A Brief Outline
Let’s start off by actually outlining what chlorophyll is, for any of you who didn’t already know. Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants that helps them absorb sunlight and utilise it for energy. Molecularly it’s very similar to haemoglobin found in human blood (the main difference being the central atom in haemoglobin is iron, and in chlorophyll is magnesium). Chlorophyll is also a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, E and K.
How Do You Get Chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll is easily found in dark leafy green vegetables such as chard, kale, broccoli, spinach, green beans, wheatgrass and leaks. An easy way to get chlorophyll naturally is through wheatgrass juice or shots, or to add spinach and kale into your smoothies.
You can buy it in tablet, liquid and powder form, and nutritionists or herbal practitioners usually recommend a dosage of 100mg 2-3 times a day (check with your specialist). Also be aware that chlorophyll supplements can have high levels of copper, which may not suit all diets, so try the natural method first before turning to supplements! As for side effects, it may make your skin slightly more sensitive to the sun, so be careful about sun exposure, and make sure to wear sunscreen!
Alright, so let’s cover what it can actually do…
1. It’s an antioxidant
Aside from containing a large number of vitamins, chlorophyll is also considered to be a superfood. It is able to eliminate free radicals, and in turn protect cells from damage.
2. Effective against Candida
Ever heard of candida? Candida is a fungus/yeast infection which can lead to fatigue, bad breath, brain fog, hormone imbalances, and digestive problems (just to name a few symptoms). Studies have shown that increasing chlorophyll in the diet can slow or stop candida growth.
3. Maintains iron levels
Chlorophyllin (not the regular chlorophyll supplement) can be effective against anaemia or low iron. Regular liquid chlorophyll is used by health practitioners for anaemia or blood loss, due to it’s ability to increase the amount of oxygen blood cells can carry, and speeds up the process of building the red blood cells.
4. Anti-ageing properties
Because of the aforementioned free-radical fighting properties of chlorophyll, it can also support maintaining healthy tissues in the body. The amount of Vitamin K present in chlorophyll aids the adrenal glands and can improve adrenal function.
5. Hormone balancing
Chlorophyll, and it’s vitamin E content, help stimulate and regulate the production of sex hormones in males and females. The ability of chlorophyll to rebuild hormones is also partially due to the magnesium content.
6. Eases bad breath
Poor gut health and oral bacteria can cause bad breath. Chlorophyll can not only deodorize bad breath, but can also target the source by helping establish better gut health.
7. Blood detoxification
Chlorophyll can aid your liver in the process of eliminating heavy metals and harmful chemicals from the blood.
Most people do not consume enough leafy green vegetables in their diet, so either start adding in more raw/steamed green vegetables, or look out for a chlorophyll supplement!
Balder HF, et al. 2006, 'Heme and chlorophyl intake and risk of colorectal cancer in the Netherlands cohort study', Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, vol 15, no 4, pp. 717-725.
Dingley KH, et al. 2003, 'Effect of dietary constituents with chemopreventative potential on adduct formation of a low dose of the heterocyclic amines PhIP and IQ and phase II hepatic enzymes', Nutr Cancer, vol 26, no 2, pp. 212-221.
Maekawa LE et al. 2007, 'Antimicrobial activity of chlorophyll-based solution on Candida albicans and Enterococcus faecalis', Revista Sul-brasiliera de Odontologia.
Miret S, Tascioglu S, van der Burg M, Frenken L, & Klaffke W 2010, 'In vitro bioavailability of iron from the heme analogue sodium iron chlorophyllin', J Agric Food Chem, vol 58, no 2, pp. 1327-1332.
Klatz R & Goldman R 2003, Stopping The Clock, Basic Health Publications Ic.