Is chlorophyll healthy?
Chlorophyll is the pigment responsible for giving plants, grasses and algae their gorgeous green hues. But it’s more than just a color: this powerful phytonutrient helps plant photosynthesize and turn sunlight into nutrients. And it has a host of potential health benefits for humans too. Chlorophyll contains high antioxidant levels and other beneficial compounds that may fight inflammation, build blood cells, accelerate wound healing, detoxify the liver and more.
What is chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll is the green pigment that naturally occurs in plants and algae. Chlorophyll is integral to photosynthesis, in which plants absorb sunlight and convert it into energy and nutrients. Nearly every living plant contains some amount of chlorophyll. And because humans and animals rely on plants to survive, chlorophyll is responsible for sustaining life on earth.
Interestingly, the chlorophyll molecule has a similar structure to the “heme” molecule, which is responsible for transporting iron and oxygen in our bloodstream. So many people theorize that chlorophyll may oxygenate the blood similarly to how it converts carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen in plants. However, more research is needed to determine whether that’s true.
Chlorophyll health benefits
Chlorophyll has impressive levels of antioxidants that contribute to its ability to fight inflammation. However, its antioxidant content is still lower than other supplements, including Vitamin E and Vitamin C.
Chlorophyll has been used as a natural form of internal deodorant for many years to treat body odor associated with the menstrual cycle, sweat, stools and breath. For this reason, chlorophyll is a common ingredient in some natural deodorants, mouthwashes and other products.
Several studies have shown that chlorophyll may reduce tumor size and fight cancer cells. A 2018 study found that chlorophyll supplements significantly shrunk the size of pancreatic tumors in mice. Another study on rodents and fish found that chlorophyll reduced stomach and liver tumors. Chlorophyll is currently being studied for its anti-cancer benefits on humans, as well.
Potential weight loss benefits
Research suggests chlorophyll may also reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the body, likely due to its high concentration of antioxidants. Several research studies have found that chlorophyll may be able to improve obesity-related health conditions.
Chlorophyll may have benefits for acne as well as other skin problems, including sun damage. A 2015 study found that the topical application of chlorophyll improved both large pores and pimples. A study found that chlorophyll gel had positive results on sun-damaged skin, including reductions in wrinkles and irregular pigmentation.
The anti-inflammatory properties of chlorophyll may accelerate wound healing by reducing inflammation and warding off bacterial infections. Some studies have also found that topical ointments containing chlorophyll reduced pain in patients during the wound healing process. Taking chlorophyll internally may also accelerate the healing of stomach ulcers.
Promotes liver health
Chlorophyll may help reduce the risk for liver damage and liver cancer by neutralizing toxins in the body. Chlorophyll has specifically been studied for its ability to fight aflatoxin, a carcinogen that causes cellular mutations.
Regulates bowel movements
Chlorophyll may help normalize digestion and the movement of food through the intestinal tract. One study found that chlorophyll reduced chronic constipation in elderly individuals. And some evidence suggests it may normalize diarrhea and other digestive issues as well.
Chlorophyll risk and side effects
Chlorophyll is considered generally safe in doses of up to 300 milligrams per day and does not have any known interactions with medications. However, as with any supplement product, it’s best to consult your doctor before taking chlorophyll to ensure that it’s safe for you, especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. You may experience minor gastrointestinal side effects, including cramping, diarrhea, and dark green stools.
How to take chlorophyll
The best way to consume chlorophyll is to eat a diet rich in leafy greens, algae and other vegetables containing natural chlorophyll. Some of the best sources of chlorophyll include wheatgrass, spinach, parsley, arugula, mustard greens, peas, green beans and leeks. One cup of spinach contains around 24 milligrams of chlorophyll, so adding a cup of spinach to your smoothies and soups is a great way to get your daily dose of chlorophyll.
You will also find a variety of chlorophyll supplements available, including concentrated chlorophyll tinctures and capsules. These supplements genuinely contain chlorophyllin rather than chlorophyll. Chlorophyllin is a water-soluble derivative of chlorophyll and appears on ingredient labels as “chlorophyllin copper complex” or sodium copper chlorophyllin.”
Chlorophyll concentrates and tinctures can be added to a glass of cold water or a smoothie. In contrast, you can take chlorophyll capsules as part of your daily medications and supplement routine.
The FDA does not regulate chlorophyll supplements, so pay careful attention to the brand’s product claims, sourcing and ingredient list to ensure you’re getting a high-quality product.
What you need to buy for chlorophyll health benefits
You can easily add this concentrated chlorophyll tincture to water, smoothies or juices for an added boost of nutrition. It contains no alcohol or preservatives. As an added bonus, the drops can be used as a natural green food dye.
This chlorophyll concentrate includes spirulina for added health benefits and a natural lemon flavor for a more delicious drink. The product is made in the U.S.A. to ensure high-quality production standards.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
These chlorophyll capsules are made with chlorophyll derived from white mulberry leaves and vegan, gluten-free capsules made from soybean oil and beeswax. The capsules are convenient for avoiding the green tongue that sometimes comes with liquid chlorophyll.
Where to buy: Sold by iHerb
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Katy Severson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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