Glucuronolactone is a chemical that occurs naturally in the body and is used to build many of the connective tissues. It is produced in the human liver through the metabolism of glucose. Aside from its natural uses, the chemical is used in many energy drinks. One of the reasons why it is so well known is that there have been several rumors involving medical problems following its consumption, although these have generally turned out to be false.
Connective tissues are a type of fibrous tissue that occurs naturally in the body. Glucuronolactone is an essential component of this type of tissue and is used to form the structure. As a compound, it has a melting point of around 347°F (175°C) and appears white when viewed outside the body.
When this chemical enters the body, it is quickly metabolized and converted into other substances that aren’t toxic. Aside from its normal uses, there are also some people who claim that the substance is of use for detoxifying the body, although whether this is true or not hasn’t been conclusively proven. Even so, there are a number of detox products available to buy which contain it.
In some cases, the chemical is also known as glucoronic acid lactone. Glucoronic acid is similar to glucose except that it has been partly oxidized. As a compound, the chemical can be found either in its cyclic or non-cyclic versions.
One area for concern is that the substance is often included in energy drinks at much higher levels than would be found in a regular diet. Even so, the European Food Authority has decided that this is not a problem and does not pose a significant risk. There may, however, be a risk in excessive consumption of any drink that contains the chemical.
There are many claims made by health product manufacturers regarding the benefits of glucuronolactone. Most of these center on the substance's ability to increase a person's energy. Unfortunately, a number of these products also make false or untested claims. For example, some claim that many people don't have enough of it in their bodies but, in reality, a deficiency is extremely rare.
There are also a number of rumors circulating around the use of glucuronolactone by the government. The most popular is that the US military used the substance during the Vietnam War but had to stop due to various serious brain conditions. This has since turned out to be false; there are no official warnings regarding the safety of using the chemical.