The dietary supplement liquid chlorophyll is a green-colored chemical produced by plants. Sources for liquid chlorophyll include alfalfa, algae, barley grass, blue-green algae called spirulina and wheat grass. Health claims associated with liquid chlorophyll include improved immune function, remedy for constipation, reducing gas and eliminating bad breath. Research at John's Hopkins University shows aflatoxin can reduce the potential for liver damage from aflatoxin poisoning after eating moldy grains. Read the labels on liquid chlorophyll supplements and follow the directions. The safety, content and dosage of dietary supplements are not ensured by oversight of the Food and Drug Administration and taking dietary supplements.
Environmental Toxins and Infectious Organisms
The plants used to make liquid chlorophyll could provide potential exposure to heavy metals, pesticides and other environmental toxins from the water or soil. Pesticides can interrupt hormone function, damage the nervous system or cause cancer. Contamination with heavy metals such as mercury can cause damage to the nervous system. The converse problem to not using pesticides is the potential for exposure to infection-causing organisms.
Digestive Tract Disturbances
Liquid chlorophyll enters the body through the mouth and can result in side effects all along the digestive tract. The most common symptoms include stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, or diarrhea.
An allergic reaction can occur from the plant the liquid chlorophyll is made from, a component of the supplement or a contaminant. The allergic response is a hypersensitive reaction to a foreign substance in the body. The immune system responds with the body's natural defense mechanisms to destroy the foreign substance. The allergic reaction can range from mild to severe. Symptoms to watch for include itching, the development of a rash, swelling on face, hands or neck, tingling sensation in the mouth, tightening of the throat and trouble breathing. Seek immediate medical attention for treatment.
The brilliant green pigment can seep into skin or clothing and leave green stains similar to grass stains. Wash with soap and water. For effective cleaning of clothing, follow the instructions for grass stains on labels for stain remover or laundry detergent.
- "AltCareDex Alternative Medicines"; Chlorophyll; May 2010
- "Encyclopedia of Global Health"; Zhang, Y General Editor; 2008
- The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine"; Turner. J and Frey R PhD; 2009
- National Institutes of Health: Health Impact--Aflatoxin