9 Lesser known health benefits of chlorophyll: side effects, dosages


You may hear about healthiness of green vegetable, you should eat green leafy. In majority the credit goes to the green pigment of those vegetables. Chlorophyll is responsible for the green pigment. Do you know in what way chlorophyll promotes goodness of health? Here you will know 9 lesser known health benefits of chlorophyll: side effects, dosages.

Form of chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is the natural fat soluble compound found in plants. Most chlorophyll supplements contain chlorophyllin a water-soluble derivative of chlorophyll. Supplement label of chlorophyllin may list as sodium copper chlorophyllin’ or ‘chlorophyllin copper complex’ as ingredient. Chlorophyllin has been used orally for more that 50 years without any without any serious side effects. (1)

9 lesser known health benefits of chlorophyll: side effects, dosages

Chlorophyll, a potent antioxidant

Oxidative damage to cells due to free radicals is one leading cause of most chronic diseases. Having potent antioxidant properties chlorophyllin shows cellular protection against oxidative damage by neutralizing free radicals. Thus helps in protecting your body from diseases.(2)

Chlorophyll and Detoxification

Certain species of fungus found in moldy grains and legumes, such as corn, peanuts, and soybeans produces a liver carcinogen called Aflatoxin-B1 (AFB1).  In the liver, Aflatoxin-B1 metabolism can bind DNA and cause mutation which can lead to cancer formation. Administration of chlorophyllin significantly reduces AFB1-induced DNA damage in the livers and inhibits development of liver cancer in animal model. On the other hand Phase II biotransformation enzymes promote in elimination of harmful toxins and carcinogens from the body. Animal study indicates chlorophyllin may increase activity of phase II enzyme.(1)

In a randomized, placebo-controlled intervention trial done on 180 adults with administration of 100 mg of chlorophyllin before meals three times daily for 16 weeks, suggesting that chlorophyllin supplementation before meals can substantially decrease AFB1-induced DNA damage.(3)

A Netherlands cohort Study was initiated in 1986 on 120,852 subjects ages 55 to 69 years with 9.3 years of follow-up, suggested that risk of colon cancer in men increases with increasing intake of heme iron and decreases with intake of chlorophyll.

Scientists are hopeful about protection of the liver with supplementation of chlorophyllin. Study also suggests that chlorophyllin benefits the liver in a safe and effective way.(4)

Chlorophyll controls hunger and helps in cutting extra weight

A study on twenty moderately overweight female suggests that taking chlorophyll with meal lower feeling of hunger, reduces food intake and prevent compensational eating later in the day. Which further may helps to reduce body weight over time. They found supplementation of a high carbohydrate breakfast by thylakoids (a chlorophyll-containing membranes in chloroplasts extracted from green leaves) resulted in decreased ratings of hunger, thoughts of food and the urge to eat. They have also found that thylakoids prevents postprandial hypoglycaemia. (5)

A more recent study on 34 overweight women, results supplementation of dietary thylakoids gives gastro intestinal fullness, controls hunger as well as increases gut microbiota specially the Bacteriodes fragilis group. They suggest thylakoids as a novel agent in prevention and treatment of obesity as well as improve obesity related risk factors. Apart from these they also observed chlorophyll had reduced total and LDL-cholesterol. (6)

Chlorophyll Protect DNA damage from high heat cooked food

High heat cooked or fried food including meat seems to have not only negative impact to your health but also cause DNA damage in colon tissue. In study researcher found when such foods when combining with protective foods such as cruciferous vegetables, yogurt, and chlorophyllin decreased nearly twofold the DNA damage. However this doesn’t mean to jump into overheated or fried food, those have other negative effects in health.(7)

Chlorophyll controls body and fecal odor

Several case reports indicates that oral chlorophyllin (100-300 mg/day) decreases urinary and fecal odor.(1)In a test group of 62 geriatric nursing home patients, the administration of chlorophyllin results in controlling body and fecal odors. It aided also in easing chronic constipation and observed no toxic effects.(8)


