If you frequent TikTok, you might have noticed the viral chlorophyll trend. In a nutshell, people are putting concentrated liquid chlorophyll into their drinking water and claiming it has a variety of great benefits, including clear skin, minimizing bloating, and...reduced body odor?!
And, yes, for the record, we are talking about the chlorophyll you remember from science class. The kind found in plants.
Because so many people are claiming that chlorophyll has brought them incredible benefits, BuzzFeed reached out to Stephanie Grasso, a clinical dietician, to understand how exactly liquid chlorophyll plays a role in the body.
"Unfortunately, I cannot say whether or not these benefits are related to drinking chlorophyll, because there is very limited research supporting this," Stephanie told BuzzFeed. "I’m not saying this supplement doesn’t work, but 'limited research' means that there are not enough human studies to support these health claims and that more evidence is needed."
"There are some animal studies showing chlorophyllin’s (a semi-synthetic, water soluble derivative of chlorophyll) ability to demonstrate antioxidant properties. In regard to odor, one study evaluated the effectiveness of chlorophyllin’s odor reduction effects on geriatric nursing home patients and found that it may be beneficial for reducing body and fecal odors and improving constipation. However, one clinical research study found no reduction in garlic volatiles when consuming garlic with 100 mg chlorophyllin. Overall, there is no proposed mechanism of actions for these effects."
"If you want to save yourself from buying a $39 bottle of liquid chlorophyll, just buy a $4 bag of spinach because you are not only getting the benefits of chlorophyll, but fiber, vitamins, minerals, and a TON of antioxidants. One cup of spinach provides about 24mg of chlorophyll, which is equivalent to a little less than one dropper (or ½ tsp) of liquid chlorophyll. You get a lot more bang for your buck in a cup of spinach versus a dropper of liquid chlorophyll."
When asked if it's safe to digest in its liquid form, Stephanie said, "According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD), chlorophyllin has been used with apparent safety at doses of up to 300mg daily for up to 3 months. Although no adverse effects have been reported, a thorough evaluation of safety outcomes has not been conducted, according to the NMCD."
A dermatologist named Dr. Shah added that liquid chlorophyll has been associated with pseudoporphyria — a blistering rash that occurs when exposed to sunlight. However, he also stated that while it does have some benefits, he prefers getting it through eating his greens.
To summarize, Stephanie stated, "If it works for you, then that’s great! But just because it works for someone on TikTok does not mean it will work for YOU. Consuming a balanced diet with a variety of greens and maintaining adequate hydration will provide you even more health benefits in the long run."
There you have it! Eat your raw, green veggies everyone!