Chlorella: Superfood, My Ass!

Because inquiring minds need to know:

You might recall that after my most recent bout of stomach sickness, I decided that our hemp protein powder was either slightly rancid or Evil Incarnate, or both. However, because I was doubled over in sickness and sweats while Marty experienced nary a stomach cramp or gurgle, I was left to conclude that I– and I alone– must be deathly allergic to one of the ingredients in the powder.

The ingredient list is not very extensive or complicated for our particular brand of protein powder, but I was unwilling to try each ingredient on its own so I could single out what was causing my violent reactions. (Do I look like an idiot to you?) No- It was enough for me to swear off the protein powder altogether and to hope that whatever I was really allergic to wasn’t one of the more common ingredients, like hemp, flax seed, or (god forbid) chocolate flavouring!!

Unfortunately (but fortunately for me), one of our friends recently discovered the hard way that he, too, might be deathly allergic to a common ingredient in some protein powders. He sent us a foreboding e-mail the other day, describing in intimate detail how he had experienced crippling nausea and explosive episodes of throwing up after he had consumed a simple shake. His e-mail pretty much summed up my exact symptoms (spookily so), but he was able to take it a step further and to single out the ingredient that was likely causing his discomfort.

Chlorella

He wasn’t drinking the same brand of protein powder that we have– in fact, he simply made a fruit shake with a chlorella extract in it after a workout one day. (Our brand has chlorella in it too, though.) Apparently, after he had vomited his guts out, he did some research and discovered that an allergy to chlorella is more common than one might think. And even though a part of me knows I might not be able to draw conclusions about myself based on somebody else’s experiences, you know what? I’m perfectly alright making the assumption that I’m allergic to algae based on how closely his experience matched mine. End of story!

(Luckily for me, it’s not too hard to avoid eating algae… I might be a bit crunchy and granola for some people, but algae is not a regular player in my diet. I promise.)

67 responses

  1. Interesting post. I’m a great advocate of chlorella, and make no secret of that – so I’m keen to get to the bottom of this reaction that you and your friend attribute to chlorella. I am aware of chlorella products on the market that are inferior to others – and a few years ago in Japan this was highlighted by a spate of complaints relating to a Chinese brand that caused symptoms similar to those you describe. If strict hygiene and quality control procedures aren’t adhered to at each step of the manufacture, storage and handling of any food product problems can arise. Personally I avoid Chinese food products.

    So based on my initial hunch would you kindly confirm the name of the brands of protein powder you and your friend were using. I’d like to check out their chlorella source.

    Many thanks!

    Incidently – regarding quality chlorella sources – the Japanese have among the highest quality standards in the world, so you can’t go far wrong there. But like anything there are various grades and qualities.

    • Hi Christopher, and thanks for the comment and the concern. Both my friend and I consumed ChlorEssence, a Japanese-sourced form of chlorella. My smoothie had ChlorEssence combined with Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer, and his was just plain ChlorEssence.

      Many of my friends are vegetarian and vegan athletes, and the great majority of them supplement with chlorella and have no ill side-effects. However, my system refuses to digest chlorella and I’m OK with that. I’d much rather be allergic to micro-algae than I would be allergic to something more common in my diet. :)

      • I became very sick vomiting, very hot and chills after drinking ChlorEssence from Japan, about 4 months ago. I kept the container it in the frig, and thought ($40.00 for 150 gm of powder) that I would try it another time, it is too expensive to just throw out–perhaps a reaction to something else. But today after drinking plain water with 1/2 teaspoon of CholEssence I vomited for hours again.

    • Christopher I have had identical experience with spirulina! I desperately want to be able to utilize this super food, but both times (2nd time I was unaware the product I was drinking had it in it) I ended up in the bathroom within an hour violently vomiting. Now I am not one to exaggerate, so when I say “violently” I mean I was seeing stars and pulled a muscle in my neck! I know your post is a few years old at this point, but I’m hoping you might see this and let me know if you have found any other info.

