Encyclopedia of Systems Biology

2013 Edition
| Editors: Werner Dubitzky, Olaf Wolkenhauer, Kwang-Hyun Cho, Hiroki Yokota


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-9863-7_863



Xenobiotics have a very broad definition as substances foreign to a given organism. However, most often the term “xenobiotic” is used in the context of pollutants, drugs, and other substances that are not normally produced or expected to be found in the organism. It is important to note that antibiotics are xenobiotics for humans but not for bacteria, similarly, human hormones can be considered as xenobiotics for fish and bacteria. On the same count, normal diet is not considered xenobiotic, though in some cases such as broiled fish or burnt bread, potential carcinogens are generated during food processing.


Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Center for Biomedical Research, University of DelhiDelhiIndia