Elimination of persistent toxicants from the human body

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2011 Jan;30(1):3-18. doi: 10.1177/0960327110368417. Epub 2010 Apr 16.


There is compelling evidence that various chemical agents are important determinants of myriad health afflictions--several xenobiotics have the potential to disrupt reproductive, developmental, and neurological processes and some agents in common use have carcinogenic, epigenetic, endocrine-disrupting, and immune-altering action. Some toxicants appear to have biological effect at miniscule levels and certain chemical compounds are persistent and bioaccumulative within the human body. Despite escalating public health measures to preclude further exposures, many people throughout the world have already accrued a significant body burden of toxicants, placing them at potential health risk. As a result, increasing discussion is underway about possible interventions to facilitate elimination of persistent toxicants from the human organism in order to obviate health affliction and to potentially ameliorate chronic degenerative illness. An overview of the clinical aspects of detoxification is presented with discussion of established and emerging interventions for the elimination of persistent xenobiotics. Potential therapies to circumvent enterohepatic recirculation and a case report highlighting a clinical outcome associated with detoxification are also presented for consideration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotransformation
  • Body Burden
  • Enterohepatic Circulation
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Xenobiotics / pharmacokinetics*
  • Xenobiotics / toxicity*


  • Xenobiotics