Chlorophyll is present in most green vegetables, and some take it as a health supplement. Potential benefits of chlorophyll include improved health, increased energy, and disease control.
Here we consider the possible benefits of chlorophyll and the evidence that supports them. We will also cover ways to take chlorophyll as a supplement.
What is chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll is a substance that gives plants a green color. The chlorophyll molecule has a unique ability to convert solar energy into chemical energy (photosynthesis), which plants use to absorb carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water. After all, all forms of life from the plant and animal world draw energy from their environment, in this case through photosynthesis.
One of the primary ways to include chlorophyll in your diet is to eat green vegetables, such as alfalfa and spinach. Wheatgrass is especially rich in chlorophyll and is available for purchase online in powder, juice, or capsule form.
A popular way to include chlorophyll in your diet is to take supplements. They are available in the form of drops, pills, or capsules.
Most chlorophyll supplements contain chlorophyllin. Chlorophyllin is a water-soluble derivative of natural chlorophyll that is potentially better absorbed by the body than when it comes to other forms of chlorophyll.
Labels on chlorophyllin-containing supplements may state “sodium copper chlorophyllin” or “copper chlorophyllin complex” in the ingredients.
People have been using chlorophyll as a health supplement for many years. Various medical studies suggest that it may be useful for skin diseases, body odors, and the fight against certain types of cancer.
Chlorophyll is generally safe for people to try using if they are interested in its possible benefits. However, anyone who has a health problem or is taking medication should first talk to their doctor.
Some of the potential benefits of chlorophyll include:
An anti-aging agent
Topically applied chlorophyll can be used as an anti-aging agent. Research has shown that applying a gel containing chlorophyllin to the skin reduces the signs of aging that appear due to sun exposure. Skin samples from four healthy women for 12 days were used in the study.
The study results showed that chlorophyll-treated skin improved similarly to tretinoin-treated skin, a prescription cream that has been shown to help stop the aging process. The authors suggest that using a combination of chlorophyllin and tretinoin could be an effective treatment for changing the signs of aging on the skin.
Local chlorophyll can also have potential as an acne treatment.
One study showed that a gel containing chlorophyllin helped reduce acne on the head and large visible pores. Ten subjects included in the study had mild to moderate acne and used chlorophyll gel for 3 weeks.
In another study, a comparison was made using chlorophyll and phototherapy with phototherapy for acne alone. People who received the combination had fewer acne lesions, less severe acne, and less oily skin than those who did not. However, all 24 participants were of Asian descent and darker skin types, so the results may not be relevant for everyone.
Blood building properties
Chlorophyll is chemically similar to hemoglobin, a protein needed in red blood cells because it carries oxygen around the body.
Researchers suggest that wheat juice rich in chlorophyll may help treat hemoglobin deficiency disorders, such as anemia and thalassemia.
Researchers have been researching chlorophyll for its potential as a deodorant for many years.
A study published in 1960. suggested that chlorophyll could reduce odors in people who had a colostomy. Later, a 1989 survey. Showed that chlorophyll was not effective in controlling odor in people who had a colostomy. However, a 1980 study. Showed that chlorophyll still improves lower body odor in older adults living in nursing homes.
Today, some deodorants and mouthwashes contain chlorophyll. Some people also take chlorophyll pills to alleviate body odor.
Help in wound healing
Researchers examined chlorophyll to aid wound healing during the ’40s and’ 50s. Some of these studies suggest that chlorophyll can heal surgical wounds and prevent infections.
More recently, testing was conducted in 2008. showed that a drug containing chlorophyll accelerates wound healing and alleviates odors. Some doctors today prescribe this type of treatment.
Chlorophyll has shown potential for healing cancer in some animal tests:
- A year-long study showed that chlorophyllin could help prevent and slow cancer growth.
- 2005 survey found that natural chlorophyll reduces colon cancer risk in rats. Rats ate foods rich in red meat and poor in green vegetables, directly related to the increased risk of colon cancer. However, the authors did not see the same results for chlorophyllin.
- A study conducted in 2016 showed that chlorophyllin helps slow lung cancer progression in mice. The researchers gave chlorophyllin to mice in microscopic capsules known as nanocapsules.
Benefits that need more research
Although chlorophyll has a variety of potential health benefits, there are not enough adequate scientific studies to support them, and all of this requires further investigation. So far, most studies have been small and limited, and many of the potential health benefits are not effective in humans.
