chlorophyllin (generic name)
Derifil (brand name)
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CategoryHerbs & Supplements
ABCG2 substrates, chlorin e6, chlorin p6, chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, chlorophyll c, chlorophyll d, chlorophyllin, chlorophyllpt, chlorophyll lipiodol, chlorophyll phytol, copper chlorophyll, Laminaria, microalgae, nutraceutical, Nullo®, peridinin chlorophyll-alpha protein, pheophorbide, pheophorbide a, pheophytin a, photodynamic antimicrobial therapy (PACT), phytanic acid, phytochemicals, porphobilinogen, porphyrin, PPBa, pristanic acid, protochlorophyllidae a, protoporhyrin IX, purpurin-18, retinoid X receptor (RXR) agonist, uroporphyrinogen-III.
Chlorophyll is a chemoprotein commonly known for its contribution to the green pigmentation in plants, and is related to protoheme, the red pigment of blood. It can be obtained from green leafy vegetables (broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, and spinach), algae (Chlorella and Spirulina), wheat grass, and numerous herbs (alfalfa, damiana, nettle, and parsley).
Chlorophyll has been used traditionally to improve bad breath and other forms of body odor including odors of the urine, feces, and infected wounds. More recently chlorophyll has been used to aid in the removal of various toxins via the liver and remains a key compound for improving the function of essential detoxification pathways. Supportive evidence suggests it may be used as an anti-inflammatory agent for conditions, such as pancreatitis as well as exhibiting potent antioxidant and chemoprotective activities. Scientific research has demonstrated it may be an effective therapeutic agent in the treatment of herpes simplex, benign breast disease, chemoprevention, tuberculosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Type 2 diabetes and obesity are also being explored as areas where chlorophyll can also be used.
EvidenceDISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Cancer (laser therapy adjunct):
Preliminary evidence suggests that chlorophyll may aid in the reduction of side effects associated with photodynamic therapies such as those used in management of malignant tumors. Further research is required to support its use for reducing photosensitivity symptoms.
Fibrocystic breast disease:
The benefits of chlorophyll in benign breast disease may be attributed to its ability to alter liver enzyme pathways involved in estrogen metabolism. A combination product containing chlorophyll may be beneficial for this condition, but more research is needed to confirm these preliminary results.
Herpes (simplex and zoster):
Clorophyll may treat herpes simplex and herpes zoster, although more research is needed in this area.
Chlorophyll-a may reduce the mortality rate of experimental pancreatitis. Additional study is needed in this area.
Pneumonia (active destructive):
Chlorophyll may help to regulate T lymphocyte counts in patients with active destructive pneumonia. Further studies are required to further elaborate on the immune-modifying effects of chlorophyll.
Poisoning (reduce Yusho symptoms):
Yusho is a poisoning caused by ingestion of rice oil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, specifically polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). A chlorophyll-rich diet may increase PCDF and PCB elimination, but further high quality research is needed.
Protection from aflatoxins:
Chlorophyll may be of use as a chemopreventative agent due to its ability to inhibit the tumor-promoting effects of carcinogens. Chlorophyll may act to improve the detoxification of toxins involved in cancer promotion. However, more research is needed in this area.
Reduction of odor from incontinence/bladder catheterization:
Based on historical use, chlorophyll has been suggested to improve bodily odor in colostomy patients. Despite empirical use, clinical research did not support these findings.
Diets high in chlorophyll have been hypothesized to modify intestinal flora resulting in improved management of immune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis. More evidence is needed to support the use of chlorophyll in autoimmune diseases.
Preliminary evidence suggests that chlorophyll intake during chemotherapy treatment in patients with tuberculosis may improve immune parameters and free radical indices, such as malonic dialdehyde. Additional study is needed in this area.