Amazing Discovery: Plant Blood Enables Your Cells To Capture Sunlight Energy

Discussion in 'Science and Nature' started by Wisdom Tooth, Apr 28, 2016.

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    Sayer Ji, Founder
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    What if conventional wisdom regarding our most fundamental energy requirements has been wrong all along and we can directly harness the energy of the Sun when we consume 'plant blood'?

    Plants are amazing, aren't they? They have no need to roam about hunting other creatures for food, because they figured out a way to capture the energy of the Sun directly through these little light-harvesting molecules known as chlorophyll; a molecule, incidentally, which bears uncanny resemblance to human blood because it is structurally identical to hemoglobin, other than it has a magnesium atom at its core and not iron as in red blooded animals.


    The energy autonomy of plants makes them, of course, relatively peaceful and low maintenance when compared to animal life, the latter of which is always busying itself with acquiring its next meal, sometimes through violent and sometimes through more passive means. In fact, so different are these two classes of creatures that the first, plants, are known as autotrophs, i.e. they produce their own food, and the animals are heterotrophs, i.e. they depend on other creatures for food.


    While generally these two zoological classifications are considered non-overlapping, important exceptions have been acknowledged. For instance, photoheterotrophs -- a sort of hybrid between the autotroph and heterotroph -- can use light for energy, but cannot use carbon dioxide like plants do as their sole carbon source, i.e. they have to 'eat' other things. Some classical examples of photoheterotrophs include green and purple non-sulfur bacteria, heliobacteria, and here's where it gets interesting, a special kind of aphid that borrowed genes from fungi[1] to produce it's own plant-like carotenoids which it uses to harness light energy to supplement its energy needs!

    To learn more about this amazing creature read the study published in 2012 in Scientific Reports titled, "Light- induced electron transfer and ATP synthesis in a carotene synthesizing insect."


    A green carotenoid tinted aphid that is capable of capturing sunlight to produce energy. Interesting right? But we need not look for exotic bacteria or insects for examples of photoheterotrophy. It turns out that animals, including worms, rodents and pigs (one of the closest animals to humans physiologically), have recently been found to be capable of taking up chlorophyll metabolites into their mitochondria, enabling them to use sunlight energy to 'super-charge' the rate (up to 35% faster) and quantity (up to 16-fold increases) of ATP produced within their mitochondria.In other words, a good portion of the animal kingdom is capable of 'feeding off of light,' and should be reclassified as photoheterotrophic!

    The truly groundbreaking discovery referred to above was published last year in theJournal of Cell Sciencein a study titled, "Light-harvesting chlorophyll pigments enable mammalian mitochondria to capture photonic energy and produce ATP", [contact me for the full version:] which I reported on recently, and which completely overturns the classical definition of animals and humans as solely heterotrophic.


    Animals are Not Just Glucose-Burning Biomachines, But Are Light-Harvesting Hybrids
    For at least half a century it has been widely believed among the scientific community that humans are simply glucose-dependent biomachines that can not utilize the virtually limitless source of energy available through sunlight to supplement our energy needs. And yet, wouldn't it make sense that within the extremely intelligent and infinitely complex design of life, a way to utilize such an obviously abundant energy source as sunlight would have been evolved, even if only for the clear survival advantage it confers and not some ethical imperative (which is a possibility worth considering ... vegans/Jainists, are you listening?).

    As the philosopher of science Karl Popper stated, a theory can only be called scientific if it is falsifiable. And indeed, the scientific theory that humans are solely heterotrophic has just been overturned in light of empirical evidence demonstrating that mammals can extract energy directly from sunlight.

