Benefits of Chlorophyll for a Healthy Immune System
Chlorophyll is a pigment found in plants. It absorbs light in the blue and red spectrum and reflects green light. There are approximately 500,000 chloroplasts in a square millimeter of leaf. Chlorophyll uses the energy from the sun to produce glucose.1
In the human body, when oxygen reacts with certain molecules, highly reactive atoms called free radicals are produced. These free radicals are needed in the energy production process and for killing bacteria. However, in excess they can damage cells. This damaging process can lead to cataracts, premature aging, arthritis and cancer.1
The phytochemicals found in plants, such as chlorophyll, act as antioxidants. These antioxidants help to curb the damage done by free radicals. Our bodies cannot produce phytochemicals. They must be ingested by eating fruits and vegetables.1
Chlorophyll has been found to help decrease inflammation and in wound healing in some studies. Many studies have also been done on the benefits of chlorophyll in stimulating the immune system, purifying the blood, detoxifying the liver and decreasing odors such as halitosis or bad breath.2 Most of these studies require further investigation.
Phytochemicals, including chlorophyll, are found in all colorful fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, we do not know to what extent the phytochemicals are absorbed and the effect of the gut biome on their absorption.3
- Bhat, S.R. (2005). Chlorophyll. The wonder pigment. Science Reporter. Retrieved from http://drs.nio.org/drs/bitstream/handle/2264/426/Sci_Rep_42_29.pdf?sequence=1
- İnanç, A. L. (2011). Chlorophyll: Structural Properties, Health Benefits and Its Occurrence in Virgin Olive Oils. Academic Food Journal/Akademik GIDA. Retrieved from https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C36&q=chlorophyll+and+the+human+immune+system&btnG=
- Barnes, S., Prasain, J., & Kim, H. (2013). Can we “see” what Is good for us?, Advances in Nutrition,4(3) pp 327S–334S, https://doi.org/10.3945/an.112.003558
About Dr. Poston:
Dr. Poston is a licensed physician and also holds an MBA. Her career includes practicing pediatric medicine, medical student mentoring, and acted as Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions at Wright State University School of Medicine. Dr. Poston also has an extensive background in writing articles for medical journals. Currently, she also works as a professional content contributor for InvigorMedcial.com.
She has written several book reviews and blog posts for the Academy for Professionalism in Health Care on topics such as professional behavior in medical practitioners, the virtuous physician, how healthcare became big business, irrational choices and why we make them, patient rights, genetic testing, and ethics in health care. Leann was selected to be a Romanell fellow based on her work in the area of medical professionalism. Her vast writing and teaching experience have led to several awards in the teaching profession as she has been cited as being an innovative educator who can break down complex topics and make them understandable to a reader with little background in the subject matter.