It’s good to see kids doing something healthy.
Drinking liquid chlorophyll is one of the biggest trends on TikTok, the short-form video social media app.
To date, #chlorophyll has generated over 200 million views. Video captions sing liquid chlorophyll’s praises for clearing up acne, helping with weight loss, eliminating body odor, increasing energy and nearly every health benefit under the sun, which is how plants use chlorophyll to obtain nutrients. More on this later.
Just make sure if you’re going to try liquid chlorophyll you don’t do what this kid nearly did, making a big oopsie-daisy, drinking chloroform instead of chlorophyll.
So why are all these overwhelmingly young (late teens/early 20s) TikTok content creators chlorophyll crazy?
And are they blindly hopping on this new health trend without knowing the real facts about liquid chlorophyll?
Let’s dive in…
What Is Chlorophyll?
Think of it as Mother Nature’s solar panels. This fat-soluble plant chemical (phytochemical) is the pigment that makes plants green.
Natural chlorophyll in plants attract and trap sunlight and convert the sunlight into carbon dioxide and water.
Chlorophyll essentially breathes life into the plants, grasses that eventually grow into plants (barley grass, wheatgrass) and blue-green algaes like spirulina, chlorella and the seaweed, kelp.
Once a plant receives enough carbon dioxide and moisture, sugar molecules form and all the nutrients and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and trace minerals) and antioxidants can flourish in the plant.
And of course when we eat plants, we consume and absorb those health-building phytonutrients.
But TikTokers aren’t exactly wolfing down whole-food sources of plants. Instead, they are adding liquid chlorophyll to water. This chlorophyll extract is called chlorophyllin and one of the biggest mistakes TikTokers seem to be making is drinking it on an empty stomach.
As mentioned, chlorophyll is fat-soluble. So if you drink liquid chlorophyll on an empty stomach, your body won’t absorb it very well.
But why are TikTok users drinking it in the first place?
Well, before answering that, let’s finish talking about chlorophyll in its natural state…
The pigment is responsible for that subject you learned in middle school chemistry: photosynthesis.
In case you dozed off or ditched class that day, here’s a quick primer: Chlorophyll traps light energy from the sun, which is then used to combine carbon dioxide and water into sugars.
This is the process known as photosynthesis. Without photosynthesis, the majority of the food cultivated on this planet would be unable to grow.
Chlorophyll is vital for your survival! In fact, some people refer to the pigment as “plant blood.”
Chlorophyll pigments—most notably chlorophyll A—also protect plant cells from damage from the sun’s UV rays. And researchers believe that chlorophyll may protect our cells as well … and then some.
Which brings us to the next question…
What Are The Benefits Of Liquid Chlorophyll?
TikTokers swear by it for skin health, weight loss and energy. But do they have a leg to stand on? Does research back these claims?
The short answer is maybe.
Unfortunately, we don’t have large clinical human trials to go on. But that’s the case with almost every natural substance on Earth. If it’s not a chemical extract that a drug company can’t isolate, there’s a good chance there’s not a lot of research on it in humans.
But here’s what we do know…
We know from this study that chlorophyll extends lifespan by 20%.
But there’s a catch.
The study was conducted on worms. But that might be good news for us because the worms used in the study (C. elegans) have been used in research for decades. Why this particular creepy crawly? It’s because we share approximately 40% of our DNA with these microscopic roundworms. Yucky, but true.
So chlorophyll turned out to be a potent anti-aging phytochemical for the critters. Researchers believe that chlorophyll significantly improves resistance to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a constant in life. Inhaling car exhaust. Exposure to chemicals. Even healthy things like exercise contribute to oxidative stress.
Your ability to prevent premature aging (wrinkles, inflammation, etc.) depends upon your body’s defense against excessive oxidative stress. This requires getting a lot of antioxidants from our diet, and chlorophyll seems to be an excellent antioxidant.
It’s important to note that this research study on the worms tested whole chlorophyll (from spinach), not chlorophyllin from the liquid drops.
