Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants that allows the absorption of sunlight and conversion to energy. This pigment is believed to be essential to the health and survival of the plant. A chlorophyll complex is a nutritional supplement made from chlorophyll with the intention of providing humans with the same beneficial properties. These supplements can be obtained in gel capsules, liquid capsules called perles, and liquid form.
Chlorophyll complex supplements are considered to be more beneficial than simply cooking and eating green vegetables as prolonged cooking reduces the amount of chlorophyll present. The supplements are usually made from alfalfa, which contains a very high level of the pigment and is also readily grown. Plants that may be included in the complex are buckwheat, pea vine, and soybean extract. Most complexes are fat soluble and contain vitamins K, A, E, and F. Folic acid, iron, and calcium are also important components.
There are thought to be many health benefits from using chlorophyll complex. The vitamin K in the complex helps maintain bone density and also promotes the coagulation of blood. Similar in structure to hemoglobin, chlorophyll improves the formation of hemoglobin and the production and health of red blood cells. It also helps maintain the integrity of capillaries and to dilate blood vessels.
As an anti-inflammatory, chlorophyll is considered to be beneficial in the maintenance of a normal immune system. It also functions as an antibacterial and antioxidant agent. The vitamin E present in chlorophyll complex is touted as helping in hormonal imbalances, and the phytoestrogens present are especially helpful for balancing estrogen levels. The fiber and saponin in the alfalfa may be instrumental in maintaining normal cholesterol levels.
Chlorophyll complex is also supposed to assist in the maintenance of the gastrointestinal tract, acting as a mild detoxifier and normalizing the secretion of digestive acids. This subsequently may relieve constipation and reduce odors such as bad breath. The supplements can also be useful in patients suffering from ulcers and colitis as they promote the production of gastrointestinal mucous membranes.
The pigment may have future use in the prevention and treatment of cancers. An anticarcinogenic due to its beta-carotene content, chlorophyll complex reduces the binding of carcinogens in organs such as the liver. Finally, the supplements are promoted to maintain kidney health by dissolving calcium oxalate stones, to chelate heavy metals, and to increase the delivery of magnesium.