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Calcium-D-Glucarate

What Should I Know About It?

By

Updated June 10, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Calcium D-glucarate is a substance made up of calcium and glucaric acid (a chemical compound found naturally in the human body and in a number of fruits and vegetables). Available in dietary supplement form, calcium D-glucarate is said to offer a variety of health benefits, including prevention of cancer.

Why Do People Use Calcium-D-Glucarate?

Calcium D-glucarate is often touted as a natural solution for the prevention of certain types of cancer. Because calcium D-glucarate is thought to decrease the body's levels of the hormone estrogen, proponents claim that taking calcium D-glucarate can help a number of fight hormone-dependent cancers (such as cancer of the breast, prostate, and colon).

In addition, calcium D-glucarate is said to aid in detoxification.

Benefits of Calcium D-Glucarate

So far, most of the findings on the health effects of calcium D-glucarate come from laboratory research and animal-based studies. Although there is currently a lack of clinical trials testing the use of calcium D-glucarate in treatment of any health condition, preliminary research suggests that calcium D-glucarate shows promise as an anti-cancer agent.

In a 2002 report published in Alternative Medicine Review, for instance, investigators analyzed the available research on calcium D-glucarate and found that it may inhibit beta-glucuronidase (an enzyme associated with increased risk for various hormone-dependent cancers when it occurs at elevated levels).

In addition, a 2007 study published in Oncology Letters determined that calcium D-glucarate may help fight lung cancer. In tests on mice, researchers found that calcium D-glucarate helped inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors in the lungs by curbing inflammation and inducing apoptosis (a type of programmed cell death essential for stopping the proliferation of cancer cells).

There's also some evidence that calcium D-glucarate may protect against skin cancer. For example, a 2007 study published in the Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology, and Oncology found that treating mice with calcium D-glucarate helped suppress the development of skin cancer by inducing apoptosis.

Other Sources of Calcium and Glucaric Acid

You can increase your intake of both calcium and glucaric acid by including certain foods in your diet. For instance, foods rich in calcium include dark green leafy vegetables, dairy products, and calcium-fortified cereals and soy products. Meanwhile, glucaric acid is available in the following foods:

  • apples
  • broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • cabbage
  • kale
  • oranges
  • squash

According to a 2003 report published in Integrative Cancer Therapies, consumption of fruits and vegetables naturally rich in glucaric acid "offers a promising cancer prevention approach." The report's authors note that glucaric acid may help protect against cancer by inhibiting beta-glucuronidase.

Safety

Although little is known about the safety of long-term use of calcium D-glucarate, there's some concern that taking calcium D-glucarate in combination with certain medications may reduce the medications' effectiveness. These medications include atorvastatin (Lipitor), lorazepam (Ativan), and acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Where To Find Calcium D-Glucarate

Widely available for purchase online, calcium D-glucarate is sold in many natural-foods stores, drugstores, and stores specializing in dietary supplements.

Sources

"Calcium-D-glucarate." Altern Med Rev. 2002 Aug;7(4):336-9.

Hanausek M, Walaszek Z, Slaga TJ. "Detoxifying cancer causing agents to prevent cancer." Integr Cancer Ther. 2003 Jun;2(2):139-44.

Singh J, Gupta KP. "Induction of apoptosis by calcium D-glucarate in 7,12-dimethyl benz [a] anthracene-exposed mouse skin." J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 2007;26(1):63-73.

Walaszek Z, Szemraj J, Narog M, Adams AK, Kilgore J, Sherman U, Hanausek M. "Metabolism, uptake, and excretion of a D-glucaric acid salt and its potential use in cancer prevention." Cancer Detect Prev. 1997;21(2):178-90.

Zoltaszek R, Kowalczyk P, Kowalczyk MC, Hanausek M, Kilianska ZM, Slaga TJ, Walaszek Z. "Dietary D-glucarate effects on the biomarkers of inflammation during early post-initiation stages of benzo[a]pyrene-induced lung tumorigenesis in A/J mice." Oncol Lett. 2011 Jan;2(1):145-154.

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