Last update Dec. 8, 2017


Low Risk

Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

Unicellular seaweed rich in proteins (45%), fats (20%), carbohydrates (20%), fibre (5%), minerals and vitamins.
Although proposed around 1940 as an important source of food for humanity, due to the difficulties and high cost of its cultivation, it is currently used as a dietary supplement and as a biofuel.

The consumption of chlorella supplements during pregnancy causes the levels of carotenoids - lutein, zeaxanthin and β-carotene - to be doubled in breast milk (Nagayama 2014), and the concentration of dioxins to decrease and that of immunoglobulin A, IgA to increase (Nakano 2007).

Research into its supposed properties (Panahi 2016) in relation to multiple aspects of health (lipid-lowering, hypoglycaemic, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, liver protector, anti-hypertensive, immunity enhancer, anti-depressant, useful in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, fibromyalgia, ulcerative colitis...) is promising, but for now the scientific evidence is insufficient and needs to be confirmed (Noguchi 2014, American Cancer Society 2011, Halperin 2003, Merchant 2001).

It must be ensured that it comes from a reliable source and there are quality controls to avoid contamination with heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, copper, chromium, lead) and liver toxins such as microcystins (Desideri 2016, Kumar 2013, Heussner 2012).

Dietary supplements of algae such as spirulina or chlorella are the food group with the highest concentration of arsenic (EFSA 2014).

There have been reports of psychosis possibly induced by the abuse of chlorella alone or associated with other alternative dietary supplements (Yadav 2016, Selvaraj 2013).

Moderate consumption from reliable sources would be low risk during breastfeeding, although it is absolutely non-essential.

See below the information of this related product:

  • Spirulina (Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Chlorella is also known as

Chlorella in other languages or writings:


Chlorella belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Chlorella in its composition:

  • Clear Digest™. Contains other elements than Chlorella in its composition


  1. Panahi Y, Darvishi B, Jowzi N, Beiraghdar F, Sahebkar A. Chlorella vulgaris: A Multifunctional Dietary Supplement with Diverse Medicinal Properties. Curr Pharm Des. 2016 Abstract
  2. Yadav P, Stigall K, Johnson HE, Rayapati AO, Chopra N. Functional foods: How functional are they? A case report of supplement-induced psychosis. Int J Psychiatry Med. 2016 Abstract
  3. Desideri D, Cantaluppi C, Ceccotto F, Meli MA, Roselli C, Feduzi L. Essential and toxic elements in seaweeds for human consumption. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2016 Abstract
  4. EFSA (European Food Safety Authority). Dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic in the European population. EFSA Journal. 2014 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Nagayama J, Noda K, Uchikawa T, Maruyama I, Shimomura H, Miyahara M. Effect of maternal Chlorella supplementation on carotenoid concentration in breast milk at early lactation. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Abstract
  6. Noguchi N, Maruyama I, Yamada A. The influence of chlorella and its hot water extract supplementation on quality of life in patients with breast cancer. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014 Abstract
  7. Kumar RM, Frankilin J, Raj SP. Accumulation of heavy metals (Cu, Cr, Pb and Cd) in freshwater micro algae (Chlorella sp.). J Environ Sci Eng. 2013 Abstract
  8. Selvaraj V, Singh H, Ramaswamy S. Chlorella-induced psychosis. Psychosomatics. 2013 Abstract
  9. Heussner AH, Mazija L, Fastner J, Dietrich DR. Toxin content and cytotoxicity of algal dietary supplements. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2012 Abstract
  10. American Cancer Society. Chlorella 2011 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. Nakano S, Takekoshi H, Nakano M. Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) supplementation decreases dioxin and increases immunoglobulin a concentrations in breast milk. J Med Food. 2007 Abstract
  12. Halperin SA, Smith B, Nolan C, Shay J, Kralovec J. Safety and immunoenhancing effect of a Chlorella-derived dietary supplement in healthy adults undergoing influenza vaccination: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. CMAJ. 2003 Abstract
  13. Merchant RE, Andre CA. A review of recent clinical trials of the nutritional supplement Chlorella pyrenoidosa in the treatment of fibromyalgia, hypertension, and ulcerative colitis. Altern Ther Health Med. 2001 Abstract

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e-lactancia is a resource recommended by El Parto Es Nuestro of Spain

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