An overview of PST (Phenol-sulfotransferase) enzyme

This little known enzyme repeatedly comes back to my awareness. I discovered a couple of years back that it’s most likely responsible for making my face red when I have my morning coffee.

PST is a phase II detoxification enzyme. Phase II detoxification is when the liver uses one of two major enzyme pathways to change a toxic substance, into a less toxic substance that’s easier for the body to excrete. The PST enzyme can detoxify hormones and other toxic molecules, such as phenols and amines as well as food dyes and chemicals.

The PST enzyme links the oxidised sulphur molecule (a sulphate) to various toxic substances in the body to solubilise them so they can be disposed of via the kidneys. 

This metabolic disorder known a PST deficiency was brought to light in the 90’s by Dr Rosemary Waring when she was researching autistic children. Similar sulphate deficiencies have also been reported in people with migraine and rheumatoid arthritis. Her body of work is very comprehensive and worth a read for those looking to gain a deeper understanding. 

This is a snap shot of the foods and supplements which inhibit this enzyme:

Quercetin or other flavonoids 
B6 (you can take with magnesium to mitigate its inhibition)

Another common cause of sulfation inhibition is swimming in chlorinated water. Chlorine is a biological agent that blocks sulfation and is known to inhibit the formation of new blood cells (hematopoiesis).

So if you’ve ever had an issue with any of the above it’s worth considering PST enzyme deficiency. I personally have never responded favourably to quercetin. I also had a hard time using a product called ASEA which although marketed as sodium chloride actually goes through a process of electrolysis. If you’ve ever tried a bottle of this stuff it does taste like bleach which leads me to wonder about it’s impact on the PST enzyme. 

One of the best things you can do to support this enzyme is bath in Epsom salts. Having an Epsom salt bath has been shown to increase the sulphur content of blood up to four times. It’s this sulphur that is key in supporting this enzyme deficiency.