Anne-Marie Davee, M.S., RDN, LD, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Nutrition within the University of New England’s Westbrook College of Health Professions, recently spoke with the Bangor Daily News about the purported health benefits of yet another popular dietary supplement: liquid chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants that converts the sun’s rays into food through photosynthesis. Its liquid form, made from the derivative chlorophyllin, has been touted as a method of detoxifying the body, clarifying blood, preventing cancer, and assisting with weight loss.
But is there any truth to those claims? Davee said she has her reservations.
“Chlorophyll is what plants use to help clarify the environment,” Davee told reporter Sam Schipani. “Lo and behold, someone came up with the idea to liquify it and make it so that humans could use it to do a similar thing in the body.”
Studies have found mixed results on liquid chlorophyll’s effectiveness, and Davee said to be wary of such supplements because they are not regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration.
“With any type of dietary supplements, it’s buyer beware,” Davee said. “They can go to market without proving any sort of scientific benefit or consequence.
“I’m not sure as a dietician that I would recommend that someone take it in a liquid chlorophyll form,” she continued. “The human body is just so different and individuals are so very different. It would be hard to do a sweeping conclusion based on a limited number of animal studies.”
To really reap the benefits of chlorophyll, Davee said, people should simply increase their intake of leafy greens. Any vegetable that is green on the inside and out contains chlorophyll, including spinach, arugula, peas, parsley, and green beans, and the list goes on.
“If you’re looking for chlorophyll to help detoxify your body or reduce your risk of cancer, I would highly recommend eating more leafy green vegetables,” Davee said. “To me, that would be a better way of cleansing than doing something like a liquid chlorophyll supplement.”