    Deeper Implications of the New Study
    First, let's start by reading the study abstract, as it succinctly summarizes what may be of the most amazing discoveries of our time:

    Sunlight is the most abundant energy source on this planet. However, the ability to convert sunlight into biological energy in the form of adenosine-59-triphosphate (ATP) is thought to be limited to chlorophyll-containing chloroplasts in photosynthetic organisms. Here we show that mammalian mitochondria can also capture light and synthesize ATP when mixed with a light-capturing metabolite of chlorophyll. The same metabolite fed to the worm Caenorhabditis elegans [roundworm] leads to increase in ATP synthesis upon light exposure, along with an increase in life span. We further demonstrate the same potential to convert light into energy exists in mammals, as chlorophyll metabolites accumulate in mice, rats and swine when fed a chlorophyll-rich diet. Results suggest chlorophyll type molecules modulate mitochondrial ATP by catalyzing the reduction of coenzyme Q, a slow step in mitochondrial ATP synthesis. We propose that through consumption of plant chlorophyll pigments, animals, too, are able to derive energy directly from sunlight."

    And so, to review, the new study found that animal life (including us, mammals) are capable of borrowing the light-harvesting capabilities of 'plant blood,' i.e. chlorophyll and its metabolites, and utilize it to photo-energize mitochondrial ATP production. This not only helps to improve energy output, but the research found several other important things:

    • Despite the increased output, the expected increase in Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) that normally attends increased mitochondrial function was not observed; in fact, a slight decrease was observed. This is a highly significant finding, because simply increasing mitochondrial activity and ATP output, while good from the perspective of energy, may accelerate aging and other oxidative stress (ROS) related adverse cellular and physiological effects. Chlorophyll, therefore, appeared to make animal mitochondria function in a healthier way.
    • In support of the above finding, worms administered an optimal range of chlorophyll were found to have significant extended life span. This is in accordance with well-known mechanisms linked to improved mitochondria function (in the absence of increased ROS) that increases cell longevity.
    The last point in the abstract above is especially interesting to me. As a fan of coenzyme q10 supplementation for sometime, I have noticed profound differences qualitatively between ubiquinone (the oxidized form) and ubiquinol (the reduced, electron rich form), the latter of which has lead me to experience far greater states of energy and well-being than the former, even at far lower quantities (the molecular weight of a USP isolate does not reveal its bioavailability nor biological activity). The study, however, indicates that one may not need to take supplemental coenzyme Q10, even in its reduced form as ubiquinol, because chlorophyll-mediated sunlight capture and subsequent photo-energization of the electron transport chain will naturally 'reduce' (i.e. donate electrons) ubiquinone converting it into ubiquinol, which will result in increased ATP production and efficiency. This may also explain how they observed no increase in ROS (reactive oxygen species) while increasing ATP production: coenzyme q10 in reduced form as ubiquinol is a potent antioxidant, capable of donating an electron to quench/neutralize free radicals. This would be a biological win-win: increased oxidative phosphyloration-mediated energy output without increased oxidative damage.


    Finally, in order to grasp the full significance of the study, one must read the authors' conclusion:

    Both increased sun exposure (Dhar and Lambert, 2013; John et al., 2004; Kent et al., 2013a; Kent et al., 2013b; Levandovski et al., 2013) and the consumption of green vegetables (Block et al., 1992; Ferruzzi and Blakeslee, 2007; van't Veer et al., 2000) are correlated with better overall health outcomes in a variety of diseases of aging. These benefits are commonly attributed to an increase in vitamin D from sunlight exposure and consumption of antioxidants from green vegetables. Our work suggests these explanations might be incomplete. Sunlight is the most abundant energy source on this planet. Throughout mammalian evolution, the internal organs of most animals, including humans, have been bathed in photonic energy from the sun. Do animals have metabolic pathways that enable them to take greater advantage of this abundant energy source? The demonstration that: (1) light-sensitive chlorophyll-type molecules are sequestered into animal tissues; (2) in the presence of the chlorophyll metabolite P-a, there is an increase in ATP in isolated animal mitochondria, tissue homogenates and in C. elegans, upon exposure to light of wavelengths absorbed by P-a; and (3) in the presence of P-a, light alters fundamental biology resulting in up to a 17% extension of life span in C. elegans suggests that, similarly to plants and photosynthetic organisms, animals also possess metabolic pathways to derive energy directly from sunlight. Additional studies should confirm these conclusions.

