Chlorophyll is the green photosynthetic pigment found in plants. The name chlorophyll is derived from the Greek words- Chloros-green Phyllon-leaf
Chlorophyll was first isolated by Joseph Bienaime Caventou and Pierre Joseph Pelletier in 1870. Chlorophyll absorbs light energy from sun(photoreceptor) and produces carbohydrate using CO2 and water. So chlorophyll containing plants are the food factory of world.
Structurally chlorophylls have a central porphyrin ring with four nitrogen atoms binding strongly to a coordinated magnesium atom in a square planar arrangement. It also contain a phytol tail which is a long chain of hydro carbons.
There are six different types of chlorophylls of which chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b are the universal types found in green algae and higher plants. Molecular formula of Chlorophyll a is C55H72MGN4O5 and b is C55H70MGN4O6.They absorb light from red, blue, and violet wavelength and reflect green light. They are identical in composition apart from one side chain composed of-CH3 in chlorophyll a and –CHO in chlorophyll b. Both consist of very stable network of alternating single and double bonds.
Chlorophyll c1 and c2 are accessory pigments that work along with chlorophyll a in photosynthetic process. They are mostly found in marine algae.
Chlorophyll d and chlorophyll f are recently identified. They absorb light from the far red end of light spectrum which are generally found in cyanobacteria.
Chlorophyll is identical to human haemoglobin with one exception. The centre element of haemoglobin is iron whereas in chlorophyll it is magnesium. Vitamin B12 also share the same porphyrin structure but the central ion is replaced by cobalt.
1. Natural deodorant
Cholorphyll is a natural deodorant and works on multiple sources as bad breath, urine, fecal and body odour. It improves bowel movement and reduces constipation and gas formation. Due to these qualities it is given orally to colostomy patients.
Studies suggest that Chlorophyll is a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from free radicals. Consumption of vegetables and fruits containing high amount of Chlorophyll can significantly increase free radical protection by delivering new antioxidants to the body. Besides aids in regenerating the already existing ones.
3. Chelating Agent
Chlorophyll has the ability to bind with and remove toxic heavy metals from the body.
4. Helps to maintain strong Immune system
The antiseptic property of chlorophyll has the ability to wipe out microbes and there by enhances the natural immune system.
1. Rebuilds blood stream and maintain blood count.
2. Inhibits metabolic activity of carcinogens.
3. Magnesium in chlorophyll has alkalizing effect on body
4. Detoxify liver.
Major disadvantage of chlorophyll isthat it is not water soluble and heat stable. By prolonged heating or when exposed to acid, chlorophyll a and b degrade into pheophytin a and b by displacing the central magnesium atom. As a result the bright green colour changes into dull green or olive green colour. Chlorophyllin is the semisynthetic, heat stable form of chlorophyll. During its synthesis magnesium atom is replaced with copper and phytol tail is also removed. Loss of phytol tail makes the resulting chlorophyllin water soluble.