A recent study at Oregon State University found that the chlorophyll in green vegetables offers protection against cancer when tested against the modest carcinogen exposure levels most likely to be found in the environment.
The findings, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, were done using 12,360 rainbow trout as laboratory models, instead of more common laboratory mice. Rodent studies are much more expensive, forcing the use of fewer specimens and higher carcinogen exposures.
“There’s considerable evidence in epidemiologic and other clinical studies with humans that chlorophyll and its derivative, chlorophyllin, can protect against cancer,” said Tammie McQuistan, a research assistant working with George Bailey, a professor emeritus in the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU.
The trout were exposed to fairly moderate levels of a known carcinogen, but also given chlorophyll. This reduced their number of liver tumors by 29-64 percent, and stomach tumors by 24-45 percent.