Thursday 22 April 2021

So, Is Liquid Chlorophyll Really That Good For You?

 Liquid chlorophyll is all over TikTok these days, where users are swearing by its ability to clear skin and manage inflammation, among other benefits. With so many lofty claims, a little bit of skepticism is healthy. So, clinical dietitian nutritionist Steph Grasso, M.S., R.D., took to the platform to share her opinion on the trend. Here's what she has to say. 

"First of all, there is very limited research that supports the benefits of it," Grasso says in reference to drinking chlorophyll water. Given the natural benefits of chlorophyll itself, however, the research that does exist seems to be promising. 

What is chlorophyll?

Before we dig into the trend, it's important to understand what it is people are drinking. 

"Chlorophyll is the most abundant pigment in plants that make them green," Grasso says. The pigment is essential for the process of photosynthesis, in which plants convert sunlight into energy. 

Since it's produced naturally by plants, it's possible to consume it via green plant foods, "like spinach and asparagus," Grasso says. You can also take it in supplement form—hence the liquid droplets people are adding to their glasses of water. 

Typically, the supplement form contains a derivative of chlorophyll called chlorophyllin, or sodium copper chlorophyllin. According to one small study, it may help manage acne and reduce the size of pores when applied topically. 

Researchers have also found that copper chlorophyllin contains a higher amount of antioxidants than natural chlorophylls, making them a helpful addition to whole foods—but still not a replacement.

The importance of eating green veggies, too. 

While chlorophyll and chlorophyllin certainly offer benefits, the nutrients in the liquid supplement are limited compared to eating whole veggies. 

"If you eat one cup of spinach, you're getting in about 24 milligrams of chlorophyll," Grasso says. That's equivalent to about one dropper (or half a teaspoon) of the liquid variety. However, "when you eat your greens, you're not only getting in your chlorophyll but also vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber," she explains. 

For the added nutrients and lower price point, Grasso says, "Yeah, I choose veggies." But adding a liquid chlorophyll supplement to your daily routine, along with a balanced diet rich in veggies, is generally thought to be safe.

Bottom line. 

Adding chlorophyll, or its derivatives, to water may have anti-inflammatory and skin benefits. Plus, drinking it daily may encourage greater water intake. Like all supplements, though, the liquid version of chlorophyll should not replace nutrient-dense whole foods. So even if you're drinking your greens, don't forget to eat them, too. 

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