Chlorophyll is used for bad breath, colostomy odor, acne, wound healing, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Ineffective for
- Reducing colostomy odor. Taking chlorophyll by mouth does not seem to reduce colostomy odor.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Acne. Early research shows that applying a sheet containing chlorophyll to the face for 30 minutes along with light-emitting diode (LED) irradiation reduces acne compared to the LED irradiation alone in young adults.
- Hay fever. Early research shows that taking chlorophyll for 8 weeks might reduce the use of medications used to treat hay fever but does not seem to improve symptoms of hay fever such as runny nose.
- Lung cancer. Early research suggests that injecting chlorophyll into the vein (by IV) along with the drug talaporfin, followed by treatment with laser therapy, might reduce cancer lesions in people with early-stage lung cancer. However, this effect appears to only last for 2 weeks.
- Swelling (inflammation) of the pancreas (pancreatitis). Early research shows that injecting chlorophyll into the vein (by IV) might reduce pain and other symptoms in people with chronic relapsing pancreatitis.
- Skin cancer. Early research shows that injecting chlorophyll into the vein (by IV) or applying it to the skin along with laser or light therapy reduces the recurrence of cancer in people with a common type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma.
- Bad breath.
- Wound healing.
- Other conditions.
When applied to the skin: Chlorophyll is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin. But chlorophyll can cause skin to become extra-sensitive to the sun. Wear sunblock outside, especially if you are light-skinned.
When given by IV: Chlorophyll is POSSIBLY SAFE when injected intravenously (by IV) by a trained medical professional.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (Photosensitizing drugs) interacts with CHLOROPHYLL
Some medications can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Chlorophyll might also increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Taking chlorophyll along with medication that increase sensitivity to sunlight could increase the chances of sunburn, blistering or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.
Some drugs that cause photosensitivity include amitriptyline (Elavil), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), gatifloxacin (Tequin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra), tetracycline, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen, 8-MOP, Oxsoralen), and Trioxsalen (Trisoralen).
Be cautious with this combination
Atroshi, F., Rizzo, A., Westermarck, T., and Ali-Vehmas, T. Antioxidant nutrients and mycotoxins. Toxicology 11-15-2002;180(2):151-167. View abstract.
Battersby, A. R. Biosynthesis of the pigments of life. J Nat Prod. 1988;51(4):629-642. View abstract.
Baxter, J. H. Absorption of chlorophyll phytol in normal man and in patients with Refsum's disease. J.Lipid Res. 1968;9(5):636-641. View abstract.
Belen'kii, G. B. and Krikun, B. L. [Treatment of herpes simplex and herpes zoster by chlorophyll preparations]. Sov.Med. 1971;34(1):151-152. View abstract.
Bezpalov, V. G., Barash, N. I., Ivanova, O. A., Semenov, I. I., Aleksandrov, V. A., and Semiglazov, V. F. [Investigation of the drug "Mamoclam" for the treatment of patients with fibroadenomatosis of the breast]. Vopr.Onkol. 2005;51(2):236-241. View abstract.
Biliaieva, O. O., Korzhyk, N. P., and Myronov, O. M. [Rational prophylaxis of purulent-septic complications of the soft tissue in ambulatory-outpatient conditions]. Klin.Khir. 2011;(8):49-51. View abstract.
Blake, R. Determination of extent of deodorizing properties of chlorophyl. J Am Podiatry.Assoc 1968;58(3):109-112. View abstract.
Divisi, D., Di, Tommaso S., Salvemini, S., Garramone, M., and Crisci, R. Diet and cancer. Acta Biomed. 2006;77(2):118-123. View abstract.
Ebermann, R., Alth, G., Kreitner, M., and Kubin, A. Natural products derived from plants as potential drugs for the photodynamic destruction of tumor cells. J Photochem.Photobiol.B 1996;36(2):95-97. View abstract.
Egner, P. A., Munoz, A., and Kensler, T. W. Chemoprevention with chlorophyllin in individuals exposed to dietary aflatoxin. Mutat.Res 2003;523-524:209-216. View abstract.
Egner, P. A., Wang, J. B., Zhu, Y. R., Zhang, B. C., Wu, Y., Zhang, Q. N., Qian, G. S., Kuang, S. Y., Gange, S. J., Jacobson, L. P., Helzlsouer, K. J., Bailey, G. S., Groopman, J. D., and Kensler, T. W. Chlorophyllin intervention reduces aflatoxin-DNA adducts in individuals at high risk for liver cancer. Proc Natl.Acad.Sci U.S.A 12-4-2001;98(25):14601-14606. View abstract.
