Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) belong to an inhomogeneous group of chemical compounds called xenobiotics, the characteristic feature of which is the acting on the hormonal system of humans and animals. EDCs include both the compounds of anthropogenic origin, such as: pesticides, compounds used in the plastic industry, heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and naturally present in the environment mycotoxins and phytoestrogens. Owing to a broad range of the EDCs production, the human population is constantly exposed to them; their adverse effect on human health has been described in numerous publications. The primary pathway to cause the human exposure to EDCs is the consumption of contaminated food and water. After being introduced into the body, the EDCs affect not only the endocrinal system, but also the functioning of the intestinal microbiota, leading to dysbiosis and homeostasis dysfunctions of the host. On the other hand xenobiotics and their hepatic metabolites can undergo biotransformation reactions by intestinal microbiota that leads to changes in their properties, such as hormone balance, bioavailability and cytotoxicity. Moreover, the intestinal microbiota can modulate the expression of host genes that are responsible for the metabolism of xenobiotics. Therefore it is indispensable to understand the interactions between EDCs and intestinal microbiota in order to properly assess the safety level of those compounds in terms of human health.
endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), xenobiotics, intestinal microbiota, biotransformation