(412) 421-4996


What is Glutathione?

A.I.D. — ANTIOXIDANT, IMMUNE BOOSTER, DETOXIFIER

Glutathione is the most powerful and prevalent antioxidant and detoxifier of intracellular (inside the cell) tissue. It is a potent antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory found in every cell of the body. The body makes about 100mg of Glutathione per day. Three hundred milligrams daily is needed to restore Glutathione levels. Its functions include helping to prevent cell damage by neutralizing harmful molecules known as free radicals; regulating DNA and protein synthesis; and promoting cell growth and immune response. The lungs use most of the Glutathione in the body and people with Emphysema, COPD, and Asthma benefit greatly from replacement Glutathione.

Well-known and widely used antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium neutralize free radicals. They occur naturally in nature, but not in the body – they must be introduced as part of a balanced diet. The body itself manufactures its own natural antioxidants. The most important of these is glutathione. Because all other antioxidants depend upon the presence of glutathione to function properly scientists call it “the master antioxidant”.

Healthy people also benefit from elevated glutathione levels through an enhanced ability to fight off toxins, infectious disease, pre-cancerous cells and the aging process itself. Diminished glutathione levels are a symptom of aging and are particularly evident in such ailments as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Glutathione is also important to physically active people. Many world-class athletes are discovering that well-maintained glutathione levels give them the edge over their competitors, bringing greater strength and endurance, decreased recovery time from injury, less muscle pain and fatigue, and muscle-promoting activity,

Increasing your glutathione level will naturally increase your energy, detoxify your body and strengthen your immune system. Glutathione also aids in liver support. By destroying environmental toxins, thus helping the liver to function as the main production site and storehouse for glutathione. The data indicate glutathione’s effectiveness not only in populations who are immune-suppressed, but also in those who are stressed, aging, lacking sleep, or with any prolonged illness.

Reduced Glutathione, commonly known as Glutathione or GSH is a tripeptide consisting of L-Glutamine, L-Cysteine, and Glycine and is ubiquitous in living systems. It is produced naturally in our cells. It functions both as an antioxidant and an antitoxin and is a major defense system against illness and aging. Our glutathione level actually indicates our state of health and can predict longevity. Although there are more than 60,000 published papers on the beneficial effects of glutathione replacement, it is still largely ignored by mainstream medicine. In the near future the importance of glutathione will be widely recognized because it has the ability to boost the immune system and fight off the damage of free radicals on the cells.

Precursors to glutathione such as whey protein, vitamin C, and Glutamine are often recommended to boost GSH levels in the body; however, results are inconsistent. Not every body ha the ability to successfully metabolize the precursor to raise glutathione.

In the last 5 years, over 25,000 medical articles about this substance have been published. Each and every cell in the body is responsible for its own supply of glutathione, and must have the necessary raw materials to make it. Glutathione is always in great demand and is rapidly consumed when we experience any sort of pressure – illness, stress, fatigue, and even exercise. Glutathione levels also diminish as we age and many diseases normally associated with aging have been linked to glutathione deficiency.

Increasing Age and Other Factors Reduce the Body’s Production and Utilization of GSH.

Research has shown that individuals who have low levels of glutathione are susceptible to chronic illness. Research shows that GSH levels decline by 8% to 12% per decade, beginning at the age of 20. Levels of glutathione are further reduced by continual stress upon the immune system such as illness, infection, and environmental toxins. As we now know, a lowered immune system can bring about illness and disease. This is a ferocious cycle. While you need glutathione for a productive immune system, a weakened immune system hampers the production of glutathione.

Glutathione and Aging

The concentration of glutathione declines with age and in some age-related diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Three major factors deplete Glutathione: Stress, Toxicity, and Inflammation.

What happens if Glutathione levels are low?

Glutathione deficiency contributes to oxidative stress, which plays a key role in aging and the worsening of many diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Lupus, Parkinson's disease, liver disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Psoriasis, Sickle cell anemia, HIV, AIDS, cancer, heart attack, all forms of arthritis, most autoimmune disorders, and diabetes. People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, and Hepatitis C, all forms of Herpes, including Shingles and Epstein-Barr, respond very well to glutathione replacement. Autism is also linked to low glutathione levels. Studies have shown that levels are typically 50% lower in children with autism

What Are Some of the Factors Affecting Glutathione Status?

Factors affecting glutathione status include:

  • Time of day: glutathione levels are lowest in the morning
  • Age: glutathione levels start to decline around age 45
  • State of health: a variety of conditions may deplete glutathione
  • Diet: processed foods may have little or no glutathione and some foods act as glutathione antagonists
  • Lifestyle: cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol intake diminish glutathione stores
  • Medications: both prescriptions and over-the-counter medications can deplete glutathione
  • Weight: people who are overweight tend to have lower glutathione levels

How will supplementation with Glutathione help me?