    I think it is obvious that there are a wide range of implications this discovery holds for the fields of nutrition, medicine, and cell and evolutionary biology, to name but a few disciplines that will inevitably be profoundly affected, if not entirely transformed.

    For example, as far as implications to the hotly debated field of ascertaining the ideal, ancestrally-based human diet, if animal cells evolved to be able to harness the energy of sunlight through the help of the 'blood' of our plant allies, then isn't it reasonable to believe that in order to optimize our biological potential nutritionally we require a certain amount of chlorophyll to take advantage of sunlight for our energy needs and perhaps evade sole reliance on the glucose-dependent energy pathways of the body whose overexpression and carbohydrate-rich dietary correlate are linked to conditions like cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease? When one considers the potential of sunlight (a regular, daily, guaranteed source of energy) to contribute to our daily metabolic energy needs (and therefore the survival advantage conferred by regular consumption of chlorophyll-rich plant material), shouldn't the Paleo community, which is highly fixated on animal tissue consumption, now be compelled towards putting chlorophyll on a higher level of importance versus conventional 'Paleo'/heterotrophic sources of sustenance, e.g. forged/hunted food?

    Also, what are the implications for the increasing ambivalence within public awareness concerning sunlight exposure, where on the one hand it is viewed as a vital, if not life-saving source of vitamin D, while on the other hand a vector of lethality in skin cancer causation, against which especially pigment deficient races slather on various petrochemical preparations to defend themselves against? What if sunlight (as was evidenced in the roundworm model) is toxic when no chlorophyll is present in our diet and tissues, but promotes both increased ATP and longevity when found there in optimal doses? These are just a few of the questions that are now on the table, following these recent discoveries.

    Of course, there are many other implications of the study, and likely far more questions than answers now that should be investigated further. I hope you the reader will help provide additional insight and share it below or in follow up articles that you are welcome tosubmit for publication by emailing us here.

    How to Put The Research Into Practical Application?
    How do we translate this study into real life application? This has been a common question for those loyal followers of "I love the research, but what do I do with it?"


    First, green vegetables and their juices should no longer viewed simply as sources of antioxidants, alphabetic vitamins, nutrients, minerals etc., but carriers of essential mitochondrial cofactors without which our body can not optimally and efficiently produce ATP, and without which our body can not realize its biological potential for maximal longevity. Of course, if you have been long time followers , you know we also look at ancestral foods (i.e. those which have been in the human diet for over 10,000 years) as highly dense and vitally importantsources of biologically useful informationwhich have become indispensable regulators of gene expression. This means that when you are consuming a glass of green vegetable juice, for instance, it is likely the most precious health promoting elixir on the planet and should be considered something of a nutritional 'bridge' we, heterotrophs, can cross to become photoheterophic or light-capturing organisms, if we choose to be. (Interested further in the human relationship to light? Read: Biophotons: The Human Body Emits, Communicates with, and is Made from Light).

    Here is my suggestion. On top of increasing the consumption of green foods and/or vegetable juices, add in a liquid or encapsulated supplement that provides at least 200mg of additional chlorophyll daily. In combination, make sure to get additional sunlight and engage in energy intensive, outdoor activities simultaneously. If you like, visualize sunlight entering into the tissues of your body reaching deep down into your chlorophyll-metabolite saturated mitochondria. Then observe and assess how you feel energetically following this exercise. Do you feel more energy? Less exhausted afterwards? Please report back your experiences in the comments below so we can compare notes and continue to explore how to apply this finding to our daily lives in a useful way.

