Detoxification:  Connection with Nutrition

Here are just a few of the many citations that show the links between the detoxification and nutritional systems.  My goal is to flesh out the entire site with this next layer of connections. 

Int J Toxicol. 2002 Sep-Oct;21(5):419-24.
Can nutrition affect chemical toxicity?

Furst A.

University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA; and GNLD, International, Fremont, California, USA.

Universally, the general population is exposed to a variety of "toxic" substances. Some of these are from manufactured goods and some from air and water pollution. Toxins are also normally found in many foods; however, unless the exposure is overwhelming, we are many times (even unknowingly) protected by the foods we eat. A judicious choice of food will counteract noxious agents. Therefore, the diet can be a major factor in determining who does and who does not show toxic symptoms following exposure. This review will cover three aspects. The first will be on protectors against metal toxicity. For example, whereas humans can consume fish that have absorbed mercury from contaminated bay water, selenium can act as a natural antagonist for mercury poisoning. (Naturally, too much selenium itself can be detrimental!) Some vegetables can accumulate cadmium from contaminated soil, and zinc from a variety of nuts is an antagonist of cadmium toxicity. Nitrites in preserved meats can be converted into nitroamines by saliva or mild stomach acid. Vitamin C found in oranges and bell peppers can inhibit that conversion. In addition, calcium antagonizes both lead and aluminum toxicity. The second aspect is on oxidants and antioxidants. Oxidative stress can lead to some cancers, atherosclerosis, and adverse effects of aging. Antioxidants are the best protectors of the damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS). The most effective antioxidants are found in highly colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, and berries, called carotenoids. Flavonoids (polyphenols), another class of effective antioxidants that negate ROS, may or may not be colored. The third aspect is on gaps in current knowledge. Many foods naturally contain chemicals that are, in larger concentrations, quite toxic or carcinogenic. Biotransformations (detoxification mechanisms) involving type I and type II enzymes are known. Some foods do modify these enzymes either positively or negatively. Grapefruit contains a substance that inhibits an isoform of P450, making some cardiac drugs, as substrates, more toxic. There is inadequate information on what specific components are in a variety of foods that are associated with cancer prevention. The experimental carcinogenic compound (and suspected as a human carcinogen) found in overcooked, burnt, and fried meats and fish, namely IQ (2-amino-3-methyl-3H-imidazo[4,5f]quinoline, will be used as a prototype for what needs to be known about foods that will affect toxins.

Publication Types:

PMID: 12396688 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Int J Toxicol. 2002 Sep-Oct;21(5):419-24.



Detoxification:  Connections with hormones:

J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2004 Jan-Feb;7(1):1-24.Toxicological characteristics of endocrine-disrupting chemicals: developmental toxicity, carcinogenicity, and mutagenicity.

Choi SM, Yoo SD, Lee BM.

Division of Toxicology/Pharmacokinetics, College of Pharmacy, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Kyonggi-do, South Korea.

It is generally accepted that endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) play a role in a variety of adverse health effects in an intact organism or its progeny as a consequence of changes in the endocrine system. Primary toxic effects of EDCs were reported to be related to infertility, reduction in sperm count, and teratogenicity, but other important toxic effects of EDCs such as carcinogenicity and mutagenicity have also been demonstrated. The aim of the present study was to systematically analyze the toxicological characteristics of EDCs in pesticides, industrial chemicals, and metals. A comprehensive literature survey on the 48 EDCs classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was conducted using a number of databases which included Medline, Toxline, and Toxnet. The survey results revealed that toxicological characteristics of EDCs were shown to produce developmental toxicity (81%), carcinogenicity (79%, when positive in at least one animal species; 48%, when classified based on IARC evaluation), mutagenicity (79%), immunotoxicity (52%), and neurotoxicity (50%). Regarding the hormone-modulating effects of the 48 EDCs, estrogenic effects were the most predominant in pesticides, while effects on thyroid hormone were found for heavy metals. EDCs showing estrogen-modulating effects were closely related to carcinogenicity or mutagenicity with a high degree of sensitivity. Systematic information on the toxicological characteristics of the EDCs will be useful for future research directions on EDCs, the development of new screening methods, legal regulation, and for investigations of their mechanism of action.

Publication Types:

PMID: 14681080 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Toxins and the Immune System

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2004 Jul 15;198(2):86-94.

Developmental immunotoxicology of lead.

Dietert RR, Lee JE, Hussain I, Piepenbrink M.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.

The heavy metal, lead, is a known developmental immunotoxicant that has been shown to produce immune alterations in humans as well as other species. Unlike many compounds that exert adverse immune effects, lead exposure at low to moderate levels does not produce widespread loss of immune cells. In contrast, changes resulting from lead exposure are subtle at the immune cell population level but, nevertheless, can be functionally dramatic. A hallmark of lead-induced immunotoxicity is a pronounced shift in the balance in T helper cell function toward T helper 2 responses at the expense of T helper 1 functions. This bias alters the nature and range of immune responses that can be produced thereby influencing host susceptibility to various diseases. Immunotoxic responses to lead appear to differ across life stages not only quantitatively with regard to dose response, but also qualitatively in terms of the spectrum of immune alterations. Experimental studies in several lab animal species suggest the latter stages of gestation are a period of considerable sensitivity for lead-induced immunotoxicity. This review describes the basic characteristics of lead-induced immunotoxicity emphasizing experimental animal results. It also provides a framework for the consideration of toxicant exposure effects across life stages. The existence of and probable basis for developmental windows of immune hyper-susceptibility are presented. Finally, the potential for lead to serve as a perinatal risk factor for childhood asthma as well as other diseases is considered.

Publication Types:

PMID: 15236947 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]