If you paid attention in your high school science class, you probably know what chlorophyll is – it’s the stuff that makes plants green. What you may not realize is that there are surprising health benefits to adding chlorophyll to your diet, as well. You’ve heard to eat plenty of green vegetables? There’s a reason for that. Chlorophyll is a type of plant pigment responsible for the absorption of light in the process of photosynthesis – the process of changing light into energy in a plant. The compounds in chlorophyll have antioxidant and cancer-treatment properties, in addition to a host of other benefits to your body. The following benefits demonstrate its amazing versatility and power.
Studies have shown that Chlorophyll supplements have helped the thyroid – the gland responsible for maintaining a healthy metabolism – function properly. This, in turn, helps aid weight loss efforts for those who are following a lower calorie diet.
In addition to improving the thyroid’s function, chlorophyll has been demonstrated to help balance the hormones that prompt us to eat and feel full: cholecystokinin, ghrelin, and insulin. For people who must watch their intake, avoiding feeling extreme hunger cues are important to maintaining their calorie and macronutrient goals. This helps control cravings for unhealthy foods.
Chlorophyll helps maintain a pleasant, unobtrusive body and fecal odor. Ingesting chlorophyll has been shown to aid the detoxification efforts of the liver, as well as make your digestion more efficient. As your body more readily eliminates toxins from your body and moves waste through your gut, the resulting odor may be reduced.
Although scientists aren’t sure of the exact mechanism that changes the body odor profile of people who consume chlorophyll, there is an indication that the increase in “phase II biotransformation enzymes” – those that help liver health – may also control the unpleasant smells from excessive perspiration. The assumption is fewer toxins result in less unpleasant odors.
The presence of chlorophyll in the body inhibits bacteria growth, reducing infection from wounds and speeding the rate of healing. Wound infections occur from the rapid spread of harmful bacteria; reducing infection in the body allows the epidermis to begin regeneration without harmful effects. Chlorophyll has been used in topical ointments for persistent open wounds such as vascular ulcers and pressure ulcers. It also reduces inflammation, thus allowing healing to begin.
Chlorophyll contains compounds that enhance the liver function, helping naturally detoxify your body of harmful contaminants from food and the environment. The compound is called aflatoxin – B1 and helps reduce the damage to your DNA cells from toxic substances.
Retaining the integrity of the DNA structure of your cells helps them regenerate properly, in a healthy manner. Cells with damaged DNA are more likely to mutate, becoming cancerous growths and tumors. Your liver naturally removes toxins from the body, but as toxins build up, adding chlorophyll to your diet helps your body remain in balance.
Environmental pollutants such as toxic metals can quickly destroy health. Chlorophyll binds with toxic metals to hamper absorption, and research has shown it can do the same with some carcinogens. A crossover study with 4 human volunteers tested chlorophyll’s ability to remove ingested aflatoxin, a known carcinogen. Each volunteer received three servings of the aflatoxin, followed with a meal, the latter two included a tablet of chlorophyll. The results showed rapid elimination with 95% evacuated within 24 hours. 
Fried foods aren’t just bad for your waistline, they also contain chemicals known to damage colon tissue and the DNA of colon cells. In one study, participants who ate fried foods coupled with protective foods, including chlorophyll, were observed to have less DNA damage of colon cells. Don’t take that as just cause to go crazy with the fried foods, the best idea is to avoid them altogether.
Chlorophyll’s status as a superfood is due to its nutritional and potent antioxidant properties. It protects cells from oxidative damage by eliminating free radicals. One plant known for its high chlorophyll levels, Conyza triloba, showed very active superoxide scavenging behavior. An in vitro study found it capable of reducing free radicals while reducing cell damage.
Although the research doesn’t currently show that chlorophyll is a cancer cure, researchers are excited about its potential as a therapy. One study found men with lower levels of dietary chlorophyll had higher risks of colon cancer. Another study noted it effective at stimulating liver detoxifying enzymes and may protect against other carcinogens.
Candida infection is a big problem for many individuals and can lead to fatigue, depression, and digestive problems; just to name a few. Research has shown that isolated chlorophyll solutions stop Candida albicans growth.
Traditional medicine has long used green leaves for infections. With modern approaches that have limited effectiveness and a long list of side effects, natural remedies are getting another look. Animal studies have found that green leaves help to reduce swelling and redness!
A modified form of chlorophyll known as chlorophyllin may be highly effective for anemia. By swapping iron for magnesium at the center of the molecule, it provides a bioavailable form of iron the body can use. While scientists may look for ways to develop patent-able medicines, no one needs to wait to take chlorophyll to gain its benefits.