The Benefits of Calcium D-Glucarate

Dr. Jolene BrightenPublished: Last Reviewed: Estrogen Dominance Leave a Comment

If you struggle with PMS, painful breasts, or difficult periods, calcium d-glucarate is a supplement you’ll want to know about. Calcium D-glucarate helps the body safely remove excess hormones, supports detoxification, and may be protective against certain cancers.

Calcium D-glucarate is a supplemental form of glucaric acid, an important naturally occurring chemical that helps remove toxins and unneeded hormones from the body.

In this article, we’ll dive into what calcium D-glucarate is, how it works in the detoxification process, and how it may help optimize hormone levels.

We’ll also cover possible side effects, drug interactions, and a few bonus health benefits of calcium D-glucarate.

What Is Calcium D-glucarate?

Calcium D-glucarate is a supplement that is made by combining calcium and d-glucaric acid.

Glucaric acid is a naturally occurring substance that is produced by our body, in small amounts, and aids our body’s detoxification of environmental toxins, hormones (like estrogen), cancer causing agents, and metabolic waste generated within the body.

While you make a small amount of glucaric acid, you also consume it in your diet. Glucaric acid is found in the highest amount in apples, oranges, and cruciferous vegetables (think broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage).

In supplement form, calcium and glucaric acid are combined to stabilize the glucaric acid in supplement form. Once calcium D-glucarate enters your stomach it is metabolized to calcium and glucaric acid. Glucaric acid is the active ingredient in this supplement, which means it is the ingredient that provides the most benefit for your hormones. 

Is Calcium D-Glucarate a Good Source of Calcium?

Calcium D-glucarate does contain about 9% calcium, which is not a substantial amount and will not replace the need for dietary calcium or a calcium supplement. Calcium citrate and calcium glycinate are better forms of calcium to supplement with for bone, nervous system, cardiovascular, and muscle health.

The Health Benefits Of Calcium D-glucarate

Oral calcium d-glucarate supplementation has been shown to prevent the body from reabsorbing and recycling hormones and harmful environmental toxins. It does this by supporting increased glucuronidation (phase 2 liver detoxification) and inhibiting beta-glucuronidase, which facilitate the secretion of potentially harmful compounds and hormones. More on all of this soon.

Calcium D-glucarate is regarded as a key nutrient for optimizing hormonal health, which is why we’ve included it in our Balance Women’s Hormone Support Supplement. This is because it supports liver metabolism and may inhibit beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that is associated with higher rates of hormone related cancers.

Health benefits of calcium D-glucarate include:

  • Supports liver detoxification
  • May reduce estrogen levels
  • Potentially inhibits some types of cancer
  • Helps maintain already healthy cholesterol levels

Let’s explore how calcium D-glucarate may benefit your health.

How Calcium D-Glucarate Supports Liver Detoxification

Calcium D-glucarate plays an important role in elimination of the products the liver has prepared for excretion. To understand how calcium D-glucarate benefits your hormones we need to get a little nerdy with liver metabolism. Stick with me because liver health is everything in having awesome hormones.

There are two steps in the liver to process chemicals that need to be excreted by the body. These are referred to as Phase 1 and Phase 2 liver detox. Following the first phase of detoxification harmful metabolites can be produced (sometimes more harmful than what they initially were), which requires phase 2 detoxification to prepare them for elimination by the gut and kidneys. Hormones, medications, metabolic byproducts, neurotransmitters, and various toxins are neutralized via phase II liver detoxification through a process called glucuronidation.

Glucuronidation takes toxins and binds (conjugates) them to a substance called glucuronic acid (not glucaric acid – this comes into the picture later). This bound toxin is then excreted in bile to leave through a bowel movement or will be eliminated via the kidneys in the urine.

Conjugation enables your body to transport endogenous (made in the body) and exogenous (taken into the body) waste without risk of it being reabsorbed. 

Enter beta-glucuronidase…

What is Beta-Glucuronidase?

Beta-glucuronidase is an enzyme produced by bacteria found in our gut (E. coli and anaerobes) that can inhibit the excretion of the products the liver has packaged up, including estrogen. This enzyme unbinds them so they are now available to be reabsorbed by the body. This is how poor gut health can lead to hormone imbalance. 

