Detox Genes – NQO1

This is part of an ongoing series on the genes involved in detoxification. NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (abbreviated as NQO1) uses NADH or NADPH to reduce quinones to hydroquinones.   NQO1 is involved in breaking down exogenous (outside) toxins such as benzene and some chemotherapy…

Phase II detox – GSTs

This is part of an ongoing series on the genes involved in detoxification. Another phase II detox reaction occurs with the glutathione S-transferases enzymes, which has eight classes identified: alpha, kappa, mu, omega, pi, sigma, theta, and zeta.  The classes are abbreviated with their first…

Nrf2 Pathway: Increasing the body’s ability to get rid of toxins

This is part of an ongoing series on the genes involved in detoxification. The Nrf2 signaling pathway regulates the expression of antioxidants and phase II detoxification enzymes. I think of it as flipping the switch to call up the phase II enzymes to take…

Phase 2 Detoxification – UGTs

This is part of an ongoing series on the genes involved in detoxification. UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (abbreviated UGT) creates a glucuronidation reaction, which is a big part of phase II detoxification.  Once a drug, toxin, or other substance is broken down in a phase I reaction…

CYP2D6: Metabolism of many OTC and prescription medicines

Say you aren’t feeling well, have had a cold for a week, and can’t sleep…  You’re just plain miserable.  And in your sleep deprived state, you decide to take some Nyquil (or another cough syrup containing dextromethorphan). Some people may get relief and finally get…

Liver Detox Genes – CYP2A6

This is part of an ongoing series on the genes involved in Phase I detoxification. The CYP2A6 enzyme is involved in the metabolism of nicotine, several cancer drugs,  valproic acid, and coumarin. (Full list of drugs on Wikipedia). The hormone estradiol is an inducer of…

CYP1A2 – Breaking down caffeine and more

The CYP1A2 enzyme is involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics (caffeine, aflatoxin B1, and acetaminophen) and is induced by the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s) that are found in cigarette smoke.  It metabolizes some pro-carcinogens into carcinogenic intermediates. CYP1A2 is also induced (activated) by cruciferous…

CYP1A1: Detoxifying Cigarette Smoke and Estrogen

This is part of a series on the genes involved in phase I and phase II detoxification. CYP1A1 is a gene that codes for an enzyme that breaks down (metabolizes) a few different substances.  It is involved in the metabolism of poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the…

Liver Detox Genes – Cytochrome P450

This is the first in what will (hopefully!) be a good series of posts on genetics, liver function, and detoxification. In reading natural health blogs, the buzzwords these days always seem to include ‘detox’ and ‘cleanse’.  There is a lot of general talk about…