To better understand the interactions of the pathways of activation and detoxification on the metabolism of the putative carcinogen, PhIP, we administered a dose of 70-84 microg [2-14C] PhIP (17.5 [microCi 14C) 48-72 h before scheduled colon surgery. Blood and urine collected for the next 48-72 h was evaluated by linear accelerator mass spectroscopy (AMS) and scintillation counting LC-MS to identify specific PhIP metabolites. The thermostable phenol sulfotransferase (SULT1A1) phenotype was correlated with the 4'-PhIP-SO4 levels in the urine at 0-4 h (R = 0.86, P = 0.059). The CYP1A2 activity had a negative correlation with PhIP serum levels at 1 h (R = 0.94, P = 0.06) and a positive correlation with urine N-OH-PhIP levels at 0-4 h (R = 0.85, P = 0.15). This low level radioisotope method of determining the influence of phenotype on metabolism will significantly improve our understanding of the interrelationships of these pathways and provide a critical foundation for the development of individual risk assessment.