Chlorella is being studied for anti-cancer effectiveness

Chlorella is being studied for anti-cancer effectiveness

Dr. Victor Marchione writes in about recent research into the anti-cancer effects of chlorella vulgaris extract (CVE). The studies relate to apoptosis, a process of cell self-destruction that happens naturally in the body from time to time to make room for new, young healthy cells, and why this does not happen in cancer cells.

Cancer cells aren’t programmed to die, which means they can grow disproportionately large when they combine with other cancer cells. They need to be killed with chemo toxic agents, either synthetic or natural, or have to be “manually” programmed to self-destruct.

Synthetic chemo toxic drugs often come with unpleasant side effects. Natural chemo toxic agents are generally much better tolerated by patients, and chlorella has shown positive results in destroying cancer cells via apoptosis in research done over the past two years.

In one study, chlorella’s anti-cancer properties were investigated in an effort to determine how this microalgae stops cancer from spreading. Researchers tested the chlorella in vitro. They treated cancerous liver cells with CVE and compared the results with normal liver cells, looking for the mechanisms by which CVE was able to induce apoptosis.

The researchers discovered that there was a 70% increased apoptotic rate in liver cancer cells treated with CVE compared to normal cells. The CVE also was shown to inhibit anti-apoptotic proteins in cancer cells while leaving the normal cells’ self-destruct mechanisms in place.

In another recent study performed at the Chemical Injuries Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran, researchers wanted to find out if CVE could help reduce or eliminate some of the negative effects of smoking. Oxidative stress has been determined to be one of the key mechanisms that ushers in the harmful health effects of smoking.

The study evaluated the effect chlorella had on markers of oxidative stress in Iranian smokers. Thirty-eight smokers were recruited for the trial. All were administered CVE at 3,600 mg/day for a period of six weeks.

The researchers conducted blood tests at baseline and then again after the study was completed. Concentrations of vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, and malonedialdehyde (MDA) as well as activities of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase were recorded. The research team also measured the ability of CVE to inhibit the formation of free radicals, and they found that the six-week supplementation with CVE in smokers was associated with an increase in all antioxidant measures.

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