Mammalian systems have developed extensive molecular mechanisms to protect against the toxicity of many exogenous xenobiotic compounds. Interestingly, many detoxification enzymes, including cytochrome P450s and flavin-containing monooxygenases, and their associated transcriptional activators [e.g. the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)], have now been shown to have endogenous roles in normal physiology and the pathology of metabolic diseases. This mini-review will focus on two such instances: the role of flavin-containing monooxygenase 3 (FMO3) in the formation of the cardiometabolic disease biomarker trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) and the role of AhR as a sensor of endogenous ligands such as those generated by the gut microbiota. Understanding the roles of xenobiotic sensing pathways in endogenous metabolism will undoubtedly lead to a better understanding of how exposure to environmental pollutants can perturb these physiological processes.