Chemopreventive potential of chlorophyllin: a review of the mechanisms of action and molecular targets

Nutr Cancer. 2015;67(2):203-11. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2015.990573. Epub 2015 Feb 4.


Chlorophyllin (CHL), a water soluble semisynthetic derivative of the ubiquitous plant pigment chlorophyll used as a food additive, is recognized to confer a wide range of health benefits. CHL has been shown to exhibit potent antigenotoxic, anti-oxidant, and anticancer effects. Numerous experimental and epidemiological studies have demonstrated that dietary supple-mentation of CHL lowers the risk of cancer. CHL inhibits cancer initiation and progression by targeting multiple molecules and pathways involved in the metabolism of carcinogens, cell cycle progression, apoptosis evasion, invasion, and angiogenesis. The modulatory effects of CHL on the hallmark capabilities of cancer appear to be mediated via abrogation of key oncogenic signal transduction pathways such as nuclear factor kappa B, Wnt/β-catenin, and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt signaling. This review provides insights into the molecular mechanisms of the anticancer effects of dietary CHL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antimutagenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Chlorophyllides / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Xenobiotics / metabolism


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Chlorophyllides
  • Xenobiotics
  • chlorophyllin