      • Girl, I don’t mean to laugh-it’s horrible what happened to you and I can sympathize because I am having some bad stomach issues after taking the chlorella myself…but your post “seeing stars and pulled a muscle in my neck” – the way you described it just made me chuckle. What is so strange is that I have taken boat loads of Chlorella before and stoped for a while. Now, however, every time I take it I get nauseious and feel like I am going to croak! I think I am going to just stick to eating fresh, organically grown veggies for my “greens” and stay away from Chlorella. Have a great day!

  2. I am also Crazy Allergic to Chlorella!!!

    I took very high quality Hawaiian chlorella and instantly had my esophagus almost fill up with thick saliva. I had serious problem breathing!!

    If I wasn’t young and healthy I could have really had a major problem!!!

    I also felt like crap on it and I had already done a previous cleansing — so it was not a detox.

    People need to stop promoting it like if there is NO ONE out there that is allergic. I think a good 15% of people are allergic to it~

    And why shouldn’t they be — its an algae that hardly any human eats naturally so we have not gotten used it at all!!

    Chlorella is my one and only allergy. I am strong and healthy and give me a little of that stuff and I get all F’d up…

    Hope this helps somebody else.

    Peace..

  3. Hi there everyone, can you assist please.

    How come won’t the hyperlinks on the top menu of the site webpage that submit a message work for me?

    Cheers

  4. well now that a whole host of us have had some type of reaction to chlorella ,what next for supplementing whole green nurishment? I pretty much had the same symptoms as omar related to.

  5. Zona, Though your Chlorella post was originally April 2009 I was fascinated to read that you and those responding had the same allergic reaction I had with Chlorella.
    I was new to Chlorella a few weeks ago and very excited to reap the benefits and keep my immune system super strong.
    After a couple of days of gradually adding Chlorella to my diet I was struck down out-of-the-blue with that crippling nausea, incredible cramps and intense intestinal distress. I rarely get sick and now for about 36 hours I was completely bedridden aside from my many trips to the bathroom. I thought possibly I had gotten a flu bug or maybe I hadn’t added the Chlorella gradually enough and had some sort of a detox reaction????
    2-3 weeks later which brought us to yesterday afternoon, I decided to try the Chlorella again still hungry for those great proposed benefits!!! So I take 4 tiny tabs where 25 tabs equal 5mg which is said to be a daily dosage. Within a couple of hours the nausea begins and escalates again to that crippling crescendo. Thank God I wasn’t out on a date when it hit!! No remedies would knock it out or even down. There is NO Doubt that I have an allergy to Chlorella. My one and only allergy in this life! Never again will I consume it!!!!
    I will definitely be on the lookout to ensure I do not consume any products with this additive.
    Thanks so much for your post and those who added to it!!!

  6. I too found out the hard way that I am allergic to Chlorella, my chiropractor suggested it to help detox my breast milk and with in a few hours I had horrific vomiting and diarrhea at the same time for 5 hours straight…I was at the point of vomiting bile and pregnant mind you, I thought I had food poisoning but a few months later (post pregnancy) I consumed a green to go that you put into water and with in a few hours I was sick out of both ends for 5 hours straight! My current chiropractor did a nerve test and said I don’t have an allergy…but I still don’t want to tempt fate and go through that sickness again….this is also my one and only allergy, I am a healthy person!

    • Hi, I know your chlorella post is slightly old and I hope you don’t mind me contacting you. I got unbelievably sick from chlorella (while pregnant) and nearly died. I made a website about my experience to let people know how careful they should be with this stuff. If there is any chance you can reference my website http://www.badchlorella.com – I am trying to get enough people together that got sick from Yaeyama Chlorella to get Source Naturals (that’s the maker of the stuff I took) switch to a better warning label. Of course they claim that I am only the second case they’ve ever heard of, and I want to use my site to get all those random chlorella sickness stories in one place to warn potential users. Do you mind telling me who was the maker of your chlorella? Did you ever contact them about how sick you got? it would be so kind of you to reply, either here or on my website http://www.badchlorella.com. I appologize if I am stirring up some horrible memories – I know from first had experience how horribly sick this stuff can make you.

      Biggest thanks in advance,

      AssiaG

  7. I believe there is something with quality control. I originally purchased the Sun Brand Chlorella from Vitamin shop and had no side effects. However I ran out and decided to try their brand. Once it got in my system, I ( like others on other boards) have experienced several days of Asthma like symptoms. It is horrible. Unfortunately it took me several days to put 2 and 2 together and eliminate the Vitamin Shoppe brand Chlorella from my diet and am starting to get back to normal. No pressure in my chest, my intestines feel back to normal. Glad to hear that I am not the only one experiencing problems.

