On to phase 2 liver detox, referred to as conjugation which means “to join together.” Toxins from phase 1 are joined with molecules to make them more water-soluble; this makes the toxins less reactive and destructive in the body. Once the toxins are dealt with in phase 2, they can leave the liver and enter the blood or bile ducts to be removed from the body. If the bile ducts are congested, the toxins are often reabsorbed into the bloodstream.
It’s important that Phase 2 is keeping up with the rate of Phase 1 because Oxidation produces intermediates even more toxic than when they entered. Therefore, Phase 2 needs to be efficient to decrease damage done to the body. There are six pathways in Phase 2 that take the metabolites from Phase 1 out of your body through your bile, urine, and stool.
Glutathione conjugation: glutathione helps to convert fat-soluble toxins (mercury, lead, pesticides, solvents) into water-soluble toxins to be excreted through the kidneys. Glutathione is also an antioxidant that protects against free-radical damage- produced in phase 1.
Amino Acid conjugation: the body uses AA’s such as glycine, taurine, glutamine, arginine, and ornithine to attach to toxin molecules and excrete them. Glycine binds with benzoate (a common food preservative) to remove it from the body.
Methylation: most methyl groups come from S-adenosyl-methionine (SamE) which is synthesized from the amino acid methionine. SamE helps to inactive estrogen which works to prevent stagnant or sluggish bile. It helps to detoxify histamines in the body, as well as homocysteine, and arsenic.
Sulfonation: this step detoxifies acetaminophen, carcinogens, steroid hormones (estrogen) and thyroid hormones. Toxins that are processed in this pathway are often excreted through urine.
Acetylation: Sulfa drugs are eliminated in this step through the use of acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA). Cigarette smoke, car exhaust, histamine, and caffeine are also detoxed in this route.
Glucuronidation: Many prescription drugs are dealt with here, as well as aspirin, menthol, BPA, and hormones. Products of this pathway are often excreted through your bile.