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Glucuronolactone is a molecule that is commonly found in energy drinks (at around 10-60mg, with variance depending on brand), although in studies 'disassembling' the constituents of energy drinks suggest no significant contribution towards energy.
In vitro, D-glucuronolactone can be metabolized by a dehydrogenase into D-Glucaro-1,4-Lactone (G14L), where D-glucuronolactone appears to metabolize into a dilactone (d-glucaro-1,4-3,6-dilactone) and then spontaneously degrade into G14L.
D-Glucaric acid is the main urinary metabolite of the glucuronic acid pathway, which synthesizes Glucuronic Acid for the purposes of conjugation by drug metabolizing enzymes (UGT transferases). Daily urine output of D-Glucaric Acid is approximately 30-100umol.
Glucuronolactone is a prodrug for the compound D-Glucaro-1,4-Lactone
Can be used to synthesize Vitamin C in creatures capable of this conversion, which are not humans
D-Glucaro-1,4-Lactone (G14L) appears to be an inhibitor of the β-Glucuronidase enzyme.
Glucuronolactone can be formed when glucuronic acid is degraded in subcritical water interchangeably.
1,4-GL can be seen as protective for blood vessel health by alleviating oxidative/nitrative damage to lipoproteins from reactive species such as hydroperoxide and peroxynitrate, as well as acting as an anti-platelet aggregative compound. It may be synergistic with resveratrol in this regard.
When consuming an energy drink (80mg caffeine, 1000mg taurine, 800mg Glucuronolactone; sugar free with B-complex), an overall increase in platelet aggregation appears to occur in otherwise healthy persons with infrequent energy drink consumption. Participants refrained from caffeine for a week prior to testing, and the contribution of Glucuronolactone towards the observed effects was not established.
One study injecting glucuronolactone (100mg/kg) intraperitoneally in rats immediately prior to a 30 minute swim and subsequent rest (the swim which was repeated three times, each with an injection prior to the swim) noted that glucuronolactone failed to affect time to exhaustion in the first swim but improved performance relative to saline in the second and third swim.
Via its actions as a beta-glucuronidase inhibitor (of which too much activity is correlated with some forms of cancer), 1,4-GL can be seen as potentially anti-carcinogenic. 1,4-GL and D-Glutarate also have potent anti-proliferative properties.
- Mets MA, et al. Positive effects of Red Bull® Energy Drink on driving performance during prolonged driving. Psychopharmacology (Berl). (2011)
- Debunking the Effects of Taurine in Red Bull Energy Drink.
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- Wilson CP, et al. Riboflavin offers a targeted strategy for managing hypertension in patients with the MTHFR 677TT genotype: a 4-y follow-up. Am J Clin Nutr. (2012)
(Common misspellings for Glucuronolactone include glutrate, glucaronic, glucuronlactone, glucuro)