Freshwater seaweed is a form of algae which, as its name suggests, grows in fresh water. The entire plant is used as an ingredient in various kinds of natural wellness medicines and supplements. When used in a supplement, it may be listed under this or several other potential names.
Among the other common names by which freshwater seaweed is known include freshwater green algae, chlorella vulgaris, green alga, Bulgarian chlorella, Bulgarian green algae, chlorella algae, chlorella pyrenoidosa, yaeyama chlorella, Chinese chlorella, or simply seaweed.
The majority of the freshwater seaweed available in supplement form in the United States is typically grown either in Japan or Taiwan. It is processed either where it is grown or in the United States in order to make it suitable for dry tablets or liquid extracts.
Why Freshwater Seaweed?
The reason freshwater seaweed is used in diet pills and other wellness supplements has to do with the “chlorella growth factor” it contains. This is a water-soluble extract that contains a number of natural chemicals. These include:
- Amino acids
- Nucleic acids
Does This Diet Pill Ingredient Work?
It’s important to note that not all freshwater seaweed is created equal. Extracts and supplements vary widely in their quality and effectiveness based on many different factors. These include:
- Where it was grown
- How it was cultivated
- How it was harvested
- What methods were used to process it
According to WebMD, investigators have found that dry freshwater seaweed samples have contained anywhere from 7 percent to 88 percent protein, 7 percent to 75 percent fat, and 6 percent to 38 percent carbohydrate.
Therefore, it’s very important to choose only a highly trusted source of freshwater seaweed if you intend to use it for medicinal reasons such as weight loss. This way, you can believe what the nutrition label says and can feel confident that you will receive the types of benefits you expect.
That said, keep in mind that this ingredient is not considered to be proven effective for weight loss. In fact, it is not considered proven for most of the reasons for which it is used medicinally. At best, it is deemed as having insufficient evidence to show that it is worth using for mental or physical health treatments.
Still, it is considered to be likely safe when taken by healthy adults in reasonable amounts in oral doses.