Glutathione is the primary protector of our cells. It recycles and helps restore other anti-oxidants, earning it the title of Master Antioxidant. It is the first line of defense against our cells’ most violent attackers, namely free radicals, chemical toxins, radiation and heavy metals that enter our bodies through the environment and the foods and liquids we consume. As the subject of over 100,000 peer-reviewed studies cited in PubMed.com, the importance of glutathione cannot be understated.
Glutathione is an antioxidant produced in cells. It’s comprised largely of three amino acids: glutamine, glycine, and cysteine.
Glutathione levels in the body may be reduced by a number of factors, including poor nutrition, environmental toxins, and stress. Its levels also decline with age.
In addition to being produced naturally by the body, glutathione can be given intravenously, topically, or as an inhalant. It’s also available as an oral supplement in capsule and liquid form.
Our Glutathione Levels are Decreasing. Unfortunately, our glutathione levels are depleted as we age. The older we get, the harder it is to maintain optimum glutathione levels. This means our cells don’t work as well and our overall health and wellness pay the price.
Oxidative stress occurs when there’s an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to fight them off. Too-high levels of oxidative stress may be a precursor to multiple diseases. These include diabetes, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. Glutathione helps stave off the impact of oxidative stress, which may, in turn, reduce disease.
An article cited in Journal of Cancer Science and Therapy indicated that glutathione deficiency leads to increased levels of oxidative stress, which might lead to cancer. It also stated that elevated glutathione levels raised antioxidant levels and resistance to oxidative stress in cancer cells.
A small indicated that whey protein, when given orally, improved psoriasis with or without additional treatment. Whey protein had been previously demonstrated to increase glutathione levels. Study participants were given 20 grams as an oral supplement daily for three months. Researchers stated that more study is needed.
Cell death in the liver may be exacerbated by a deficiency in antioxidants, including glutathione. This can lead to fatty liver disease in both those who misuse alcohol and those who don’t. Glutathione has been shown to improve protein, enzyme, and bilirubin levels in the blood of individuals with alcoholic and nonalcoholic chronic fatty liver disease.
A reported that glutathione was most effective when given to people with fatty liver disease intravenously, in high doses. Participants in the study also showed reductions in malondialdehyde, a marker of cell damage in the liver.
Another found that orally administered glutathione had positive effects on people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease following proactive lifestyle changes. In this study, glutathione was provided in supplement form in a dose of 300 milligrams per day for four months.
As people age, they produce less glutathione. Researchers at Baylor School of Medicine used a combination of animal and human studies to explore the role of glutathione in weight management and insulin resistance in older individuals. Study findings indicated that low glutathione levels were associated with less fat burning and higher rates of fat storing in the body.
Older subjects had cysteine and glycine added to their diets to increase glutathione levels, which spiked within two weeks, improving insulin resistance and fat burning.
Peripheral artery disease occurs when the peripheral arteries become clogged by plaque. It most commonly happens in the legs. One study reported that glutathione improved circulation, increasing the ability of study participants to walk pain-free for longer distances. Participants receiving glutathione rather than a saline solution placebo were given intravenous infusions two times daily for five days, and then analyzed for mobility.
Parkinson’s disease affects the central nervous system and is defined by symptoms such as tremors. It currently has no cure. One older study documented intravenous glutathione’s positive effects on symptoms such as tremors and rigidity. While more research is needed, this case report suggests that glutathione may help reduce symptoms, improving quality of life in people with this disease.
The chronic inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases can increase oxidative stress. These diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and lupus. According to one, glutathione helps reduce oxidative stress by either stimulating or reducing the body’s immunological response. Autoimmune diseases attack the mitochondria in specific cells. Glutathione works to protect cell mitochondria by eliminating free radicals.
Several, including a clinical trial reported in, indicate that children with autism have higher levels of oxidative damage and lower levels of glutathione in their brain. This increased susceptibility to neurological damage in children with autism from substances such as mercury.
The eight-week clinical trial on children aged 3 to 13 used oral or transdermal applications of glutathione. Autistic symptom changes were not evaluated as part of the study, but children in both groups showed improvement in cysteine, plasma sulfate, and whole-blood glutathione levels.
Long-term high blood sugar is associated with reduced amounts of glutathione. This can lead to oxidative stress and tissue damage. A study found that dietary supplementation with cysteine and glycine boosted glutathione levels. It also lowered oxidative stress and damage in people with uncontrolled diabetes, despite high sugar levels. Study participants were placed on 0.81 millimoles per kilogram (mmol/kg) of cysteine and 1.33 mmol/kg glycine daily for two weeks.
N-acetylcysteine is a medication used to treat conditions such as asthma and cystic fibrosis. As an inhalant, it helps to thin mucus and make it less paste-like. It also reduces inflammation.
Glutathione is found in some foods, although cooking and pasteurization diminish its levels significantly. Its highest concentrations are in:
Scientists and medical doctors have known for decades that glutathione, which is produced by the body itself, is the primary protector and detoxifier of the cell. However, under oxidative stress conditions, the glutathione levels become depleted. Also, from near the age of forty, the body’s ability to produce glutathione decreases gradually, then more rapidly at older age. For years, medical scientists have looked for ways to effectively raise the
levels of glutathione. At one time, N-acetylcysteine (NAC) was the only supplement available to enhance the body’s supply of cysteine to enable the production of glutathione. However, Dr. Herbert T. Nagasawa was able to develop a revolutionary molecule known as RiboCeine that effectively delivers cysteine to the cell to support the natural production of glutathione–for which Max International was awarded a U.S. Patent.
RiboCeine is a unique molecule that combines ribose and cysteine, nutrients that occur naturally in our bodies. RiboCeine once ingested will be absorbed, enters the bloodstream and delivers cysteine and ribose to the cells, supporting glutathione production as well as providing ribose, an integral part of ATP, our cells’ natural fuel and source of energy. RiboCeine significantly outperformed other means of glutathione enhancement against which it has been tested. It has been the subject of twenty- two scientific studies funded by the National Institutes of Health or other scientific funding agencies and published in peer-reviewed journals.