The benefits are innumerable, but some effects that have been proven in studies are:

  • Helps increase strength, increased exercise endurance, and energy
  • Supports Healthy Cell Function and Healthy Aging and may even slow aging through the effect on Telomeres.
  • Acetyl Glutathione crosses the membrane of the mitochondria, the energy-producing powerhouses of cells, increasing activity and minimizing reactive oxygen species (ROS) to enhance their function.
  • Enhances Antioxidant Activity of Vitamins C and E
  • Provides Intracellular Antioxidant Support and protects the body from oxidative stress.
  • Fights against the oxidation that occurs in the bloodstream, thus retarding the formation of plaque in the arteries
  • Aids the body’s healing response and Immune System-elevated glutathione levels enable the body to produce more white blood cells (lymphocytes). Glutathione is “food” for the immune system.
  • Protects against the complications of Diabetes
  • Helps the body fight toxins, infectious diseases, pre-cancerous cells, and aging itself.
  • Increases Natural Killer cell (NK) content and activity by 500%
  • Detoxify and Improve/Restore liver function, especially in alcoholic or viral hepatitis.
  • Supports Detoxification of Metals, Drugs, and Xenobiotics
  • Supports Healthy Immune Response
  • Supports and improves function of the Brain, Kidney, Liver, Lung, Heart, and Eye Health
  • Improved mental functions and concentration
  • Acetyl Glutathione has been shown to decrease TNF-alpha, NF-kappa beta, and F-2 isoprostane.
  • May influence the Th1/Th2 cytokine response pattern and may promote a more balanced immune reaction.
  • Clinical tests show that raised glutathione levels may address some of the major health issues of our time – heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, cigarette smoking, hepatitis, AIDS, neuropathic pain, post herpatic pain relief, brain injury and more.

Dosing of Glutathione:

  • A recent test on NK killer cells and topical glutathione palmitate, n of 24 study, showed an average increase of 300% NK killer cells with topical application of the Glutathione Palmitate cream in 6 weeks, 1 teaspoonful (5gm) daily.
  • There is no toxicity with glutathione – it is likened to water in its safety. 400mg/kg has safely been given to animals weighing less than 10 kilos with no side effects
  • Typical dose for a 150lb adult is 300mg/day.
  • Typical kid’s dosing is 150mg-200mg/day depending on the condition being treated.

What is the best form of Glutathione to take?

Glutathione by itself is not bioavailable when taken orally and not appreciably absorbed in human or animal models. Most oral forms of glutathione are foul smelling, and the majority of an oral dose is oxidized before it can be absorbed and used by the cells.

In order to have sufficient bioavailablity in an oral product, glutathione must be modified to Acetyl-Glutathione. Acetylation is the way all proteins, amino acids and peptides are transported by the body. In any molecular biology textbook it states that all peptides are transported in the body and into the brain in an acetylated form, to prevent peptidases from decomposing the peptides. That is why acetyl Carnitine passes the blood brain barrier and carnitine does not. The same is true of glutathione. Acetyl-glutathione is a food substance recognized as a Dietary Supplement and is generally regarded as safe, when used as directed. Acetylated Glutathione is stable in all of the digestive system and is well absorbed. Studies show Acetyl Glutathione increased intracellular glutathione and affected oxidative stress biomarkers postitively.

Murray Avenue Apothecary is the only compounding pharmacy to compound Acetyl-Glutathione the only absorbable form of Glutathione and the Palmitated topical form of Glutathione!


References

1. Vale, J.A., Meredith, T.J., Goulding, R. Treatment of acetaminophen poisoning with methionine. Arch. Intern. Med. 1981, 141:394-96.

2. Williamson, J.M., Meister, A. Stimulation of hepatic glutathione formation by administration of L-2-oxothizolidine-4-carboxylate. Proc.Natl. Acad. Sci. 1981, 78:936-39.

3. Hobbs, M.J., Butterworth, M., Cohen, G.M., Upshall, D.G. Structure-activity relationships of cysteine esters and their effects on thiol levels in rat lung in vitro. Biochem. Pharmacol. 1993, 45:1605-1612.

4. Flanagan, R.J., Meredith, T.J. Use of N-acetylcysteine in clinical toxicology. Am. J. Med. N1991, 91 (suppl 3C): 131S-139S.

5. Minhas, H., Thornalley, P.J. Comparison of the delivery of reduced glutathione into P388D cells by reduced glutathione and its mono- and diethyl ester derivatives. Biochem. Pharmacol. 1995, 49;10: 1475-1482.

6. Okun, J.G. Sauer, S., Bahr, S., Lenhartz, H., Mayatepek, E. S-acetyl glutathione normalizes intracellular glutathione content in cultured fibroblasts from patients with gluthione synthetase deficiency. J. Inher. Metab. Dis. 2004;27: 783-786.

7. Thiazoline ring induction in N-acetyl glutathione. Biochem. Biophys. Acta. 1970;208:159-162.

8. Levy, E.J., Anderson, M.E., Meister, A. On the synthesis and characterization of N-formyl glutathione and N-acetyl glutathione. Anal. Biochem. 1993 Oct;214(1): 135-7.

9. Donnerstag, Ohlenschlager, Cinatl, Amranim et al. Reduced glutathione and S-acetylglutathione as selective apoptosis-inducing agents in cancer therapy. Cancer letters 110 (1996);63070.

10. Stadtman, E.R. The net enzymatic synthesis of acetyl coenzyme A.J.>Biol.Chem. 1952,212:223:535-546.

11. Feuer, G. Acetylation of glutathione by the effect of an enzyme system isolated from brain extracts. Acta. Physiol. Hung. 1956;9(4):393-8

12. Stern, Drummond. Enzymes of ketone body metabolism 111. J. Biol. Chem. 1961;236:2892-2897.

13. Wang, W., Ballatori, N. Endogenous glutathione conjugates: Occurrence and biological function. Pharmacol. Rev. 1998;50(3):335-355.

14. N-acetylation of the glutathione residue of intact glutathione conjugates in rats. Yin, W.,Doss, G.,Stearns, R.,Kumar, S. Drug Metab. Dis. 2004;32:43-48.