Detoxification of chlorella supplement on heterocyclic amines in Korean young adults

Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2015 Jan;39(1):441-6. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2014.11.015. Epub 2014 Dec 3.


Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been established as carcinogenic chemicals in Western diet. This study was performed to estimate HCA exposure levels in Korean daily life and to assess the ability of Chlorella vulgaris to detoxify carcinogenic HCAs in a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled crossover study with chlorella supplement (N=6, all females, age: 27.17±7.73yr) for 2 weeks. We analyzed HCAs in hydrolyzed urine specimens using LC/TOF-MS. As results, urinary levels of MeIQx, PhIP, and IQx-8-COOH were 323.36±220.11ng/L, 351.59±254.93ng/L, and 130.85±83.22ng/L, respectively. Effects of chlorella to reduce urinary MeIQx were marginally significant (before, 430±226.86pg/mL vs. after, 174.45±101.65pg/mL: 0.05<p<0.1). However, urinary levels of PhIP or IQx-8-COOH, a major metabolite of MeIQx, were not changed by chlorella supplementation. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that current daily levels of HCA exposure in Korean young adults are not lower than those in the Western world. In addition, the effects of chlorella's to detoxify HCAs likely occur by interfering e with absorption or metabolism.

Keywords: Chemoprevention; Chlorella; Heterocyclic amines; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; Urine.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amines / urine*
  • Asian People
  • Carcinogens / analysis*
  • Chlorella vulgaris*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Heterocyclic Compounds / urine*
  • Humans
  • Pyrenes / urine
  • Young Adult


  • Amines
  • Carcinogens
  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Pyrenes
  • 1-hydroxypyrene