Are There Really Health Benefits to Drinking Chlorophyll?
Drinking liquid chlorophyll has been trending on TikTok lately. Wellness influencers and gurus claim it has all sorts of health benefits, and it seems like people are listening. As of early June 2021, #Chlorophyll had over 326 million views on the social media platform.
So, what are the alleged health benefits associated with drinking chlorophyll? Well, some have claimed that sipping on chlorophyll can aid in weight loss and support clearer skin. Still, what do scientists and other health experts have to say about drinking liquid chlorophyll? We’re delving in to see if liquid chlorophyll lives up to the TikTok health trend hype.
What Is Chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants. In addition to being what makes plants look green, chlorophyll is what helps plants turn sunlight into nutrients via a process called photosynthesis. Without chlorophyll, life as we know it wouldn’t exist. In fact, every single green plant out there contains chlorophyll.
Before the liquid chlorophyll trend began, people were already consuming it naturally by eating and drinking things like spinach, kale, parsley, and other greens. Generally, green veggies have slightly less chlorophyll content — around 5 mg per cup — while the chlorophyll-rich spinach contains around 24 mg of chlorophyll per cup. The greener a vegetable is, both inside and out, the more chlorophyll it contains.
In supplement form, chlorophyll is listed as chlorophyllin, which is its water-soluble form. It also contains two minerals, sodium and copper, so that the body can better absorb it. In fact, experts think that the supplement form of chlorophyll might actually be slightly more absorbable than its natural form. Liquid chlorophyll, which is what’s primarily trending on TikTok, are drops that you add to a glass of water, thus turning it bright green and infusing it with chlorophyll’s properties. Honestly, the beverage’s color alone is quite photo-worthy, which might explain its sudden (and massive) popularity on social media.
Does Drinking Liquid Chlorophyll Have Health Benefits?
Although TikTok has recently popularized liquid chlorophyll as a supplement, it has been around for decades. Its supposed health benefits include the following:
- Promotes weight loss
- Supports cancer prevention
- Treats acne
- Helps one control body odor
- Relieves constipation and bloating
- Improves blood flow
- Boosts one’s energy levels
However, the reality of chlorophyll’s health benefits is a bit less clear. Experts say that most of the health claims lack scientific evidence to back them up. The research that’s out there remains inconclusive. That being said, some research has been done, thus providing a loose basis for liquid chlorophyll as a wellness product.
For example, a 2008 review of chlorophyllin found it to be effective in treating skin wounds. However, larger, more controlled studies are necessary to verify these findings. Moreover, two pilot studies from 2015 found chlorophyllin to be effective in treating certain skin conditions. One found it to be effective in treating facial acne, while the other found it improve skin damaged by the sun. Since both were small, preliminary studies, more information is needed to better determine if chlorophyllin truly provides these benefits.
In terms of weight loss, there’s even less research out there to support these claims. A 2014 study found that a diet filled with green plants, which contain chlorophyll, helped overweight patients lose weight and lower their cholesterol levels. Another study from 2019 found that consuming chlorophyll early in life could help prevent obesity later on. However, neither of these studies directly looked at the impact of chlorophyll supplements on weight loss.
So, what do we know about chlorophyll? It’s full of antioxidants, the health benefits of which have been widely studied. As such, research indicates that it has anti-inflammatory properties and can boost one’s immune system. Additionally, antioxidants can protect against degenerative diseases and stave off the development of cancer. Studies have also shown that chlorophyll promotes healthy gut function, which is linked to a faster metabolism and better digestion. In fact, this might be the link between liquid chlorophyll and weight loss.
Despite the lack of rigorous scientific evidence, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence regarding the wellness benefits of chlorophyll supplements. Not only are TikTokers around the globe raving about it, but health gurus have also been big fans of the life-giving green substance since the 1960s.
Risks and Side Effects Associated With Drinking Liquid Chlorophyll
People have been taking chlorophyllin for many years, and no toxic side effects have been found. This means that while the health benefits remain unconfirmed, chlorophyll supplements won’t cause you harm, if taken in moderation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said chlorophyllin is safe for those age 12 and up to consume, so long as they only ingest up to 300 mg per day.
Consuming liquid chlorophyll may have some non-serious, short-term side effects. These include mild gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, discolored feces, and an increased risk of sunburn. It is unclear whether or not it’s safe to take chlorophyll while pregnant or breastfeeding. Additionally, it may interact with some medications, particularly those that increase sun sensitivity, so always consult with your doctor before trying any new supplements.
Different Ways to Take Chlorophyll Supplements
As of late, liquid chlorophyll has become the most popular of all of the chlorophyll supplements. Many people drop the desired dosage into water, snap a picture of the social media-worthy beverage, and then drink it. The powder form can also be added to liquids, including smoothies, water, juice, and sauces. Additionally, chlorophyll supplements come in tablet, spray, and ointment forms as well.
Keep in mind that the FDA does not regulate chlorophyll supplements. As such, it is important to consult with your doctor before introducing a regimen of this supplement into your diet. Doses can vary widely depending on individual factors, like your weight and metabolism. Most people begin with a smaller dosage to gauge their tolerance level before increasing the amount of chlorophyll they’re ingesting.
It is also important to remember that no matter the potential health benefits of a particular substance, maintaining a healthy diet is always important. Even if it was proven that taking liquid chlorophyll could help with weight loss, acne, or any other issue, your body needs a variety of nutrients to function properly.
Moreover, taking chlorophyll supplements does not eliminate the need to eat green vegetables. Those will never go out of style, as they contain an abundance of other nutrients, like fiber, vitamins, and minerals, all of which are great for your overall health.