Glucuronolactone

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Glucuronolactone[1]
Skeletal formula
Space-filling model
Identifiers
CAS number 32449-92-6  YesY YesY
PubChem 92283
ChemSpider 83317 N
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Properties
Molecular formula C6H8O6
Molar mass 176.12 g mol−1
Density 1.76 g/cm3 (30 °C)
Melting point 176–178 °C
Solubility in water 26.9 g/100 mL
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 N (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Infobox references

Glucuronolactone is a naturally occurring chemical that is an important structural component of nearly all connective tissues.[1] Glucuronolactone is also found in many plant gums.[1]

Physical and chemical properties[edit]

Glucuronolactone is a white solid odorless compound, soluble in hot and cold water. Its melting point ranges from 176 to 178 °C.[1] The compound can exist in a monocyclic aldehyde form or in a bicyclic hemiacetal (lactol) form.

Lactol form of glucuronolactone

History[edit]

Glucuronolactone has received some notoriety due to urban legends that it was a Vietnam War–era drug manufactured by the American government. The rumor goes on to say that it was banned due to brain tumor–related deaths. The rumor has since been proven false, due to irreality of the cited British Medical Journal article and non-event "banning of its consumption". Furthermore, no warnings appear on the Food and Drug Administration website regarding its potential to cause brain tumors or other maladies.[2]

Uses[edit]

Glucuronolactone is rapidly absorbed and metabolized into non-toxic metabolites such as xylulose. In addition, humans may be able to use glucuronolactone as a precursor for ascorbic acid synthesis.[3] According to The Merck Index, it is also used as a detoxicant.[4]

Glucuronolactone is a popular ingredient in energy drinks with claims that it detoxifies the body. Although levels of glucuronolactone in energy drinks can far exceed those found in the rest of the diet, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded that exposure to glucuronolactone from regular consumption of energy drinks is not a safety concern. The no-observed-adverse-effect level of glucuronolactone is 1000 mg/kg/day.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Merck Index, 11th Edition, 4362
  2. ^ "Bull Marketed". Snopes. 
  3. ^ Baker EM, Bierman EL, Plough IC (1960). "Effect of D-glucuronic acid and D-glucuronolactone on ascorbic acid levels in blood and urine of man and dog". Am J Clin Nutr 8: 369–73. PMID 13795987. 
  4. ^ Merck Index, 14th ed., 4467
  5. ^ "EFSA - Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel: The use of taurine and D-glucurono-gamma-lactone as constituents of the so-called "energy" drinks". European Food Safety Authority. Retrieved 2012-05-04.