Chlorophyll – The Power of Plants for our health

Chlorophyll is a green pigment that colors plant chloroplasts green and, in fact, provides them with a green color. With the participation of chlorophyll, photosynthesis occurs – the process of formation of organic substances from inorganic substances under the influence of sunlight. The amount of this green pigment in plants ranges from 1.7 to 5% (by dry weight).

The green pigment was first isolated in 1817 by French chemists and pharmacists Joseph Bieneme Cavantou and Pierre Joseph Pelletier, who also gave it its name by combining the two Greek words “green” and “leaf”.

It was synthesized in 1960 by the American chemist Robert Burns Woodward.

It is present in all photosynthetic organisms – plants, algae, bacteria, etc.

In the process of photosynthesis, the chlorophyll molecule absorbs light energy, which is used in the photochemical reaction of the interaction of carbon dioxide and water with the formation of organic substances, due to which plants grow. Photosynthesis is extremely important not only for plants, but also for all living things on our planet, since its side reaction is the release of oxygen.

Chlorophyll enters our body with fresh vegetables. It has antioxidant and antimutagenic activity, meaning it has potential health benefits.

The best natural sources of this green pigment are fresh vegetables. The maximum amount of chlorophyll is found in vegetables such as spinach, parsley, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, romaine lettuce, green olives. Eating enough of these and other green vegetables will ensure that you get enough chlorophyll. What’s more, all these vegetables are also rich in other highly beneficial substances, such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc., that can help improve health.

Unfortunately, not all people can use fresh vegetables in their diet. In oral allergy syndrome (OAS), people develop an allergic reaction that is caused by cross-reactivity between proteins in fresh vegetables (and/or fruits, nuts) and pollen. The syndrome occurs in 70% of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever. The term OAS applies more to local allergic reactions to plant foods that occur on the oral mucosa. This is a rather dangerous condition, which is accompanied by swelling of the mouth and throat. When OAS is combined with systemic allergic reactions, or only with systemic reactions to plant food allergens alone, the term “pollen-food allergy syndrome” is more commonly used.

The Benefits of Chlorophyll

For years, chlorophyll has been studied for its potential to improve health. As a result of a considerable number of studies, the following beneficial properties of chlorophyll have been identified.

  • It has the ability to increase the number of red blood cells in the blood.
  • It has antioxidant and antimutagenic activity, modulates the metabolism of xenobiotics and the induction of apoptosis. Research is currently underway on the potential of chlorophyll and its derivatives to reduce the risk of cancer.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties that may improve chronic inflammation. In experiments carried out on Candida albicans isolates, the Anti candidiasis activity of chlorophyll was revealed at concentrations of 25 and 50%.
  • It can help control weight and prevent overeating by reducing food cravings and speeding up the onset of satiety.

The Side Effects

When taking chlorophyll, side effects develop quite rarely and, for the most part, they are safe, but if they occur, you should consult a doctor.

  • Side effects when taking chlorophyll include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, discoloration of the stool to green, yellow or black, itching or burning when applied to the skin.
  • The influence of chlorophyll on pregnant and lactating women has not been studied enough; therefore, it is not recommended to use dietary supplements for food with chlorophyll.
  • There is also not enough information on the interaction of chlorophyll with drugs, so if you want to take dietary supplements with chlorophyll while taking any prescription drugs, be sure to consult your doctor first.

It’s no secret that vegetables are good for everyone’s health due to the complex of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants they contain. In addition, green vegetables contain chlorophyll, which can help improve your health.

If you regularly consume a variety of vegetables, you do not need to use additional food supplements with chlorophyll.

Taking biologically active food supplements containing chlorophyll is advisable in cases where it is not possible to consume vegetables in sufficient quantities, as well as in case of oral allergic syndrome.

Eat right and be healthy!