Breastfeeding is best for your baby but did you know that breast milk has toxins found in it?

You know that breastfeeding is best for you baby but you may not have heard that breastmilk has toxins found in it. Studies done by the EWG (Environmental Working group) entitled ‘Body Burden’, have shown that the average American is contaminated with several chemicals. Chemicals were found even in newborn umbilical cord blood, including dioxins, PCBs, and organochlorine pesticides (OCs).

A new Japanese study has shown that one way to protect your newborn infant from dioxins in your own breastmilk is to take a high quality supplement of an algae called Chlorella pyrenoidosa each day (1). This small study showed that pregnant women who took a daily supplement of chlorella had significantly less dioxin in their breastmilk compared to the control group of pregnant women. This means that less dioxin will be transferred to baby. Furthermore, those taking the Chlorella had significantly higher levels of IgA in their breastmilk, which is part of the immune system that protects babies against infections.

Chlorella is considered a green food supplement, like wheatgrass and spirulina. Studies at the School of Medicine, West Virginia University, showed that chlorella can help remove toxins including chlorinated hydrocarbons, which is a major pollutant found in pesticides and herbicides, dioxin, and PCBs. Other studies show chlorella to be able to eliminate toxic heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium. There are a number of different strains of chlorella available but only the pyrenoidosa strain contains a unique component called ‘sporopollenin’, which is the central part of its role in chemical detoxification (2).

Choose a quality chlorella supplement since chlorella is best thought of as a sponge – if it is from a contaminated source, it is already filled with toxins. Taken from clean waters, it can help detoxify your body. Furthermore, it seems that the cell wall can interfere with absorption, so consider getting a brand that has its cell walls broken, without losing its nutrients.

It is important to stress that breastmilk is still the best choice, whether or not you decide to take a chlorella supplement.

1. Shiro Nakano, Hideo Takekoshi, Masuo Nakano. Journal of Medicinal Food. March 1, 2007, 10(1): 134-142. 2.