Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plant cells. It absorbs natural light and uses the energy this generates for photosynthesis, the process of deriving carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water. You consume chlorophyll when you eat green vegetable matter, and some people add chlorophyll to smoothies, juice and teas as part of a dietary detox or liver cleanse. While this practice is common in alternative medicine communities, its value has not been supported by any scientific research.
Homeopathic and alternative medical communities advocate taking chlorophyll to cleanse a fatty liver. Some practitioners assert that it increases oxygen in your bloodstream and washes toxins from your liver as well as your bowels, blood tissue, intestinal tract and bones. However, in a report published on Science Based Medicine's website, Dr. David Gorski of the Barbara Anne Karmanos Cancer Institute argues that there is no solid evidence that supports the power of consuming chlorophyll to cleanse or treat a fatty liver.
Chlorophyll Liver Detox
Detox diets have become increasingly popular as a method of cleansing the body, losing weight and treating conditions such as fatty liver. A typical diet consists of a fast for a couple of days followed by a liquid or raw diet of green juices, fruit juices and fresh produce. People on this program may use chlorophyll as well as herbs and other supplements to promote this cleansing. No scientific research supports the assertion that detox diets remove toxins from your liver or your body. Literature from SenseAboutScience.org explains that your body is designed to detox itself and does not need intervention and help unless there is a case of excessive toxicity such as a drug overdose.
Chlorophyll is a main ingredient in wheatgrass supplements, and according to Jonny Bowden's book, Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth, the chlorophyll in wheatgrass is beneficial to liver health. Drinking or taking wheatgrass supplements provides your body with essential nutrients, among them calcium, iron, amino acids, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and chlorophyll. The American Cancer Society states that while wheatgrass does contain chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals, it is still best to obtain all of your needed nutrients from a well-balanced diet.
Chlorophyll may not specifically treat your fatty liver, but it can form part of an overall plan to diversify your diet, lower caloric intake, increase your consumption of essential nutrients and improve your general health. Wheatgrass consumption can be problematic for people prone to grass or wheat allergies or celiac disease. If you get hives, headaches, nausea or throat swelling when you consume wheatgrass, speak with your doctor.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders: Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
- SenseAboutScience.org: Debunking Detox
- American Cancer Society: Wheatgrass
- Science-Based Medicine.org: Would You Like a Liver Flush With That Colon Cleanse?
- Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth; Jonny Bowden