Originally posted 2016-08-01 06:24:21.
Most people have definitely heard about chlorophyll and also know how crucial it is for plants. Science class teaches the essential role that chlorophyll plays in absorption of light to aid in photosynthesis which is how plants create energy. That is all a majority knows about chlorophyll. This article delves deeper and attempts to illustrate clearly what chlorophyll is and how chlorophyll benefits humans.
What is Chlorophyll?
It is a group of closely related green pigments present on the chloroplasts of plants and algae. It is the pigment that facilitates the absorption of light from the sun in plant; helps convert light energy intro a form that is utilized by plants in various processes such as photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is actually responsible for the green color pigmentation that most plants possess. Chlorophyll benefits the body massively because it is an excellent source of essential vitamins such as Vitamin A,C,E AND K. Other health benefits of Chlorophyll are because it is also rich minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron.
5 Amazing Health Benefits of Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is chock full of beneficial vitamins and nutrients that positively impact human health. Below is a comprehensive look at 5 amazing health benefits of chlorophyll.
1. Helps in the Prevention of cancer
Cancer prevention is obviously extremely difficult to evaluate and very sensational. However, there is reliable research that indicates chlorophyll can help reduce the development of cancer. Several studies have shown that chlorophyll and liquid chlorophyll (semi synthetic supplement made in laboratories) binds potential carcinogens and interferes with their absorption in the gastrointestinal track. These interference prevents the carcinogens from reaching vulnerable tissues such as the heart.
Another extensive study done by Linus Pauling Institute in Oregon proved that in large quantities chlorophyll blocks the absorption of aflatoxin-B1. Aflatoxin-B1 induces DNA damage hence the less of it the better. Other studies have indicated that this effect decreases the risk of developing cancers such as liver and colon cancer.
Chlorophyll benefits the body by reducing the risk of cancer development through interfering with the metabolism of procarcinogens. For DNA damage to occur these chemical procarcinogens have to be metabolized. This means chlorophyll plays an important role in the prevention of cancers that are chemically induced. Recent studies suggest that chlorophyll inhibits the activity of ribonucleotide reductase. This helps prevent DNA damage and also boots the repair of altered DNA. A study conducted by the Wageningen Centre of Food Sciences in Netherlands showed that rats that were fed with chlorophyll supplements had reduced formation of haem metabolites that increase the occurrence of colon cancer. As a result, the researchers concluded that green vegetables can play a vital role in decreasing the risk of developing colon cancer.
2. Aids in Liver Detoxification
Chlorophyll increases phase II biotransformation enzymes; these enzymes boost the health of the liver hence ehnace its function which is elimination of detrimental toxins. Early research on chlorophyll using animals indicated that by increasing phase II biotransformation enzymes, chlorophyll plays a role in reducing liver damage that is induced by aflatoxin.
Afatoxin-B1 is metabolized to a carcinogen that induces cellular mutations which lead to increased risk of developing liver cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. Recent studies have shown that simultaneously consuming large amounts of Aflatoxin-B1 and chlorophyllin significantly reduces DNA damage.
A randomized placebo-controlled intervention trial conducted in China showed that Aflotoxin-B1 levels dropped by approximately 55% in subjects taking chlorophyllin compared to those who were put on placebo. This study involved 180 adults who were at a high risk of developing chronic hepatitis B and hepatocellular carcinoma.
3. Chlorophyll benefits the body by significantly accelerating the healing of injuries and lacerations
Chlorophyll speeds up wound healing and also prevents wound infection by staggering the reproduction rate of harmful bacteria. For many years, chlorophylllin has been included in ointments used to treat open wounds that are vulnerable to infection such as pressure ulcer and vascular ulcer. Reliable studies have proved that chlorophyll has anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, chlorophyll also kills any bad odor resulting from bacterial accumulation on wounds.
4. Improves digestive health and helps maintain a normal body weight
Anathor way Chlorophyll benefits the body is significantly boosting detoxification through the acceleration of waste elimination in the digestive system; this is done by balancing fluid levels to alleviate constipation which hinder waster removal. Furthermore, earlier research on chlorophyll indicates that it boots metabolism and therefore plays a vital role in the maintenance of a normal body weight and helps to lose weight.
