We are continuously exposed to toxins from multiple sources. The air we breathe in, the water we drink, the food we eat, and other consumer products we purchase may contain heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals that can badly affect our health (Prakash 1999, Borchers 2010, Ferguson 2008, Nielsen 2007, Hill 1995).
The rapid increase in population demands rapid agricultural intensification for fulfilling the food needs of the world. The use of pesticides and herbicides has increased tremendously to improve crop production. The residues of these chemicals can be easily found in our surroundings, in foods, or water. The Non-Occupational Pesticide Exposure Study in 1994 reported that carpets can also trap environmental toxins and found an average of 12 pesticide residues per carpet sample giving us an idea of how alarming the situation will be now (Whitemore, 1994).
The pesticides like dioxin, DDT, heptachlor, polychlorinated biphenyls, Aldrin, Dieldrin, and chlordane can stay in the human body and impair the reproductive, endocrine, circulatory, nervous, and immune system (White 2009, Nicolopoulou-Stamati 2016).
Glyphosate is a type of organophosphate and is a potentially dangerous chemical for human health. Its use increased after the emergence of genetically modified crops in 1990 (Myers, 2016). A Reuters report demonstrated that residues of active Roundup herbicide glyphosate are found in 10 of 28 soy sauce samples, 41 of 69 honey samples, and three of 18 breast milk samples (Carey, 2015).
According to Scientific American, in 2009 a temporary ban was put on glyphosate in Argentina because of reports of high rates of birth defects and cancers in those living near crop-spraying areas (Crystal, 2009). Another report by World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer documented glyphosate as 'probably carcinogenic to humans' (Nestle, 2015).
It is crucial nowadays in this toxic world to give our body the resources it needs to prevent the toxins from harming our health. Regular detoxification of the body can help in keeping us healthier. The importance of detoxifying agents is increasing day by day to enhance the body’s natural detoxification process and make it capable to manage and eliminate toxins efficiently.
Chlorella is a fantastic bona fide superfood for fortifying your body with essential nutrients and preventing toxin-related illnesses (Paniagua-Michel, 2015). Chlorella has purifying properties that give it the potential to detoxify the body of harmful heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides.
Chlorella is not just another mass-produced extract from Japan with only a few studies showing its vague health benefits, but it is a sustainable food crop and has decades of research dating back to the 1950’s to back it up.
Chlorella is the king of superfoods and one of nature’s powerful detoxifying agents. This freshwater green microalgae flourished for nearly two billion years and has rich content of antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and vitamins (Masojidek, 2014). Some prominent ones are vitamin A, D, B vitamins, potassium, iron, and magnesium.
The single-celled photosynthetic organism Chlorella is a natural source of plant protein which makes up about 60% of it. Photosynthesizing its energy from the Sun, Chlorella is one of the richest sources of chlorophyll with the average recommended daily dose of 3g providing 100g of chlorophyll (Paniagua-Michel, 2015). Chlorella is something that must not be left out of your detoxifying routine as chlorophyll has superb body cleansing abilities.
Talking about its health benefits for humans, Chlorella is good for supporting optimal immune system function, giving antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, supporting digestive health, and more importantly detoxification of the body (Michael, 2018). Here we will specifically explore the detoxifying nature of chlorella.
DETOXIFYING NATURE OF CHLORELLA:
It is a well-known fact that the cell wall structure of chlorella has something that allows it to make a bond with heavy metals present in its surrounding water. This bonding is also considered the primary reason for chlorella’s survival in polluted aquatic environments and its optimum flourishing for ages (Verano 2018, Lakmali 2022).
As the human body also has fluids in its internal environment, chlorella is thought to play its role in binding heavy metals here too. The prediction of scientists came true and chlorella has been proved to bind heavy metals and toxins in the human body and safely take them out of the body through the natural elimination processes (Wang 2021).
Chlorella has a high affinity for heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, and mycotoxins. As it is a living organism, it only binds toxic substances and not essential minerals and cleanses the blood, lymph, tissues, and emunctories that enhance our health. Chlorella is the most effective microalgae for naturally and safely removing heavy metals and harmful chemical molecules that our bodies have a hard time getting rid of (Yadav, 2022).
Recently a study again highlighted the potential of chlorella for remediation of pesticides and proved it a feasible approach for combating pesticides in water sources (Verasoundarapandian, 2022).
