Cherifer is a famous brand of food supplement in the Philippines that boast its Chlorella growth factor (CGF) content on all Medias. Though it always mention that it has “no approved therapeutic claims”, the advertisements and the product box itself have several implications stating that “it is a growth enhancer”; such as underlining the word growth in CGF and bearing the motto: “Height is might”.
CGF is a nucleotide-peptide complex [1,2] derived from extracts of chlorella, that causes enhanced cell growth to due to improved cellular anabolic rate. Cell growth refers to increased cell division and thus “has no direct means of increasing body height”. Improvement of health from a cellular level through enzymatic processes plus addition of multivitamins and minerals is good, but putting additional claim for marketing purposes that was not thoroughly researched can only be called a sham.
In addition to all the above statements, since the intake of Cherifer is through oral administration, as a nucleotide-peptide complex, CGF is still bound to be denatured by gastric juices and be degraded into smaller peptide chains by proteolytic enzymes. Degraded, it will no longer be used for the same enzymatic processes for cell growth (as proposed on the study). But given the benefit of the doubt, assuming not all complexes are degraded at the very least, how will the alien complex enter the nuclear envelope without a certain chaperone? In a simple sense, the CGF intake have several bypasses to overcome, and even after that are the conditions for the CGF to properly function.
Improving health can surely affect growth, but we are still bound by our genetic phenotypes. Modifying body height through health improvement will definitely not defeat your genetic make-up, but doing it so will still benefit the body.
PS. One of my professors commented on this and brought up the idea that the degradation products of CGF might be a clue to its true nature. However, no studies related to this have been published, as of 2014, and thus the claim is still void.
- J Appl Poult Res(2013) 22 (1):100-108.