  8. well, I do have lyme and therefore tried chinese chlorella as a detox since i ran out of burbur wich i handle pretty good.
    after taking four tabs of it I started to feel weird….as if I was going to have s seisure…i also noticed a strange feeling and burning sensations in my head…i will NOT take it again!!!!!

  9. I thought that quality control was possibly the problem the first time I took chlorella and had an intense bout of vomiting, so ordered Yayama Cholerella from Japan, distributed by Jarrow. It sounded so superior that I didn’t consider I’d have a problem. Within a 1/2 hr. I was vomiting violently and then an hour later included spasms in the colon that left me so weak I couldn’t get up off the bathroom floor. I think my face has never been whiter ! I am not allergic to any other green foods so am baffled by this reaction.

  10. I broke out in hives after taking Chlorella straight for 2 weeks. The hives lasted about a month. It was so awful. Folks if you want to know if you might have a reaction to it do a skin prick test. Crush the pill and mix it with some water in a small bowl or cup, then take a sterile needle and pick up some of the chlorella mixture and prick (scratch) your skin with the needle. Make sure you leave some product on your skin. Watch it closely to see if a hive develops. I had a hunch this was causing my allergies. Once the hives and itch went away, I did this and the area developed a hive. If this happens to you, then get rid of the stuff it will cause you much more harm than good.

    • Hi Jenny!
      Similar experience. I feel like the rash should be going away faster and I am frustrated that it is not. I did the scratch test and had a major reaction. I really hope my hives don’t last a whole month!! Please send more info I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

  11. Pingback: chlorella « Elizabethian Tea

  12. Hi I was taking a combination of chlorella, spiralina and wheat grass for approx ten weeks. I started to get severe stomach cramps, bloating only five days ago and I stopped taking the stuff. I have put this down to the chlorella after reading some of the side effects. I haven’t been able to eat anything solid since the cramps started and feel ill with alot of digestinal wind, can someone please tell me how long does this last for and what can I do to try and relieve symptoms?

  13. Hi everyone– thanks very much for your comments and discussion! It sounds like I’m not the only person who experiences severe reactions to chlorella…

    I have spoken with a few doctors and nutritionist friends about my suspected chlorella allergy. The consensus seems to be this:

    1. Chlorella has extremely cleansing and detoxifying properties, which can “shock” the body into very unpleasant reactions (that seem to be allergies but might not be). Some people are able to gradually introduce chlorella into their diets once they have worked hard in other ways to clean up their eating and generally detoxified their bodies.

    2. That said, some people are actually allergic to chlorella and should just avoid ingesting it. This is not a particularly difficult substance to avoid, since it is not a common ingredient in most foods.

    3. Not being able to take chlorella supplements is just fine– people who eat a variety of land-based leafy greens in their diets can get just as many vitamins and minerals as those who can tolerate sea vegetables.

    4. Any negative reactions to chlorella or other supplements should always be discussed with a doctor, because there may be larger issues at play.

    5. There are WAY worse foods to be allergic to than algae! I consider myself fortunate that I can’t tolerate algae but am able to eat things like nuts, corn and other common allergens. :)

    I hope this helps! I don’t envy anybody who experiences anything similar to my vomit-thon after taking chlorella, but hopefully any negative side effects will dissipate soon after taking chlorella out of the diet again. Cheers!

    • Hi. Very interesting comments, especially point No. 1. I tried it about 3 years ago and after a few days, started vomited for three weeks. The first three days or so, I was being sick every half hour right round the clock. The next few days I only vomited when I tried to eat. It took almost three weeks before I could keep anything at all down. At the end of 3 weeks, I found that the only thing I could eat without being sick was a very small piece of apple. Then a pharmasist suggested trying a carton of ‘invalid’ food, which I tried and from then on, I started to recover. About 2 months later, not knowing for certain what caused all of this, I tried one pill of chrolella again, and I was sick about a half hour later. I suppose my body recognised what it was straight away and made me bring it up before it got right into my system!

