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The latest trend on TikTok is taking chlorophyll, but there is hardly any evidence of its possible benefits

2021-05-09T08:16:11.452Z

The green substance is promoted to treat acne and prevent cancer, but does it really work? You may have heard about the latest health trend  touted on the TikTok social network: taking chlorophyll with water to treat acne, prevent cancer, and detoxify the body.  In recent weeks, videos like that of the user @ ellietaylor929 have been seen by millions of viewers. In her case, the young woman summarizes in 18 seconds the effects that having taken liquid chlorophyll for a week had on her



You may have heard about the latest

health

trend

 touted on the TikTok social network: taking chlorophyll with water to treat acne, prevent cancer, and detoxify the body. 

In recent weeks, videos like that of the user @ ellietaylor929 have been seen by millions of viewers.

In her case, the young woman summarizes in 18 seconds the effects that having taken liquid chlorophyll for a week had on her acne-marked skin. 

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But although chlorophyll has been taken as a supplement for years,

there is no conclusive evidence or studies to support its benefits

, although limited research has suggested that it could help with very specific problems. 

What are we talking about?

Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives plants and algae their green color

.

It absorbs the energy from sunlight necessary for photosynthesis and generates oxygen.

Traditionally, it has been used to combat bad breath and other types of body odors, as well as to heal wounds and remove toxins from the liver.

TikTok user @ ellietaylor929 showed in a video the effects on her skin of taking chlorophyll for a week.

The post has been viewed over 12 million times.

Commonly consumed chlorophyll supplements do not come directly from plants, but are made from chlorophyllin, a semi-synthetic mixture of water-soluble sodium and copper salts derived from chlorophyll.

It is usually marketed in creams or in ingestible tablets, gels and liquids.

In 2014, a group of researchers from the Natural Standard Research Collaboration studied the available information on the effects of chlorophyll as a therapy for 14 specific indications, including the prevention and treatment of cancer, tuberculosis, pneumonia and herpes.

In almost all cases they concluded that

there is insufficient evidence

.

"All these potential benefits have level C evidence, which means we don't know if it helps or not," Dr. Jenell Stewart, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Washington International Center for Clinical Research, explained to Noticias Telemundo. the aforementioned report.

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Only good scientific evidence was found that it can serve to protect us from aflatoxins, toxic substances produced by some fungi in crops such as corn and rice, which can cause liver cancer in the long term, according to the World Health Organization . 

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This is why scientists are hopeful that chlorophyllin-based supplements will be helpful in lowering the risk of liver cancer in high-risk populations whose diets are exposed to aflatoxins, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at State University. from Oregon.

"However, it is not yet known whether chlorophyllin or natural chlorophylls will be useful in preventing cancers in people who are not exposed to significant levels of aflatoxins in the diet," the center clarifies. 

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Another study, carried out in 2001 by Johns Hopkins University, agrees that taking chlorophyllin or eating green foods rich in chlorophyll can be a practical way to reduce the risk of liver cancer.

However, there is not enough data to recommend these supplements with certainty in the prevention or treatment of cancer.

And what about acne?

Some pilot studies support the use of chlorophyll to treat acne.

One of them, published in the Journal of Medicines in Dermatology, tested a chlorophyllin gel on 10 people and found it to be "clinically effective" and well tolerated for treating mild or moderate acne if used for at least three weeks. 

However, most studies on acne treatment are small and look at the application of chlorophyllin to the skin through gels or creams, not its oral intake dissolved in water, as it is being promoted on TikTok in recent weeks. 

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"None of them were studying oral chlorophyll supplementation, and they were very, very small pilot studies that were not tested with a placebo, so even this small amount of evidence is very weak," he explained in an article in The Washington newspaper. Post dermatologist Zain Syed, president of the Maryland State Dermatological Society.

"The benefits of natural components in foods do not always persist when placed in capsules or liquid drop formulations," adds Dr. Stewart. 

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Chlorophyll is not on the Food and Drug Administration's Generally Recognized as Safe Substances (GRAS) list.

The Natural Standard Research Collaboration study notes that it is possibly safe when taken orally in recommended doses.

However, it

could be dangerous for people with diabetes or those who take hypoglycemic agents

, and in some cases its application on the skin has generated rashes and allergies due to solar radiation, the report explains.

It is also not recommended for children and pregnant or lactating women. 

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Chlorophyll is found in leafy green foods like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, and spinach, as well as numerous herbs like alfalfa and parsley.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture considers it safe and recommends consuming it through vegetables, especially spinach which contains between 300 and 600 milligrams per ounce. 

Stephanie Grasso, a registered dietitian in Oakton, Virginia, told The Washington Post that "it's probably healthier to just eat green leafy vegetables" to get any possible benefits from chlorophyll, rather than taking supplements.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2021-05-09

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