Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Glucuronic acid and beta-glucuronidase

with 2 comments

Kombucha tea is supposed to protect against toxins and detox the body by supplying an ingredient, glucuronic acid, that is required by one of the phase II detoxification pathways in the liver.

Many sources say kombucha tea is high in glucuronic acid. Apparently Wikipedia thinks otherwise:

Early chemical analyses of kombucha brew suggested that glucuronic acid was a key component of the brew, perhaps assisting the liver by supplying more of the substance during detoxification. However, more recent analyses of kombucha offer a different explanation, as outlined in the book in Analysis of Kombucha Ferments by Michael Roussin. The author reports on an extensive chemical analysis of a variety of commercial and homebrew versions of kombucha, and finds no evidence of glucuronic acid at any concentration.

This author offers a more compelling explanation for anti-cancer properties with the discovery of an alternate compound, D- glucaro- 1,4 lactone, otherwise known as glucaric acid. This compound serves as an inhibitor of the beta-glucuronidase enzyme, a bacterial product from the gut microbiota that can cleave the glucuronic acid conjugates. The activity of this bacterial enzyme has the effect of cleaving the glucuronic acid conjugates and sending bodily wastes back into circulation, thus increasing the exposure time before the waste is ultimately excreted. Therefore, the active component of kombucha likely exerts its effect by preventing bacterial disruption of glucuronic acid conjugates and increasing the detoxification efficiency of the liver.

Interestingly, glucaric acid is being explored independently as a cancer preventative agent. Kombucha

Something I learned from this is that common, normal gut bacteria can produce beta-glucuronidase in order to feed on aromatic compounds in the gut, possibly undoing the liver’s detoxification efforts by sending aromatics back into circulation around the body.

Searching the gene database for producers of beta-glucuronidase returns a veritable who’s-who of common bacteria: Bacteroides fragilis (a normal inhabitant), Clostridium perfringens (unfriendly), Streptococcus strains, Streptomyces strains, Staphylococcus strains, Escherichia coli, Propionibacterium acnes (produces both the non-failsafe additive propionic acid, AND causes acne!), and Bifidobacterium longum, that so-called friendly probiotic. Note, that yet again, candida albicans is not involved in this process. Candida does not produce amines in the gut, bacteria do. Candida does not produce beta-glucuronidase in the gut, bacteria do.


Written by alienrobotgirl

24 May, 2006 at 7:02 am

2 Responses

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  1. My daughter had problems with phenols – turned out she had parasites. A course of black walnut tincture and glucuronic acid and things were much better.We did genetic analysis with dr. Yasko ( – check out the basics in the discussion group) and found that she has a CBS C699T mutation (excess ammonia making overloads the transulfuration pathway and depletes tetrahydrobiopterin creating Atypical PKU). She also has MTHFr A1298 mutation which restricts her making tetrahydrobiopterin.Our symptoms are ever soooo close to yours and the PKU diet is what turned us around. We use calcium d-glucarate or jerusalem artichoke root for their glucuronic acid and all traces of adhd/aspergers/fibro go away. It takes 5 days on the PKU diet and all food sensitivities disappear because the liver finally gets the tyrosine it needs to detox foods properly. Tyrosine is made by phenylalanine being converted by using cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin.Biopterin is found in royal jelly and a few compounds available at don’t need to be on Failsafe anymore.If you look up or bh4 responsive PKU or atypical PKU, you’ll find all the symptoms/conditions you are talking about. The minute they got off their PKU diet, all the problems start again. Count your grams of protein – take calcium d-glucarate – take 5htp (this will make the pain disappear better than any analgesic or antiinflammatory) – take tyrosine – take biopterin in the form of royal jelly… and watch your life come back to you in a flash.I’m not a doctor. I’ve been to all the same websites you have… The only link you’re missing (maybe you’ve discovered it and I’ve missed later blog spots) is the genetics of an overactive CBS mutation (there are two kinds of CBS mutations – homocystenuria is *not* what we’re talking about here). Look up “bh4 deficiency” in wikipedia. Look up Just remember, it’s not classic PKU – it’s atypical pku or transient pku or bh4 responsive pku.It’s basic biochem – look up the methylation pathway graphs at’s discussion group in the basic discussion. I know you already know about methylation – but this time concentrate on the CBS mutations and the MTHFr A1298 (this is not a homocysteine augmenting mutation – it’s not like the MTHFr C677T which prevents the making of 5methyl THF. This one prevents the making of BH4).You’ve done 80% of the work… you’re soooo close. You just need your genetic analysis done by Holistic Heal’s lab to determine your CBS mutations and MTHFr mutations. :DI share your frustration with herxheimer’s, yeast and you-know-who’s group. You are RIGHT ON.Hope you feel better very very soon…. Big hugs from across the pond…… C.


    30 October, 2007 at 1:07 pm

  2. Hi C,Sorry it took me a while to reply to your comments, I’ve been a bit busy with a new puppy, and I also needed time to digest your post.Thanks for posting your comments. It’s great to hear from someone who knows about this stuff! It’s not often I come across people who do!I’ve chanced upon so many people who’ve done Yasko’s protocol who don’t publicise it, I’m glad you posted, thanks, because it took about a year after I started failsafe before I’d even heard of Yasko!I’m not sure about parasites, but I can see why glucuronic acid would help with her problems (though black walnut I suspect is rather reactive due to polyphenol content).I’ve been familiar with Yasko, and the forums for a few months now. I do suspect I have a CBS upregulation based on my poor reactions to methyl donors and my extreme sensitivity to sulphites, and that I do very well on molybdenum. I also do very well on a diet in which I restrict protein to RDA. I’ve discussed it a bit on the FailsafeNT forum I’m on, but I honestly haven’t had chance to do a proper blog post on it!I don’t know whether I have BH4 problems or not (to be honest I’d be really pleased if it was that simple!). I generally feel overstimulated when I take tyrosine. 5HTP gives me hangovers. I am prone to having problems with serotonin (too low or too high depending on other factors), so I was thinking more along the lines of a series of MTHFR/MTR/MTTR SNPs, and definitely MAO-A.I plan to get my genetic analysis done as soon as I have some spare cash – we’re currently supporting two mortgages until we sell our old house, but as soon as it’s sorted, I’m there!

    Alien Robot Girl

    19 November, 2007 at 9:06 pm

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