  14. Hi everyone,
    I started using naturya chlorella powder from a pouch, sold as organic from a health shop. I made a daily shake by mixing a teaspoon of powder with fruit, soya yoghurt, lecithin and rice milk. First week no problems then on monday about 2 to 3 hours after drinking I had stomach cramps extreme bloating and felt nausious. Eventually after vomiting a few times i felt better but very weak. For the next two days I ate light meals but didnt make my shake. Today I decided to make my shake again and within an hour or so I had the most severe bloating, cramps, extreme vomiting and diarreha all at the same time which lasted over a good hour. I have never felt this ill in my life, I thought I was dying, I felt so weak and had to call my sister to ring me every half hour incase I passed out and nobody would know. I have slept for 2 hours and still feel very weak. I had a feeling that it was either to do with rice milk or the chlorella and still not sure. Obviously I wont be touching either for a while but eventually I will try a very small dose of both on seperate occassions to see if I can uncover the cause. But have been enlightened by the fact that others have had these symptoms too so maybe it is the chlorella. I know I never ever want to feel like that again. I still have to find the strengh to go and clean up now.

  15. Thank God for the internet and people sharing experiences! Thanks for putting up this page. I’ve been getting this vomiting reaction as well, even though all was fine the first 2-3 times I took the chlorella powder (by Xynergy in the UK).

    I took some today – having merely suspected a connection between chlorella ingestion and vomiting/intestinal distress last time – and I felt sick to my stomach, which tightened up something awful. Fortunately, I managed to keep a lid on the upchucking. Later, though, the diarrhoea I experienced reminded me of the time I had to prepare for a colonoscopy (the examination from down south), when I had to take a purgative that made me pee from my butt, effectively. It was frightening.

    I realise now that even so much as a whiff of the stuff – actually just thinking about it – makes me nauseous!

    I too think quality control is not the issue, though is it possible that once opened, the product – in my case, a very very fine powder – quickly becomes denatured/ contaminated with ambient air/humidity? Is it possible the chlorella is chelating the air around it? (Sounds very stupid, I know.)

    Possibly, this power food is just too powerful for human consumption. Leave it to those for whom it was created, the creatures of the sea!

    All the best to you all. :)

  16. I took Clorella powder for the first time yesterday. I have no problem with spirulina or wheatgrass or any other supergreens but within an hour of taking a teaspoon of powder( possibly too much…) my whole body was covered in a red itchy rash. I have never had an allergic reaction in my life and I don’t have sensitive skin but this was horrendously itchy and burning sensation which was only fixed by taking an anti hystamine tablet of my husband’s. Although it has calmed down I still have symptoms on my ears! Possibly I took too much first time so I will try again in a week or so and see if I can introduce it gradually. Keep you posted…

  17. I think I am allergic to chlorella. I tried the sunfood brand (David Wolfe), which is said to be really pure and high quality. I tried it a few years ago and vomited a ton and yesterday I tried it again and the same thing happened. I used to eat tons of chlorella by the brand Earthrise and had no problems. I have never had any problems with Spirulina either. I don’t get it and I’m not happy with it! I just ate another, small dose of chlorella to see if I will have the same symptoms. I’ve been a raw foodist for 10 years and detox usually just makes me nauseous or gives me a headache. I am not someone to vomit easily. I might get nauseous at times after a double shot of fresh wheat grass juice on an empty stomach, but that does not make me vomit. I wish I knew what was up!

  18. I had to scroll down and comment after reading one of the comments. Yes, there most likely is people allergic to Chlorella, I agree with that. However, the statement that “hardly any human eats it” is very false. Chlorella is widely used and common in Japan. Look into it.

  19. I have just experienced vomiting and diarrhoea after consuming chlorella in a smoothie, I have had it before a few times with no such side effect. I was pleased to find this site to shed some light on why I was so sick…I had an inkling it was it as the smell makes me nauseous. I will be definantly be doing my research to try get to the bottom of this! not happy – still recovering.

