Misconceptions of chlorophyll as therapy

Chlorophyll: an experimental study of its water-soluble derivatives. Remarks upon the history, chemistry, toxicity and antibacterial poperties of water-soluble chlorophyll derivatives as therapeutic agents.

Smith L. 1944. Am. J. Med. Sci. 207:647-654

Reviews the chemistry of chlorophyll, including the structural formula (C 55H 72O 5N 4Mg) and provides a list of references. Chlorophyll can be obtained from leaves by extraction with acetone. Chlorophyll is similar to hemoglobin, but in hemoglobin iron is substituted for magnesium, globin is substituted for the phytyl radical, and at Carbon 4 there is an allyl instead of an ethyl residue. Water-soluble chlorophyll is more preferable in clinical use than the oil-soluble form. This study examined the toxic effects of chlorophyll on rabbits with the solution being administered by mouth, intravenously, intraperitoneally and subcutaneously. There was a total absence of toxic effects. Chlorophyll is thought to produce an unfavourable environment for bacterial growth resulting in a bacteriostatic effect. It is important in the treatment of infected surface wounds and appears to contribute to rapid tissue repair.

Note: There is no evidence supporting therapeutic benefits of chlorophyll.