Chlorophyll is a green pigment that is found in plants and algae. It is also an essential component to facilitate photosynthesis – the process by which plants make food. Besides its assistance in photosynthesis, chlorophyll is also said to have various health benefits.
While you can get chlorophyll from either plants or supplements, supplements may be more effective because chlorophyll may not survive digestion long enough for absorption. People have consumed chlorophyll as a health supplement for many years. A variety of medical studies have suggested that it may be helpful for skin conditions, body odours, and fighting certain kinds of cancer.
While research as to the benefits of chlorophyll is still ongoing, here are some of the potential positive effects related to chlorophyll.
- Anti ageing properties
A study has found that applying a gel containing chlorophyllin to the skin reduced signs of sun ageing. The study used skin samples from four healthy women and lasted for 12 days. The results of the study showed that skin treated with chlorophyllin improved in a similar way to skin treated with tretinoin, which is a prescription skin cream that has been proven to help with skin ageing.
2. As an anti-inflammatory
A 2008 review of wound care research involved several studies on ointments containing papain-urea-chlorophyllin.
3. Improving the quality of blood
Chlorophyll is chemically similar to hemoglobin, a protein that is essential in red blood cells as it carries oxygen around a person’s body. Research has suggested that wheatgrass juice, which is rich in chlorophyll, may be helpful in treating hemoglobin deficiency disorders, such as anaemia and thalassemia.
4. Natural deodorant
While chlorophyllin has been used since the 1940s to neutralize certain odours, studies are outdated and show mixed results.
The most recent study of people with trimethylaminuria, a condition that causes a fishy odor, found that chlorophyllin significantly decreased the number of trimethylamines.
5. Weight Loss
There has been some research to show that chlorophyll may help with weight loss. While the research is by no means conclusive, it has also been suggested that chlorophyll reduces the level of cholesterol.
6. Curing Cancer
Researchers found that taking oral chlorophyll daily significantly reduced tumour size in mice that had been transplanted with human pancreatic cancer cells.
While the results of animal studies are promising, there have only recently been human trials. A small study of four volunteers found that chlorophyll may limit ingested aflatoxin, a compound known to cause cancer.