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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.


 Enzymes  Lectins  Superoxide dismutase

* For definition of some of the above terms see the dictionary section of this book.


 Calcium  Copper  Iron
 Lithium  Magnesium  Manganese
 Molybdenum  Phosphorus  Potassium
 Protein  Selenium  Sodium
 Vitamin A  Vitamin C  Vitamin E
 Zinc  B-Complex vitamins  

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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 anemic."

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.

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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 humans.


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