CYP1B1 is an important detox enzyme that helps combat oxidative stress. This enzyme is also important for eye development. Mutations in the CYP1B1 gene are associated with congenital glaucoma. On the other hand, lower activity of this enzyme may be protective against obesity and cancer, by regulating the levels of steroid hormones in our bodies. Learn more about this enzyme and factors that can increase or decrease its activity.
What is CYP1B1?
The enzyme CYP1B1 is one of the cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs). These are enzymes that eliminate most of the drugs and toxins from the human body .
This enzyme metabolizes:
- steroid hormones , including estrogens [3, 4]. CYP1B1 is also responsible for the final steps in the production of cortisol and aldosterone .
- fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins [2, 6].
- melatonin .
- retinol and dietary plant flavonoids .
- polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), biphenyls, N-heterocyclic amines, arylamines, aminoazo dyes, and other cancer-causing and toxic environmental chemicals [8, 2].
- CYP1B1 metabolizes few, if any, clinical drugs .
This enzyme is found in the liver, but also in various other tissues including fat, skin, breast gland, prostate, heart, blood vessels, kidney, thymus/marrow and immune cells, breast, uterus, brain, and eyes [6, 2, 7, 8, 9].
CYP1B1 The Good
This enzyme can protect from cancer. CYP1B1 deficient mice have more lung tumors .
Finally, CYP1B1 supposedly activates salvestrols, compounds found in vegetables, fruits, and herbs, that then help fight cancer. However, there are no scientific studies backing these claims.
CYP1B1 The Bad
This enzyme is produced by fat tissue, and it helps increase fat uptake .
CYP1B1 Gene Polymorphism
This variant is also known as Ala119Ser.
rs1056827 T is the more active variant of the enzyme .
This variant (T) correlates with urinary bladder cancer (492 subjects) , higher risk of prostate cancer (meta-analysis, 34 studies, 17,796 cases, and 19,891 controls)  and breast cancer (same meta-analysis, 17,796 cases, and 19,891 controls) .
rs1056836 is also known as Leu432Val.
G increases susceptibility to hepatocellular carcinoma (983 subjects) , multiple myeloma (1061 subjects) , lung cancer (meta-analysis, 22 studies, 2881 cases, and 3653 controls) , and endometrial cancer, but lowers the risk of ovarian cancer (meta-analysis, 115 studies, 54,124 cases, and 62,932 controls)  and prostate cancer (1387 subjects) .
Having two C variants (C/C) increases bloating, facial hair, palpitations, and involuntary urination in premenopausal women. Also, C/C increases the experience of nausea, bloated stomach, facial hair, and vaginal dryness in peri- and postmenopausal women. Carriers of C/C or C/G were approximately five times more likely to suffer from vaginal dryness than the G/G women (299 women) .
G was associated with shorter average telomere length in postmenopausal women taking hormonal therapy (259 subjects) . Short telomere length is associated with premature aging and age-related disease.
This snip is also known as Asn453Ser.
Increasing or Decreasing CYP1B1
These increase CYP1B1:
- Diesel exhaust particles (DEP) .
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), found in cannabis .
- UV exposure .
- Biotin supplementation .
These decrease CYP1B1:
- St. John’s wort .
- Apigenin .
- Ginseng .
- Lycopene, a red pigment found in tomatoes, carrots, and watermelon .
- Chrysoeriol, present in rooibos tea and celery .
- Naringenin, found in grapefruit juice .
- Zyflamend, a polyherbal formulation produced from the extracts of ten common herbs (rosemary, turmeric, ginger, holy basil, green tea, hu zhang, Chinese goldthread, barberry, oregano, and Baikal skullcap) .
- Quercetin .