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Functional Endocrinology: Hepatic Biotransformation & Hormone Balance

Biotransformation is the process of a substance changes from one chemical to another being transformed by a chemical reaction within the body. In the human body though, biotransformation is the process of rendering nonpolar (fat-soluble) compounds to polar (water-soluble) substances so they can be excreted in urine, feces, and sweat. It also serves as an important defense mechanism in the body to eliminate toxic xenobiotics out of the body through the liver. The liver is the one that takes these toxins and transformed them into suitable compounds to excrete out of the body as biotransformation.

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Detoxification is also known as “detoxication” in literature. It is also a type of alternative medicine treatment that aims the body to get rid of unspecified “toxins.” It is highly important for a person to detox their body and with biotransformation, it can be classified into two categories, under normal sequences, which tends to react with a xenobiotic. They are called Phase 1 and Phase 2 reactions that help the body with detoxification.

Phase 1 Reactions

Phase 1 reaction is consisting of oxidation-reduction and hydrolysis. Research shows that Phase 1 is generally the first defense employed by the body to biotransform xenobiotics, steroid hormones, and pharmaceuticals. They create CYP450 (cytochrome P450) enzymes and are described as functionalization microsomal membrane-bound that are located in the liver but can also be in enterocytes, kidney, lungs and the brain in the body. The CYP450 enzymes can be beneficial or have consequences for an individual’s response to the effect of a toxin they are exposed to.


Studies have been shown that phase 1 reactions have been affecting the elderly population. It states that hepatic phase 1 reaction involving oxidation, hydrolysis, and reduction appears to be more altered by age since the elderly population comprises the fastest-growing segment of the world’s population. It also states that there is a predictable, age-related decline in cytochrome P-540 function and combined with the polypharmacy that much of the elderly population experiences, this may lead to a toxic reaction of medication.

Phase 2 Reaction

Phase 2 reaction is part of the cellular biotransformation machinery and is a conjugation reaction in the body. They can involve the transfer of a number of hydrophilic compounds to enhanced the metabolites, and the excretion in the bile or urine in the body. The enzymes in Phase 2 reaction can also comprise multiple proteins and subfamilies to play an essential role in eliminating the biotransformed toxins and metabolizing steroid hormones and bilirubin in the body.

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Phase 2 enzymes can function not only in the liver but also in other tissues like the small intestines. When it combined with Phase 1, they can help the body naturally detox the toxins that the body may encounter. Hormones, toxins, and drugs undergo a hepatic transformation by Phase 1 and Phase 2 pathways in the liver, then are eliminated by phase 3 pathways.


Xenobiotics has been defined as chemicals that undergo metabolism and detoxication to produce numerous metabolites, some of which have the potential to cause unintended effects such as toxicity. They can also block the action of enzymes or receptors used for endogenous metabolism and produce liver damage to a person. Xenobiotics like drugs, chemotherapy, food additives, and environmental pollutants can generate serval free radicals that lead to an increase of oxidative stress in the cells. Accumulation of oxidative stress in the body can lead to an increase in potential cellular reduction in the body.

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Research shows that the body has a major challenge when it is detoxifying xenobiotics out of the body system and the body must be able to remove the almost-limitless number of the xenobiotic compounds from the complex mixture of chemicals that are involved in normal metabolism.

Studies even show that if the body doesn’t have a normal metabolism, many xenobiotics would reach toxic concentrations. It can even reach the respiratory tract either through airborne toxins or the bloodstream. It is important to make sure that the body and especially the liver to be healthy. Since the liver is the largest internal organ, it is responsible for detoxifying the toxins out of the body as urine, bile, and sweat.


Biotransformation is the process of substance changes from one chemical to another. In the body, it is a process of rendering fat-soluble compounds to water-soluble compounds, so it can be excreted out of the body as either urine, feces, or sweat. The liver is the one that causes toxic xenobiotics to transform into biotransformation and going through phase 1 and 2 to excrete the toxins out of the body for a healthy function.

Phase 1 reactions in the body are the first line of defense of the body detoxifying itself. Phase 2 creates CYP450 (cytochrome P450) that helps the body take the xenobiotic toxins and oxidates to reduce and hydrolysis the toxins to metabolites. Those metabolites then transform into Phase 2 reactions, which conjugates the metabolites in the body to be excreted out of the body. There are many factors that can make the body have xenobiotics, but the liver is the main organ to detoxify the xenobiotics out of the system. If there is an abundance of xenobiotics in the body, it can cause toxicity reaction causing the body to develop chronic illnesses. These products are known to help support the intestines and liver detoxication as well as, to help support hepatic detoxication for optimal healthy body function.

October is Chiropractic Health Month. To learn more about it, check out Governor Abbott’s bill on our website to get full details.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal and nervous health issues as well as functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or chronic disorders of the musculoskeletal system. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .


Chang, Jyh-Lurn, et al. “UGT1A1 Polymorphism Is Associated with Serum Bilirubin Concentrations in a Randomized, Controlled, Fruit and Vegetable Feeding Trial.” The Journal of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2007,

Croom, Edward. “Metabolism of Xenobiotics of Human Environments.” Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2012,

Hindawi, Unknown. “Xenobiotics, Oxidative Stress, and Antioxidants.” Xenobiotics, Oxidative Stress, and Antioxidants, 17 Nov. 2017,

Hodges, Romilly E, and Deanna M Minich. “Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application.” Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2015,

Kaye, Alan D, et al. “Pain Management in the Elderly Population: a Review.” The Ochsner Journal, The Academic Division of Ochsner Clinic Foundation, 2010,

M.Haschek, Wanda, et al. “Respiratory System.” ScienceDirect, Academic Press, 17 Dec. 2009,

panelEdwardCroom, Author links open overlay, et al. “Metabolism of Xenobiotics of Human Environments.” ScienceDirect, Academic Press, 11 Sept. 2012,

Sodano, Wayne, and Ron Grisanti. “The Physiology and Biochemistry of Biotransformation/Detoxification.” Functional Medicine University, 2010.

Unknown, Unknown. “ToxTutor - Introduction to Biotransformation.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 2017,

Zhang, Yuesheng. “Phase II Enzymes.” SpringerLink, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 1 Jan. 1970,

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The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN* email: phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*