Chlorophyll and Wound healing

Chlorophyllin seems to slower growth of certain harmful bacteria and speeds up wound healing without any serious side effects. Chlorophyllin was added to some ointment in order to reduce local inflammation, promote healing, and control odor. During the late 1940s and 1950s, a series of largely uncontrolled studies in patients with slow-healing wounds, such as vascular ulcers and pressure (decubitus) ulcers, reported that the application of topical chlorophyllin promoted healing more effectively than other commonly used treatments.(1)

Effective against growth of candida

Candida albicans a pathogenic yeast normally reside in the intestinal tract. Overgrowth of which can lead to digestive problem, bowl disorder, depression, fatigue and many other. Research found chlorophyll-based solution presents effective antimicrobial activity of candida albicans and prevent growth.(9)

Chlorophyll prevents cancer

Metabolism of some chemicals also called procarcinogen initiates development of cancer. Which can further damage DNA or other critical molecules in susceptible tissues. Since enzymes in the cytochrome P450 family activates some of procarcinogen, inhibiting cytochrome P450 may decrease risk of development of some chemically induced cancer.

In vitro studies chlorophyllin may decrease the activity of cytochrome P450 enzymes and thus lower risk of some cancer. On the other hand Phase II biotransformation enzymes promote in elimination of harmful toxins and carcinogens from the body. Animal study indicates chlorophyllin may increase activity of phase II enzyme.(1)

Alkalize your body

Being alkaline-forming foods chlorophyll improves alkalinity of the body and healthy ph level. I think you know that human body is designed to be alkaline. Alkaline urine indicates healthy protective body cells.

Side effects

Natural chlorophylls and chlorophyllin has no known toxic effects despite of more than 50 years of clinical use in humans. Oral supplementation of chlorophyllin may cause green discoloration of urine or feces, or yellow or black discoloration of the tongue or occasional diarrhea. Chlorophylls and chlorophyllin has not been tested in pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Thermal stability of chlorophyll 

In study of chlorophyll in broccoli, research found heat and combined pressure−temperature degrades chlorophyll. They found heating of chlorophyll at 100 °C at atmospheric pressure for 37 min decreases 90% of total chlorophyll. Application of combinations of pressure with temperatures exceeding 50 °C significantly lowered chlorophyll content of brocoli.(10)

Food source:  Spinach, Parsley, Cress, garden, Green bebeans, Arugula, Leeks, Endive, Sugar peas, Chinese cabbage, brocoli

However some leafy green vegetable has goitrogenic compound that interfare with iodine uptake. And ultimately such foods impairs thyroid functions. Find which cruciferous vegetables contain higher goitrogenic compound as well as how to reduce goitrogenic compound from such vegetables. 


According to the Oregon State University, Oral dosage of chlorophyll supplements is 100-300 mg/day in three divided doses. Also having enough green vegetable you can have considerable amount of chlorophyll.

