Chlorophyll is the major light-absorbing pigment in green
plants. It is located within the membrane of the chloroplasts, which are small,
green organelles found in plant cells. Chlorophyll is a large molecule composed
of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and magnesium coordinated with four central
nitrogen atoms. It functions to initiate photosynthesis, a complex biochemical
pathway in which solar energy is used to convert water and carbon dioxide to
glucose and other carbohydrates.
|| Superoxide dismutase
* For definition of some of the above terms
see the dictionary section of this book.
| Vitamin A
|| Vitamin C
|| Vitamin E
|| B-Complex vitamins
PROPERTIES AND USES
Chlorophyll is the green pigment of plants which initiates
photosynthesis by absorbing energy from sunlight and transferring this energy
to other molecules. Chlorophyll causes carbon dioxide and water to combine into
glucose. Chlorophyll contains enzymes and superoxide dismutase, a
copper-containing protein found in mature red blood cells. This enzyme
decomposes superoxide radicals in the body into a more manageable form, thereby
helping to slow down the aging process.
In the first part of the 20th century in Germany, Hans
Fisher and his co-workers established the structure of hemin, by synthesis, and
showed its relationship to chlorophyll. They observed that the chlorophyll
molecule closely resembles hemin, the pigment which combines with protein to
form hemoglobin. The latter is present in the red blood cells, and by carrying
oxygen to the tissues, makes possible the production of energy and life.
One of the major differences between chlorophyll and hemin
is that chlorophyll contains magnesium while the hemin molecule contains iron
as its central atom. Owing to the close molecular resemblance between
chlorophyll and hemoglobin, scientist Hans Miller suspected that chlorophyll is
nature's blood-building element for all plant eaters and humans. He wrote:
"Chlorophyll has the same fast blood-building effect as iron in animals made
Putek and Minot, in a clinical study with rare types of
anemia caused by pigmenticity, observed a small positive increase in hemoglobin
concentration on intravenous injection of chlorophyll derivative. Dr. Fisher
has been using chlorophyll in the treatment of anemia with good results.
In another clinical study, Dr. Putek used 15 adult
patients with chronic hypochromic anemia. They were given chlorophyll and
allied substances and placed on diets free from meat and eggs, but adequate in
other respects. The crude chlorophyll was a tar-like substance extracted from
alfalfa leaves, and it was found that pure chlorophyll alone was not effective.
When chlorophyll and its derivatives were administered there was an increase in
hemoglobin and an improvement in the sense of well-being.
Other studies have reported curative effects from
chlorophyll and its derivatives, some of which are based on clinical studies
while others are the result of animal experimentation, in a wide variety of
anemia, protein deficiency hemorrhagic, phenol-hydrazine poisoning, pernicious,
hypochromic of unknown etiology, and "experimental nutritional anemia" of
unidentified character. Drs. Hughes and Latner, from their experiment using
oral doses of pure and crude chlorophyll, discovered that very small doses of
pure chlorophyll exerted a favorable effect on blood regeneration. However, in
large doses, it seemed to be toxic to the bone marrow. In the case of crude
chlorophyll, large doses exerted a favorable effect on hemoglobin regeneration.
It seems, therefore, that there is some factor in the crude chlorophyll which
counteracts the toxic effects of pure chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll, in its crude form, is nontoxic even in large
doses. Toxicity studies have shown that chlorophyll is absolutely nontoxic when
administered intravenously, intramuscularly, or orally to animals and
DRUG PRECAUTIONS AND
Known Interactions: None
Possible Interactions: None