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Can a stool test identify hormone imbalances, breast and colon cancer risk?

I am very excited to share with you that a marker has just been added to our stool test that helps to give information about the risk for hormone-sensitive cancers, including breast cancer.

This marker also appears to be an important factor in colon cancer. It is an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase.

My goal is always to help you not only feel better if you’re feeling unwell now, but also to minimise your risk for developing future problems.

This short blog shows you why beta glucuronidase can be a problem, how to measure your level, and how to reduce your level if it is too high.

It’s not pie in the sky gobbledygook, but scientifically valid and important information, as the studies cited show.

An example of high beta glucuronidase in the stool

When beta-glucuronidase is elevated due to bacterial imbalances in the digestive system, it may  increase your risk of having hormone imbalances (higher estrogen), which in turn MAY increase breast, colon and prostate cancer risk.

In this stool test snippet from one of my client’s recent stool tests, you can see elevated beta glucuronidase. In truth, I’ve seen much higher levels than this (3,000+).

On this example, you can also see high anti-gliadin IgA, which indicates gluten sensitivity, and high steatocrit, which means my client is not digesting dietary fat.

Secretory IgA is borderline low, indicating a sluggish immune system, and elastase I is borderline low, indicating poor pancreatic function.

Just from this small excerpt, you can see several reasons why my client is feeling unwell.

Let’s look at the importance of the high beta glucuronidase level.

2015: a defining year in my relationship with cancer

In 2015, four of my friends were diagnosed with cancer. None of these fabulous people were aged above 40. I found this quite disturbing.

Three of these folk were female breast cancer sufferers, the other a male with colon cancer.

Beta-glucuronidase, which we are able to detect in a stool sample, is associated with the two forms of cancer that my friends had.

One of them – the youngest – sadly lost her fight with breast cancer, but the others recovered (thankfully).

My friends’ plights really drove home the importance of bringing to light all the things we can do to test and minimise our cancer risk.

The beta-glucuronidase test is one such lab testing option. It’s not everything, but it’s certainly very helpful.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

This is neither the time nor place to enter into a discussion on cancer in general, but I wanted to share with you some information that may help reduce your risk.

Unfortunately, when it comes to cancer, as with many other potentially deadly diseases, the medical system tends to be reactionary as opposed to focusing on prevention.

It is not debatable that chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery save lives, as they did with three of my friends, but I’m sure we would all prefer never to need these treatments.

Many people don’t realize the simple steps they can take to minimize their own risk of developing cancer (and, indeed, other diseases).

Rather surprisingly, a stool test is one step you can take.

Colon and breast cancer

There are many different types of cancer. Indeed, “cancer” is a misnomer, really, and describes a wide variety of diseases.

In this article, I just want to focus on the types of cancer that are related in the medical and scientific literature to beta glucuronidase, which is the thing we can look at in stool tests.

What is beta glucuronidase?

Beta-glucuronidase is an enzyme made by certain gut microbes, including:

  • E. coli (not the really nasty form, but a benign version that is harmless unless it grows out of control, which we seem on stool tests frequently)
  • Bacteroides (again, these bacteria can overgrow and we often see this one out of control in stool testing)
  • Clostridium perfrinogens (which can also overgrow and cause problems)

You need beta-glucuronidase for a variety of reasons. For example, it is needed for optimal digestion.

However, when levels increase too much, your ability to eliminate estrogen hormones and certain chemicals from your body becomes less efficient.

It’s a simple equation: as beta-glucuronidase goes up, estrogen detoxification goes down.

When estrogen levels are too high, you can begin to run in to problems and “estrogen dominance” is associated with many, many health conditions.

Hormone balance is ultra-important

Many factors influence your estrogen level:

  • Diet
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Environmental toxins
  • Genetics
  • Stress levels
  • Liver function
  • Medications such as the contraceptive pill or HRT

High estrogen causes many problems in women, with some common symptoms including:

  • Menstrual problems (PMS)
  • Water retention
  • Bloating
  • Painful and lumpy breasts
  • Weight gain
  • Menopausal problems,
  • Fibroids

In men, high estrogen has a feminizing effect, causing weight gain and breast enlargement.

Guys with high estrogen often have lower testosterone levels, leading to loss of libido, fatigue, muscle loss and more.

Some research indicates that estrogen may also contribute to prostate cancer, although this is controversial and complex.

Estrogen and breast cancer

Certain types of breast cancer are called “estrogen sensitive”. Roughly 60-70% of breast cancers test positive for hormone sensitivity, specifically estrogen sensitivity.