A study reported that daily intake of chlorella reduces the chance of heavy metal poisoning in the bloodstream of the study subjects. It also supports decreasing the risk of bone and muscular damage due to high levels of cadmium in the body. This research established that chlorella is a suitable natural source for counteracting toxins and decreasing tissue damage because of toxin absorption (Shim, 2009). Remember pesticides and herbicides also have heavy metals.
Another study found that Chlorella supplementation improved the detoxification of heavy metals by decreasing their levels in patients with long-term dental amalgam fillings and implants. It also wanes away the heavy metal toxicity effects on the brain, nerves, and the whole body. Heavy metals can cause oxidative stress and damage to the nervous system in the body (Zhai, 2015).
In a study, Chlorella accelerated the detoxification of pesticide chlordecone in animal subjects and decreased its half-life from 40 to 19 days. Chlorella passed through the digestive tract unharmed, interrupted the enteric recirculation of the persistent toxin, and ultimately remove the bound chlordecone with the feces. A cell wall component sporopollenin which is a carotenoid polymer of limited natural occurrence among plants and microorganisms retained this therapeutic activity of chlorella. The study concluded that chlorella cells and their cell walls have the potential for detoxifying chlordecone and other xenobiotic compounds with similar properties such as other pesticides and herbicides (Pore, 1984).
Pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides are usually organophosphorus compounds like glyphosate which is also an organophosphate. In another study, chlorella was evaluated for degrading organophosphorus compounds. It was found that carboxylesterase activity increased in algal cells cultivated in organophosphorus malathion medium confirming that malathion degraded into phosphate. The study also proved increased free radical production with malathion as malondialdehyde levels increased. There was also an increase in superoxide dismutase, catalase, and ascorbate peroxidase which are linked with scavenging free radicals (Nanda, 2019). This research suggests the possible role of chlorella in detoxifying pesticides and herbicide glyphosate roundup.
Diazinon is one of the extensively used organophosphorus insecticides for agricultural activities, and it is extremely toxic to mammals and other non-target organisms. In a study chlorella, Vulgaris was found to effectively remove diazinon from the aqueous phase with the highest removal capacity of 94% at 20 mg L− 1 .of diazinon. Gas chromatography-mass study suggested a less toxic by-product, 2-isopropyl-6-methyl-4-pyrimidinol (IMP) formation because of microalgal metabolism of diazinon. This study demonstrated that this microalga is highly tolerant of diazinon, which could be voluntarily involved in the removal of diazinon traces from contaminated wastewater and has potential application in the removal of such artificial toxins (Kurade, 2016).
A study conducted by Nakano and team in 2007 reported that a daily 6 g intake of chlorella decreased the dioxins concentration in breast milk by about 30%. Along with that a significant increase in the immunoglobulin (Ig)A concentration in the breast milk was also found (Nakano, 2017).
Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are categories of pesticides and herbicides. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study to assess detoxification of heterocyclic amines in Korean adult subjects found a significant reduction of these chemicals in the urinary samples of the study subjects (Lee, 2015).
It is not wrong to say that chlorella is ‘the best-known biological detoxifier’. It acts as a strong chelator of intestinal toxins and wraps itself around even the most persistent toxins in our bodies. It employs several mechanisms that help our body maintain the optimal function of its detoxification pathway and enhance the body’s detoxification process without the use of any chemicals.
The detoxification process is necessary for the body as it supports optimum human health. Let’s see how your body’s detoxification system works and where chlorella plays its role in enhancing the process.
The body’s detoxification system and role of chlorella:
Several sophisticated mechanisms in your body work for eliminating potentially harmful compounds from your body. The body is well-equipped to handle the toxins and ferry them out of it.
Special liver enzymes work synergistically for immobilizing, neutralizing, and binding toxins. This enzymatic detoxification system of the liver and its balance is essential for protecting the body from toxins. The phase I cytochrome P450 enzymes are involved in toxin metabolism and start the detoxification process by transforming lipid soluble toxic substances into water-soluble (Redlich 2008, Lardone 2010). Phase II enzymes such as sulfotransferases, glutathione S-transferases, and UDP-glucuronyltransferases make phase I products intoxicant and decrease their reactivity and phase III enzymes help in transporting these substances out of the body (Jancova 2010, van Bladeren 2000, Sheehan 2001, Ketterer 1998, Hayes 2000, Habuchi 2000, Glatt 2004, Yang 2010, Keppler 2011, Mizuno 2003, Klaassen 2008).
Products of phase I enzymes are more toxic than the original substance and phase II works for neutralizing them. The process must be efficient enough that phase I products are immediately neutralized by phase II, otherwise, the toxic products can get accumulated in the system causing severe health effects (Bessems 2001, Lauterburg 1983).