    This study, along with several others more recent papers, represent a Copernican-type revolution in cellular bioenergetics. What if chlorophyll, water, and our body's own melanin produced were capable of producing most of our body's energy needs? Stay tuned for further reporting on this topic, including guest posts by noted scientists and clinicians who are also aware of the importance of this research and wish to help flesh out the theoretical implications and real world applications to human health.

    Amazing Discovery: Plant Blood Enables Your Cells To Capture Sunlight Energy
    • Like Like x 2
  2. All I can think of is vegan vampires sucking blood from innocent plants.
    No offense.
    Are they saying that drinking plant blood will enable us to absorb the suns energy through our skin like solar panels???
  3. This is interesting.

    I don't know the mechanisms, but I know LLLT (low level laser therapy) and infrared therapy impart benefits, I wonder if they are related.
  4. No, not exactly. This is basically a fluff piece for breatharianism or whatever it is called. The belief that animals, including humans, can live mostly off of sunlight. I will say that most of what it says is true, but they're trying to be sneaky with it to lead people into believing humans can live off of sunlight.

    Now.. chlorophyll is good for you. Mammalian mitochondria are basically bacteria. Back when life first appeared, the bacteria that evolved into mammalian mitochondria more than likely fed off of the ancestors of algae/plant, cyanobacteria. They were capable of harvesting sunlight.. and when they were preyed upon by other bacteria, those bacteria broke them down and used pieces of them as their own. That process continued as life evolved.. just got more complex. Very few animals are strictly carnivorous, most carnivores are actually omnivores.. same with herbivores. Many herbivores will eat meat if needed and given the chance. Animals that are strict carnivores typically live in areas where plant life isn't as abundant. Carnivorous animals that evolved with a regular access to plants typically retained the ability to consume and use plant material, including humans. Like I said, chlorophyll is good for people.. most, if not all, mammals. The article makes the assumption that people/science believes we are only supposed to consume meat, which is not the case. We've known for ages that people should be eating plants as well as meats.. we've known that greens are good for us. It's not that eating greens will add anything.. more like that eating greens will put you back where you should be.
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  5. I don't think this suggests you could live entirely off photon energy extracted via chlorophyll can sustain a person, but it may be able to aid in mitochondria energy efficiency.

    I cannot get full text of the paper, just the abstract, can anyone link the full paper?
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Both well said.

    I must share this though when i was fasting on water only recently and i felt low energy and weak i would sit in the sun and expose most of my body for a few minutes and instantly feel re-energized. Whether you believe it or not it really helped me push through my day and helped eliminate hunger.

    I did take some chlorella which is the richest source of chlorophyll from time to time just to add some heavy metal detox to the fast but the amounts were extremely small. I took about 500mg of Chlorella a day which is about 15mg of Chlorophyll i believe.
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  7. I don't doubt you, I have never personally tried it.

    Keep in mind, during a fast, your body runs low on glucose your body can turn on gluconeogenesis as well as create ketones out of body fat. I know there are other benefits to fasting, but being in a state of ketosis has health benefits by itself.

    I wonder if being in a fasted ketogenic state and exposing yourself to sunlight has a concomitant effect?

    Personally I eat plenty of vegetables, but I know I don't get enough dark green leaves, so I could use more chlorophyll.

    I used to take Green Vibrance which has 1g chlorella and .5g spirulina, as well as other green juice powders. I can't wait to get some again.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. #8 Mantikore, May 4, 2016
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
    The science doesn't suggest it.. but the article hints at it. It even ends with trying to get you to read another article where they suggest that chlorophyll, water, and your skin's melanin could potentially give you most of the energy your body needs. I can't not see it as fluff for Breatharianism. It's an odd belief that has been around for hundreds of years. There are quite a few cases of people dying trying to practice it. There was a case where a girl claimed she could live without food.. and the parents believed it and even pushed it. She was under medical supervision and the doctors kept telling her parents she was going to die of starvation, but they refused to allow her food. No surprise, she died of starvation.

