Detoxication, Excretion, and Physiologic Homeostasis
Animals develop both specific and nonspecific defenses following exposure to toxic materials, including metals and their compounds as well as natural toxins and organic toxicants. Psychic instinct and past painful reactions to these toxicants guide the animals to avoid reexposure to some toxic materials. Following oral ingestion, animals may expel toxicants by expectoration, vomiting, or purgation, which are primary physiologic responses to toxicants. If toxicants gain entry into their tissues and cells, animals attempt to detoxify these life-endangering substances by gene-controlled, special metabolic processes. Detoxication is the biochemical process of transforming a harmful substance into a less harmful substance. Such special metabolic processes are dormant in all species of animals and are activated immediately on exposure. When animals are exposed to a toxicant for the first time, the metabolic processes of detoxication are induced. If the chemical and biologic properties of the toxicants are similar to those of an essential metal, homeostatic mechanisms for essential nutrients are utilized in detoxication.
KeywordsMucosal Cell Reticuloendothelial System Hippuric Acid Essential Metal Silver Sulfide
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