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Should You Be Taking Chlorophyll? An RD Explains the Risks – The Beet

Posted: May 10, 2021 at 1:54 am

If youve spent any time on TikToklately, you already know that people aredowning chlorophyll drops like crazy, to help boost energylevels, clear up their skin, promote quick weight loss, and even reduce body odor.The tempting promise is thatjust by adding 15 drops of liquid chlorophyll to your water voila! the benefits arrive. But is this actually true? And with these touted benefits could there be a downside to chlorophyll? Here's the unvarnished truth about nature's green juice.

The green pigments you see in plants and algae are actually chlorophyll. It helps plants convertenergyfrom the sun and soil, to grow. Chlorophyll works by absorbing the sun's rays as the plant goes through photosynthesis. It contains vitamins, antioxidants, and other therapeutic properties that may be beneficial to our health.

The liquid chlorophyll in those chlorophyll drops that many people are using to create their green water arent fully chlorophyll. Instead,the drops are a combination of chlorophyll with sodium and copper salts that forms chlorophyllina version of chlorophyll thats believed to be more absorbable by the body. The FDA states that adults and children over the age of 12 can safely consume 100 to 200 milligrams of chlorophyllin daily,but should not exceed 300 milligrams.

Theres a surprising amount of research that showcases the potential benefits chlorophyll (and chlorophyllin) can bring to our body, but not all have been done on humans or consist of using liquid chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll may potentially give you the clear skin of your dreams, but only when used in topical form. A small 2015 study found that individuals dealing with acne and enlarged pores noticed an improvement in their skin when using a topical chlorophyllin gel afterthree weeks. Anotherstudy found similar benefits using topical chlorophyllin, but this time participants saw an improvement in sun-damaged skin aftereight weeks of use.

There are many products and supplements that claim they help detoxify your body, and is chlorophyll water any different? First things first, your body naturally detoxifies itself through both your kidneys and your liver. Regardless of whetheryou've used alcohol, taken a drug, or ingested another foreign substancesuch as pesticides in your fruit or vegetables, the liver's job is to filter out those unwelcome toxic chemicals and release them throughyour urine. What chlorophyll water could potentially do is support both the liver and kidneys by keeping them strong and pumping along at optimal levels in order to function properly.

A 2019 animal study published in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research found that chlorophyll was helpful in reducing oxidative stress in the liver. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals (bad) and antioxidants (good). When this occurs, it impacts the liver's ability to detoxify these bad guys. This can lead to cell and tissue damage.

When it comes to human research,the science is very limited: A very small study from 2009 consisted of four volunteers. The results found that taking chlorophyll may limit ingested aflatoxin, which is a compound that has been linked with cancer.

There is very limited research on whether or not sipping chlorophyll water can help with weight loss. A small study from way back in 2014 consisting of just 38 females who took a chlorophyll-containing green plant membrane supplement every day before breakfast for 12 weeks showed some benefit: The results found that those taking the supplement had greater weight loss than those who were consuming the placebo. The supplement group also saw improvements in cholesterol levels and had decreased cravings for sweets.

Although the science behind chlorophyll looks promising, there needs to be larger human studies (and review of populations taking it for longer periods of time) to confirm these preliminary results. Much of the current research also doesnt solely focus on chlorophyll. There may be other factors that are playing a role in these benefits, since chlorophyll is solely found in healthy, nutrient-dense green vegetables. So it could be that greater benefits come from eating leafy greens and high-fiber vegetables.

You dont have to hop on Amazon or make a dash to your nearest health food store to get liquid chlorophyllto reap the benefits of this natural green liquid. Chlorophyll can easily be incorporated into your diet just by choosing fresh green veggies. Someof the best include:

The green veggies arethe onesthat contain chlorophyll, but the amounts may vary. For example, spinach contains more chlorophyll than broccoli because of its intense green pigment. Although broccoli is quite green on the outside, when you cut into it, the color lightens into a whitish color, which indicates it has a smaller amount of chlorophyll. You could even make your own chlorophyll water by taking a handful of parsley and blending it up with water.

Incorporating these foods into your dietalso comes with many short-term and long-term health benefits, and not just because of their chlorophyll content.Leafy green vegetableslike spinach and kale are chock full of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, iron, and fiber.

Before you hop on the liquid chlorophyll train, have a conversation with your doctor to ensure its safe for you to have this green beverage regularly. You should avoid taking chlorophyll supplements if youre currently pregnant or breastfeeding, as the effects of itare unknown. If youre given the okay, start slow. High doses of chlorophyll may bring side effects including gastrointestinal cramping, diarrhea, or dark green stools.When choosing a supplement keep in mind that the FDA does not regulate these since, they are considered food, not drugs, and food products do not need approval before being released to the public to buy. Check for supplements that contain a GMP stamp of approval. This means Good Manufacturing Practices, which are regulations that the FDA has in place for those that manufacture, package, or hold dietary supplements. This ensures the identity, purity, quality, strength, and composition of the supplement youre receiving.

Bottom Line: There is no major downside to chlorophyll unless you consume too much of it, which is over100 to 200 milligrams of chlorophyllin daily, but the best way to get your greens is by eating them.

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Should You Be Taking Chlorophyll? An RD Explains the Risks - The Beet

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