Disclaimer: Information provided here are generalized information for  
informational and entertainment purpose only,  not intended to provide one  
to one health consultation or replace practice of a qualified practitioner.  
Different people may have different health condition and may have different  
reaction to the same food. Hence it has been advised to consult with health  
care provider before application of any of above information
1.Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin, Oregon State University, Jane Higdon, 
Ph.D., Jane Higdon, Ph.D.,Victoria J. Drake, Ph.D., Roderick H. Dashwood, 
Ph.D., Linus Pauling Institute 
2.The protective effect ofchlorophyllin against oxidative damage and its 
mechanism, Zhang YL, Guan L, Zhou PH, Mao LJ, Zhao ZM, Li SQ, Xu XX, Cong 
CC, Zhu MX, Zhao JY.Zhonghua Nei Ke Za Zhi. 2012 Jun;51(6)
3.Chlorophyllin intervention reduces aflatoxin–DNA adducts in individuals 
at high risk for liver cancer,Patricia A. Egner, Jin-Bing Wang, Yuan-Rong 
Zhu, Bao-Chu Zhang, Yan Wu, Qi-Nan Zhang, Geng-Sun Qian, Shuang-Yuan Kuang, 
Stephen J. Gange, Lisa P. Jacobson, Kathy J. Helzlsouer, George S. Bailey, 
John D. Groopman, and Thomas W. Kensler,PNAS December 4, 2001 98 (25) 
4.Chemoprevention with chlorophyllin in individuals exposed to dietary 
aflatoxin, Patricia A.Egner AlvaroMuñoz Thomas W.Kensler,Mutation 
Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis, Volumes 523–
524, February–March 2003, Pages 209-216 
5.Supplementation by thylakoids to a high carbohydrate meal decreases 
feelings of hunger,elevates CCK levels and prevents postprandial 
hypoglycaemia in overweight women, Eva-LenaStenblom, CarolineMontelius, 
KarolinaÖstbring, MariaHåkansson,SofiaNilsson,Jens F.Rehfeld,Charlotte 
Erlanson-Albertsson,Appetite,Volume 68, 1 September 2013,Pages 118-123 
6.Dietary green-plant thylakoids decrease gastric emptying and gut transit, 
promote changes in the gut microbial flora,but does not cause 
steatorrhea,Eva-Lena Stenblom, Björn Weström,Caroline Linninge, Peter Bonn, 
Mary Farrell, Jens F., Rehfeld, and Caroline Montelius,Nutr Metab 
(Lond).2016; 13: 67 
7.Inhibition of fried meat-induced colorectal DNA damage and altered 
systemic genotoxicity in humans by crucifera, chlorophyllin, and 
yogurt,Shaughnessy DT, Gangarosa LM, Schliebe B, Umbach DM, Xu Z, MacIntosh 
B, Knize MG, Matthews PP, Swank AE, Sandler RS, DeMarini DM, Taylor JA,PLoS 
One. 2011 Apr 25;6(4):e18707 
8.Use of chlorophyllin in the care of geriatric patients, Young RW, Beregi 
JS Jr.,J Am Geriatr Soc.1980 Jan; 28(1):46-7 
9.Antimicrobial activity of chlorophyll-based solution on Candida albicans 
and Enterococcus faecalis,Eiko MAEKAWA, Lilian;LAMPING, Roberta; MARCACCI, 
Sidnei; Yasunori MAEKAWA,Marcos;Giazzi NASSRI, Maria Renata; Yumi KOGA-ITO, 
Cristiane,RSBO.Revista Sul-Brasileira de Odontologia,vol. 4, núm. 2, 2007, 
pp. 36-40 
10.Thermal and Pressure−Temperature Degradation of Chlorophyll in Broccoli 
(Brassica oleracea L. italica)Juice: A Kinetic Study,A. Van Loey, V. Ooms, 
C. Weemaes, I. Van den Broeck, L. Ludikhuyze,S. Denys, and M. Hendrickx, J. 
Agric. Food Chem., 1998, 46 (12), pp 5289–5294
Bikramjit Konwar

Author: Bikramjit Konwar


3 Responses

  1. Informative post. Yes green vegetables and chlorophyll therein may have a lot of beneficial effects. But one needs to test these benefits and quantitate the effect with dose. Is there a dose response relationship between amount of chlorophyll needed and extent of wound healing or cancer protection? Those kind of data will add scientific value;

    1. Sir, Cohort studies are population based studies, not controlled, no intervention. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, 100 mg three times used for 16 weeks. Usually in studies higher dosages are used for results. As per the Oregon State University, oral dosage of chlorophyll supplements is 100-300 mg/day in three divided doses. Thermal and pressure degradation of chlorophyll occurs. Due to strong taste, many people don’t like direct ingestion. Some good recipes are available, you may find it by searching.

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