Relationship of chlorophyll supplement and platelet-related measures in endurance athletes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study



The aim of this study was to verify the effects of protracted intake of chlorophyll on blood counts’ parameters and iron levels in endurance athletes, investigating supposed anti-anemic properties.


Twenty-two endurance athletes were randomly assigned into two groups in a double-blind study: the experimental group (EG) consumed chlorophyll, while the control group (CG) consumed a placebo, at a dose of 1.6 drops × kg per day for 120 days. Blood cell count and the serum iron analyses were carried out before starting the experiment, after 30 days and after 120 days.


EG showed statistically significant increase in platelet distribution width (PDW, MD = 0.83, 95% CI 0.41, 1.38), mean platelet volume (MPV, MD = 0.41, 95% CI 0.19, 0.67) and platelet/large cell ratio (P-LCR, MD = 3.28, 95% CI 1.51, 5.25) after 120 days. No variations in CG were found during the follow-up.


The increase of platelet-related measures could positively influence the endurance performance by reducing pain and fatigue. The supposed ergogenic effects and anti-anemic properties however require further study.

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The authors thank the Herboristic laboratory Di Leo srl for the supply of chlorophyll and for sustaining the direct costs needed to carry out this study.


The authors have no funding to declare.

Author information




GC performed the data analysis, conceived the statistical analysis, interpreted the results and drafted the manuscript. MI contributed to the experimental design, undertook the data collection, interpreted the results and drafted the manuscript. FM undertook the data collection, interpreted the results and analyzed the literature. FB and VC provided critical comments and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Giovanni Cugliari.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Cugliari, G., Messina, F., Canavero, V. et al. Relationship of chlorophyll supplement and platelet-related measures in endurance athletes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Sport Sci Health 14, 449–454 (2018).

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  • Endurance
  • Chlorophyll supplement
  • Platelet distribution width
  • Mean platelet volume
  • Platelet/large cell ratio