The Glucarate Report
Reproduced by permission / license from
AMC Cancer Research Center, Denver Colorado
Personnel titles have been changed to reflect current position.
Interview with Dr. Thomas Slaga, AMC Cancer Research Center
An Interview With Dr. Thomas Slaga
Dr. Thomas Slaga is the President/CEO and the Chair of the Center for Cancer Causation and Prevention at the AMC Cancer Research Center in Denver, Colorado. He oversees the development of research programs that focus on major cancer target sites, including the breast, colon, prostate gland and skin. He also directs activities in other areas of cancer study including molecular epidemiology, genetic monitoring and cancer interventions. Recently, we sat down with Dr. Slaga to gather his insights on calcium D-glucarate.
What is calcium D-glucarate?
Dr. Slaga: Calcium D-glucarate is a patented form of glucaric acid. Glucaric acid is already present in small amounts in our bodies and is found in certain fruits and vegetables. It enhances the progress known as glucuronidation, a process by which the body rids itself of potentially dangerous carcinogens and other harmful chemicals. Calcium D-glucarate is a form of glucaric acid, which is effectively utilized by the body. D-glucarate is a unique, nontoxic and natural substance found in both fruits and vegetables. Many studies have shown this substance to highly protective against cancer.
If glucaric acid is produced in our bodies and occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, why would one take calcium D-glucarate supplements?
Dr. Slaga: Research indicates that taking calcium D-glucarate is beneficial. The substance enhances the body's natural enzymatic process of detoxification. Taking glucarate appears to increase detoxification of harmful chemicals, and this helps to prevent disease. Additional amounts of glucarate are especially important for individuals who are exposed to more harmful chemicals, such as cigarette smoke and individuals who have a high risk for certain cancers, like breast, lung, and prostate cancer. The typical American diet does not include enough fruits and vegetables to maintain an effective level of glucarate; therefore, additional amounts can only help the body fight the harmful chemicals.
It has been stated that calcium D-glucarate helps prevent cancer. Is this true? If so, how does it do that?
Dr. Slaga: As I mentioned before, calcium D-glucarate is a substance that aids in glucuronidation, which is one of the body's major detoxification systems for eliminating both foreign chemicals and androgenous chemicals, such as steroids and sterols. Glucuronidation is a reaction where a toxin is made water-soluble so that it can be more easily excreted in the urine or bile. Calcium D-glucarate inhibits the detoxification-reversing enzyme ß-glucuronidase. If you will, calcium D-glucarate inhibits the "bad enzyme" in the detoxification process.
In a general sense, calcium D-glucarate helps the body's process for eliminating harmful toxins and carcinogens that occur naturally of come from things like tobacco smoke, pesticides and other foreign substances. In addition, calcium D-glucarate helps eliminate excess amounts of chemicals produced in the body that promote cancer, such as estrogens and androgens. With more of these substances eliminated, an individual may rid his or her body of some of the things that lead to cancer. So, yes, it may be a promising tool against cancer.
How exactly does calcium D-glucarate help with the glucuronidation process?
Dr. Slaga: As we discussed, the body gets rid of harmful substances by making them water-soluble and more excretable. In individuals at risk for cancer, glucaric acid levels are low and are excreted quickly from the body. With low levels of the inhibitor glucaric acid, ß-glucuronidase activity is high and there is less excretion of carcinogens and toxins. If an individual were to have higher levels of glucaric acid, he or she may be able to slow down the work of the "bad enzyme," ß-glucuronidase, and rid his or her body of dangerous toxins and carcinogens. Calcium D-glucarate first associates into calcium and glucaric acid in the body, and then glucaric acid simultaneously converts to a lactone that inhibits the bad enzyme.
What are the research findings about calcium D-glucarate and its role against cancer?
Dr. Slaga: In experimental animal studies, D-glucarate has been shown to decrease lung, skin, liver, breast and colon cancers by 60 percent or more. In addition, D-glucarate has been found to have an inhibitor effect on cancers of the bladder and prostate.
In the breast, D-glucarate has been shown in more than 20 experimental animal and in vitro studies to significantly inhibit cancer. Several human trials are currently underway with D-glucarate to determine its capability to decrease the breast cancer risk in women at high risk for breast cancer.
In addition, several experimental animal studies have shown the protective effect of calcium D-glucarate against colon cancer. Once again, the mechanism by which calcium D-glucarate inhibits colon cancer appears to be related to the enhancement of the detoxification of both carcinogens and sterol tumor promoters.
In studies of lung cancer, a leading cause of death in this country, D-glucarate has been shown to effectively inhibit the induction of this form of cancer in experimental animal using different types of carcinogens found in cigarette smoke. Currently there are ongoing studies of the effect of calcium D-glucarate on individuals determined to be at high risk for the development of lung cancer.
At this time, limited data in experimental animal models are available on the effect of D-glucarate on cancers of the liver, the bladder and the skin. However, there appears to be beneficial application.
Why is calcium D-glucarate being targeted to people at risk for breast cancer?
Dr. Slaga: Research suggests that women at risk for the development of breast cancer may excrete estrogen less effectively than women at lesser risk. The same reactions that promote the excretion of carcinogens promote the excretion of estrogen metabolites.
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