Chlorophyll derived from Chlorella inhibits dioxin absorption from the gastrointestinal tract and accelerates dioxin excretion in rats

Environ Health Perspect. 2001 Mar;109(3):289-94. doi: 10.1289/ehp.01109289.


We investigated the effects of chlorophyll derived from Chlorella on gastrointestinal absorption of seven types of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDD) and 10 types of polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDF) in Wistar rats. Twenty-eight rats were randomly distributed into seven groups (n = 4). After overnight food deprivation, rats were given 4 g of the basal diet or 4 g of the chlorophyll diet containing 0.01-0.5% chlorophyll one time on day 1; each diet also contained 0.2 mL PCDD and PCDF standard solutions. The amounts of fecal excretion of PCDD and PCDF congeners from days 1 to 5 in the group fed 0.01% chlorophyll were 64.8% for 1,2,3,7,8-pentaCDD, 78.6% for 1,2,3,4,7,8-hexaCDD, 73.5% for 1,2,3,6,7,8-hexaCDD, 58.5% for 1,2,3,7,8,9-hexaCDD, 33.3% for 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-heptaCDD, 85.7% for 1,2,3,7,8-pentaCDF, 77.3% for 2,3,4,7,8-pentaCDF, 88.6% for 1,2,3,4,7,8-hexaCDF, 78.0% for 1,2,3,6,7,8-hexaCDF, 62.5% for 1,2,3,7,8,9-hexaCDF, 84.1% for 2,3,4,6,7,8-hexaCDF, 41.7% for 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-heptaCDF, and 40.0% for 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-heptaCDF greater (p < 0.01) than those of the control group, respectively. The fecal excretion of PCDD and PCDF congeners was remarkably increased along with the increasing dietary chlorophyll. The amounts of PCDD and PCDF congeners in rats on day 5 administered dioxin mixtures were lower in the 0.01% chlorophyll group than in the control group, ranging from 3.5 to 50.0% for PCDD congeners and from 3.7 to 41.7% lower for PCDF congeners, except for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran. The amount of PCDD and PCDF congeners in rats was remarkably decreased along with the increasing dietary chlorophyll. These findings suggest that chlorophyll is effective for preventing dioxin absorption via foods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzofurans / metabolism
  • Chlorella / metabolism*
  • Chlorophyll / metabolism*
  • Dibenzofurans, Polychlorinated
  • Digestive System / metabolism*
  • Dioxins / pharmacokinetics*
  • Environmental Pollutants / pharmacokinetics*
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Male
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / analogs & derivatives*
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Benzofurans
  • Dibenzofurans, Polychlorinated
  • Dioxins
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • Chlorophyll