What Does Calcium D-glucarate Help Do to Beta-Glucuronidase?  

By inhibiting beta-glucuronidase activity, calcium D-glucarate may help prevent the increase in toxic metabolites and facilitate the elimination of estrogen by the body. Of the different metabolites of glucaric acid, calcium D-glucarate appears to have the longest inhibitory effect on beta-glucuronidase.

What Causes Elevated Beta-Glucuronidase?

Too much beta-glucuronidase can sabotage your body’s attempts at eliminating estrogen and other metabolites, but it isn’t all bad. It’s necessary for carbohydrate metabolism, which is why colonic bacteria produce it.

Elevations of beta-glucuronidase can be caused by diets high in fat and processed food, as well as those low in fiber. It may also be linked to smoking, alcohol, or sugar consumption. 

Antibiotic use is also associated with an increase in beta-glucuronidase, which makes sense given that antibiotics alter our gut flora and they are responsible for producing this enzyme. This is why addressing gut health is an essential piece of achieving optimal hormone health. Including a high quality probiotic as part of a diet rich in fiber and hormone supportive foods can help to shift the microbiome to a more favorable state. You can grab a free meal plan and recipe guide to help you get started here.

Breast, colon, and prostate cancer are all associated with a higher level of beta-glucuronidase.

Calcium D-glucarate and Estrogen Dominance

Excess estrogen and xenoestrogens are removed from the body by first being processed by the liver and packaged up via glucuronidation. After phase 2 liver detoxification it leaves the body through the bowels and kidneys.

It is during phase 2 detoxification that estrogen is bound to another molecule to make it less toxic to the body and prevent it from going back into circulation as it is transported for removal.

As estrogen makes its way through the bowels it can become unbound by beta-glucuronidase, which frees it to be reabsorbed by the body. Imbalances in gut flora can lead to higher levels of beta-glucuronidase and create problems in estrogen elimination. The result can be higher circulating levels of estrogen in the body leading to a state referred to as estrogen dominance.

Signs And Symptoms Of High Estrogen

If you experience any of the following, you may have an estrogen dominance:

You can learn more about estrogen dominance in my article What is Estrogen Dominance, and What to Do About It.

How Calcium D-glucarate Lowers And Removes Harmful Estrogens

Calcium D-glucarate inhibits the activity of beta-glucuronidase, allowing the processed estrogen to remain bound and excreted from the body.

Adding a hormone supporting supplement containing calcium D-glucarate to your routine may aid the removal of excess estrogen by supporting the detoxification process.

Does Calcium D-glucarate Help Hair Loss?

Hair loss can be caused for a variety of reasons and excess estrogen can be one of them. If this is the case, calcium D-glucarate may help assist your body with the removal of hormones responsible for hair loss.

Calcium D-glucarate can help with lowering androgens, like testosterone. If your hair loss is driven by testosterone, it would be worth looking into saw palmetto as an additional support. 

It’s important to test and understand exactly what is causing your hair loss to get the best treatment for it. You can learn more about hair loss in my article What Causes Hair Loss and How To Stop It.

How Calcium D-glucarate May Inhibit Some Cancers

While calcium D-glucarate shows some promise with regards to breast, colon, lung, skin, and prostate cancer, it is important to note that most studies are done on animals or within a lab. We need more robust research to understand the impact this may have. 

Prostate, Breast and Colon Cancers

Elevated beta-glucuronidase is associated with elevated cancer risk, especially those which are hormone dependent. These particular cancers are linked to excessive hormone levels. Using calcium D-glucarate to inhibit beta-glucuronidase’s activity may help reduce risk of these cancers by facilitating the removal of hormones and carcinogens

Oral supplementation has been shown to regulate estrogen metabolism through this mechanism.

Another possible mechanism by which calcium D-glucarate may inhibit colon cancer is through alterations in cholesterol metabolism.

Lung Cancer

In a 2007 mouse study published in Oncology Letters it was found that calcium D-glucarate supplementation halted lung tumor growth by inducing apoptosis (death of the cells) and reducing inflammation.

Skin Cancer

Calcium D-glucarate has also shown promise in fighting skin cancer in animal models. In a 2007 study published in the Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology, and Oncology it was found that supplementing with calcium D-glucarate inhibited the progression of skin cancer via apoptosis. 

