Milling processes are another popular type of method for breaking down chlorella's cell wall. Milling, which is essentially grinding down the shell, can be effective but if not conducted carefully will destroy the nutrients by exposing them to heat and light. Since chlorella is highly sensitive to both of these elements, the nutrients are at risk of becoming oxidized, rendering the chlorella supplement void of its life-giving nutrients.

Heat freezing is another method used to manufacture chlorella supplements and break through the tough outer shell. It's recommended to avoid any chlorella supplement that has undergone heat freezing as the rotation between extreme hot and cold temperatures damages the essential nutrients within the cell wall. You may also come across other processing methods such as spray dried chlorella, cold milling chlorella, sound wave broken chlorella and broken cell wall chlorella. These methods unfortunately do not break down the cell wall in a strong enough way to allow the body access to chlorella's essential nutrients.

In addition to harmful processing methods, there are also concerns as to whether the chlorella supplement you choose is free from heavy metals such as lead, mercury or aluminum. Heavy metals are toxic to the body and are already present in the air we breathe, household products and our food supply. The last thing you need to do is take in extra heavy metals from a health food supplement.

Several supplements (not just chlorella) contain synthetic additives, binders and fillers such as magnesium stearate. Magnesium stearate is useful in the processing methods to help prevent supplements sticking together while being produced. Although supporting evidence is limited, it's suggested that magnesium stearate may prevent the absorption of nutrients in the intestinal tract and suppress the overall functioning of your immune system.

Magnesium stearate is just one example of a synthetic ingredient that is added to supplements to make the manufacturing process go more smoothly and reduce costs, but may not be without long-term consequences to your health. While these ingredients can serve a purpose in keeping a supplement fresh, stable or even allow it to become more bioavailable, it's always important to do your research on the additional ingredients added to supplements to avoid unnecessary health complications down the road, and then weigh out your options.

Binders, fillers and additives are most common with capsules and liquid supplements, while tablets or granules have less of a need for these ingredients. Ideally, your chlorella supplement will be as pure and close to its natural form as possible.

Another non-negotiable factor with chlorella supplements is the quality of packaging. As you now know, chlorella is heat and light sensitive, so it must be packaged in a careful way to avoid exposure to these elements that cause spoilage. Each chlorella manufacturer will have a different chosen method of packaging, so be sure to ask questions about the sealing and protection of your chlorella supplement to avoid ingesting oxidized algae.

While the list is getting long for the issues we face when choosing a chlorella supplement today, it's crucial to note that the origin of your chlorella is of utmost importance. In certain parts of the world, the concentration of heavy metals and other toxic residues can be much higher in the water chlorella is grown in. This is true for China, where the chlorella is considered highly toxic [4] due to the levels of pollution. Japan, Korea and Taiwan are considered safer sources for chlorella, with less toxicity present when undergoing lab testing.

The Chlorella Cell Wall Solution: Sun Chlorella DYNO-Mill Processing for Pure and Potent Chlorella Supplements

The concerns surrounding chlorella supplements may now seem overwhelming, but rest assured there are efficient methods today that allow you to obtain high quality chlorella supplements.

The DYNO®-Mill Process is one of today's only modern chlorella manufacturing methods that allows a chlorella supplement to become highly digestible, resulting in a pulverized cell wall chlorella.

In knowing which factors are dangerous to chlorella supplements, extreme caution is taken through DYNO®-Mill processing without using any heat, light or chemical sources. This method keeps chlorella's valuable nutrients in tact without creating any further toxicity or oxidation.

Because of the efficiency of DYNO®-Mill processing, Sun Chlorella's tablets and powder are manufactured using only this method. Sourced from Japan , Sun Chlorella tablets and powder are routinely third-party tested for radiation and heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury.

No binders and fillers are present in Sun Chlorella tablets or powder, which means the only ingredient you are ingesting is pure chlorella. Sun Chlorella tablets and powder are carefully packed into an airtight, light-resistant and moisture-resistant re-sealable foil package. The aluminum package helps to keep chlorella fresh; however, it is lined with a food grade plastic that has been hermetically sealed to ensure that Sun Chlorella tablets absolutely never come in contact with the aluminum.

Regardless of which chlorella supplement you choose, you now have all of the information you need to determine which chlorella product is best for you. In knowing these facts, you can ask appropriate questions about chlorella processing and manufacturing to avoid ingesting an oxidized chlorella supplement or unnecessary toxins.

About Brandi Wagner, RHN
Brandi Wagner 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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