Toxins can disrupt the natural detoxification system like glyphosate disrupts the activity of phase I enzymes (Samsel, 2013). Natural interventions such as chlorella help here to support detoxification pathways by promoting essential liver enzyme activity and maintaining their balance (Christie 1984, Patrick 2006). The nutrients in it ensure proper detoxification.
The deficiency of vitamin A, B Vitamins, C, and E is associated with decreased phase I activity and can slow the metabolism of toxins. B vitamins also work as cofactors for phase II enzymatic reactions (Guengerich, 1995). Chlorella has these vitamins and plays its role in the metabolism of toxins.
Deficiency in minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium has been shown to decrease phase I enzymatic activity. Several phase II enzymes require magnesium for their activity (Guengerich, 1995). Chlorella has these minerals and helps in an enzymatic activity that ultimately enhances the detoxification process.
Proteins specifically Methionine and cysteine amino acids:
Chlorella is about 60% protein and has essential and non-essential amino acids including methionine and cysteine. These amino acids are required for adequate phase II enzyme activity. Protein deficiency also reduces cytochrome activity while high protein intake increases it (Guengerich, 1995).
It is a component of chlorophyll and part of the natural intervention for enhancing the liver detoxification system. Chlorophyllin is an Nrf2 activator and directly enhances phase II enzyme activity (Zhang 2008, Ferruzzi 2007).
Some other mechanisms that also contribute to the detoxification process and Chlorella contributes to them are:
Secretion of bile:
It is the main mechanism for moving conjugated toxins out of the liver into the intestines and from there, they can be removed from the body (Boyer, 2013). Impairment of bile flow because of liver dysfunction can result in toxin buildup in the liver causing liver injury Chlorella is well-known for improving liver function and regulating the bile flow (Yarmohammadi, 2021).
The antioxidation process is required for giving protection against the harsh phase 1 oxidation reactions and the generated free radicals. Antioxidation can reverse the damage caused by toxins and chlorella has good antioxidant potential (Kumar, 2011).
The toxins in bile can get reabsorbed in the gut through the process of enterohepatic recirculation if they are not bound to anything. Surface adhesion or biosorption of potential toxins to another molecule in the gut such as chlorella in this case helps in preventing reabsorption and mitigating toxin exposure by eliminating it from the body (Phillips, 2002). The dietary adsorbent chlorella needs to be taken while the toxin is in the gastrointestinal tract and as the components in the cell wall to which toxins bind are not digested, they are removed from the body, and with the toxins also move out (Morita 1999, Natsume 2004, Versantvoort 2005).
Probiotics are known to trap and metabolize xenobiotics that are toxic substances and minimize toxin exposure (Resta, 2009). Some examples are the metabolism of heterocyclic amines and dimethylhydrazine and the binding of cadmium and lead (Nowak 2009, Ibrahim 2006). Lactic acid probiotic bacteria produce short-chain fatty acid butyrate that stimulates phase II enzyme activity in intestinal cell culture, hence probiotic growth contributes to better detoxification (Pool-Zobel, 2005). Chlorella has the potential for enhancing probiotic growth and improves the detoxification of pesticides and herbicides. Remember the herbicide glyphosate can decrease the probiotics and affect detoxification (Claus, 2016).
Chlorella has a super cleansing nature that helps it to keep its environment clean, whether that is its, outside aquatic environment or your body’s internal aquatic environment. Chlorella assists in the removal of heavy metals, herbicides and pesticides like dioxin, DDT, heptachlor, polychlorinated biphenyls, aldrin, dieldrin, chlordane and glyphosate.
Chlorella is often referred to as Mother nature’s daily multivitamin because it enables you thrive in today’s polluted world by acting as a gentle internal cleanser. Consuming chlorella is ideal for detoxifying us from the harmful chemicals we are exposed to on daily basis.
BioGenesis Chlorella is organically grown in the pristine Great Barrier Reef region of northern Australia. Bathed in golden sunshine the Chlorella thrive in the fresh spring water ponds. We have developed an innovative advanced energy efficient hydrodynamic growth system that replicates a natural river flow. When harvested we apply an advanced biodynamic technology to gently crack the hard outer cell wall making the nutrients fully available.
Australia’s only Licenced Chlorella grower. No.9298. Produced in a USA FDA accredited Bio Secure site.
This information is intended for informational and educational purposes and is not a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult your doctor or healthcare provider for professional advice.
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