Chlorophyll and Bad

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In the 1950s, someone noticed the odor absorbing qualities of chlorophyll and bad breath remedies appeared that contained this ingredient. Chlorophyll is found in green plants and plays an important role in plant uptake of carbon dioxide, in the presence of sunlight, to produce oxygen and energy. A derivative, chlorophyllin, is more stable and is often the true ingredient in commercial preparations. In nature, it is found in high concentrations in green algae, spinach, and parsley. The most familiar breath products containing this pigment today are Clorets gum and mints.

Initially, there were many more chlorophyll and bad breath products - rinses, toothpastes, mints etc. - and the 1950s saw a bit of a craze with respect to this halitosis remedy. It's popularity didn't really last, however, and most of the products eventually disappeared. The idea of using the pigment to absorb odors remained and it is still being used today for other situations.

The association between chlorophyll and bad breath products continues, but it has become somewhat secondary. Some scientific research has been done on the ability of chlorophyllin to remove fecal and urinary odors in patients with colostomies and urinary incontinence. The results, though not astounding, were positive enough to make the pigment a common dietary supplement for this application. It has also been recommended as a remedy for foot odor, and may have other health benefits such as providing protection against cancer and certain other diseases. After almost fifty years of use for one reason or another, one thing is certain - this substance is quite safe.

Clorets products remain on the market, a testament to the popularity of the product when most other chlorophyll and bad breath products have been forgotten, Although its effect on halitosis has not been scientifically studied, anecdotal reports suggest that's its major strength may lie in its ability to mask the odor of cigarette smoke. Interestingly, deer hunters who smoke recommend Clorets to prevent deer from catching human scent downwind.

There may be something to the suggestion that chlorophyllin can absorb the odor of halitosis to some extent. Remember, however, that the claims with respect to chlorophyll and bad breath only address odor reduction: no one is saying that this substance can actually attack the causes of halitosis and cure the problem. At best, it is a band aid solution.

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