This simply means that the cancer cells have receptors that grab estrogen and, in turn, the estrogen helps the cancer grow.

It’s important to note that estrogen is the hormone that changes a girl into a woman. In other words, the potential for a tiny amount of estrogen to trigger “growth” is enormous.

At puberty, a woman’s body changes enormously, with bums and boobs developing out of nowhere.

It is estrogen that causes these changes, so you can see how powerful this hormone is when it comes to growth (including tumour growth).

Beta glucuronidase and estrogen

When it is no longer needed, estrogen is usually broken down in the liver, bound up with bile salts and dropped into your gallbladder.

When you eat a meal, the detoxified estrogen is dumped into your intestine and if all is working well, you poop it out.

However, when beta glucuronidase (the enzyme we look for in your stool test) is too high, it causes uncoupling of the detoxified estrogen.

What happens is that the estrogen you are supposed to be getting rid of ends up being reabsorbed into your body rather than being pooped out!

In a nutshell, when your beta glucuronidase level is high, you can’t get rid of estrogen very well and may be at risk of its detrimental effects.

One of these detrimental effects can be breast cancer. By assessing your beta-glucuronidase level, you can offset some of the risk.

Beta glucuronidase and colon cancer

Studies have shown that people with colon cancer have much higher levels of beta glucuronidase than people who are free from the disease.

It may also be that beta glucuronidase increases because of the cancer, rather than being a cause of the cancer, but the association is very strong. It is wise to take elevated beta glucuronidase seriously.

What does the research tell us?

To show you I am not making this up, here are a few snippets from the literature, and the studies are listed at the end of the article:

“This suggests that that potent beta-glucuronidase activity is a prime factor in the aetiology of colon cancer.” 1

“Elevated beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with an increased risk for various cancers, particularly hormone-dependent cancers such as breast, prostate and colon cancers.” 2

“There is now evidence for the possible control of cancer induction by inhibiting beta-glucuronidase.” 3

“Bacterial beta-glucuronidase plays a pivotal role in the genotoxicity of a common food-borne carcinogen.” 4

The evidence supporting the role of beta-glucuronidase in some of these cancers has been around since at least 1947.

It is fascinating to me that this kind of helpful information is not disseminated by the mass media, or by doctors working in the health care system.

Why does the beta-glucuronidase level increase?

Beta glucuronidase can increase when your gut flora fall out of balance, which in turn happens as a result of:

  • Infections (e.g. H. pylori, which has been shown to disrupt the microbiome)
  • Antibiotics
  • Processed food consumption
  • High meat consumption
  • Stress

When gut microbes are out of balance you are more likely to have high beta glucuronidase. As mentioned above, the main problem-causing microbes are:

  • E. coli (the harmless form, which can overgrow)
  • Bacteroides 
  • Clostridium perfrinogens
  • Staphylococcus
  • Streptococcus

A stool test not only identifies beta glucuronidase, but also provides specific information about your levels of these microbes!

Can you reduce your beta glucuronidase levels?

It is not that difficult to bring down beta glucuronidase level. Any or all of these may help:

  • Changes to your diet
  • Herbs to kill “bad” bacteria
  • Apple pectin
  • Calcium d-glucarate (amino acid supplementation)
  • Cumin and fenugreek seeds
  • Probiotics
  • Milk thistle
  • Skullcap

Summary on beta glucuronidase

Elevations in beta glucuronidase prevent proper estrogen and chemical detoxification, and can increase your breast and colon cancer risk (possibly prostate as well).

This compound can easily be assessed in a stool test. If it is too high, simple steps can be taken to lower beta glucuronidase and nullify any risk.

At the same time, your digestion will almost certainly work and feel better as you re-balance your microbiome (gut flora).

How to run a home stool test

A home stool test can tell you about your beta glucuronidase level, but it does much more than that.

There are more than 50 individual pieces of information in a stool test, all of which act like pieces in a puzzle to help you uncover why you haven’t been feeling your old self.

A home stool test tells you which bad bacteria, parasites and fungi are overgrowing in your intestine.

It also tells you about your immune system’s health, your ability to digest food, inflammation levels and gluten intolerance.

All you need to do is provide a stool sample at home – it’s utterly simple, yet the rewards are enormous.

Once you know the reasons why you’re not feeling your usual self, you can take specific steps that are laser focused for your situation and quickly get your vitality back.

You can learn more about how to arrange a stool test here.




In case you’d like to look at this topic in more detail, here are some basic references:


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