Role of Metabolism in the Bioactivation/Detoxification of Food Contaminants
Various compounds of either natural or synthetic origin mimic or interfere with the biological activity of hormones. Whereas some of these compounds are deactivated by their metabolism, others, such as the isoflavone daidzein, the pesticides vinclozolin and methoxychlor, the polychlorinated biphenyls and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers require metabolic activation prior to exhibiting endocrine disrupting effects. This chapter describes the metabolic pathways of several endocrine disruptors and indicates the role of these pathways in the bioactivation/detoxification of these compounds, resulting in increases or decreases in hormonal activity. It focuses not only on the interactions of metabolites with various nuclear receptors, but also with the effects of biotransformation products on steroidogenesis and hormone metabolism.