Friedman, M. Potato glycoalkaloids and metabolites: roles in the plant and in the diet. J.Agric.Food Chem. 11-15-2006;54(23):8655-8681. View abstract.
Gao, F. and Hu, X. F. Analysis of the therapeutic effect of sodium copper chlorophyllin tablet in treating 60 cases of leukopenia. Chin J.Integr.Med. 2005;11(4):279-282. View abstract.
Gawel, E. Chemical composition of lucerne leaf extract (EFL) and its applications as a phytobiotic in human nutrition. Acta Sci.Pol.Technol.Aliment. 2012;11(3):303-310. View abstract.
Kochneva, E. V., Filonenko, E. V., Vakulovskaya, E. G., Scherbakova, E. G., Seliverstov, O. V., Markichev, N. A., and Reshetnickov, A. V. Photosensitizer Radachlorin(R): Skin cancer PDT phase II clinical trials. Photodiagnosis.Photodyn.Ther. 2010;7(4):258-267. View abstract.
Li, H., Li, F., Yang, F., Fang, Y., Xin, Z., Zhao, L., and Hu, Q. Size effect of se-enriched green tea particles on in vitro antioxidant and antitumor activities. J.Agric.Food Chem. 6-25-2008;56(12):4529-4533. View abstract.
Lozovskaia, M. E. [Effectiveness of using the biologically active additive to food from Laminaria in adolescents during complex treatment of the pulmonary tuberculosis]. Vopr.Pitan. 2005;74(1):40-43. View abstract.
Miller, P. E. and Snyder, D. C. Phytochemicals and cancer risk: a review of the epidemiological evidence. Nutr.Clin.Pract. 2012;27(5):599-612. View abstract.
Mochida, Y., Fukata, H., Matsuno, Y., and Mori, C. Reduction of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in human body. Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi 2007;98(4):106-113. View abstract.
Moore, C. M., Pendse, D., and Emberton, M. Photodynamic therapy for prostate cancer--a review of current status and future promise. Nat.Clin.Pract.Urol. 2009;6(1):18-30. View abstract.
Nagayama, J., Hirakawa, H., Kajiwara, J., Iida, T., Todaka, T., Uenotsuchi, T., Shibata, S., Tsuji, H., and Iwasaki, T. Excretion of causative PCDFs congeners of Yusho by one year intake of FBRA in patients with Yusho. Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi 2007;98(5):215-221. View abstract.
Nagayama, J., Takasuga, T., Tsuji, H., and Iwasaki, T. Promotive excretion of causative agents of Yusho by one year intake of FBRA in Japanese people. Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi 2005;96(5):241-248. View abstract.
Nava, H. R., Allamaneni, S. S., Dougherty, T. J., Cooper, M. T., Tan, W., Wilding, G., and Henderson, B. W. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) using HPPH for the treatment of precancerous lesions associated with Barrett's esophagus. Lasers Surg.Med. 2011;43(7):705-712. View abstract.
Nenonen, M. T., Helve, T. A., Rauma, A. L., and Hanninen, O. O. Uncooked, lactobacilli-rich, vegan food and rheumatoid arthritis. Br J Rheumatol. 1998;37(3):274-281. View abstract.
Pandey, R. K., Goswami, L. N., Chen, Y., Gryshuk, A., Missert, J. R., Oseroff, A., and Dougherty, T. J. Nature: a rich source for developing multifunctional agents. Tumor-imaging and photodynamic therapy. Lasers Surg.Med. 2006;38(5):445-467. View abstract.
Shaughnessy, D. T., Gangarosa, L. M., Schliebe, B., Umbach, D. M., Xu, Z., MacIntosh, B., Knize, M. G., Matthews, P. P., Swank, A. E., Sandler, R. S., DeMarini, D. M., and Taylor, J. A. Inhibition of fried meat-induced colorectal DNA damage and altered systemic genotoxicity in humans by crucifera, chlorophyllin, and yogurt. PLoS.One. 2011;6(4):e18707. View abstract.
Simvolokov, S. I., Nikitin, A. V., and Iakovleva, L. G. [Clinico-immunologic effectiveness of chlorophyllypt in the treatment of acute destructive pneumonia]. Klin Med (Mosk) 1989;67(2):108-112. View abstract.
