The Photosynthesis of Health

In 1780, English chemist Joseph Priestley discovered that plants could restore the air around a burning candle. He experimented with a mint plant, and placed it in an upturned glass jar submerged in water for several days. He found that the air remaining in the jar did not extinguish a candle, nor kill a mouse, which he had also put into the jar (both in the oxygenated area under the glass). In other words, Priestly discovered that plants produce oxygen.

Photosynthesis had just been discovered.

Chlorophyll is the molecule in photosynthesis that absorbs sunlight and uses its energy to synthesize carbohydrates from CO2 and water. This photosynthesis process is the basis for sustaining the life processes of all plants. Since animals, including humans, obtain their food by eating plants, photosynthesis can be said to be the source of all life on Earth. Pretty important stuff, I'd say. Well, it gets even better.

Chlorophyll is a photoreceptor, which means that it traps an incredible life power. Chlorophyll is found in the chloroplasts of green plants, which makes green plants, green. The basic structure of a chlorophyll molecule is very similar to the structure of the heme group found in hemoglobin in animal blood, with one exception - in heme, the central atom is iron, whereas in chlorophyll, it is magnesium.

In a plant, the chlorophyll molecule is what absorbs sunlight, and just like hemoglobin in the human body, in order to synthesize carbohydrates, both chlorophyll in plants and hemoglobin in animals need to be attached to the backbone of protein. This allows the integration of carbohydrates to produce energy and sustain life.

Catalyzed by sunlight, the actual chemical reaction in a plant is between carbon dioxide and water. This produces glucose (sugar) and the waste product, oxygen. The glucose is either directly used as an energy source by the plant for metabolism and growth, or forms starch to be stored until needed later. The waste oxygen is excreted into the atmosphere.

So how does this affect your health? Well, let's begin with this short list: the benefits of Chlorophyll:

  1. Detoxifies the liver
  2. Eliminates body odor
  3. Cleans the digestive tract
  4. Can help prevent liver disease
  5. Is used in cancer therapy
  6. Helps eliminates anemia
  7. Eliminates mold and other microbes from the body

Many studies in cancer research are now opening up new possibilities for cures and prevention measures, and daily consumption of chlorophyll may be one of them. Chlorophyll can have positive effects on cancer cells within the human body. Research is being conducted to scientifically determine whether chlorophyll has important cancer fighting factors that are strong enough to play a role in the destruction of cancer cells or at least, as an effective preventive agent.

Chlorophyll is of considerable interest as an anticarcinogenic substance because it is so abundant in the green vegetables that all animals consume. Chlorophyll also has shown no toxic effects in animals, and animals seem to get cancer only when exposed to human elements, like pollution or eating table scraps. It is not clear whether the effective uptake of chlorophyll through diet is enough to protect against certain types of cancers or whether you would need to take supplements along with a balanced diet, but a positive correlation has been shown between the chlorophyll content of vegetable extracts with antimutagenic activity and human health.

The importance of chlorophyll content in foods is interesting to me because cancer prevention (in my personal and professional opinion) is dependent on dietary preventative measures to help combat cancer. The coloring and reactions in dark green foods are especially of interest to researchers because of their high chlorophyll content, and appear to play a major role in cancer prevention. Chlorophyll is abundant, non-toxic, and could be life saving.

Hey, if it works in nature, it surely works in man.

Posted September 2007 | Permanent Link

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