The Health Benefits and Risks of Chlorophyll Supplements

The pigment that gives plants their green color is known as chlorophyll. Chlorophyll absorbs sunlight and through the process of photosynthesis, gives plants nutrients making them green and healthy.

Eating green vegetables such as spinach is one easy way to incorporate chlorophyll into your diet. There are also chlorophyll supplements in the form of capsules, pills, or drops.

These supplements are a more effective way of getting chlorophyll. The supplements are chlorophyllin and most list ‘chlorophyllin copper complex’ or ‘sodium copper chlorophyllin’ as ingredients. Chlorophyll supplements have certain health benefits but can have certain side effects.

Anti-aging remedy

Topical chlorophyll works as an anti-aging remedy. Studies suggest that applying chlorophyllin gels to the skin helps to reduce photoaging signs usually caused by exposure to the sun.

The study’s results showed that chlorophyllin treated skin improved like skin treated with prescription skin creams such as tretinoin.

The study also suggests that using chlorophyllin and tretinoin together is an effective way of reversing the signs of photoaged skin.

Acne treatment and skin healing

Topical chlorophyll is known to have the capability of treating acne. A 2015 study concluded that a chlorophyllin containing gel helped to reduce facial acne and large pores.

In three weeks, the people using this gel experienced significant improvement on their skin. Chlorophyllin is also known to reduce bacterial growth and inflammation in skin wounds.

Commercial ointments such as papain-urea-chlorophyllin are more effective than other treatments.

Blood-building properties

The chemical composition of chlorophyll is similar to that of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that help in carrying oxygen around a person’s body.

Taking chlorophyll supplements helps in improving red blood cells quality.

Wheatgrass contains 70 percent chlorophyll and researchers suggest that its juice is important in treating anemia and thalassemia, which are hemoglobin deficiencies.

Natural deodorant

The potential for chlorophyll being a deodorant has been studied for many years. A 1960 study suggests that it may reduce odor for individuals who have had a colostomy. However, a subsequent study in 1989 has disputed this claim.

A recent study found that chlorophyll supplements reduced the number of trimethylamines in people with trimethylaminuria, which is a condition that causes a fishy odor.

There’s little evidence to support claims that chlorophyllin reduces bad breath.

Cancer treatment

Some tests carried out on animals have shown that chlorophyll has the potential in treating cancer. These studies have shown that chlorophyll might help in preventing and slowing cancer growth. Studies on humans found that chlorophyll limits ingested aflatoxin, a carcinogenic compound.

Risks of chlorophyll supplements

Chlorophyllin isn’t known to be toxic. It’s quite safe for people to try if they’re interested in its health benefits. However, there are possible side effects one would experience from taking chlorophyll supplements.

Some of these effects include diarrhea, itching or burning when applied, digestive problems, and black stool that can be mistaken for gastrointestinal bleeding.

Check with your doctor if you have any medical condition or are on medication.