Absorption, Metabolism, and Excretion of Foreign Compounds

  • Chang-Hwei Chen


Foreign compounds that humans ingest or inhale can be classified into two categories, hydrophiles (soluble in water) and lipophiles (soluble in lipid medium), basing on their solubilities in water. Membrane lipid bilayers serve as physical barriers for xenobiotics transporting across cell membranes. Transport mechanism for hydrophilic compounds is distinctive from lipophilic substances. Xenobiotics are transported across cell membranes through mechanisms such as passive diffusion, facilitated diffusion, and active transport. Metabolic pathways consist of activation metabolism and detoxification metabolism. Metabolites are transported to external cell compartments before excretion from the body by renal, hepatic and skin.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chang-Hwei Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Health and the Environment and Department of Biomedical SciencesUniversity at Albany, State University of New York, 5 University PlaceRensselaerUSA

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