Chlorophyll. You may have previously been introduced to it as the lifeblood of plants and photosynthesis, but now it’s blowing up on your feed for different reasons - namely the benefit of drinking or eating it in supplement form.
So why should you pay any attention to it? Well for starters, taking it can remove your body odor. Yes. B.O. But we’ll get to that in a few, first let’s give you an introduction to this pigment that’s all the buzz these days.
What is Chlorophyll and where does it come from?
Super quick science lesson - Chlorophyll is a molecule found in plants and its job is to enable photosynthesis. It does this by absorbing energy from light and uses the energy to convert unhealthy carbon dioxide into healthy carbohydrates.
Chlorophyll is found in all green plants (it gives them their green color) and has a multitude of health benefits for humans like you and I (which we’ll get into in 30 seconds).
Although Chlorophyll is found in plants, the wide array of health benefits may not be achieved in its natural form because it is liposoluble. Liposoluble means it does not dilute in water (fats or fat solvents instead) and is minimally absorbed.
So, if you eat a ton of broccoli or spinach your body may not fully absorb and achieve all of Chlorophyll’s benefits. Sounds pretty disappointing, right? Well, it was until it wasn’t.
Chlorophyll’s potential therapeutic benefits had intrigued scientists for decades, so they weren't just going to give up.
They finally got a lucky break (after a lot of experimenting) and discovered how to derive a form of Chlorophyll, now known as Chlorophyllin, to make it liquid soluble and thus retain its abundant health benefits. Chlorophyllin is the main ingredient that you’ll find in nearly all of the Chlorophyll supplements on the market today.
Chlorophyllin is a mixture of sodium copper salts derived from Chlorophyll which combine to create a water-soluble derivative of Chlorophyll. During the mixture of Chlorophyllin, the magnesium found in Chlorophyll is replaced with Copper and the element that causes it to be liposoluble (Phytol tail) is lost. Thus, the Chlorophyllin found in all supplements is formed.
The chlorophyll found in pill, powder, water or gummy supplements are extracted from various plants, but the most common are from Mulberry Leaves. Why Mulberry? This is because Mulberry Trees are fast-growing and are in abundance compared to Alfalfa, another plant previously used to extract Chlorophyll.
What are the benefits of Chlorophyll? (Find out if you should be taking it)
Now that you understand where Chlorophyll comes from, let’s get into why you should not miss out on its benefits.
After reviewing 27 research papers and studies, we compiled a list of 5 benefits to taking Chlorophyll that pertain to us humans.
Let’s get into it.
1. Chlorophyll as an Internal Deodorant (or Deodorizer)
Chlorophyll has observable positive effects on body odor and bad breath.
In an army hospital in 1947, Chlorophyll’s odor-fighting powers were first discovered. As a result of many patient's injuries, a horrible smell filled the hospital’s corridors.
This was miraculously resolved when Chlorophyllin, the Chlorophyll derivative, was used by patients. As Lt. Col. Warner F. Bowers stated in The American Journal of Surgery, “This odor immediately disappeared.”
Yes, that’s right. Chlorophyll can act as a soldier in your war against body odor.
How does it work?
Once absorbed, the molecules that make up Chlorophyll have the unique (in our opinion, magical) ability to bind to unwanted molecules (including the bacteria that cause body odor and bad breath).
When Chlorophyll binds to these molecules, it holds onto them until our bodies excrete it. In doing so, Chlorophyll gets rid of the bacteria and suppresses their smell on the way out.
Onto the next benefit.
2. Chlorophyll as a Detox (Detoxification of Carcinogens)
Chlorophyll is most known for its detox capabilities, now let’s learn what it actually does.
A few years ago in China, a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 180 adults with high risk of liver cancer and hepatitis B were given Chlorophyllin, or placebo. After just 16 weeks, those who took Chlorophyllin showed a carcinogen level decrease of 55% on average. This proved that Chlorophyll supports liver health and is safe to take.
In one animal study, Chlorophyll was given to trout that were likely to develop stomach tumors. Upon completion of the study, those that ingested Chlorophyll daily reduced the rate of cancer up to to 45%.
Benzo[a]pyrene, also known as the ultimate carcinogen, is typically caused by tobacco smoke or inhaling cooked foods (especially grilled meats). Although worrisome, some hope was discovered when Chlorophyllin was implanted in vitro, into this carcinogen, and after testing was proven to degrade the toxins.
In the scientists own words, “ It is concluded that the in vitro antimutagenic activity of CHL [Chlorophyll] towards BP [Benzo[a]pyrene] involves accelerated degradation of the ultimate carcinogen, with inhibition of carcinogen activation occurring only at high CHL concentrations.“
How is it able to do all of this?
Nearly the same way it gets rid of body odor. Chlorophyll and chlorophyllin form tight molecular complexes with toxins and chemicals that are known carcinogens (cause cancer). Chlorophyll binds with these potential carcinogens and reduces the absorption of these chemicals by the body. This reduces the amount of carcinogens that reach vulnerable tissue. Hence, its detoxing capabilities have been proven.
