Only in our wildest dreams can there be a miracle tonic that helps with acne, bloating, and body odour. Well, on TikTok, users seem to have found said miracle cure; A new trend has recently surfaced on the app, swearing by the magic of chlorophyll. Many on this platform are adamant that drinking chlorophyll-infused water can eliminate body odours, stabilise menstrual cycles, and clear skin, among many other claims. But how truthful are these claims? Is it merely a placebo caused by the hype of this organic substance?
In this article, we will explore the potential benefits and risks of chlorophyll to see if this new trend is a fact or a fad.
What is chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants and is also an essential component in photosynthesis. The vitamins, antioxidants, and therapeutic properties of chlorophyll could potentially benefit your body in many ways, so most people take chlorophyll supplements to increase their intake. The ones sold in stores actually contain chlorophyllin instead of chlorophyll, which contains Copper rather than Magnesium, because most of the chlorophyll is usually digested before it can be absorbed.
How can chlorophyll help you?
Although the claims on TikTok are numerous, the usually marketed benefits of chlorophyll are:
- stimulating immune system
- improve gut health
- getting rid of bad odours
- energising body
It is important to note, however, that you should already be getting a good amount of chlorophyll if you're eating right! A natural source of it can be found in vegetables and herbs that are green inside and out, like spinach and parsley. Therefore, it may not be necessary for you to add extra chlorophyll to your diet.
What are the risks of taking chlorophyll?
Although chlorophyll is not known to be toxic to us, there are some potential side effects that you should take into consideration before hastily buying the supplements. Chlorophyll may cause:
- digestive problems
- green, yellow, or black stool
- itching or burning when applied topically
Always consult your healthcare provider before taking new supplements.
How is it usually taken?
If not taken naturally by consuming green vegetables, it can either be taken in a powdered form dissolved in water, or a concentrated liquid form added to water. Both methods yield the same results attested by most people following this trend. Chlorophyll also comes in pills, ointments, and sprays that can be found in most health food stores and drug stores.
What do professionals think?
Dr. Anthony Youn, a holistic Plastic Surgeon famous on YouTube and TikTok, shares his views on a TikTok video. Although there is no evidence to prove that chlorophyll can help with weight loss, he explains that chlorophyll's anti-inflammatory properties can aid in reducing bloating, which gives the illusion of weight loss.
Another doctor on TikTok, this time in family medicine, reacted to the trend with a similar response. Dr. Raj Kandavanam believes that it is a positive trend to follow because the benefits far outweigh the risks.
However, Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, a Dermatologist also posting on TikTok, is not so convinced. She explains that there is little evidence out there to prove that drinking chlorophyll can help with acne. Topical forms, on the other hand, may be beneficial for the skin. But she warns that drinking too much of it may cause digestive issues.
Dietician Steph Grasso decides to focus not on whether or not chlorophyll supplements are good for you but rather if it is even necessary to take them. She explains that 1 cup of spinach is equal to about 24mg of chlorophyll, which is just less than a drop of liquid chlorophyll. With just a single cup of vegetables, you can get almost the right amount of chlorophyll to add to your water. Therefore, it is better and healthier for you to just eat your leafy greens than to take the supplements - with vegetables, you can also get vitamins, fibre, antioxidants, and minerals into your diet.
So is it worth it? Most people seem to believe so, and there is a consensus among health professionals that there could be some benefits to taking chlorophyll, such as it being an anti-inflammatory. But very little research has been done to prove a lot of these potential benefits. The safest and most effective thing to do is to eat a well-balanced diet. And lastly, it is important to always speak with your doctor before starting a new supplement.