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What Is Chlorophyll, And How Does it Benefit Health?

Saturday, 30 March 2019 23:28

If you think back to your middle school science classes, you might remember learning about chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what makes plants green, but its purpose is not merely aesthetic.

Chlorophyll is the substance in plants that is responsible for absorbing sunlight. It draws in and stores sunlight, and this stored sunlight energy combines carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil and atmosphere to foster growth and development. The entire process is known as photosynthesis.

Without chlorophyll, plants lose their green color, turning brown, yellow or white, and eventually dying. Some plants require more sunlight than others to generate photosynthesis, but even shade-loving plants must have a prescribed degree of sunlight in order to survive and thrive.

But I’m Human! What Good is Chlorophyll to Me?

It is thought that chlorophyll may have health benefits to humankind. But how, exactly, does one obtain and use chlorophyll? Obviously human bodies don’t manufacture chlorophyll, so it must come from a plant source. Chlorophyll for human use is found in two types: consumable supplements and topical creams/ointments.


Chlorophyll Supplements

First, anytime you eat something green, whether it’s a leafy salad, a plate of broccoli or even a legume like peas, you consume chlorophyll. However, the chlorophyll you get from consuming greens typically doesn’t survive the digestion process long enough to be absorbed into your body’s systems and subsequently benefit your health. Supplements, on the other hand, are more readily absorbed by the body.

Chlorophyll supplements come in three main forms: pills, capsules and liquid. They are taken just like any other nutritional supplement. Pills and capsules are swallowed. Liquids can also be swallowed or may be added to other foods or beverages (as long as it is indicated on the label to be an effective means of consumption).

Chlorophyll supplements are slightly different from the natural chlorophyll found in plants in that they contain copper instead of magnesium. Technically, this makes it chlorophyllin, but its health benefits are the same. Those benefits are thought to include:

* Cleansing your intestines

* Helping to prevent certain types of cancer

* Controlling body odor

* Preventing and eliminating fungal infections

* Blood detoxification

* Treating hangovers

* Boosting immunity

* Providing added energy

* Boosting collagen production (making your skin softer and more supple and elastic)


Topical Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll can also be applied to the skin in the form of a cream or ointment. The benefits of using a topical application of chlorophyll are believed to include:

* Killing bacteria and preventing bacterial infections of the skin

* Reversing the effects of photo-aging (dark spots/sunspots)

* Treating and preventing acne

* Boosting collagen production


Where to Buy Chlorophyll Supplements

Chlorophyll supplements are less common than many other supplements. However, you’ll likely find both consumable and topical chlorophyll supplements and treatments at specialty health food and supplement stores. Some grocery and drug stores carry it. You can also purchase it online.

As with any nutritional supplement, always be sure to purchase chlorophyll from a trusted, reputable source. This applies especially to online purchases where it can be harder to track the source of a particular supplement purchase.

An Important Thing to Remember About Using Chlorophyll

Finally, it is important to note that much of the “evidence” regarding the efficacy of using chlorophyll, both internally and topically, is anecdotal. Not enough studies have been conducted or have been conclusive regarding the effectiveness of chlorophyll for treating the various conditions described here.

However, for most people, chlorophyll is safe for use (talk to your doctor first, just to be sure it’s okay for you). It is also relatively inexpensive to purchase, so if your health care professional okays it for you, it may be worth a try.

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