Study of Chlorophyll-related Compounds from Dietary Spinach in Human Blood


  • Pi-Yu CHAO Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Chinese Culture University, Taipei 111, Taiwan
  • Meng-Yuan HUANG Department of Horticulture and Biotechnology, Chinese Culture University, Taipei 111, Taiwan
  • Wen-Dar HUANG Department of Agronomy, National Taiwan University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
  • Kuan-Hung Robert LIN Faculty of Applied Sciences, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City 700000, Vietnam Department of Horticulture and Biotechnology, Chinese Culture University, 11114 Taipei, Taiwan
  • Shiau-Ying CHEN Graduate Institute of Biotechnology, Chinese Culture University, Taipei 111, Taiwan
  • Chi-Ming YANG Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei 115, Taiwan



chlorophyll, high-performance liquid chromatography, human bioavailability, pheophytin, pheophorbide, pigments


Human bioavailability data on chlorophyll (Chl) is very limited. The distribution of Chl-related compounds (CRCs) derived from dietary spinach was investigated in human blood. Eight healthy adults, aged from 21 to 61 year-old, consumed 1.2 kg of just-boiled fresh spinach after an 8-h overnight fast. Before and then 3 h after consuming the spinach, blood samples were taken from each participant. Freeze-dried blood samples were prepared, and 80% acetone was added for grinding. Eight peaks were found in the blood using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and the main CRCs in the samples were pheophytin (Phe) and pheophorbide (Pho) derivates. Compared to a fasted state, markedly higher levels of blood CRCs were detected in all subjects, except that Pho metabolites were not found in two subjects. No significant differences were seen in most of the peaks between males and females; however, relatively higher CRCs levels were observed in females, particular of Pho derivates. In addition, the blood contained significantly higher levels of Phe in the 36~61-year-old group than in the 21~35-year-old group. These results suggest that the conversion of Chls to CRCs is a rapid process, and Chls obtained by ingestion can be absorbed by the human body.


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How to Cite

CHAO, P.-Y., HUANG, M.-Y., HUANG, W.-D., LIN, K.-H. R., CHEN, S.-Y., & YANG, C.-M. (2018). Study of Chlorophyll-related Compounds from Dietary Spinach in Human Blood. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 46(2), 309–316.



Research Articles
DOI: 10.15835/nbha46210918

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