Chlorella, a unicellular green alga, contains various antioxidants and other nutrients such as amino acids and fiber. Previous studies have reported that supplementation with multiple antioxidants reduces arterial stiffness, a well-established cardiovascular risk factor. We investigated the effects of Chlorella intake on arterial stiffness using a single-blinded, placebo-controlled crossover study design. Fourteen young men took placebo or Chlorella tablets for four weeks, with a 12-week washout period between trials, in a randomized order. Before and after each trial, blood pressure, heart rate, and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity, an index of arterial stiffness, were measured. Treatment compliance was comparable between the two groups. There were no differences in blood pressure and heart rate before and after supplementation in both the placebo and Chlorella groups. Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity decreased after Chlorella intake (before vs after intake; 11.6 ± 0.2 vs 11.1 ± 0.1 m/s, p = 0.01), but not after placebo intake (11.4 ± 0.2 vs 11.4 ± 0.2 m/s, p = 0.98). Multicomponent analysis of the Chlorella-containing tablet detected nutrients that can reduce arterial stiffness, such as antioxidant vitamins, arginine, potassium, calcium, and n-3 unsaturated fatty acids. These results suggest that intake of a Chlorella-containing multicomponent supplement can decrease arterial stiffness.
Keywords: Chlorella; antioxidants; arterial stiffness; multicomponent supplement.