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William T. Jarvis, Ph.D.

Chlorophyll is the green pigment in plants that occurs chiefly in the chloroplasts (specialized cytoplasmic bodies). It is involved in photosynthesis (the manufacture of carbohydrate from carbon dioxide and water, utilizing light energy and releasing oxygen). Because life could not continue without chlorophyll, its importance cannot be minimized. However, the value of chlorophyll in human health and disease is exaggerated by promoters of wheat grass, barley green, blue-green algae, chlorella, cereal grass, and other products. The fact that grass-eating animals are not spared from infectious or degenerative diseases despite their large intake of fresh chlorophyll attests to its limitations. Furthermore:

Additional Resources

  1. Lowell J. Amazing claims for chlorophyll. Nutrition Forum, July, 1987.
  2. Lowell JA. Chlorophyll: you won't believe where they'll tell you to put "Nature's Green Magic."The Thinking Person's Guide to Nutritional and Medical Quackery, 1981 (lists 23 references; many from technical literature).
  3. Renner J. Pigment claims not valid. The Kansas City Star, 1/13/91

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This article was posted on December 1, 2000.