3. Chlorophyll as an Energy Booster
Many people who use Chlorophyll have claimed that it substantially increased their energy levels, compared to normal. We took a deep dive into how Chlorophyll works and found promising evidence of its effectiveness.
Turns out Chlorophyll has the ability to increase red blood cell count, and improve their quality.
The chemical structure of Chlorophyll is very similar to that of the hemoglobin, a molecule found in red blood cells. Since they are almost identical, Chlorophyll could prove to be an effective way to increase red blood cell count thus boosting energy and treating hemoglobin deficiencies such as anemia.
In 2016, a study was conducted that used Chlorophyll to treat patients with anemia. After testing 72 patients, it was found that a combination of conventional western medicine and Chlorophyll is effective at improving anemia and the quality of life of those patients.
4. Chlorophyll helps prevent weight gain
If you’re on TikTok, you may have noticed women and men boast wild claims to have experienced weight loss after taking Chlorophyll for two, or three weeks. Although a strong claim, there have been multiple studies that have taken a look at Chlorophyll’s effects on healthy weight loss.
A particular trial stands out.
In 2013, a group of overweight women took Chlorophyll supplements with a high-carbohydrate meal and found that their hunger hormones were decreased and their feeling of fullness increased. In conclusion, the researchers determined that Chlorophyll may reduce body weight over time due to its hunger suppressing qualities.
5. Chlorophyll may have positive Acne & Antioxidant Effects
The final benefits of taking Chlorophyll are possibly its most sought after. Acne and antioxidants. A board-certified dermatologist took a look at Chlorophyll, and shared an interesting finding. Purvisha Patel says that “Chlorophyll is high in vitamins C, A, E and K, and it has antioxidant properties."
As a result, Chlorophyll fights free radicals that appear when the skin is damaged or broken down. If you have red, inflamed acne, Chlorophyll is very helpful. However, if you have deep, cystic acne, you should not rely on Chlorophyll alone as a long-term solution. You should seek out a dermatologist in that case.
The risks in taking Chlorophyll Supplements
Chlorophyll is generally safe - but always check with your doctor which supplements you should and should not take given your own health history.
Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin have never tested positive for toxins. However, there are a few potential side effects as well as areas of ambiguity - where enough testing has not been done.
First, the side effects most people could face (although unlikely) include the following:
• Digestive problems
• Discolored stool (Green, Yellow or Black) which could be mistaken for gastrointestinal bleeding although it likely is not the case (Again, always check with your doctor)
• In some extreme and rare cases, nausea and vomiting
What you should be aware of:
There are not enough studies that include Chlorophyll’s interaction with all medicines to know how they synergize.
Finally, the general risk related to dietary supplements is as follows:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does regulate dietary supplements however they do not in all cases require manufacturers to prove their products safety or efficacy before selling them.
Thus, you must find a trustworthy manufacturer, preferably one who is willing to share their third-party lab test results. This in our opinion is the best way to determine a manufacturer’s quality control.
At the end of the day, supplements affect each person differently and you should do what’s best for your body. Chlorophyll has proven to be highly safe and as with any supplement, should be suggested to your doctor you they have any hesitancy or questions.
The best way to take Chlorophyll
There are a couple of ways to maximize your Chlorophyll intake, yet some are more appetizing than others.
The most effective way to get more chlorophyll is to take a Chlorophyll (aka Chlorophyllin) supplement. This can come in either a liquid, powder, pill, and now even gummy form.
The most common but least appetizing is liquid Chlorophyll. In this case, you would get a bottle of green liquid and squirt a few drops into a glass of water. It will taste minty, earthy and bitter. The next two forms are self-explanatory - Pills or powders.
Yet there is one new way to take Chlorophyll in a delicious manner - Chlorophyll Detox Gummies. Find out more here.
In most diets, people get their supply of Chlorophyll from their greens (Spinach, broccoli, etc.) This is healthy and harmless. However, as we discussed earlier this will likely not be absorbed fully by the body which would cause one to miss out on Chlorophyll’s full range of benefits.
The bottom line.
From Middle School science classes to trending TikToks, Chlorophyll has a strong grasp on people’s attention nowadays - and for good reason.
Chlorophyll, the pigment that enables plants to live, is now being used by millions (in supplement form) to detox, deodorize, fight acne and more.
After our review of 27 studies, we can conclude that Chlorophyll’s countless benefits have been tested and proven in countless studies and it is generally safe to take (with very rare minor side effects).
Research is not robust enough to ensure every user will benefit from Chlorophyll’s variety of benefits, but it does point to the fact that it can support most people’s wellbeing.
One way to include Chlorophyll in your diet is to increase your uptake of greens, but our personal recommendation for the best benefits of Chlorophyll is to take supplements directly.
Which form of Chlorophyll are you going to take? Our go-to is the Detox Gummy!
Follow us on TikTok to find out how we cracked the code to a healthy lifestyle.