Detoxification & Drug Metabolism Genes

Genetic variants about in the enzymes that break down drugs and toxins. These genetic differences are why some medications don’t work well for certain people. Our reactions to toxicants, such as pesticides, also relies on our genes. 

GSTs: glutathione-S-transferase enzymes for detoxifying environmental toxins.

We are exposed to many different man-made chemical compounds every day, with exposure to new toxicants being much higher than what our ancestors experienced. There are several common GST variants that decrease the function of the GST enzymes. (Member's only article)

CYP2A6: Breaking down nicotine

How many cigarettes a day a person smokes – and how hard it is for them to quit – is at least party dependent on the CYP2A6 gene. This enzyme also metabolizes several important cancer drugs.


Genetic variants impact how well the flu antiviral medication, Tamiflu, works for an individual. Learn how your genes impact this medication. (Member's only article)

CYP2C9: Breaking down prescription medications

Have you ever wondered why certain medications don’t work well for you? Genetic variants can change how fast or how slow the medication is broken down in your body. Learn how the CYP2C9 variants impact quite a few prescription medications.

Why Allegra May Not Work Well for You

Ever wonder why a certain medication may work great for a friend and do nothing for you? One reason could be your genes involved in transporting the medication into and out of your cells. This article looks at the research studies on fexofenadine (Allegra) and the Multidrug Resistance Protein variants. (Members)

CYP3A4: Breaking down prescription meds

Our bodies break down (metabolize) drugs and other toxins through a group of enzymes known as the CYP450 family. Different CYP enzymes break down different substances, and we all carry genetic variants that can impact whether we metabolize a drug quickly or slowly. The CYP3A family of genes is involved in metabolizing about half of the drugs on the market today. Check your genes to see if you carry variants that impact the speed at which you metabolize medications.

CYP2C19 – Metabolizing medications

Several popular drugs such as Prilosec, Nexium, and Plavix are metabolized by the CYP2C19 enzyme. There are important genetic variants in the CYP2C19 gene that changes how fast or slowly these drugs are broken down. Learn how these variants might affect their efficacy. (Member's only article)

Statins and Muscle Pain: Genes that impact myopathy

Statins are one of the most prescribed medications in the world. One side effect of statins is myopathy, or muscle pain and weakness. Your genetic variants are important in whether you are likely to have side effects from statins.

Detoxifying Organophosphates

Is buying organic worth the extra cost? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to that question. Pesticides that are sprayed on conventionally grown foods affect people differently. Some people carry genetic variants that decrease their ability to detoxify specific pesticides, others may be more resilient….

CYP2D6: Major drug metabolism gene

The CYP2D6 enzyme is responsible for metabolizing about 25% of commonly used medications. There are several fairly common genetic variants in CYP2D6 that affect how quickly you will break down a drug.

CYP1A1: Impacting estrogen and cigarette smoking

This phase I detoxification gene is important in the breakdown of the hydrocarbons produced in smoke and air pollution. It also affects the metabolism of estrogen.

Glucuronidation: UGT genetic variants, phase II detoxification

The UGT family of enzymes are responsible for an important part of phase II detoxification. This article explains what the UGT enzymes do in the body, how your genes impact this part of detoxification, and lifestyle factors that can increase or decrease this detox process.

NRF2 Pathway: Getting Rid of Toxins

The Nrf2 (Nuclear factor erythroid 2–related factor) signaling pathway regulates the expression of antioxidants and phase II detoxification enzymes. This is a fundamental pathway that is important in how well your body functions. Your genetic variants in the NFE2L2 gene impact this NRF2 pathway.

Opioid Receptors: Genetic Variants That Impact Your Reactions to Opioid Medications

Your body’s reaction to opiates, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, depends on the opioid receptor. Genetic variants in OPRM1 (opioid receptor, mu 1) change your response to opioids. This can mean more pain, which leads to increased dosages… and an increased risk of opiate dependence.

Phthalates: Eliminating this Endocrine Disruptor

Phthalates are a type of chemical used as plasticizers to make plastics more pliable. There has been a lot of research on the endocrine-disrupting effects of phthalates. Your genetic variants may impact whether phthalates are a problem for you.

CYP1A2: More than just caffeine

The CYP1A2 gene breaks down caffeine, several major prescription drugs, and interacts with smoking. Learn how your genes influence caffeine metabolism and more.

Glyphosate: Interaction with Genetics

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide Round-Up. A recent study showed that people with CYP1A1 genetic variants are more likely to have problems with acetylcholinesterase inhibition from glyphosate.

NQO1: Detoxifying Benzene

The NQO1 gene codes for an important enzyme in phase II detoxification. This enzyme is responsible for metabolizing the cancer-causing benzene (e.g. from air pollution) and cigarette toxins. Learn more and check your genes.

SOD1: Intracellular antioxidant

Our body has built-in antioxidants that fight against cellular stress. The superoxide dismutase enzyme fights against oxidative stress in your cells. 

Neonicotinoid Pesticide Detoxification Genes

Is buying organic worth the extra cost? Pesticides that are sprayed on conventionally grown foods affect people differently. Some people carry genetic variants that decrease their ability to detoxify specific pesticides, others may be more resilient. (Members)

CYP2C8: A Phase I Detoxification Gene

The CYP2C8 gene is important in the metabolism of several chemotherapy drugs (e.g. Taxol) as well as playing a role in the metabolism of NSAIDs. Genetic variants that alter the way that this enzyme works can impact your reaction to a medication.

Genetics and Your Response to Cannabis

Your body has an endocannabinoid system which involves your own naturally produced molecules that bind to the same receptors as the psychoactive component in cannabis. This article digs into the science of how cannabis affects your body and how your genes influence your reaction to cannabis.