The 6 Detoxification Organs and Systems of the Human Body

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There are 6 main detoxification organs or systems in the human body:

  • Liver (processes and packages toxins) (70% of detoxification)
  • Lungs (gas exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide)
  • Gastrointestinal Tract (excretes waste)
  • Skin (sweat)
  • Kidneys (urination)
  • Endothelial cells of the blood brain barrier (protects brain from neurotoxins)

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Biotransformation enzymes exist in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum, cystosol (intracellular fluid) and to a lesser degree in the membranes of the mitochondria, nuclei and lysosomes (small spherical organelles) of the liver’s hepatocytes.

The kidneys and lungs are the next major biotransformation sites, but only at 10 – 30% of the livers capacity.

The skin, nasal mucosa and intestinal mucosa also have some biotransformation capacity.

Other sites of detoxification metabolism include epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, kidneys, and the skin. These sites are usually responsible for localized toxicity reactions.

Once an unwanted compound has been completely bio-transformed and removed from the cell, it will then be eliminated from the body via – kidneys, bowels, breath, sweat, saliva or hair – completing the detoxification process.


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