The Health Benefits of Calcium D-Glucarate

Can it help defend against cancer?

Fruits and vegetables on a table

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Calcium D-glucarate is a calcium salt made by combining calcium and glucaric acid, a chemical compound found naturally in the body and in foods like oranges, grapefruit, apples, and broccoli.

Calcium D-glucarate is used for preventing certain types of cancer. It is thought to decrease the body's levels of the hormone estrogen, strengthening your defense against hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast and prostate cancers.

In addition, calcium D-glucarate is said to aid in detoxification by eliminating cancer-causing agents, toxins, and steroid hormones from the body. The purported benefits of this supplement come from the D-glucarate and not the calcium.

Health Benefits

Preliminary research suggests calcium D-glucarate may help prevent certain cancers. However, most of the findings on its health effects come from laboratory research and animal-based studies. 

Prostate, Breast, and Colon Cancers

In a 2002 report published in Alternative Medicine Review 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, such as breast, prostate, and colon cancers, when it occurs at elevated levels.

Lung Cancer

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).

Skin Cancer

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.

Although calcium D-glucarate shows promise as an anti-cancer agent, there is currently a lack of clinical trials testing the use of it in the treatment of any health condition.

Possible Side Effects

There isn't a lot of research into the side effects of calcium D-glucarate, however, it is believed to be safe and well-tolerated in humans.

Due to the lack of research, it should not be taken by women who are pregnant or lactating.

There's some concern that taking calcium D-glucarate in combination with certain medications that are subject to glucuronidation may reduce the medications' effectiveness. Some of these medications include Lipitor (atorvastatin), Ativan (lorazepam), and Tylenol (acetaminophen). It may also temporarily reduce the levels of other steroid hormones in the body, such as testosterone.

Dosage and Preparation

There is no standard dose for calcium D-glucarate and more research is needed. In a 2004 study published in the journal Chest subjects doses between 1.5g and 9g a day were well tolerated by subjects.

What to Look For

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

Dietary supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. When buying calcium D-glucarate look for a brand that has been tested by a trusted independent third party, such as U.S. Pharmacopeia, NSF International, or ConsumerLab. 

Other Questions

Is calcium D-glucarate a good source of calcium?

The health benefits of calcium D-glucarate comes primarily from its D-glucarate and not the calcium. The supplement contains about 9% of elemental calcium. Better sources of calcium are calcium citrate, which has approximately 21% elemental calcium, and calcium carbonate, which is about 40% elemental calcium. The recommended daily allowance for calcium is 1,000 mg to 1,200 mg for adults.

Can I get the benefits of calcium D-glucarate from food?

Yes! You can increase your intake of glucaric acid by including certain foods in your diet. For instance, glucaric acid is available in the following foods:

According to a 2003 report published in Integrative Cancer Therapies, consuming 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.

A Word From Verywell

Given the lack of clinical studies and information about the safety of doses that high, it may not be prudent to take calcium D-glucarate for cancer prevention or any other health condition. If you're considering using it, make sure to discuss it with your healthcare provider first.

To reduce your cancer risk, talk with your healthcare provider about following a balanced diet high in antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruit, exercising regularly, and keeping your weight in check. There's also some evidence that people who drink green tea and maintain optimal levels of vitamin D may have a lower risk of some types of cancer.

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