phase I cytochrome P450 redox & hydrolysis enzymes (CYP1A family)

Enzymes involved:

  • CYP1A1 enhances activity
  • CYP1A2 inhibits activity
  • CYP2A-E important for metabolizing medications and neurologic toxins, and is induced by quercetin, broccoli, chicory, rosemary, garlic, and inhibited by tea, cruciferous vegetables, NAC, dandelion, MCT, chrysin
  • CYP3A enzymes are induced by rooibos, curcumin, garlic, fish oil, and inhibited by grapefruit, tea, quercetin, and is important for metabolizing hormones, aflatoxin B1. This family important for metabolizing 50% of all pharmaceuticals


  • Phase 1 important for metabolizing carcinogens, xenobiotics, steroid hormones, hydrocarbons, PCBs, and pharmaceuticals, making them hydrophilic


  • occurs in liver, intestine, kidney, lung, brain


  • can lead to oxidative damage due to ROS buildup (so need antioxidants)
  • low activity can increase cancer risk


  • I3C 500mg/day, resveratrol 1g/d, quercetin 500mg/d
  • Consume: tea, polyphenols, rooibos tea, celery, cruciferous vegetables, fish oil, garlic, rosemary, astaxanthin, chickory, pomegranate, walnuts, algae, curcumin/turmeric, carrot, dill, parsley, shellfish

phase II conjugation enzymes

Function: convert hydrophilic compounds to excretable salts in bile or urine

Enzymatic activities:

  • Glucuronidation- occurs in the liver and intestine; important for metabolizing medications. Induced by cruciferous vegetables, resveratrol, citrus, dandelion, rooibos tea, rosemary, soy, curcumin, astaxanthin. Glucuronic acid provided in bean sprouts, lentils, vegetables, fruits
    • Beta-glucuronidase is a bacterial enzyme which can be inhibited by polyphenols and berries and is promoted by animal fat
  • Sulfotransferases transfer a sulfuryl group to the substrate in the liver, intestine, adrenal, brain, skin.
    • The decreased function can lead to hormone deficiencies. Important for eliminating toxic substrates.
    • Induced by retinoic acid and caffeine, and inhibited by synthetic food dies, flavonoids, estrogens, B6
  • Glutathione transferase adds glutathione to a metabolite (intrinsic antioxidant activity). Induced by cruciferous vegetables, garlic, resveratrol, fish oil, curcumin, rosemary, ghee
    • Promoted by B6, magnesium, selenium, glycine, ALA, silymarin, artichoke, turmeric
  • Amino acid transferase
    • Adding amino acids to a substrate can promote excretion. AAs used include glycine, taurine, glutamine

  • Acetylation
    • Important for metabolizing aromatic hydrocarbons (pharmaceuticals). Enhanced by 500mg/day of quercetin
  • Methylation
    • SAMe provides a methionine group in a reaction catalyzed by methyltransferases (such as COMT- important for methylating estrogens).
    • Suppressed by simple carbs
    • Supported by Magnesium, SAMe, curcumin, Methyl B12, folic acid

Nrf2 signaling

  • Protects against ROS- related conditions assoc with chronic inflammation
  • Modulated by curcumin, broccoli, garlic, resveratrol, ginger, rosemary, pomegranate, astaxanthin
  • When activated, NRF2 dissociates from cytosolic protein KEAP1, and moves to the nucleus to bind to AREs assoc with phase 2 detox and antioxidant enzyme genes


  • Cysteine-rich protein that binds divalent cations (heavy metals)
  • Sequesters heavy metals, scavenges free radicals, inhibits NFKB
  • Promoted by phytonutrient-rich diets, zinc, quercetin, cordyceps

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