  20. Like most people here I took Chlorella twice before seeing sense. I’m a pro at vomitting anyway as I have a Hiatus Hernia. I got some ‘Natural Chinese Chlorella’ from a Holland & Barratt – who’s tagline is ‘Were good for you’.
    After I hugged the toilet first for a few hours being sick at both ends and sweating like you wouldn’t believe. I got not One, but Two ambulance rides to A&E over the course of a week! A drip and anti-sickness soon sorted me out The wrenching brought up blood and I thought I was a gonner!
    So, after the second time ive all but narrowed it down to these little green tablets. I’m not sure which of the ingredients I was allergic to- but after reading this I think it’s safe to assume ill be avoiding cholrella from now on!
    Foolishily I thought this stuff was just the same as Chlorophyll (maybe it is?) and I had assumed it was just grounded green vegatables and other magical stuff – having read here (and on the label) that is is a microalgae it makes me think of some sweaty pond full of green-goo created by bird poop! I think there is a reason Im alergic to algae :)
    On a serious note – if I wasn’t yound and healthy already this stuff could have seen me off – that is the only reason i’m sharing my experience with you as it no laughing matter. Get this s*&* off the shelves!
    Paul

    • Hey Paul,

      Thanks for stopping by. Chlorella is not the same as chlorophyll– chlorophyll is the pigment that is found in green plants (very high in antioxidants), and chlorella just happens to contain a ton of chlorophyll.

  21. This is what God says about Chlorella. Listen to Him and you will live well.

    Leviticus 11:9-10
    These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
    And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:

    In simple words God is saying stay away from Chlorella.

      • Now I’m a firm believer that natural food sources are very vital in the health of our bodies. It can cure, cleanse and give us everything we need to live long healthy lives. However, I believe as well that not everybody can tolerate certain types of these *superfoods* for whatever reason. I was taking Synergy Natural organic Chlorella powder. I was taking it for a month or so, with no problems. I exercise, try to eat well, and because I had no reaction, kept taking it. As usual I took it with lunch. About 2-3 hours later started feeling nauseous, then, projectile vomit. No control for 2 hours straight, every 4-5 minutes I was vomiting. I vomited all my stomach contents, to the point where I had blood shot eyes and bruised pores around my eyes from my body trying so hard to expel it. Being so expensive and probably quite daft, I decided to try it once again, 2 weeks later. Took it as usual, same thing happened at both ends! What I can’t understand is why after a month or so, my body started to reject it? People before you start taking it, know the risks!!!!!!

    • Hi Ruach, I follow the clean directives in my diet, but never thought about certain “green” superfoods. So is blue Green Alge and Spiriluna also unclean?

  22. People who consume ANYTHING grown in open ponds in Japan, or that special trade region lake in China, might consider part of their violent reaction to brands that they used to consume as radiation contaminated. Anyone own an Inspector Alert (handheld) and can check for alpha, beta, gamma readings in counts per minute. Those geiger units are supposed to work stupendously when the product they are checking is dried so I saw on a Fairewinds vimeo ealier last week. When I read these comments my first thought was that this puking and diarrhea reaction sounds like what happens after chemo and radiation therapy of one’s body is cancering. Just a thought. Thanks to the person who posted starting with a needle scratched skin test. What a wonderful idea.

  23. Hi everyone – To anyone who’s still watching this thread, or coming to it new at this point, I just wanted to share that your posts have helped me understand what has been happening to me for the past few days – a reaction to chlorella. The thing is, I’ve been consuming chlorella for YEARS. And only in the past week have I had major reactions to it. This actually happened once before, a few years, back, but I attributed it to getting a chlorella pill a bit stuck on the way down while swallowing it. But now what has happened has been the gagging reaction, filling up of my esophagus with saliva/phlegm, and inability to swallow, like Omar and others have said. This morning it’s happening again, and I got the idea of searching for “reactions to chlorella.”

    Thank you again, to all posters, for helping me get to the bottom of this!

    • Hello Doug,
      I am so happy to hear that my post helped someone! Like you, it was postings that validated my hunch. It took me three serious episodes to figure out that I did not have severe food poisoning, but a reaction to chlorella. I had been taking chlorella all summer and my first reaction wasn’t until September. I was taking a quality brand, broken cell wall from Dr. Mercola. While I did have a lot of phlegm, I also had concurrent vomiting and gastrointestinal distress to the point of exhaustion. I’d like to know why some people have a reaction and others don’t. I hope it’s not because some of us have toxic heavy metals!

