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Metabolism: processes by which a particular substance is handled in the body. Chemical transformation of foreign chemicals (xenobiotics) occurs especially in the liver, but to some extent in all tissues. Usually the main purpose is to transform the chemicals to a more water-soluble form so that they can be excreted via urine or faeces. Often this drug or xenobiotic metabolism occurs in two steps, in the first phase usually oxidative enzymes (often CYP-enzymes) attach a "handle", a suitable group such as hydroxyl, to the chemical, and secondly a water-soluble molecule (such as a sugar or amino acid) is tied to this handle to increase water-solubility. Often the metabolised products are less toxic, but in occasional cases metabolism may increase toxicity.
- Tuomisto, Vartiainen, Tuomisto: Dioxin synopsis. Report / National Institute for Health and Welfare, ISSN 1798-0089 ; 14/2011