An extensive study carried out in 2014 at Lund University, Sweden ascertained that simultaneously taking high-carbohydrate meals together with chlorophyll supplements reduces hunger pangs. Additionally, there is increased cholecystokinin and low occurrence of hypoglycemia particularly in women who are overweight. Before this study, there were some prior researches that proved that when chlorophyll is taken in ‘thykloid supplement form’ it accelerated the production of hormones such as insulin and ghrelin which create an illusion of fullness.
Most of these studies were mostly used rodent test subjects but the results are prove that there is a real chance that chlorophyll can suppress overeating and as a result prevent rapid weight gain.
Another study done in Lund University, Sweden that observed 20 test subjects (overweight women) eating on three separate occasions, showed that thylakoids significantly suppressed hunger and boosted the secretion of satiety hormones. The three meals included a heavy breakfast that was fully loaded with high carbohydrates. Some test subjects took the chlorophyll thylakoid supplements while those on placebo did not. Even in women who were impulse eaters the chlorophyll supplements prevented compensational eating which largely contributes to weight gain. Essentially, chlorophyll benefits the body by creating an environment suitable for weight loss and maintenance of a normal body weight.
5. Promotes healthy skin
Chlorophyll has anti-viral effects that make it great for the skin. The anti-viral properties prevent the development of cold sores in the genital area and on the mouth; such sores are mainly caused by herpes simplex. Reliable studies have unequivocally proved that ointments containing chlorophyll reduce number of sores and significantly accelerate the healing of wounds and sores. Essentially, chlorophyll is a natural cure for symptoms of herpes simplex.
There is research that also indicates that chlorophyll can come in handy in the treatment of shingles. This research also proves that chlorophyll can decrease the risk of developing skin cancer. Apparently, injecting chlorophyll directly into the skin has been proven to be more effective than applying it as an ointment or lotion. Injecting chlorophyll directly into the skin is particularly beneficial for people who have had basal cell carcinoma; it helps reduce the chances of recurrence.
How Chlorophyll works?
Chlorophyll is abundant in green leafy vegetables that we consume such as kale. It is also present in some species of bacteria and algae. Humans can either consume it naturally by eating it in leafy greens or alternatively taking it in the form of chlorophyllin. It is a semi-synthetic mixture manufacture in laboratories, it is marketed as liquid chlorophyll and is the most widely used chlorophyll supplement. Chlorophyll supplements are not in the market, they have been in existent for over 50 years. In earlier years, they were mostly used to treat wounds, prevent body odor, and treat digestive problems. This supplement is extremely popular and widely accepted because it has no side effects unlike many supplements in the market.
Research shows that chlorophyll is linked to natural prevention of cancer by blocking the alteration of DNA caused by toxic molds such as Aflatoxin-B1. Experts believe that chlorophyll help to neutralize oxidants which cause oxidative damage. Oxidative damage is caused by factors such as chemical carcinogens, unbalanced diet, exposure to radiation and consistent exposure to harmful UV light.
Extensive research done by the Tropical Botanic Garden in India ascertained that chlorophyll which is extracted directly from green plants has incredible anti-inflammatory properties that help combat bacteria and environmental toxins. Natural chlorophyll renders pro-inflammatory cytokine ineffective. This makes it a great and effective treatment option for inflammation which is a symptom and cause of many ailments that modern medicine has failed to cure treat and control.
Another little known benefit of chlorophyll that might surprise you is the critical role it plays in controlling appetite regulating hormones. By controlling these hormones, chlorophyll benefits the body through helping to reduce the development of obesity that is a result of rapid uncontrolled weight gain. By curbing appetite, weight gain can be effectively controlled. An advantage of opting for chlorophyll to aid in weight loss other than other commercially-manufactured supplements is that is has no detrimental side effects.
There are two main forms of natural chlorophyll:
• Chlorophyll-a; bluish black solid.
• Chlorophyll-b; dark green solid.
Chlorophyll-a and Chlorophyll-b absorb light at different wavelengths. Together they reflect a dark green pigment that is easily visible to the human eye. Both types are fat-soluble and don’t dissolve in water. However, synthetic chlorophyllin is soluble in water which means it can easily be taken by mixing it in water. Chlorophyll sustains nature because it enables plants to create energy; humans cannot survive without plants. The structure of is similar to that of heme (the pigment present in hemoglobin that makes blood bright red when oxygenated).