    • Hey Doug,
      Thanks for the comment, and I’m happy to hear this post gave you some insight into your reactions to chlorella. It has been nearly 4 years since I wrote the original post, and now I’m at a crazy point where I’m debating trying chlorella again. (!!) I don’t know if my reactions were due to toxicity in my body or in the chlorella product itself, but I’m starting to feel left out of the superfood scene. Not sure if I want to subject myself to a vomit marathon, though… we’ll see.
      Best of luck and health to you,
      Dana

      • Dana,
        Have you tried using Maca Root? I will never take Chlorella again. I don’t think it was toxicity in the product.

        Sherry

  24. I tried taking Chlorella to help detoxify for heavy metal toxicity. The first week of combining chlorella powder mixed in water (and sometimes other products for a smoothy) followed by cilantro tincture went without a hitch. No reaction, and I felt fine. The Klinghardt protocol suggests that it’s taken for one week twice per day, then off for two weeks and go again for a 2nd week and so on. The 2nd week, I took it exactly as I had previously. The very first time and within hours I was so ill that I couldn’t leave the bathroom for hours. I waited another 2 weeks then tried again, and again so sick that I couldn’t leave the bathroom. Hours of vomiting and at least 24 hours of weakness. I thought it might be the tincture and stayed off but started a series of utilizing captomer and IV chelation therapy with my Naturopathic Doctors. No problems with those procedures at all. Then about 6 months following my initial chelation I was given chlorella tablets to take with my food should I eat fish to help move any mercury through. The first time I took them it was shortly after my meal and I felt ill but I thought it was because of the timing. The 2nd time I took fewer and was sure to take them with my meal and this time I was sick. Not as violently as with the powder but until the food in my stomach was gone.

    There is no doubt in my mind that it is a reaction to chlorella. In my case, two different, good Japanese sources. My body just can’t tolerate it and my body is fine with the chelation therapy so I also don’t believe it is a reaction to the effects of detoxifying. I will not be taking it again.

  25. Thank you for sharing your experiences, I have been reading them with great interest. It is good to be aware of the risks and adverse side effects that chlorella may have. I have been regularly taking chlorella tablets, and had only good results. First it helped me with my stomach problems, cramps and aches and now it helps me easing my nerve disorder symptoms that was caused by overusing a dangerous herbal supplement. I can only praise the product, and however I was aware that some people can’t tolerate it, I wasn’t aware of these horrible side effects people experienced. As a natural therapist I appreciate these comments, and will warn everybody I recommend chlorella about the side effects. I wonder if muscle testing could identify the intolerances that one may have, has any of you done that or have an opportunity to do that? I would be interested in the results. In my case I had a strong intuition, or inner “guidance” that told me chlorella is good for me and my body seemsto like it.

  26. Finally figured out it really was the Chlorella that made me so sick. So I just googled to see if others are having the same problem and …here I am. So interesting to read all the posts. I try every now and then to take my Doctor’s Trust brand of Broken Cell Wall Chlorella. I thought maybe, I am so toxic ….that is why I get so sick taking this stuff. I have never been allergic to anything in my life that I have known about. Looking back now there were some green smoothie mixes that I couldnt tolerate at all in my past years….probably the Chlorella in them. I am finally waking up. I just kept making excuses for getting sick like….I didn’t have anything on my stomach…or …I had just ate. Never could get is right.

  27. Have taken spirulina in the past with no problems. I decided to switch to chlorella because of its high content of vitamin C & D. Have taken chlorella tablets for about 3 months, gradually building them up from 1 tablet for 2 weeks, 2 tablets for 2 weeks etc. as I was aware of the claimed detoxifying effect. Used up a whole bottle of NOW chlorella tablets with no problem at all. Recently, bought a bottle of NOW organically grown chlorella powder. Made a smoothy each morning with a rounded teaspoon as per instructions. Started off okay but then after about 2 weeks, suddenly broke out in horrendous hives all over my body and had to take antihistamine to cope with it….also suffered from sporadic vertigo. Put it down to eating acid tomatoes but it was only when I stopped the chlorella that the hives went away. WON’t TAKE IT AGAIN!. Wow some of the comments on this site really scared me ….don’t want to get even worse symptoms. If you want to boost your Vitamin A & D (which clorella contains), I recommend having a teaspoon of cod liver oil each day and eating leafy greens instead. :-)

  28. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease last August. I started on one antibiotic and after 3-4 weeks started a second one. I was told to take chlorella to help with detoxification of spirochetes. I was taking 3 capsules and after a few days I started vomiting violently. Had to be in bed for hours, totally unable to function.

