Effects of chlorophyll and chlorophyllin on low-dose aflatoxin B 1 pharmacokinetics in human volunteers

Carole Jubert, John Mata, Graham Bench, Roderick Dashwood, Cliff Pereira, William Tracewell, Ken W Turteltaub, David Williams, George Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Chlorophyll (Chla) and chlorophyllin (CHL) were shown previously to reduce carcinogen bioavailability, biomarker damage, and tumorigenicity in trout and rats. These findings were partially extended to humans, where CHL reduced excretion of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-DNA repair products in Chinese unavoidably exposed to dietary AFB1. However, neither AFB1 pharmacokinetics nor Chla effects were examined. We conducted an unblinded crossover study to establish AFB1 pharmacokinetic parameters among four human volunteers, and to explore possible effects of CHL or Chla cotreatment in three of those volunteers. For protocol 1, fasted subjects received an Institutional Review Board-approved dose of 14C-AFB 1 (30 ng, 5 nCi) by capsule with 100 mL water, followed by normal eating and drinking after 2 hours. Blood and cumulative urine samples were collected over 72 hours, and 14C- AFB1 equivalents were determined by accelerator mass spectrometry. Protocols 2 and 3 were similar except capsules also contained 150 mg of purified Chla or CHL, respectively. Protocols were repeated thrice for each volunteer. The study revealed rapid human AFB 1 uptake (plasma ka, 5.05 ± 1.10 h-1; Tmax, 1.0 hour) and urinary elimination (95% complete by 24 hours) kinetics. Chla and CHL treatment each significantly impeded AFB1 absorption and reduced Cmax and AUCs (plasma and urine) in one or more subjects. These initial results provide AFB1 pharmacokinetic parameters previously unavailable for humans, and suggest that Chla or CHL co-consumption may limit the bioavailability of ingested aflatoxin in humans, as they do in animal models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1022
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Prevention Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)


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