L-Glutathione, or simply glutathione, is a powerful antioxidant comprised of amino acids cysteine, glycine, and glutamic acid. Glutathione is also sometimes abbreviated as GSH.
What Does Glutathione Do In The Human Body?
Glutathione has many functions within the body. It is vital to mitochondrial function, necessary for the production of DNA. Its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier means it plays an important role in removing toxins, such as mercury, from the brain and other cells. It is key in supporting immune function, metabolism, forming sperm cells, tissue building and repair, and helping with certain enzyme functions. As a powerful antioxidant, it may help fight the effects of free radicals, which cause oxidative stress, damage healthy cells and contribute to aging and certain degenerative illnesses.
Where Is Glutathione Found?
Unlike most antioxidants, glutathione can be made within the human liver. Glutathione can be found in every cell of the human body, almost all mammalian tissue and in many foods, including spinach and avocados, but is poorly absorbed by the body when consumed orally.
We do, however, rely on consuming a wide variety of foods to provide the chemical compounds needed to produce glutathione internally. Consuming foods rich in sulfur, such as cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower and brussels sprouts) and allium vegetables (such as garlic, onion and leek) has been shown to support healthy glutathione levels. Other supplements that can support glutathione production include curcumin, N-acetylcysteine, selenium, silymarin, vitamin C and vitamin E.
When Is It Necessary to Supplement Glutathione?
Glutathione levels in the body naturally decline as we age, but can also be reduced by factors like stress, malnutrition, and environmental toxins. As a supplement, glutathione can be given orally, intravenously (IV), intramuscularly and as an inhalant.
The list of conditions that are aided by glutathione is long and diverse, mainly due to its wide-ranging importance in essential body functions. It is frequently taken for the treatment and prevention of some eye conditions (cataracts, glaucoma) aging, alcoholism, cancer, heart disease, liver disease, lung disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s, peripheral obstructive arterial disease, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, COPD and much more.
Glutathione is indicated for those with heart, liver, and lung disease. Other health issues that may be prevented or treated by glutathione supplementation include:
- – anemia
- – cystic fibrosis
- – cancer
- – Alzheimer’s
- – Parkinson’s
- – cataracts
- – glaucoma
- – symptoms of aging
- – alcoholism
- – hepatitis
- – memory loss
- – AIDS
- – chronic fatigue syndrome
- – osteoarthritis
- – infertility in men
While glutathione has been proven helpful in the reduction of oxidative stress, many proposed uses require further testing to verify the benefits of supplementation.
Glutathione is generally safe for most adults. When taken as an inhalant, glutathione may cause difficulty breathing and trigger asthma attacks. Some studies have linked long-term consumption of glutathione to lower zinc levels.
The dosage depends on patient-specific conditions, but typical doses are as follows:
- – Intravenously for Chemotherapy Adjunct: 1.5 g/m2 intravenously before chemotherapy; 600mg/day intramuscularly on days 2-5 of chemotherapy
- – Male Infertility: 600mg intramuscularly every other day for 2 months
- – Orally: 250mg once daily; dose range 50-600 mg/day
- – Inhaled: 600mg via nebulizer twice daily
Glutathione is not recommended for use by individuals with asthma, due to the possibility of increasing its symptoms. There is not enough information on the impact of this medication on individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding; therefore use is not advised. It is important to talk with your healthcare provider before starting to supplement glutathione to ensure it is the right solution for you.
Glutathione may interact with some medications. It is always important to list any medications, supplements or herbal products you may be taking for your doctor.
This product is available at our 503A/503B pharmacy.