But TikTokers may be disappointed to know the researchers didn’t find any evidence that the worms ate less because of chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll For Skin: Does It Work?
This study, published in the Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, suggests “Chlorophyll improves facial wrinkles and elasticity in female volunteers over the age of 45 who received two different doses of chlorophyll extract supplement for 90 days.
In addition, chlorophyll supplementation also improved type I collagen synthesis. Collagen is the body’s most important and abundant structural protein. As you age, your collagen matrix starts weakening. This, in turn, leads to wrinkles, fine lines and other obvious signs of aging.
Does Liquid Chlorophyll Increase Your Energy?
According to research in Journal of Toxicology, rats were induced with oxidative stress caused by sodium nitrate. That’s the chemical in cured meats and even uncured meats that claim to have no added nitrates, but do in fact have them from naturally-occuring sources; these naturally-occurring nitrates might be just as bad for your health!
Because the rats experienced oxidative stress, the rodents’ red blood cell counts went down. And when that happens, there’s less oxygen in the cells. According to the researchers, chlorophyll supplementation had a curative effect; the oxidative stress markers improved after the rats did what the TikTok kids are doing.
In order to feel highly-energetic, you need to have healthy red blood cells. But I’ll spare you another chemistry lesson. When it comes to lecturing about chlorophyll and energy, instead, I’ll share an experience that a good friend told me about.
A couple years ago, he went to Ecuador on vacation. He told me before he went, he was nervous because when you fly into the South American country’s capital, Quito, you’re landing at approximately 9,000 feet. And where he was staying was closer to 10,000 feet. My friend was nervous about being at that altitude because he had experienced mild altitude sickness, mostly in the form of nausea, at only 7,500 feet or so.
So my friend looked up some altitude remedies well in advance of his trip. He read that liquid chlorophyll drops, if taken a few weeks before a high altitude trip, can help build red blood cells, which gets more oxygen into the lungs. My friend still felt winded going up steps, but he swears that taking the liquid chlorophyll helped tremendously; no nausea, no headaches, no worries.
Best Sources Of Chlorophyll
The TikTok kids are doing all right, to borrow an expression.
But young kids being who they are, may be misled into thinking adding green drops to their water is a panacea. That’s because if you’re not eating a plant-based real-food diet at least 95% of the time, just one supplement is going to matter that much in the long run. If a TikTok user swears by it for acne, great. But taking liquid chlorophyll drops is not the same thing as eating superfoods that are amazing natural sources of chlorophyll.
For starters, you’re not getting any fiber by adding the drops to your water like you are from superfoods. There’s really no reason to skip the middle-person, here. Chlorophyll protects and nourishes plants, and when we consume plants, edible young grasses and algaes, the chlorophyll protects and nourishes us in return. It’s a symbiotic relationship you shouldn’t rely on from the drops alone.
Another reason you shouldn’t bank on chlorophyll drops is that they may cause digestive upset. Some people have even reported that it irritates the skin.
So what are the best superfoods that are naturally rich in chlorophyll?
Try getting lots of these in your diet:
- Barley Grass
- Sprouts (aka microgreens)
- Dandelion Greens
- Matcha green tea
Easiest Way To Get Your Daily Dose Of Superfoods & Chlorophyll
Can’t stand the taste of vegetables or don’t have time to cook?
Wanna know the easiest way to get Mother Nature’s most nutrient-dense superfoods that are packed with health-supporting chlorophyll?
It’s by simply adding one scoop of BoKU Organic Superfood Powder. Virtually all the best sources of chlorophyll listed above are featured in Superfood Powder.
Each scoop—just add to water or alternative ‘mylk’—contains 55 superfood ingredients, each one harvested during their nutritional peak and dried at a low temperature to preserve maximum phytonutrient value. The result is a potent mind, body and spirit lift.
WIth Superfood Powder, you get all the benefits of chlorophyll (fiber and the dozens of other antioxidants and phytonutrients) with all the convenience.
Even a TikTok #chlorophyll kid can cheer that!
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