Chlorophyll - Benefits and Cautions

Benefits of Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll has been increasing popularity in supporting the liver and the gastrointestinal tract, eliminating bad breath, alkalinizing the blood, assisting in overall increased energy, and cancer prevention.


What is Chlorophyll?

Simply said, it is responsible for the green pigment in plants.

The chemical formula of chlorophyll includes Magnesium as the central atom, which is necessary to convert sunlight to energy through a process known as photosynthesis. Magnesium is the element that gives plants their green pigment. However, because iron is a cofactor in chlorophyll synthesis, deficiency in both will cause yellowing of the plant, also known as chlorosis. That is why we look for green leafy plants and vegetables for optimal levels of nutrients.

It is also interesting that the chemical structure of chlorophyll is similar to hemoglobin in our blood, except instead of iron being the central atom, in plants it is Magnesium. Although the two molecules have different functions, they are also related. In our bodies, Magnesium is responsible for anything from muscle function to brain synapses, to insulin action, and DNA repair[1]. While iron in hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen to our cells and bringing carbon dioxide to our lungs to be exhaled from our system.[2]

In some way, it appears that both systems require the same substances to function optimally. This is why it is important for us to be mindful over the quality of foods we consume.


Cancer Research

Chorophyll has been found to block the absorption of toxic carcinogens as aflatoxin, a fungus contaminant often found in grains, legumes and nuts. Aflatoxin is a neurotoxin and has been implicated in liver cancer. A 2009 study from Oregon State University (OSU), published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, found that in the presence of chlorophyll, the aflatoxin was prevented against entering the bloodstream, and was quickly eliminated from the system, although the exact mechanism is not is still unknown. [3]


Concerns About Products

As with all products on the market, you need to stay vigilant about products that state “Natural” on the label. In order to preserve the chlorophyll, plants may be exposed to chemicals that may affect the quality of the chlorophyll.

If purchasing chlorophyll, it is a good idea to buy liquid chlorophyll, in a dark class bottle and ensure it is refrigerated as to preserve freshness. Liquid chlorophyll also has more phytochemicals that are of great value in the beneficial actions of chlorophyll. Add 1 tablespoon of chlorophyll into a large glass of water or water bottle throughout your day.


Important Note: Because of the detoxifying nature of chlorophyll, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should use caution around all detoxifying products.


Natural Sources of Chlorophyll are Best

Microalgae as Spirulina, and Chlorella, and Cereal Grass as wheat grass and barley grass.[4] Parsley, and green leafy vegetables that are rich in chlorophyll and other nutrients as vitamin A, C, calcium, potassium, fiber and hundreds of phytonutrients that work in synergy to strengthen your system.


Next time you make your self a vegetable juice, throw in some parsley, spinach, celery and carrots. It makes for a truly natural and tasty treat.


[2] Campbell et al. 5th ed. Biology. Menlo Park: Benjamin/Cummings, 1999.




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