Your Body's Natural Detox, Beta-Glucuronidase

Detox with Integrative Medicine

Your Body's Natural Detox, Beta-Glucuronidase

By Georgia Tetlow, MD and Claudia Green

It seems like there is always a new detox product out on the market, but did you know that your body detoxes on it’s own through your liver? The liver excretes toxins by attaching them to glucuronic acid and sending this complex into the small intestine to eventually be excreted from the body. Beta-glucuronidase is an enzyme produced by intestinal bacteria that can break the bond between toxins and glucuronic acid. This enzyme needs to be present just the right amount--not too little and not too much. When beta-glucuronidase is in excess, the bonds between toxins and glucuronic acid are broken, and toxins and hormones that were meant to be excreted are then reabsorbed into the body.

Low levels of Beta-glucuronidase are ideal for natural detox and prevention of some cancers. At Philadelphia Integrative Medicine we test beta-glucuronidase levels in a home-based stool test.

If you know you need to increase your levels of beta-glucuronidase, you can do so by establishing a healthy gut microbiome and eating a diet high in glucuronic acid. Glucuronic acid is high in foods such as apples, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and oranges.

Glucuronic acid is available in capsule form as Calcium D-glucarate. Calcium D-glucarate inhibits beta-glucuronidase so that the body is able to properly excrete toxins. This supplement can be beneficial for women with certain forms of breast cancer. It is important to work with a provider and receive Integrative testing to determine the amounts and types of supplements that will work best for your body as a whole.

Schedule a visit with a Philadelphia Integrative Medicine provider to learn more about how to support your body's natural detox functions and prevent cancer through lifestyle and integrative interventions.


Don’t throw away your orange peels! Oranges are high in glucuronic acid! Try this home herbal remedy from Living Awareness: orange peel infused tea. They are especially full of vitamin C and pectin. As a carbohydrate, pectin will feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. All you need is 2 Tablespoons of chopped orange peel per 1 cup of water. What’s better than a free cup of tea from nature with each orange you eat? As the weather turns colder, you can also spice it up with cinnamon or clove. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 days if you make extra. We recommend organic oranges.

  • If you are using fresh orange peels, chop them into ¼ inch sized pieces

  • If you are using dried orange peels, crush them a little with a mortar and pestle

  • Place chopped or crushed orange peels and water into a pot with a lid on it. I use stainless steel Revere pots; glass and enamel pots also work well

  • Bring water and herbs to a boil and then immediately turn off the fire

  • Let orange peels steep for one hour

  • Using a metal strainer, remove the herbs from the tea and pour the tea into a teacup or pitcher

  • Drink warm or at room temperature

Interested in connecting with PIM? Register for our upcoming group class at Cabrini College: October 17th: Live Long and Prosper: Functional and Integrative Medicine for Cardiovascular Health. Keys to Heart and Blood Vessel Health with Annmarie McManus, MMSc, PA-C, PT, IFMCP. Admission is FREE!

If you or your loved one has ongoing stress, mood or hormone imbalance and, please consider scheduling an appointment with Annmarie McManus, MMSc, PA-C, PT, IFMCP, our certified Functional Medicine PIM provider

Adapted from Jacob Schor ND FABNO


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  • Abbou-Issa H.  Moeschberger M, el-Masry W. Tejwani S. Curley RWJr. Webb TE.  Relative efficacy of glucarate on the initiation and promotion phases of rat mammary carcinogenesis. Anticancer Research.  15(3):905-10, 1995.

  • Murray. Breast Cancer:  Update on a growing Epidemic Natural Medicine Journal. March 1999.  2(1);1-6