Chlorophyll has many health benefits and can be found in green vegetables. You can easily get the amount your body needs from your diet, but some people find the chlorophyll benefits for skin and weight loss requires a supplement.
The research on the benefits of chlorophyll for weight loss and the others still isn't conclusive, and chlorophyll might not be everyone's cup of tea, so to speak. So make sure you talk to your doctor before you turn to chlorophyll supplements.
You should take between 100 milligrams and 300 milligrams of chlorophyll per day, in about three separate doses, but consult with your doctor first.
Where to Get Chlorophyll
Any green vegetable is an excellent source of chlorophyll. The greener the vegetable, the more chlorophyll it has. Sources of chlorophyll include spinach, parsley, garden cress, green beans, arugula, leeks, endive, sugar peas and Chinese cabbage, according to the Micronutrient Information Center at Oregon State University.
While you can get all the chlorophyll you need from food, you may not be able to eat these green vegetables every day. A supplement can ensure you get chlorophyll in your diet on a daily basis, and there are plenty of benefits from doing so.
Some chlorophyll supplements are made from chlorella and other green algae, though this particular type of supplement is more expensive than most. The cheaper ones will contain a semi-synthetic version of chlorophyll called chlorophyllin. It is made from real chlorophyll and is slightly more stable chemically. More research is needed on whether one is better for you than the other.
Read more: Healthy Vegetables to Eat Raw
The best person to get advice from about the right dosage of chlorophyll is your doctor because the specific dosage that is right for you depends on your health condition. However, according to the Micronutrient Information Center at Oregon State University, most people will need and take anywhere between 100 milligrams and 300 milligrams of chlorophyll a day, in at least three separate doses.
You can get between 100 milligrams and 300 milligrams of chlorophyll from your diet so long as it includes moderate to high amounts of green vegetables. You don't have to resort to supplements, but for some people that is the best option. Sometimes you don't have time to make a salad or add those vegetables high in chlorophyll to your diet. Taking a chlorophyll supplement will ensure you're getting the dosage you need every day.
Green vegetables offer a wide variety of nutrients, so it's beneficial to get some in your diet on a daily basis. Try to have some every day to get your fill of chlorophyll.
Read more: The Best Vegetables for Good Skin
Chlorophyll for Weight Loss
Weight loss is one of the most popular benefits of chlorophyll. This is based on a small October 2014 study of 38 women, published in Appetite, that found that people who took chlorophyll supplements lost more weight than people who didn't take the supplement. The research also revealed that chlorophyll may have a hand in lowering blood cholesterol levels.
It is also believed that chlorophyll may curb the appetite since it lowers blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels have been linked to a higher appetite and feelings of hunger. Having more chlorophyll in the diet can lower help you eat less. By lowering blood sugar levels, chlorophyll can stimulate higher production of satiety hormones and give us the sensation of being full with less food.
If you're eating foods with chlorophyll, which are typically green vegetables, you will also naturally get a lot of fiber in your diet, which will help you feel fuller faster and longer. While this isn't the direct result of chlorophyll, it's a bonus advantage that comes with eating foods containing chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll Benefits for Skin
A small July 2016 study of four women, published in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, showed that chlorophyll can reduce the reproduction of bacteria in skin wounds as well as reduce inflammation. Chlorophyll fights the very bacteria that are going to cause your skin wounds to fester and get infected. That way, the wounds heal much faster.
In fact, many commercial ointments include a variation of chlorophyll known as papain-urea-chlorophyllin in their ingredients for this reason. Another small June 2015 study of 10 subjects, published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology showed that chlorophyll can be an effective treatment against moderate acne. Topical chlorophyll, in particular, can reduce acne significantly when regularly used.
Acne and pimples are just dead skin, mixed with a little oil and bacteria. Chlorophyll creates an inhospitable environment for the bacteria, which prevents an acne breakout from happening. The antioxidants it has also clear the free radicals from your blood, which also prevents breakouts from happening.
Possible Side Effects of Chlorophyll
Generally speaking, chlorophyll is not considered to be toxic to humans, and few major chlorophyll side effects have been reported. The Micronutrient Information Center at Oregon State University notes following possible side effects of chlorophyll:
- Sometimes the tongue of the person taking chlorophyll may turn yellow or black, or their urine may turn a green hue.
- Chlorophyll supplements can sometimes induce diarrhea and may even cause a false positive in tests designed to find blood in the feces.
- It is not advised to take very large amounts of chlorophyll as it can lead to loose bowels and stomach cramps.
- Pregnant women and women who are nursing are also advised to avoid taking chlorophyll supplements because the safety of these supplements hasn't yet been well studied.
Chlorophyll is a bit of a novelty in research circles, with a lot of information about it remaining unknown at the moment. More research certainly needs to be done to understand it better and its specific properties, such as chlorophyll benefits for skin. In the meantime, make sure you talk to your doctor before you try out chlorophyll supplements.
- Micronutrient Center at Oregon State University: "Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin"
- Appetite: "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"
- Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology: "Ability of Sodium Copper Chlorophyllin Complex to Repair Photoaged Skin by Stimulation of Biomarkers in Human Extracellular Matrix"
- Journal of Drugs in Dermatology: "Pilot Study of Topical Copper Chlorophyllin Complex in Subjects With Facial Acne and Large Pores"