Sugiyama, C., Nakandakari, N., Hayatsu, H., and Arimoto-Kobayashi, S. Preventive effects of chlorophyllin fixed on chitosan towards DNA adduct formation of 3-amino-1-methyl-5H-pyrido [4,3-b]indole in CDF1 mice. Biol Pharm Bull. 2002;25(4):520-522. View abstract.
Tsai, Y. C., Wu, W. B., and Chen, B. H. Preparation of carotenoids and chlorophylls from Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Thunb.) Makino and their antiproliferation effect on hepatoma cell. J.Med.Food 2010;13(6):1431-1442. View abstract.
Tsukagoshi, S. [Development of a novel photosensitizer, talaporfin sodium, for the photodynamic therapy (PDT)]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 2004;31(6):979-985. View abstract.
Wang, X., Zhang, W., Xu, Z., Luo, Y., Mitchell, D., and Moss, R. W. Sonodynamic and photodynamic therapy in advanced breast carcinoma: a report of 3 cases. Integr.Cancer Ther. 2009;8(3):283-287. View abstract.
Werner, L. B., Hellgren, L. I., Raff, M., Jensen, S. K., Petersen, R. A., Drachmann, T., and Tholstrup, T. Effect of dairy fat on plasma phytanic acid in healthy volunteers - a randomized controlled study. Lipids Health Dis. 2011;10:95. View abstract.
Wogan, G. N., Kensler, T. W., and Groopman, J. D. Present and future directions of translational research on aflatoxin and hepatocellular carcinoma. A review. Food Addit.Contam Part A Chem.Anal.Control Expo.Risk Assess. 2012;29(2):249-257. View abstract.
Brooks SL, Sanders J, Seymour JF, Mellor JD. A case of delayed methotrexate clearance following administration of a complementary medication containing chlorophyll. J Oncol Pharm Pract. 2014 Jun;20(3):225-8. View abstract.
Christiansen SB, Byel SR, Stromsted H, et al. [Can chlorophyll reduce fecal odor in colostomy patients]? Ugeskr Laeger 1989;151:1753-4. View abstract.
Dai R, Shoemaker R, Farrens D, et al. Characterization of silkworm chlorophyll metabolites as an active photosensitizer for photodynamic therapy. J Nat Prod, 1992;55:1241-51. View abstract.
Durk H, Haase K, Saal J, et al. Nephrotic syndrome after injections of bovine cartilage and marrow extract. [letter] Lancet 1989;1:614.
Fujiwara T, Nishida N, Nota J, et al. Efficacy of chlorophyll c2 for seasonal allergic rhinitis: single-center double-blind randomized control trial. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2016;273(12):4289-94. View abstract .
Galvano, F., Piva, A., Ritieni, A., and Galvano, G. Dietary strategies to counteract the effects of mycotoxins: a review. J Food Prot 2001;64(1):120-131. View abstract.
Lee WY, Park JH, Kim BS, et al. Chlorophyll derivatives (CpD) extracted from silk worm excreta are specifically cytotoxic to tumor cells in vitro. Yonsei Med J 1990;31:225-33. View abstract.
Li Y, Cui Y, Hu X, Liao X, Zhang Y. Chlorophyll Supplementation in Early Life Prevents Diet-Induced Obesity and Modulates Gut Microbiota in Mice. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2019;63(21):e1801219. View abstract.
Mathews-Roth MM. Carotenoids in erythropoietic protoporphyria and other photosensitivity diseases. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1993; 691:127-38. View abstract.
Nahata MC, Slencsak CA, Kamp J. Effect of chlorophyllin on urinary odor in incontinent geriatric patients. Drug Intell Clin Pharm 1983;17:732-4. View abstract.
Rossi E, Borchard K, Cole JM. Pseudoporphyria following self-medication with chlorophyll. Australas J Dermatol. 2015 Feb;56(1):47-8. View abstract.
Song BH, Lee DH, Kim BC, Ku SH, Park EJ, Kwon IH, Kim KH, Kim KJ. Photodynamic therapy using chlorophyll-a in the treatment of acne vulgaris: a randomized, single-blind, split-face study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Oct;71(4):764-71.View abstract.
Yoshida A, Yokono O, Oda T. Therapeutic effect of chlorophyll-a in the treatment of patients with chronic pancreatitis. Gastroenterol Jpn 1980;15:49-61. View abstract.
Zhao CY, Frew JW, Muhaidat J, et al. Chlorophyll-induced pseudoporphyria with ongoing photosensitivity after cessation - a case series of four patients. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2016;30(7):1239-42. View abstract.
You Might Also Like
CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.
This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.