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March 14, 1936


JAMA. 1936;106(11):925. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770110041017

Years ago the suggestion was made1 that chlorophyll, the green pigment of the leaves of plants, is similar chemically to the nonprotein portion of hemoglobin. Subsequent investigations have borne out this view and have demonstrated that both are composed of a nucleus of substituted pyrrol rings. As is well known, the fundamental difference between the two pigments is that iron is present in hemoglobin whereas magnesium occurs in chlorophyll. The similarity of the two substances has prompted speculation regarding the possible value of chlorophyll as an agent for promoting blood formation. Animal experiments to test the possible existence of such a relation have yielded conflicting results. It has been stated2 that rabbits rendered anemic by bleeding recover more rapidly if chlorophyll is added to the diet. Somewhat similar results have been obtained by several other investigators in rats3 and in dogs.4 Certain of these studies, however,