Does it feel like something is just off? Do you feel like your hormones are out of balance, digestion is not 100% or just have general health issues?
Could it be high beta-glucuronidase levels that are the cause of your high estrogen levels, or causing problems with liver detoxification?
One of the ways the body gets rid of toxins is through a process called conjugation which happens during phase 2 of liver detoxification.
During conjugation, toxins are packaged into water-soluble compounds in a process known as glucuronidation. Through this process toxins and hormones are meant to pass through the liver, to the bile, then to the gut where they are excreted.
However, high levels of an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase can inhibit this process.
This enzyme separates toxins from their conjugate bond and allows them to be reabsorbed. Toxins and hormones like estrogen get reabsorbed into the body and make you feel tired, and out of balance without realizing why.
If you are worried that you don’t feel quite yourself, then you always want to get that checked out. A good place to start is checking your digestive health markers.
The reality is that gut health is of the utmost importance to every area of your well being, and beta-glucuronidase is one marker that we test at Planet Naturopath because of its effect on your ability to detoxify, and it can cause high estrogen levels which is a common problem for many people.
Beta-glucuronidase can be tested in a stool sample with the G.I Map test
We hear so much about the need for taking probiotics and how gut bacteria contribute to better gut health, but we hear very little about beta-glucuronidase.
Beta-glucuronidase is important for proper digestion and in particular phase 2 of liver detoxification. If your levels are out of balance it can affect your ability to detoxify estrogen and other hormones, as well as environmental toxins.
You may not understand the science of the gut and how the different bacteria and enzymes can influence our health. However, you should be aware of beta-glucuronidase, which is a very important enzyme within the gut and is involved in phase 2 of liver detoxification.
This is an enzyme that plays a pivotal role in digestion, particularly in breaking down certain things such as complex carbohydrates, detoxification of estrogen, thyroid hormone and other environmental toxins.
However, If the levels of beta-glucuronidase enzyme get too high, then this creates a very undesirable situation. You will start to reabsorb hormones like estrogen and toxins that should be eliminated.
This is one of the main causes behind high estrogen. Many people take DIM supplements to improve estrogen detoxification but if your phase 2 of liver detoxification is not working well then you can reabsorb them back into your body, no matter how much DIM or broccoli you eat.
If your levels get too high of beta-glucuronidase then this can interrupt the body’s natural detoxification process.
The liver can’t work to detoxify your body if levels of beta-glucuronidase are too high. When your body comes into contact with toxins or environmental chemicals, they are re-absorbed back into the body rather than being eliminated through the gut.
These can make you sick over time and can lead to a whole host of health conditions in the future. So when the liver can’t properly work through the detoxification process, you are hurting your health now and in the long term as well.
You might not realize that you have high levels of beta-glucuronidase. These are the things that will increase your levels.
Therefore, a healthy foundation that focuses on proper and balanced nutrition is of the utmost importance moving forward.
High levels of beta-glucuronidase can be a sign of other imbalances in your digestive tract like candida and bacterial overgrowth, this is also known as dysbiosis.
While supplements such as Calcium D-Glucarate can help lower beta-glucuronidase in the short term it is always best to address the underlying cause of why you have high levels of beta-glucuronidase.
Understanding the role that beta-glucuronidase has on your digestive, hormonal and other areas of health is important, and the best way to know is to “test and not guess”. This enzyme tends to be in the colon and so there are a couple of simple but effective ways to test for it.
At Planet Naturopath we use the G.I Map test to measure your beta-glucuronidase levels. The other advantage of using this test is that you can also assess bacterial overgrowth and candida which can be the cause of high beta-glucuronidase levels.
The reality is that if the beta-glucuronidase levels remain elevated over time, this can lead to significant health issues in the future.
You put yourself at risk of certain types of cancer if this remains in your system. This can be particularly true for hormonally-based types of cancer since the elevated levels of beta-glucuronidase can interfere with hormone balance. This can put you at greater risk for breast cancer and other hormone-related cancers.
It is possible that elevated levels of beta-glucuronidase can lead to an interruption to estrogen regulation within the body. Not only can this lead to hormone-based types of cancers, but also an interruption in detoxification in this capacity.
It may be that the natural estrogen detoxification process doesn’t work properly, thus leading to other issues associated with high estrogen like weight gain, mood changes, and PMS.
Calcium D-Glucarate is an excellent supplement that can help with elevated levels of beta-glucuronidase. It is great to help naturally detoxify the body and can, therefore, lower your elevated levels in the meantime.
I recommend starting at 1,200mg a day, but if your beta-glucuronidase levels are a lot higher, you may need more. Make sure to choose a good brand like Designs For Health.
It can lower high beta-glucuronidase levels.
A stool test will also reveal if dysbiosis is a contributing factor, the Viome Stool test is another option if you want to do a test that is cheaper than the GI Map but still assesses dysbiosis. If this is the case you may also find that taking a probiotic helps with natural gut health.
Though this is an indirect way of dealing with elevated levels of beta-glucuronidase, it most certainly can help with the issue and restore gut health.
I recommend the Seed Probiotic to help balance gut bacteria.
Jarrow Formulas Ideal Bowel Support 299v
It improves intestinal health and function.
The herb Milk Thistle, otherwise known as Silymarin can also help to lower beta-glucuronidase and help liver detoxification in general.
It supports liver function and reduces beta-glucuronidase levels.
You may also find that eating a healthier and balanced diet can help with the problem. Try limiting processed meats, alcohol, and avoid sugar and processed foods that can lead to elevated beta-glucuronidase.
Focus on plenty of fruits and vegetables, good fats, and lean proteins separate from grass-fed animals.
Taking a proactive approach to managing your beta-glucuronidase levels can help your liver to function properly, balance out hormones, and can lead to natural detoxification. Be sure that you understand your beta-glucuronidase levels and the implications of this enzyme in elevated amounts.
Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. He is a registered naturopath with the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA) and works with clients from all over the world via video or phone consultations. He is a degree qualified naturopath from the Endeavour College of Natural Medicine in Australia with 18 years of experience. He uses advanced testing methods, nutritional medicine, herbal medicine, and lifestyle advice to help you stay healthy. He is a Kalish Method-trained practitioner that keeps updating his education with Chris Kresser. Michael completed Dr. Terry Wahls practitioner training program, a 12-month program with ongoing training that helps understand the underlying cause and treatment of MS and autoimmune conditions. He keeps up to date with the latest research into health and natural medicine through the Metabolic Fitness Pro course with Dr. Bryan Walsh.