The dietary supplement chlorophyllin alleviates the course of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, report researchers from the Sichuan University Center for Diabetes and Metabolism Research in China and Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In addition, chlorophyllin significantly reduces mortality associated with ECD, weight loss, diarrhea and hidden blood in stools, intestinal epithelial damage and inflammatory cell infiltration. The findings are published in the American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.
Chronic gastrointestinal diseases affect tens of millions of people living in the United States.
Current treatments for inflammatory bowel disease include drugs that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressants) and surgery. However, long-term use of immunosuppressive drugs can lead to serious side effects, including opportunistic infections and even organ failure.
In this study, scientists found that oral intake of chlorophyllin, a compound derived from the green pigment found in plants, reduced colitis and disorders in the intestinal epithelium of mice. In addition, consumption of green vegetables and chlorophyllin may be beneficial for gut repair, in part by reducing inflammation and autolysosomal flux (a process in which the lysosome is used to break down and remove toxic molecules and organelles). The green pigment in these foods and supplements can initiate signals that modulate autophagy in cells, which suppresses the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.