Revista Brasileira de Ciências Farmacêuticas
Print version ISSN 1516-9332
LANFER-MARQUEZ, Ursula Maria. The role of chlorophyll in human feeding: a review. Rev. Bras. Cienc. Farm. [online]. 2003, vol.39, n.3, pp. 227-242. ISSN 1516-9332. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-93322003000300003.
The eventual physiological beneficial effects of chlorophyll present in foods have been raised questions and caused some doubts among consumers. Disclosing reports from mass media ascribing to the molecule of chlorophyll manifold therapeutic effects, nearby miraculous, oppose to the lack of full approval by the academic community. This article provides an overview about this topic and points out recent scientific findings regarding this subject. Considering that degradation products could be quite different during senescence, post-harvest and food processing procedures, as well as during the digestion process, each case in particular has been discussed. Also, the importance of molecular modifications has been highlighted in view of the potential antioxidant, antimutagenic and chemopreventive properties. Unfortunately, the scientific evidences are still not strong enough to support consistent health protecting roles for chlorophyll. Although, diversified mechanisms have been pointed out to explain the potential health benefits, some of them are still far from confirmation on human beings and strategies for further investigations should be incentivated. In addition, studies related to the biological function of phytol should be performed as phytol absorbed into the bloodstream in its free form has been found to play important functions no only on the metabolism of lipids but on the modulation of metabolic processes as well.
Keywords : Chlorophyll; Degradation; Absorption; Biological effects.