Dieticians consider chlorophyll a super food because of the powerful anti-cancerous and anti-oxidant properties it possesses. Additionally, chlorophyll also boosts the body’s immunity by combining with other oxidant chemicals to form tight molecular bonds. These molecular bonds prevent oxidative damage and hinder the development of dangerous ailments such as liver disease and cancer.
In a nutshell, here are some cancer-causing procarcinogen chemicals that chlorophyll can block effectively:
• Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons found in tobacco smoke.
• Heterocyclic amine toxins present in red meat cooked under high temperatures.
• Toxins in foods such as Afatoxin-B1 which is a fungus found in legumes and grains such as beans and corn. Aflatoxin when metabolized releases carcinogens into the blood stream.
• Dangerous UV light that increases the risk of developing skin cancer.
Chlorophyll Rich Foods
Are you impressed by the health benefits of chlorophyll? The best way to exploit these amazing chlorophyll benefits is to increase your chlorophyll consumption level. Here are chlorophyll rich foods that you can incorporate in your diet.
Include a larger portion of leafy green vegetables in your diet.
Leafy greens are rich in chlorophyll, veggies such as the swiss chard, kale and spinach are an ideal choice. Try as much as possible to include these leafy greens in all your meals. To prevent getting bored or complaining on bland taste, prepare the leafy greens creatively to make them more delicious. There are several creative ways to prepare leafy greens such as juicing them, including them in a salad, or including them in sandwiches ad tortillas.
To boost the chlorophyll content in your greens either eat them raw or cook them lightly.
An intriguing study published by the Institute of Food Technologies ascertained that overcooking leafy greens, refrigerating them or consuming them when almost spoilt significantly reduces their chlorophyll content. For instance the chlorophyll content in spinach reduced by a massive 35% after it was thawed; it got even worse when spinach was boiled/steamed, the chlorophyll content reduced by half. Here is comprehensive list of chlorophyll content (bound to magnesium) of selection raw leafy greens:
• Cup of raw spinach contains 23.7 milligrams of chlorophyll
• 1 cup of raw parsley contains 38 milligrams of chlorophyll
• 1 cup of raw watercress contains 15.6 milligrams of chlorophyll
• 1 cup of raw green beans contains 8.3 milligrams of chlorophyll
• 1 cup of raw arugula contains 8.2 milligrams of chlorophyll
• 1 cup of raw leeks contains 7.7 milligrams of chlorophyll
• 1 cup of raw endive contains 5.2 milligrams of chlorophyll
• 1 cup of raw sugar snap peas contains 4.8 milligrams of chlorophyll
• 1 cup of raw Chinese cabbage contains 4.1 milligrams of chlorophyll
It is a blue-green algae found in abundance in parts of Asia. It is rich in chlorophyll and other beneficial nutrients such as vitamins, amino acids and essential minerals. There are chlorella supplements in the market that are available in tablet and powder form. You can enjoy the health benefits of chlorophyll by simply including chlorella in meals.
Chlorophyll extracted from algae such as chlorella is used to make the chlorophyllin supplements. Oral doses of this supplement are taken in 200-300 mg daily.
Liquid chlorophyll and additional sources of chlorophyll
Liquid chlorophyll is also made from chlorophyll extracted from algae such as chlorophyllin. It is consumed by mixing it with water and doesn’t have an unpleasant taste as many would assume.
Chlorophyll is also present is herbal treatments such as alfafa (Medicago sativa).
Chlorophyll Side Effects
Since chlorophyll and chlorophyllin supplements are 100% natural, they are not toxic. They has been used for over 50 years and there have not been any reports which claim detrimental side effects. Even in people with compromised immune systems such those suffering from cancer, no side effects have been reported.
The risk for toxicity is extremely low; the only widespread complaints among chlorophyll supplement users include feces discoloration, urine discoloration, tongue discoloration and mild indigestion.
These side effects clear within a short period of time. Natural chlorophyll obtained from eating foods has no side effects. It is advisable to desist from taking chlorophyll supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are under any medication particularly photosensitive drugs, it is advisable to seek the advice of your doctor before taking chlorophyll. Research proves that certain medications interact with chlorophyll causing extreme light sensitivity hence increasing vulnerability to burns from UV light.
Chlorophyll benefits make it an excellent dietary supplement
Chlorophyll is an indispensable pigment that not only enables plants to create energy but also benefits the human body extensively. It possesses an amazing range of benefits and is readily available. Foods rich in chlorophyll also contain other beneficial nutrients that aid in muscular and cardiovascular health.