Eat (or Drink) Your Greens!
All life on Earth evolved from algaes. Over time, these organisms built more and more complex symbiotic relationships which eventually led to the evolution of more complex life, including humans. Chlorophyll is the driving force behind these hearty, simple organisms. The term chlorophyll truly refers to the green pigment of all green cyanobacterias (algaes) and plants and is considered the building block of all life on Earth. This substance is responsible for the cellular energy production, or metabolic processes, of all green things, also known as photosynthesis.
Chlorophyll is actually composed of separate key components which contribute to its overall effect in the body when consumed regularly. Chlorophyllins deserve the credit for many of the benefit claims regarding Chlorophyll. They are the plant “blood cells'' which are almost identical to human red blood cells. Both hemoglobin and chlorophyllins are composed mainly of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, but the central molecules are different. In hemoglobin the central mineral is iron, and in chlorophyllins it is magnesium. Just like hemoglobin, chlorophyllins are responsible for transporting nutrients throughout a plant. Those nutrients are then received by chloroplasts inside cells. Like mitochondria in human cells, chloroplasts are the power stations of plant cells. They take the nutrients received from chlorophyllins and process them into plant energy, completing the photosynthesis process. This is why when consumed from a whole-food source, chlorophyll can contain a full spectrum of trace minerals, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. This means green foods, green juices, or juice powders are the best option for the full benefits that complete chlorophyll has to offer. Those other nutrients are locked into the “trains, planes, and automobiles” known as chlorophyllins.
True chlorophyllin molecules can deteriorate quickly when extracted. Shelf-stable “Chlorophyll” extracts are synthetically altered to contain a central copper sodium molecule in the place of magnesium. While this form can still help to promote pH balance, chelation, healthy blood oxygenation, and other benefits, it is not quite the same as true chlorophyll. Just like other processed supplements, stabilized chlorophyllin may be lacking in many of the other trace nutrients that can be found in chlorophyll-rich foods. The benefit of this stabilized “chlorophyll” can be the copper content. Though only needed in trace quantities, copper can be lacking in food sources and difficult to absorb making deficiency common. That being said, extracted, stabilized chlorophyll and naturally occurring chlorophyll are not the same. While supplementation with extracted chlorophyll can have its benefits, nothing can replace eating or drinking your whole greens.