Side Effects of Chlorophyll Supplements

Herbal medicine
Chlorophyll supplements spilling out of a bottle. (Image: User2547783c_812/iStock/Getty Images)

Chlorophyll is a naturally occurring, fat-soluble, green-colored pigment found in plants. As natural chlorophyll is expensive and may be unstable in supplement form, the majority of over-the-counter chlorophyll supplements contain a synthetic, water-soluble form of chlorophyll called chlorophyllin, the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University explains. These supplements may serve as an internal deodorant and may help promote wound healing. Discuss the side effects of chlorophyll supplements with your medical provider before beginning treatment.

Diarrhea or Upset Stomach

You may experience diarrhea -- frequent, loose bowel movements -- as a side effect of taking a chlorophyll supplement, Drugs.com warns. Diarrhea may also be accompanied by stomach cramps, bloating or discomfort. Seek care from your physician if you experience severe stomach pain or chronic diarrhea. Prolonged periods of diarrhea may lead to excessive fluid loss and may increase your risk of becoming dehydrated.

Stool or Urine Discoloration

This type of supplement may cause stools or urine discoloration as a side effect. You may notice that your stools or urine appear unusually green in color, the University of California, San Diego, reports. This side effect is normal and progressively subsides once treatment with chlorophyllin supplements ends.

Tongue Discoloration

If you take a supplement that contains chlorophyllin, you may develop tongue discoloration as a side effect of treatment, the Linus Pauling Institute explains. Your tongue may appear abnormally black or yellow in color following oral administration of this supplement. Once you complete your treatment with this supplement, your tongue will regain its normal, red coloring.

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