Other possible health benefits that require more research include the effect of chlorophyll on:
- increase in energy
- hormonal balance
- arthritis and relaxation of fibromyalgia
- weight loss
Chlorophyll and hemoglobin
Chlorophyll is not such a special biological structure despite its specific function. It is made in a biological form known as the porphyrin ring, which occurs in various organic molecules. A group of these molecules is involved in cellular respiration during oxygen transport and consumption. One of these organic compounds is hemoglobin, myoglobin, and cytochrome.
Hemoglobin has a very similar structure to chlorophyll, and it is a substance in human blood whose role is to carry oxygen from the lungs to other tissues and cells in the body. Several studies compare these two substances.
Chlorophyll around us
Can the chlorophyll that is abundant around us increase the body’s supply of hemoglobin, which is a component of our blood that is vital for our survival? This is a beautiful idea. Certainly, some research involving chlorophyll-rich foods to upgrade the blood can be used as a basis for such a statement.
After an exhaustive review of scientific research that included the relationship between chlorophyll consumption and hemoglobin supplementation in the blood, it was concluded that the relationship between these two compounds is extremely complex than the simple idea that the body will replace the magnesium molecule with an iron molecule to obtain hemoglobin from chlorophyll.
The exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide occurs during the circulation of red blood cells. Red blood cells contain the pigment heme, bound to the protein globin, which gives hemoglobin. Nutrients for maintaining healthy blood include iron, copper, calcium, vitamin C, B-12, folic acid, and pyridoxine.
In 1936, Dr. Artur Patek published a fascinating study. Fifteen patients with iron deficiency (anemia) received different amounts of chlorophyll and iron. It is already known that iron alone cures this condition. Still, in combination with chlorophyll, the results were much better. The number of red blood cells and the level of hemoglobin increased significantly and much faster compared to the use of iron itself. Such results were obtained only with the use of chlorophyll.
Dr. Patek stated the following:
“This study can encourage us to use this ingredient, which is rich in green plants and green protein foods, and with it, we can fill our depots, which will eventually activate a higher production of hemoglobin in our body.”
There are real indications that this compound stimulates the synthesis of proteins from which we get the hemoglobin molecule. These proteins obtained from chlorophyll molecules can accelerate the production of depths in our bodies. This may be a key explanation for chlorophyll’s effect on hemoglobin synthesis. “
Foods rich in chlorophyll
Most natural green vegetables contain chlorophyll. Among foods that are especially rich in chlorophyll include:
- asparagus and peas
- sword green tea
In addition to chlorophyll, these vegetables also provide various healthy vitamins and minerals.
Use of chlorophyll as a supplement
Chlorophyll supplements vary greatly in potency and formulation. Some supplements come in the form of drops that a person can add to water or another beverage, while others are available in capsule form.
Packaging containing chlorophyll usually includes instructions on how to use it. If this is not the case, consult a doctor or nutritionist for advice before you start taking it.
When it comes to liquid chlorophyll supplements, it is recommended to add about 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) to the drink. If the taste is unpleasant, start with a smaller amount and gradually increase the dose.
For chlorophyll capsules, the recommended dose is in the range of 100 to 300 milligrams up to three times a day.
Chlorophyll supplements are generally safe to use and do not seem to have serious side effects. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women should talk to a doctor before taking chlorophyll in a supplement.
Some people may notice stomach upset or skin irritation after taking chlorophyll. People who experience disturbing side effects must stop taking the supplement and visit a doctor.
Chlorophyll has various potential health benefits, but the evidence for most of these is not enough, and more research is needed.
Some people may find that including more chlorophyll in their diet or taking supplements makes them better or helps with medical conditions, such as anemia.
There are many reasons why green plants should be included in foods that enhance the blood picture structure. Vitamins and minerals in this kind of food are essential during the synthesis and construction of healthy blood.
The connection and similarity between green food and blood and the structure of the two colored pigments, hemoglobin, and chlorophyll, are fascinating. Although investigated in the last 60 years, the biological connection between these two molecules is not completely clear.
However, it has been shown that small amounts of chlorophyll absorbed in the digestive tract can stimulate the production of heme or depths in both humans and animals.
Always consult your doctor about supplements, including chlorophyll, before using them.