You probably won’t have heard of ‘dysmenorrhea’ before, but if you’re a woman the chances are you’d have experienced it, as it’s the scientific name for pain during periods.
There are two types of dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is common menstrual cramps that are recurrent and are not due to other diseases. Secondary dysmenorrhea is pain that is caused by a disorder or medical condition and can be more serious.
It’s been reported that up to 90% of women suffer with period pain at some point in their lives and so a new study1 showing that an unusual natural remedy could significantly reduce pain and improve symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea will be of interest to many people.
Chlorella is a type of fresh water algae that can be harvested and dried to create a powder or tablet supplement. It’s become popular over the last few years amongst the health conscious who take it for various purported benefits, but the new study is one of the first to show it may be beneficial for period pain.
In the study 44 girls, who suffered with primary dysmenorrhea, were split into two groups. One group took chlorella tablets (1500mg a day) for eight weeks and the other group were given placebo tablets, in a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial
At the end of the two month period, those in the chlorella group were found to have significantly reduced severity and duration of dysmenorrhea pain compared to the control group. Other symptoms of dysmenorrhea (fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, lack of energy) were also seen to decrease in the chlorella group.
The scientists behind the study looked at how chlorella might be having these effects and discovered that in those taking the chlorella tablets certain types of prostaglandins (natural chemicals similar to hormones, certain prostaglandin increases and inbalances have been linked to causing primary dysmenorrhea) were reduced, as were markers of inflammation and oxidative stress (potential causes of some of the symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea).
How to benefit from chlorella
Some of the most efficient chlorella products on the market come from Sun Chlorella, whose new DYNO®-Mill technology breaks down the cell walls of the algae (without the use of heat or chemicals which can reduce the quality of the chlorella) to ensure when you use either their granules or tablets you’re getting the most nutrients possible.
The granules can easily be added to smoothies or protein shakes, whilst the tablets offer a convenient alternative.
Available directly from www.sunchlorella.co.uk or Horan health stores nationwide.
- Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2018 Oct;229:185-189. 2018 Aug 27. Effect of chlorella supplementation on systematic symptoms and serum levels of prostaglandins, inflammatory and oxidative markers in women with primary dysmenorrhea. Haidari F1, Homayouni F1, Helli B1, Haghighizadeh MH2, Farahmandpour F3.