Chlorella is an antidote against dioxins
Chlorella detoxifies the body, supplement sellers tell you. Sales pitch, we always thought. Until we came across an almost forgotten Japanese animal study from 1999, in which chlorella supplementation not only reduces the absorption of toxic dioxins by the body, but also ensures that dioxins that the body has already absorbed are still removed through the feces.


The dioxins that have caused dioxin crises several times since the 1960s are made by humans. They were found in brake fluid and coolant, but they also occasionally appear in the food chain.In Japan, this happened in 1968, when dioxins were contained in rice oil in the Yusho region. Symptoms of dioxin poisoning include "fatigue, gastrointestinal disorder, joint pain, weight loss, anorexia, hyperpigmentation of the nails and skin, and porphyria".
Study 1
In the 1990s, researchers from Japan's Fukuoka Institute of Health and Environmental Sciences published a study in which they gave rats a single, hefty dose of dioxins. Half of the rats received standard food, the other half food with chlorella.

If the rats had been humans, they would have received roughly 60 grams of chlorella per day. That's quite a lot, by the way. Don't try this at home.
The supplementation increased the amount of dioxins in the stool. In a way the researchers don't fully understand, chlorella reduces the absorption of dioxins.
The table below has been reduced in size. Click on it for a larger version.

Study 2
In another animal study, the researchers looked at the effect of chlorella on the concentration of dioxins in the faeces after the animals had been given dioxins. The rats were given dioxins, the researchers waited a few days, and then gave half of the test animals chlorella for a month.

The table below shows that chlorella also increases the amount of dioxins in the stool in this experiment.


"The mechanism by which chlorella stimulates dioxin excretion from the body is still unclear", write the researchers. "However, three factors appear to be associated with inhibition of absorption and reabsorption in the intestine.""The first factor is dietary fiber in chlorella cells. We reported previously that several types of dietary fiber bind dioxin and stimulate the excretion [...]. After ingestion of chlorella, dietary fibers contained in chlorella cells may inhibit dioxin absorption from the digestive tract, promoting its excretion into feces."
"The second factor that may be involved in the inhibition of absorption and reabsorption of dioxin is the chlorophyll in chlorella cells. It has been reported that chlorophyllin, a chlorophyll derivative, forms a complex with heterocyclic amines. The chlorophyll contained in chlorella cells may form a complex with dioxin congeners with a planar structure, thereby inhibiting absorption in the digestive tract."
"The third component that may be involved in the reabsorption of dioxin is the lipid in chlorella cells. It has been reported that [...] chlorella lipids composed of glycolipid and phospholipid in rats fed a high cholesterol diet, and found that chlorella prevented the absorption of endogenous and exogenous cholesterol in bile and increased the excretion of cholesterol from the body."
"Therefore, fiber, chlorophyll, and lipids contained in chlorella cells may be involved in the inhibition of absorption of dioxin in the digestive tract and reabsorption of dioxins in bile."
"To prevent damage by dioxin in humans, dioxin ingested via food should be captured in the digestive tract and absorption should be decreased by ingestion of foods such as chlorella, which contains abundant dietary fiber and chlorophyll."
"In addition, excretion of dioxin already accumulated in the body should be promoted by increasing catabolism and inhibiting reabsorption of bile and dioxin secreted into the digestive tract."
Nutr. 1999 Sep;129(9):1731-6.