Detoxication Mechanisms and the Role of Nutrition

  • G. Gordon Gibson

Abstract

Humans living in a highly industrialized society are increasingly exposed to many environmental chemical pollutants deliberately or accidentally introduced into the biosphere. Approximately 65,000 chemicals are in use today. This includes about 1500 active ingredients of pesticides, drugs, and food additives. Although many of these chemicals represent little danger to public health, the scientific community has become increasingly concerned about the adverse health effects of widespread chemical pollution. This awareness has stimulated much research into the exposure, metabolism, and toxicity of chemical pollutants. This chapter discusses one aspect of the bodily defense against pollutant exposure—detoxication mechanisms, with particular emphasis on their relationship to nutrition. The discussion focuses on several key environmental chemicals (Table 9–1) that represent a problem because of their ubiquitous environmental disposition, their potential toxicity, or their long persistence within the body.

Keywords

Mercury Benzene Chlorinate Smoke Styrene 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Gordon Gibson

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