DNA methylation in promoter region can be a new chemopreventive marker against polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We performed a randomized, double blind and cross-over trial (N=12 healthy females) to evaluate chlorella (Chlorella vulgaris)-induced epigenetic modulation on exposure to PAHs. The subjects consumed 4 tablets of placebo or chlorella supplement (total chlorophyll ≈ 8.3mg/tablet) three times a day before meals for 2 weeks. When the subjects consumed chlorella, status of global hypermethylation (5-methylcytosine) was reduced, compared to placebo (p=0.04). However, DNA methylation at the DNMT1 or NQO1 was not modified by chlorella. We observed the reduced levels of urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP), a typical metabolite of PAHs, by chlorella intake (p<0.1) and a positive association between chlorella-induced changes in global hypermethylation and urinary 1-OHP (p<0.01). Therefore, our study suggests chlorella works for PAH-detoxification through the epigenetic modulation, the interference of ADME of PAHs and the interaction of mechanisms.
Keywords: Chlorella; Clinical trial; Epigenetic; Global methylation; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
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