A recent study conducted by researchers from Oregon State University (OSU) has found that chlorophyll works effectively to block bodily absorption of aflatoxin, a fungal contaminant found in many grain and legume stocks. Research participants who were given chlorophyll alongside aflatoxin did not absorb the carcinogen as readily as those who were given only aflatoxin did.
Published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, the study utilized a new, state-of-the-art assessment method called “Phase 0” which essentially evaluates the effects of carcinogens by administrating them in safe micro-doses. Praised by researchers as a breakthrough testing procedure, Phase 0 utilizes an accelerator mass spectrometer that is able to measure minute variations of toxic exposure and assess toxicity levels down to the smallest increments.
Many developing countries around the world have food supplies that are tainted with high levels of aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is implicated in causing problems in the liver, including liver cancer. George Bailey, an OSU scientist who has studied aflatoxin exposure in China, found that in one region ten percent of inhabitants die from aflatoxin-induced liver cancer.
Using Phase 0 technology, researchers were able to determine that aflatoxin is absorbed very rapidly by the body once ingested. In the presence of chlorophyll, however, aflatoxin is prevented from entering the bloodstream and quickly eliminated from the system. Researchers will conduct further research in order to understand better how chlorophyll works to block aflatoxin absorption.
Benefits of Chlorophyll
There are several reasons why green foods are considered blood-building foods but mainly because of the similarity in structures of the two colored pigments, the red heme of red blood cells and the green chlorophyll.
A list of health benefits:
- Chlorophyll aids in gastrointestinal problems. A diet of refined carbohydrates, low fiber and animal fats contribute to diseases starting in the colon. Improving the digestion and assimilation can best treat gastrointestinal problems. Among those natural nutrients that heal the intestinal track, green vegetables high in chlorophyll content aid in loosening and cleansing the colon.
- Chlorophyll promotes formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells. Hemoglobin is the iron-containing substance that provides red blood cells the red pigments and transports oxygen to the body tissues. In fact, blood is composed of 75% of hemoglobin. As green food is digested, the magnesium absorbed helps in rebuilding and replenishing the red blood cells.
- Chlorophyll treats bad breath. Bacteria in a person’s mouth and gut lining can cause bad breath. The bacteria excrete odiferous waste products. The sulfur compounds of waste products usually lie at the root of breath odor problems. The double action of chlorophyll acts as a deodorizer and anti-bacterial and can eliminate bad odor.
- Detoxify. Researches found that the damaged genes caused by carcinogenic substances can be prevented by chlorophyllin, a derivative of chlorophyll wherein the magnesium is removed and replaced with copper. It reduces the binding of carcinogens from foods like cooked meat products that damage the DNA and other organs of the body, particularly the liver.
- Beneficial in assimilating calcium and other heavy minerals. Chlorophyll is very easy to absorb and assimilate. Chlorophyll can assimilate calcium and balance other trace minerals to rebuild, replace, and exchange with new tissue.
- Chlorophyll fights infections. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds containing Vitamin A, C and E are responsible for reducing inflammation. The healing aspects of chlorophyll were demonstrated in 1940 by Dr. Benjamin Gruskin, whose in vitro experiments showed that chlorophyll possesses anti-bacterial properties and strengthen tissues.
Chlorophylls are the most abundant pigments in plants. Dark green, leafy vegetables like spinach are rich sources of natural chlorophylls. Prolonged cooking of vegetables does decrease the chlorophyll content in the food. However, studies also show that steaming vegetables like spinach for a few minutes can actually increase the amount of chlorophyll that can be absorbed into our body. But don’t over cook the vegetables until they lose their bright green color and turn olive drab.