Chlorophyll is best known for its role in giving plants their gorgeous green hue. However, it's also a popular nutrient and natural ingredient touted for a myriad of health benefits and notable side effects.
Risks of Drinking Liquid Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is chock-full of antioxidants and vitamins, which is why it has become a popular beverage additive over the past few years. As with every health fad, one must do their due diligence regarding the potential risks of adding a new ingredient, or supplement, into ones diet.
When it comes to chlorophyll, despite what some people say, there's really not much to worry about. While it's possible you might experience uncomfortable symptoms following consumption of nonpoisonous chlorphyll (and chlorophyllin, its water-soluble counterpart) such as diarrhea, discolored stools, and stomach cramps, according to MedlinePlus, it's incredibly rare. It is common, however, that you may notice that your urine looks noticeably greener than normal or your tongue turns a grayish hue — neither are harmful.
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That's just when it comes to drinking liquid chlorophyll, though. If you were to put chlorophyll on your skin, that's a different story — and that's where the ingredient can actually be bad for you. According to Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute, consuming chlorophyll hasn't shown any toxic effects over for more than 50 years of clinical use in humans. However, it has led to mild burning or itching in some cases when applied to the surface of the skin. Even still, those adverse effects are not the norm.
Anti-Cancer Benefits of Consuming Chlorophyll
The risks of drinking liquid chlorophyll may be few and far between, but the benefits of doing so are vast. Apart from the deliciously refreshing, naturally deodorizing taste of the mildly-minty beverage, chlorophyll has been regarded as an anti-cancer aide and weight loss promoter.
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Researchers have touted drinking liquid chlorophyll and consuming chlorophyllin as a marvelous cancer-inhibiting act. In a March 2014 review published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, researchers found that chlorophyll can be used as an in-vitro agent, thanks to its ability to reduce the cancer-causing effects of carcinogens and promote detoxification.
This research was then supported in a July 2018 research article published in the Journal of Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, where researchers found that consuming chlorophyllin helped minimize pancreatic cancer cells. These findings led them to believe that, in addition to drinking liquid chlorophyll, consuming chlorophyll-rich vegetables is absolutely essential to promote good health.
Weight Loss Benefits of Chlorophyll
Beyond the anti-cancer benefits, September 2013 and June 2014 studies published in the Journal of Appetite found that consuming chlorophyll helps to reduce total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol, as well as sweet and unhealthy food cravings and overall caloric intake.
Additionally, when chlorophyll-rich green plant membranes were added into participants' diets, researchers witnessed a reduction in waist circumference, body fat and leptin. While leptin — a hormone that helps regulate body weight — is known for its ability to inhibit hunger, when there's a reduction in body fat, a reduction in leptin naturally follows suit, which is the case here.
These findings lend to the idea that consuming liquid chlorophyll and chlorophyll-rich plants is a beneficial dietary choice when weight loss and managing risk factors associated with obesity are top-of-mind.
While drinking liquid chlorophyll and taking chlorophyll supplements are simple ways to add the nutrient into your diet, it's worth noting the natural sources of chlorophyll found in vegetables is always preferable. That said, if you have the time (or desire) to add more vegetables like seaweed, spinach, wheatgrass, Brussells sprouts and broccoli into your diet, do so.
The Best Chlorophyll Supplements
When it comes to consuming this super-green ingredient, it's helpful to know what the best chlorophyll supplements and liquid chlorophyll formulations are for your own needs.
In terms of the best chlorophyll supplements, you can't go wrong with what you can find at most health-food stores and drugstores. Just remember that straight chlorophyll can be difficult to absorb, so you want to keep an eye out for labels filled with chlorophyllin.
If you're seeking liquid chlorophyll, however, look no further than classic Chlorophyll Water. The purified water features a gorgeous green color and a vitamin-rich composition that helps to energize, oxygenize and detoxify the body from the inside out. It comes straight out of Brooklyn, NY, and has seen a rise in popularity over the past couple of years.
If you're curious about when to consume chlorophyll, keep it simple and don't overthink it. Adding chlorophyll to your diet in the morning is just as beneficial as taking chlorophyll at night. Just remember that it can be energizing, given the oxygen boost it gives to your blood, so there's a slight chance it could keep you up longer than you'd like.
- Medline Plus: “Chlorophyll”
- Oregon State University Liunus Pauling Institure: “Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin”
- Journal of Dietary Supplements: “An Evidence-Based Systematic Review of Chlorophyll by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration”
- Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity: “Chlorophyll-Mediated Changes in the Redox Status of Pancreatic Cancer Cells Are Associated with Its Anticancer Effects”
- National Library of Medicine: “Supplementation by Thylakoids to a High Carbohydrate Meal Decreases Feelings of Hunger, Elevates CCK Levels and Prevents Postprandial Hypoglycaemia in Overweight Women”
- National Library of Medicine: “Body Weight Loss, Reduced Urge for Palatable Food and Increased Release of GLP-1 Through Daily Supplementation With Green-Plant Membranes for Three Months in Overweight Women”