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Known interactions

Food and alcohol.

Info about Calcium D-Glucarate

Scientific Name: Glucaric acid

Other Names: Calcium D-Glucarate, Calcium Glucarate, D-glucarate, D-glucaro-1,4-lactone

Who is this for?

Glucaric acid is a chemical made by the body and also consumed in foods. For dietary supplementation, it is combined with calcium to form calcium d-glucarate.

Because it is thought to hasten the elimination of potentially harmful substances from the body, glucaric acid has been promoted for preventing cancer. Calcium d-glucarate is known to decrease the amounts of an enzyme that is believed to be associated with certain cancers — particularly cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate. Additionally, glucaric acid interferes with the reabsorption of estrogen from the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, more estrogen is eliminated and less stays in the blood. High estrogen levels have also been associated with the development and growth of breast, colon, and prostate cancers. While studies conducted in laboratory animals seem to confirm these theories, few studies have been conducted in humans. Furthermore, the doses of glucaric acid given to laboratory animals were quite large; equivalent human doses may be impractical. More research is needed before glucaric acid can be recommended for the prevention or treatment of cancer.

Preliminary results from a few laboratory studies may associate taking glucaric acid with decreased cholesterol levels. In separate studies, kidney damage caused by certain antibiotics was prevented or limited in laboratory animals that had been given glucaric acid. The exact ways in which glucaric acid may produce these effects are not understood and both of these potential uses of glucaric acid require more study.

When should I be careful taking it?

Not enough is known about how glucaric acid or calcium d-glucarate might affect a developing baby or an infant, so it's use is not recommended while pregnant or breast-feeding.

What side effects should I watch for?

No side effects have been associated with using glucaric acid. Since few reliable studies of its use have been conducted in humans, however, it may have side effects that are not yet known. If you experience unexplained side effects while taking glucaric acid, you should stop taking it and tell your doctor or pharmacist about the side effects.

What interactions should I watch for?

Because it is broken down by certain enzymes in the liver, glucaric acid may possibly interfere with the use of prescription drugs that are processed by the same enzymes. Some of these drugs are:

  • diflunisal (Cataflam, Voltaren)
  • ketoprofen (Orudis, Oruvail)
  • lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Lamictal
  • morphine

In a research study, drinking alcohol seemed to increase the elimination of calcium d-glucarate from the body. Therefore, the effects of supplemental glucaric acid may be decreased or erased if alcohol is used at the same time.

Some interactions between herbal products and medications can be more severe than others. The best way for you to avoid harmful interactions is to tell your doctor and/or pharmacist what medications you are currently taking, including any over-the-counter products, vitamins, and herbals.

Should I take it?

Glucaric acid is a nutrient found in many fruits and vegetables. It is believed to help the body eliminate harmful substances and to reduce circulating levels of estrogen. Both these effects may help to protect against the development of breast, colon, and prostate cancers.

Dosage and Administration

As its calcium salt, calcium d-glucarate, glucaric acid is available in capsules and tablets. Although no recommendations for dosing are available in scientific literature, a commonly suggested dose for cancer prevention is 200 mg once a day or twice a day. To treat existing cancers, daily doses of 1,200 mg or higher reportedly have been taken without apparent side effects.

Summary

Glucaric acid and its salt, calcium d-glucarate may have some ability to protect against certain cancers by promoting the elimination of estrogen and potentially harmful substances produced in the body. It may also have some effectiveness in lowering cholesterol and reducing kidney damage caused by some antibiotic drugs.

Risks

Although no apparent risks are associated with taking glucaric acid, pregnant and breast-feeding women are advised to avoid it because so little is known about its possible effects.

Side Effects

No side effects have been attributed to taking glucaric acid.

Interactions

Glucaric acid may interact with drugs such as diflunisal, ketoprofen, lorazepam, and morphine that are processed by the same set of enzymes in the liver. Alcohol may decrease the effectiveness of glucaric acid.

References

Anon. Calcium-D-glucarate. Alternative Medicine Review. 2002;7(4):336-339.

Dwivedi C, Oredipe OA, Barth RF, Downie AA, Webb TE. Effects of the experimental chemopreventative agent, glucarate, on intestinal carcinogenesis in rats. Carcinogenesis. 1989;10(8):1539-1541.

Furuno K, Ando K, Suzuki S, Hirata K. Effect of D-Glucarates on basic antibiotic-induced renal damage in rats. Journal of Antibiotics. (Tokyo). 1976;29(2):187-194.

Hajos P, Berlin I, Intody Z, Tornyossy M, Kaldor A. The effect of oral contraceptives on serum lipids gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, and excretion of d-glucaric acid. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology. 1981;19(3):117-23.

HealthNotes, Inc. Calcium D-glucarate. 2002. Available at: http://www.mycustompak.com/healthNotes/Supp/Calcium_D-glucarate.htm Accessed September 23, 2003.

Heerdt AS, Young CW, Borgen PI. Calcium glucarate as a chemopreventive agent in breast cancer. Israeli Journal of Medical Science. 1995;31(2-3):101-105.

Herzberg M, Wiener MH. Increased D-glucaric acid excretion by jaundiced patients. Clinical Chemistry. 1978;24(10):1759-1761.

Jellin JM, Gregory P, Batz F, Hitchens K, et al, eds. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 3rd Edition. Stockton CA: Therapeutic Research Facility, 2000.

Singh J, Gupta KP. Calcium glucarate prevents tumor formation in mouse skin. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences. 2003;16(1):9-16.

Verbeeck R, Brunelle F, Meunier C, Lambert D. Drug glucuronidation. Research Themes. The School of Pharmacy Catholic University of Louvain. Brussels, Belgium. 1996. Available at: http://www.md.ucl.ac.be/pharma/plfarbio.doc. Accessed September 23, 2003.

Walaszek Z. Potential use of D-glucaric acid derivatives in cancer prevention. Cancer Letter. 1990;54(1-2):1-8.

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 Detection and Prevention. 1997;21(2):178-190.

Webb TE, Abou-Issa H, Stromberg PC, Curley RC Jr, Nguyen MH. Mechanism of growth inhibition of mammary carcinomas by glucarate and the glucarate: retinoid combination. Anticancer Research. 1993;13(6A):2095-2099.

Yoshimi N, Walaszek Z, Mori H, Hanausek M, Szemraj J, Slaga TJ. Inhibition of azoxymethane-induced rat colon carcinogenesis by potassium hydrogen D-glucarate. International Journal of Oncology. 2000;16(1):43-48.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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