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Chlorophyll: The Cure for Bad Breath?

Chlorophyll is the chemoprotein that gives plants their green color. Humans get it from leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, and spinach. There are claims that chlorophyll gets rid of acne, helps liver function, and even prevents cancer.

What does the research say?

Another claim is that the chlorophyll in a shot of wheatgrass can stave off bad breath and body odor.

Is there any scientific evidence to back this up? Are you really getting what you’re paying for when you buy a chlorophyll supplement or a shot of wheatgrass at the health food store?

“There was a study conducted back in the 1950s by Dr. F. Howard Westcott, which showed that chlorophyll can help combat bad breath and body odor, but the results of that research have basically been debunked,” says Dr. David Dragoo, a Colorado physician.

There hasn’t been any research since to support that chlorophyll has any effect on body odor, though some people continue to use it.

“The National Council Against Health Fraud says that since chlorophyll cannot be absorbed by the human body, it can therefore have no beneficial effects on folks with halitosis or body odor,” Dragoo explains.

Does it help with other ailments?

Other widely circulating claims are that chlorophyll can ease symptoms related to arthritis, cystic fibrosis, and herpes. But again, Dragoo doesn’t buy it. “As far as factually verifiable research, there is no truth to the fact that chlorophyll can be effectively used to treat those illnesses,” he says.

Vegetables rich in chlorophyll, such as leafy greens, have plenty of health benefits on their own. Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, and the author of “Eat Your Way to Sexy,” says that the lutein found in leafy greens, for example, is great for the eyes.

Even without scientific evidence, Somer says it’s fine for people to think chlorophyll is good if it causes them to eat more vegetables.

Somer also affirms that no scientific evidence exists to support chlorophyll’s deodorizing properties. The suggestion that it reduces breath, body, and wound odor is unsupported. It’s obviously still a widely held belief, she notes, given the post-meal parsley that restaurants use to garnish plates.

While chlorophyllin has been used since the 1940s to neutralize certain odors, studies are outdated and show mixed results.

The most recent studyTrusted Source of people with trimethylaminuria, a condition that causes a fishy odor, found that chlorophyllin significantly decreased the amount of trimethylamines.

As for claims about chlorophyllin reducing bad breath, there’s little evidence to support it.

(10/28/2021)
by Healthline

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