Cancer and Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is one of the top-selling dietary supplements worldwide. Chlorophyll has been used to detoxify and deodorize the body and to support gastrointestinal health. These health benefits are complemented by a pleasant taste in the case of Liquid Chlorophyll.

A major component of chlorophyll is the green-colored, water-soluble chlorophyllin. Researchers at the prestigious Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute have found that chlorophyllin can potentially be used successfully to prevent and treat cancer. Their findings, published in the International Journal of Cancer, showed that chlorophyllin inactivates a cellular enzyme called ribonucleotide reductase (1). This enzyme is needed by cells to produce DNA, the core substance essential for cell division. It just so happens that ribonucleotide reductase is also the target for the cancer chemotherapeutic drug called hydroxyurea.

The Oregon State researchers found that chlorophyllin provided a tenfold greater benefit against colon cancer cells as compared to hydroxyurea. Chlorophyllin almost completely stopped the activity of the enzyme in colon cancer cells growing in culture. More specifically, chlorophyllin appears to prevent ribonucleotide reductase from being produced in the cell, while hydroxyurea acts to block the activity of the enzyme that has already been synthesized. The researchers suggest that chlorophyllin and hydroxyurea could be combined to effectively retard the production of DNA in colon cancer cells.

This combined therapeutic approach is a significant observation, but the cancer-preventive properties of chlorophyllin by itself are of equal importance. This brings greater meaning to the dietician’s suggestion that eating more green salads is beneficial to health. The same applies to supplementing with chlorophyll-containing products.

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