    That isn't to say that there isn't good information in the article.. this and a few other recent things have helped push me into finally buying powdered greens to add to my food. I've been adding some to my overnight oats.. something like 9,000+ mg of greens. Wheatgrass, blue green algae, kale.. like 30 some different plants. I've been looking at it for weeks.. but usually don't cause of the cost, but I finally caved. I add it to my oats, let them dehydrate, then freeze the whole thing so the water turns to ice crystals and helps break down the chlorophyll for easier digestion. I still eat my meats, but greens always have been and always will be good for us as they are part of our evolutionary diet.

    It's just blindly clear to me that whoever wrote this is biased towards Breatharianism.. and that just bugs me.

    Edit: meant rehydrate rather than dehydrate.
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Overnight oats with almost 10g of greens? How do you make that palatable?
  10. Easy? Add a natural sweetener :D
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  11. Extra yogurt and almond milk.. helps keep it creamy. I do a cup and a half of oats and almond milk each, 2 containers of yogurt, 5 tbsp of hemp seeds, big ass scoop of green stuff.. and a cup of fruit.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. I assume they are high sugar yogurt or the almond milk is sweetened?

    Just wondering how you make it palatable. 5T hemp seeds is epic though! What kind of fruit do you typically use?
  13. It'll take more than that lmao

    The greens I took weren't too bad, but in order to make it actually enjoyable, I found pure orange juice was the best.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. The powdered greens have stevia leaf extract.. so they are somewhat sweet themselves. The almond milk is sweetened, but not the yogurt. All in all.. like most healthy things.. you just have to learn to like it. I've been using frozen mango.. letting it thaw mixed in. I've done a few different types of frozen berries too. Same concept with the freezing.. it helps bust up the cells for easier digestion.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Interesting bit about freezing... I eat frozen raspberries everyday, except today I found some fresh ones for very cheap, so I got those instead.

    I'll have to look that up, you've piqued my curiosity.
  16. I used to make oats in the mornings and sometimes add greens but a tablespoon of raw honey usually fixes taste issues for me.
  17. There has been a huge recall on frozen fruits and veggies.. just saw it today, so you might want to try to find the list and see if what you get is on the list. I didn't see my mangos, but it was a huge list that I didn't go through entirely.

    The freezing bit is why bananas go bad so quickly after you freeze and thaw them.. as with a lot of frozen fruits, they can get all mushy after freezing. I don't mind the mushy fruit in the oats though.
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  18. I couldn't find any specific research showing freezing fruits and veggies improves bioavailability. Is it just something that Is somewhat reasonable, so you do it, or have you come across such research?

    I don't see it negatively effecting bioavailability, so it doesn't hurt.

    I have been blending spinach in water creating a beautiful green drink (then I blend a lemon in water, strain it and add it to my spinach water)

    I have since put it in the freezer thinking maybe it'll be a little more available. I wonder if exposing it to the Sun would help at all. I know mushrooms, even picked ones sitting in the fridge, when exposed to Sun will produce vitamin d, thus making them a bit healthier.
  19. I forget where I saw it.. but it is something you can see for yourself too. Next bunch of fresh bananas you get, throw one in the freezer. Let it freeze through and then thaw it out. It'll turn black before the other bananas from the bunch. It's because the freezing water ruptures the cell walls. Now I can't say that that will increase bioavailability for sure.. but it is the same concept as processing your foods. You break down the cells into smaller pieces which means your body doesn't have to. At the same time, our bodies have evolved to break down and digest.. so that extra step of processing could very well be pointless. I am actually planning a test myself.. cause sometimes I eat a whole melon for lunch. If I do cantaloupe.. I typically shit out undigested cantaloupe. So I am going to freeze one and see if I digest it better.
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  20. I experienced that with a banana, I was talking more specifically about the cell wall rupturing aspect. Maybe I'll look for blended food to find some research. It does make sense that even if it isn't more bioavailable that it would at least be less of a energy burden to digest the foods.

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