Chlorophyll - Yeah, Meh, or Nah


Thanks to TikTok, liquid chlorophyll is ALL the hype...


First off, what is chlorophyll?


Chlorophyll is what causes the green pigmentation in plants and algae. It also allows plants to trap light for photosynthesis and is known for its health benefits including:

  • Minimizing the effects of oxidative stress

  • Reducing effects of ageing

  • Counteracting health disorders such as diabetes and cancer

  • Promoting wound healing

  • Boosting your immune system


So, yes, taking chlorophyll has many benefits, but chlorophyll is found in our everyday foods as well:

  • Spinach, 1 cup, 23.7 mg

  • Matcha, 2-4 gm, 20-40 mg

  • Green beans, 1 cup. 8.3 mg

  • Arugula, 1 cup, 8.2 mg


*For reference most chlorophyll drops contain about 50 mg


Other greens contain chlorophyll too since it’s what gives them their green color! So think anything from green tea, to romaine lettuce, to sprouts.


There is also something called chlorophyllin, a a semi-synthetic mixture of sodium copper salts derived from chlorophyll, I have also seen liquid chlorophyillin or “detox drops”, however, chlorophyllin is mainly used to control odors, and does not offer the same benefits as chlorophyll. Chlorophyllin is also known to have side effects such as diarrhea and discoloration of urine or feces.


So yes, chlorophyll is great, but are the liquid drops that are being promoted all over TikTok worth it? I’m gonna go with meh.


To get the most bang for your buck and go beyond the benefits of just chlorophyll and to make sure you’re getting actual chlorophyll, your best bet is to stick to real foods. You’ll save money and you’ll get a bunch of other nutrients that will benefit you when choosing to eat real foods over having chlorophyll drops. That being said, if you’re taking 100% real chlorophyll drops and you love them, there is no harm.



Sources


“Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin.” Linus Pauling Institute, 1 Jan. 2021, lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/chlorophyll-chlorophyllin#references.


Siddavaram Nagini, Fabrizio Palitti & Adayapalam T. Natarajan. (2015). Chemopreventive Potential of Chlorophyllin: A Review of the Mechanisms of Action and Molecular Targets,Nutrition and Cancer,67:2,203-211,DOI: 10.1080/01635581.2015.990573


Subramoniam, A., Asha, V.V., Nair, S.A. et al. (2012). Chlorophyll Revisited: Anti-inflammatory Activities of Chlorophyll a and Inhibition of Expression of TNF-α Gene by the Same. Inflammation35, 959–966. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10753-011-9399-0


Wang, E., & Wink, M. (2016). Chlorophyll enhances oxidative stress tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans and extends its lifespan. PeerJ, 4, e1879. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1879


Zhang, J. Y., Pan, D. L., Jia, Z. H., Wang, T., Wang, G., & Guo, Z. R. (2018). Chlorophyll, carotenoid and vitamin C metabolism regulation in Actinidia chinensis 'Hongyang' outer pericarp during fruit development. PloS one, 13(3), e0194835. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194835






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