    My LLMD thought it was the second antibiotic. So I stopped everything I was taking. After a week I slowly started reintroducing the meds/supplements back.

    The day I started back on the chlorella had me over the toilet bowl again for hours (oh, did I mention that the heat wave that strikes right before you vomit started as I was driving and I literally was vomiting out the window of my moving car- only to pull over and continue purging on all fours on a neighbors lawn?)

    When I called my LLMD and told them that after doing internet research I was sure that it was the chlorella that was causing my symptoms, I was told that they only had a few patients who were truly allergic to chlorella – guess they forgot to mention that when they instructed me to begin taking it.

    I was never so sick in my life – and let me tell you, I have been very sick in my life.

    There should be a warning on the label.

  29. I read these comiting stories as well after I ordered chlorella. I ordered a good one, broken cell wall. I even emailed the person who I bought it from because I didnt want to become so sick (I am scared of vomiting). Anyway, been taking it every day for weeks and weeks and feel fine:) I am allergic to a couple of things, but luckly not chlorella lol.

    • Hi Anna,
      It was broken cell wall chlorella from Dr. Mercola that I took. I was not violently ill until I had been taking it for about 8 weeks, increasing my dosage weekly by one small pill.

  30. I took some chlorella earlier this month, and thought I had the flu or food poisoning, or ate too many ribs on an empty stomach… then I took some again yesterday and haven’t vomited like that since I had amoebas in Guatemala. I contacted Mercola and asked if it might be my body reacting to mercury being bound to the chlorella, and they suggested starting with 1 tablet at a time (instead of 10 like I did). I’m not sure I want to try that experiment… I might just stick with Spirulina which I know doesn’t bother me. BioRay also has a detox (clinically proven, and safe for kids too) called NDF. It has a pleasant taste, and I know I don’t react to NDF. I had taken quantities of chlorella in the past, but it wasn’t broken cell wall chlorella. Yes, I’ve read they consume chlorella in quantities in Asia, but I am not Asian, and there is a difference between the digestive systems of Asians and Anglos. I’m relieved to find other people have had negative reactions to it. I wish I could tolerate it, but happy that now I don’t have to scare people who are worried about catching a flu bug from me.

    • Hi Gretchen,
      I am happy to hear that you called Mercola. I, too, wondered if my reaction was due to being overloaded with toxins in my body. I hope some day to have an answer as to why some people have such violent vomiting.

  31. I have started chlorella only a week ago and that too for a general purpose like cleaning up the system, improved protein intake, and other similar reasons. I immediately felt an improvement in my digestion…nothing else. I have read the numerous comments on the experience others have had with chlorella …some good some bad. Head aches started when I increased the dose to around 12 pills a day. I am using the Green Manna products and have reduced the pills to 6 … everything is normal again. I am interested in the experiences of others so that I can benefit from the use of this costly value food.

  32. I had the same reaction to Jarrow Formulas’ Yaeyama Chlorella. I tried ingesting smaller amounts and still experienced the same nausea and vomiting.

  33. About 3 years ago I was trying every health thing promoted online and chlorella was one of them. I violently threw up. It was real fast and so bad that I thought I could have actually died! NEVER AGAIN!

  34. I have developed strong skin rush after two days of using chlorella + spirulina tablets. I took 3 per day. The skin rush doesn’t want to go away even after one week now… This chlorella was from edenpharma…

  35. my mother got violently ill vomiting non-stop for hours, I had to call the ambulance. I took it and not reaction whatsoever, but for her it was violent violent sickness, BE CAREFUL

  36. Has ANY body gotten sick from the Bolthouse Farms Green goodness juice?? Or Clam chowder? About 7 years ago I had to stop eating clam chowder (me thinking it was shellfish) however YESTERDAY I drank some of this juice and got the same sickness from the clam chowder. Sick out both ends and intense stomach cramp! Only lasted about 5 hours, but it’s not a fun reaction!! Then I did a little research on the similarities between clams and chlorella. Learned a little about how clams are little filters and could absolutely be filtering the chlorella. Does anybody have any other input on this?

