A pigment that helps make plants and algae green, chlorophyll is also necessary for photosynthesis. This is the process of changing light into energy, the source of all plant life. As we obtain much of our sustenance from eating plants, it might be said that photosynthesis is also vitally important to human life. It is no surprise then, that chlorophyll is claimed to have a myriad of health benefits. Because it is easily absorbed by the human body, it is sometimes extracted from plants and made into liquid for use as a dietary supplement. Take a look at four possible health benefits of liquid chlorophyll.
The molecular structure of chlorophyll is remarkably close to that of human hemoglobin, a protein that helps to transport oxygen in the blood. Because of these properties, it is said that chlorophyll helps build and cleanse the blood, boosting oxygen levels and providing effects that are similar to iron. Chlorophyll also maintains blood calcium levels. This is particularly important to women who menstruate, as valuable calcium is lost in this process.
Oxygen rich blood helps to rid the body of impurities. Because it also boosts the movement of bile, chlorophyll helps to cleanse the liver, bowels and intestinal tract, eliminating toxins from foods that we eat, from pharmaceuticals ingested and those that are taken in by breathing. As chlorophyll also reduces disease-causing bacteria, it helps to keep the colon clean and healthy.
Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, chlorophyll can conquer body odor from the inside out. In the 1950s, Dr. Franklin Howard Westcott of New York City was one of the first to discover that consuming chlorophyll or taking baths containing chlorophyll both worked to reduce body odor. These deodorizing properties also help to combat bad breath.
It is said that chlorophyll may contain lipolytic enzymes which trigger movement of fatty acids from fat tissue to skeletal muscles. Here they can be transformed into glucose and used for energy, especially during exercise. This can promote a reduction in body fat and subsequent weight loss.
Some research also suggests that chlorophyll may suppress the appetite, which contributes to weight loss by reducing the intake of food that could potentially be stored as fat. According to a study published in 2009, appetite-suppressive properties are due to the presence of compounds in chlorophyll called thylakoids. These compounds appear to enhance appetite suppression and weight loss, even when consuming a high-fat diet.
According to Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute, chlorophyll is considered to be safe for consumption by humans. Add one teaspoon of liquid chlorophyll to 8 oz. of water twice a day for deodorizing, detoxing and blood boosting properties. Possible side effects are discoloration of the tongue, urine and feces, and mild gastrointestinal upset or diarrhea. Due to limited research regarding specific populations, supplementation of liquid chlorophyll is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women. It is recommended that individuals consult with a health care provider before beginning a supplementary regimen.