Lowers Cholesterol 

Calcium D-glucarate has been shown to lower cholesterol in both animal and human models. “Preliminary results in humans show D-glucarate reduced total serum cholesterol up to 12 percent, LDLcholesterol up to 28 percent, and triglycerides up to 43 percent,” according to a report in Alternative Medicine Review. More studies are needed to understand the utilization of calcium D-glucarate in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

Calcium D-glucarate Side Effects

There are currently no known side effects of calcium D-glucarate. However, it can interact with other medications, so you should keep this in mind when considering this supplement. 

Because of the lack of data, it is advised that you avoid taking calcium D-glucarate during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Calcium D-glucarate Drug Interactions 

Calcium D-glucarate may cause some medicines to be metabolised faster, thus making them less effective.

Speak with your provider before combining supplements and medications. If you’re taking a medication that is affected by phase 2 liver detoxification it’s activity may be altered by high dose calcium D-glucarate supplementation. 

Examples of medicines may include:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Diazepam
  • Estrogen containing medicines
  • Lamotrigine
  • Lorazepam
  • Morphine

Always check with your doctor or pharmacist about the possibility of medicine and supplement interaction.

If your doctor has prescribed you medication, it’s for a reason. Never stop a prescription without discussing it with your doctor first. The information in this article is not intended to replace your doctor’s advice.

Calcium D-glucarate For Hormonal Balance

In my medical clinic I often start patients on a dose of 200-500 mg as part of a holistic approach to balancing their hormones.

Calcium D-glucarate is fabulous at helping detoxify the body from excessive estrogens and other toxins. But, when it comes to balancing hormones, it’s only one piece of the puzzle.

That’s why calcium D-glucarate works so well when it is combined with other herbs and nutrients that work to balance hormones in other ways.

For example, DIM works on phase I liver detoxification, while calcium D-glucarate works on phase II and elimination through the bowels (what some call phase 3). By addressing all phases of hormone metabolism, you can effectively support your body in balancing your hormones naturally. This is why our Balance Women’s Hormone Support contains nutrients to support phase 1, 2, and 3 of hormone metabolism, plus the nutrients you need to build healthy hormones.

By leveraging nutrition, lifestyle therapies, and supplements, many of my patients have been able to enjoy the benefits of healthy, balanced hormones.

To learn more about balancing your hormones naturally, you can download my free Hormone Starter Kit with 7 Day Meal plan and Recipe Guide today.

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  1. Margaret Hanausek, PhD, Zbigniew Walaszek, PhD, and Thomas J. Slaga, PhD. Detoxifying Cancer Causing Agents to Prevent Cancer. INTEGRATIVE CANCER THERAPIES. 2003. 2(2). 139-144.
  2. Baker J, Al-Nakkash L, Herbst-Kralovetz M. Estrogen–gut microbiome axis: Physiological and clinical implications. Maturitas. 2017. 103. 45-53.
  3. Sonia S. Maruti, Jyh-Lurn Chang, Jo Ann Prunty, Jeannette Bigler, Yvonne Schwarz, Shuying S. Li, Lin Li, Irena B. King, John D. Potter and Johanna W. Lampe. Serum β-Glucuronidase Activity in Response to Fruit and Vegetable Supplementation: A Controlled Feeding Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008. 17(7). 1808-12.
About The Author

Dr. Jolene Brighten

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Dr. Jolene Brighten, NMD, is a women’s hormone expert and prominent leader in women’s medicine. As a licensed naturopathic physician who is board certified in naturopathic endocrinology, she takes an integrative approach in her clinical practice. A fierce patient advocate and completely dedicated to uncovering the root cause of hormonal imbalances, Dr. Brighten empowers women worldwide to take control of their health and their hormones. She is the best selling author of Beyond the Pill and Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth. Dr. Brighten is an international speaker, clinical educator, medical advisor within the tech community, and considered a leading authority on women’s health. She is a member of the MindBodyGreen Collective and a faculty member for the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine. Her work has been featured in the New York Post, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Bustle, The Guardian, Sports Illustrated, Elle, and ABC News. Read more about me here.