  37. This problem with chlorella I see after reading here looks more like an epidemic than a side effect. I had purchased some Source Naturals Broken Cell 500MG tabs and found I got sick with them a few weeks ago. I found a website where the theme was that this brand of chlorella was no good. OK. So I researched more and came up with Health Ranger Select Clean Chlorella, that is the type grown inside so it has no residues or metals of any kind – thinking that may be the solution to a healthy detox using chlorella. Well, this morning I took a handful of the tabs (200mg) before breakfast and yikes! Within an hour I was flat on my back with waves of food poisoning like nausea. So far I just short of upchucking, and I’m hoping it all subsides rather than gets worse. I must have the allergy that everyone else has (or whatever causes this), but I guess it’s not the brand, but the stuff itself. Expensive lesson learned, but so surprised and disappointed that something so simple and natural is so bad for so many.

  38. Took chlorella twice and first time thought I had food poisoning. My DH took from same packaging both time and was fine. The 2nd time I threw up for hours so bad my heart muscles hurt. I have ever been so sick in my whole like. My DH asked his doctor friend why he could tolerate it and I couldn’t and the doctor told him I must toxic with heavy metals. I must be allergic to this and would never take it again.

  39. I took chlorella, and had horrifying vomiting, and a terrible drop in body temperature to 90 degrees. Being stupid, I took it again, and had the same effect with the drop in body temperature, again, to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. I will NEVER go near that stuff again.

  40. I just wanted to share that I also had the same reaction. The strange thing is I used to take chlorella all the time – and I mean I actually took large amounts of this superfood. It never effected me back then, but for some reason I can no longer tolerate chlorella. I thought it may have been the NOW Foods brand, so I purchased Vitamineral Green (it has chlorella in it) and had the same reaction. It’s similar to the experience of others here: body temperature dropping, sweating, light-headedness, lack of cognition and of course, violently vomiting and bowel issues. Like others I’ve never felt so sick in my life, and I think that’s about right – 3 hours or so later all of this becomes apparent. My personal opinion is I don’t think it’s a bad source that’s causing this, but some allergic reaction, or maybe even a possible contamination to all sources since my last use of this superfood. However, that might not explain why it doesn’t happen to everyone. I will say that I won’t be able to continue to use anything with chlorella in it, no matter how many good things are said about it. I’d also agree there should be a bright warning label on anything containing chlorella. At this point, I’m almost certain if I ever took a large amount of this superfood it could have some serious effects. I think if someone not knowing they are allergic (or whatever the case may be) took a large amount it could possible cause death.

  41. It’s deja vu all over again! i’ve been trying to figure out the reason for the EXTREME vomiting, diarrhea and chills (that landed me in the ER) and now i know – chlorella allergy! I can’t believe how closely my story matches so many others. I had no reaction with my first smoothie (containing a high-quality, organic chlorella powder) but the second – whoa – vomiting so hard i pulled muscles in my neck. It was the violent chills that finally had me seeking help. Please. This very real, very severe reaction that some people have to chlorella must be made known.

  42. Just had to leave my students in classs this morning cause I had to run to the toilet and vomit… After having chlorella before breakfast. I’ve been taking it all summer, in plain water, without any side effects… last Sunday after having a glass at night, I felt really ill and had digestive issues all night… and this morning… was worst and almost instant… I bought it from an online store called nuts.com and to be honest, I did not check what kind of chlorella it is… Do I need to worry now if I eat dried algea or even sushi? I never want to feel that awful again…

    • Barb, from my experience it’s not really the source, bad chlorella, or anything like that. I think it may be that some people are allergic, or develop an allergic reaction to it. Even more, it could be that this is not a superfood at all. Anyhow, my experience is that it does not get better with any brand, it gets worse. I’d advise anyone having issues not to continue with other brands. I did that and it only made the sickness worse each time.

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