The past 12 months really has been the year for learning to conjure up weird and wonderful foodie creations via TikTok.
Since the first national lockdown, we’ve been taking part in culinary challenges with the likes of cloud bread, whipped coffee and pancake cereals. So far this year, we’ve seen people gorging on nature’s cereal, proffee and baked oats but, of course, there’s a new culinary trend dominating TikTok – and it’s surprisingly healthy.
TikTok users can’t stop raving about the benefits of chlorophyll, claiming the wellness supplement has helped their skin and even their body odour (especially down below). Whilst it might sound like a potion from Harry Potter, it’s an ancient health remedy that comes in supplement or liquid form that Miranda Kerr, Kourtney Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow (of course) have brought to the mainstream.
Here’s everything you need to know about the stuff that TikTokkers are claiming is boosting their wellness and beauty.
What is chlorophyll?
Recognisable by its vibrant green hue, chlorophyll is a green pigment that is found in algae and plants. Sounds creepy but bear with us.
In plants, it is absolutely essential for photosynthesis – that process we learnt about in GSCE biology which allows plants to absorb energy from light. It performs metabolic functions in plants such as respiration and growth.
It is found naturally in green vegetables, such as alfalfa and spinach, and wheatgrass is particularly rich in it.
What health benefits does it have for humans?
In recent years, there has been a rise in chlorophyll supplements as research suggests consuming it can have a number of health benefits for humans, from helping skin conditions and detoxing the blood to fighting body odour and boosting immunity.
Chlorophyll is packed with antioxidants, which work as anti-inflammatory agents inside the body.
“We are constantly exposed to a wide array of toxins, chemicals, and pollutants,” explains an expert from Nature’s Sunshine’s Liquid Chlorophyll. “Some are made by our own body as metabolic waste, but many are external toxins from the surrounding environment. Whilst our bodies are designed to naturally metabolise, and expel unwanted elements, its ability to cope with these challenges can diminish with an ever-increasing overload of toxins.” That’s where chlorophyll comes in.
Whilst research results are mixed and more rigorous studies are needed to determine how effective chlorophyll can be in your wellness regime, there have been a few studies to prove its benefits.
Studies have shown possible effects to reduce inflammation and bacterial growth in skin wounds and a 2015 pilot study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology saw its benefits on people with acne and large pores. Another study found that using topical chlorophyll over 8 weeks improved their sun-damaged skin – but the studies were small.
TikTokers have been claiming to use chlorophyll as a weight loss or bloat-reducing supplement, but there’s hardly any research professing to its benefits for either.
Are there any dangers of taking chlorophyll?
Noelle Reid, MD, a board-certified LA-based family medicine physician, told NBC: “However you choose to consume chlorophyll, make sure you start at a lower dose and slowly increase only if you can tolerate it. Chlorophyllin may cause gastrointestinal effects, including diarrhea and discoloration of urine/stool. As with any supplement, you should always consult your physician before starting, as there could be drug interactions and maleffects on chronic conditions.”