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Chlorophyll, the molecule that permits photosynthesis to take place, is an essential component of most plants, and is what gives them their green color. Products made with chlorophyll are used for many different reasons, often to deodorize various body odors, including bad breath, foul-smelling bowel movements, and generalized body odors due to illness or metabolism problems. In some cases the effects of chlorophyll can be negative instead of positive, particularly when an allergic reaction is involved.
The beneficial effects of chlorophyll as a deodorant have been known for many years, and it is has been used with varying degrees of success as an internal deodorizer. It is given to both people and animals to help with mouth odors, smells from flatulence and belching, and bad odors related to skin problems or injuries. When given to female dogs in season, one of the effects of this substance is to reduce the odors that attract male dogs, minimizing the problem of unwanted suitors coming around because it masks her natural smell.
A large number of health-related claims have been made regarding the beneficial effects of chlorophyll, but most have not been adequately studied and are generally considered to be neither proved nor disproved. Some of the benefits that fall into this category are the ability to break down kidney stones, to eliminate chronic foot pain related to plantar fasciitis, and to cure various types of cancer. Many people use chlorophyll for these purposes, but the benefits are anecdotal and results are inconsistent.
One exception to this rule is that chlorophyll is purported to help heal wounds and to have an anti-inflammatory effect throughout the body. In some studies, those with ulcerative colitis who consumed a wheatgrass supplement indicated significantly less rectal bleeding and diarrhea than those who drank a placebo. The chlorophyll contained in the juice may potentially be an important part of the overall benefit of drinking the wheatgrass supplements on a regular basis.
Some believe chlorophyll may fight cancer in the body, especially certain cancers such as liver and kidney cancer, which drives many people to try this supplement. Though a number of people are willing to give testimonials, there are no scientific studies that prove or disprove this claim. Many physicians feel that the addition of a chlorophyll-rich supplement such as wheatgrass juice can benefit cancer patients, but not all doctors agree. It is best for individuals with health concerns who are considering adding chlorophyll to consult with their personal physician before proceeding.
There are very few negative effects where chlorophyll is concerned, but people who have allergies may experience a serious level of risk from it. In such cases the user may experience swelling of the mouth and throat, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Skin rashes and hives may also occur in sensitive individuals. All of these problems should be taken seriously, and if a person is having any trouble breathing it is important to seek medical help immediately.