STUDY: Green vegetables block dioxin uptake
02/23/2023 // Ethan Huff // Views

Exposure to dioxins like the kinds released during the "controlled explosion" in East Palestine, Ohio, earlier this month can lead to a buildup of these persistent, cancer-causing toxins inside the body – but the good news is there are natural solutions that could provide a remedy.

One of them is green vegetables, which a 1999 study published in the Japanese journal Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi (in SafetyLit) found absorb dioxin chemicals for easier and more thorough excretion from the body.

Researchers looked at two specific forms of dioxin: polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDD) congeners and polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDF). Male rats exposed to these poisons were used as test subjects.

The animals were fed either a diet composed of 10 percent green vegetables or a basal diet containing 0.2 milliliters (ml) of dioxin-contaminated rice bran oil of Yusho that occurred in the southwestern portion of Japan in 1968.

Yusho, in this context, refers to a mass poisoning incident with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that occurred in 1968, resulting in the designation of Yusho disease, a form of dioxin poisoning.

The dioxin group of mice was fed the toxic oil for five days, and compared to the green vegetable group it experienced far less excretion of 2,3,7,8-T4CDD and 2,3,4,7,8-P5CDF – meaning the dioxin chemicals persisted inside the mice's bodies.

"The fecal excretion of 2,3,7,8-T4CDD and 2,3,4,7,8-P5CDF in the group fed with Komatsuna, Mitsuba, Spinach and Perilla were 7.6-11.6 and 6.5-9.4 times higher, respectively, than that in the group fed with a basal diet," the study explains.


"The fecal excretion of 2,3,7,8-T4CDD and 2,3,4,7,8-P5CDF in the group fed with Kale, Chinese chive, Shungiku, Chingentsuai, Green lettuce and Sweet pepper were 3.3-4.8 and 4.3-4.5 times higher, respectively, than that in the basal group."

"The fecal excretion of 2,3,7,8-T4CDD and 2,3,4,7,8-P5CDF in the group fed with Chinese cabbage, Broccoli, Onion, Welsh onion, Cabbage and Celery were 1.6-3.0 and 1.2-1.3 times higher, respectively, than that in the basal group."

(Related: Just be careful where you source your green vegetables as those grown near East Palestine could be contaminated with high levels of dioxin.)

Eating more leafy greens like spinach can help keep your body clean of dioxins

Based on these results, komatsuna, mitsuba, perilla, and spinach are the most effective green vegetables out of those tested for removing dioxins from the body. Researchers believe that the high chlorophyll content of these green vegetables plays a major role in this excretion activity.

From day eight through day 35 in the study, similar benefits were seen from consumption of perilla, kale, and spinach. Those mice that consumed these green vegetables say fecal excretion of 2,3,7,8-T4CDD and 2,3,4,7,8-P5CDF that was 3.1-4.9 and 3.0-3.6 times higher, respectively, than the basal group.

"The present results suggest that the green vegetables might be useful in treatment of humans exposed to PCDD and PCDF congeners," the paper's abstract concludes.

Another study published that same year by the same researchers in the same journal looked more closely at the effects of chlorophyll compounds on dioxin absorption, arriving at similar conclusions.

Mice fed a diet containing 0.5 percent disodiumprotoporphyrin (PPNa) experienced fecal excretion of 2,3,7,8-T4CDD and 2,3,4,7,8-P5CDF that was 2.1 and 1.9 times higher, respectively, than that of mice fed a control diet.

Again, just be careful where you source your green vegetables. A study published several years later in the journal Chemosphere referenced these earlier studies, warning that green vegetables can absorb dioxins in their leaves and roots.

"... the deposition of gaseous, presumably moderately volatile dioxins in leaf wax is another pollution pathway in addition to the adhesion of dioxin-contaminated particles including soil," that study explains.

More information about how to protect yourself against chemical exposure naturally can be found at

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