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Along with providing information on whether Glutathione supplements might be right for you, this article also links to Fullscript where you can buy supplements online through Fullscript’s secure healthcare formulary and get free shipping and 20% off the retail price of professional-grade supplements.

What Is Glutathione?

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that is naturally found in our bodies. It’s made up of three amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. These amino acids are called cysteine, glycine, and glutamate. Glutathione helps protect our cells from damage caused by harmful substances called free radicals.

This antioxidant plays a crucial role in keeping our immune system healthy, detoxifying our body, and helping our liver remove toxins. It also helps recycle other antioxidants, like vitamin C and vitamin E, so they can keep doing their job in protecting our cells.

As we age or experience stress, the amount of glutathione in our bodies can decrease. This can make it harder for our bodies to fight off damage from free radicals and can eventually lead to health problems. Some people take glutathione supplements or eat foods rich in the building blocks of glutathione to help keep their glutathione at healthy levels.

What are the Benefits of Glutathione?

  • Fights free radicals: Glutathione helps protect our cells from damage caused by harmful substances called free radicals.
  • Supports the immune system: Glutathione plays a key role in keeping our immune system healthy so it can fight infections and diseases.
  • Detoxifies the body: Glutathione helps our liver remove harmful toxins and heavy metals from our body.
  • Improves skin health: By protecting skin cells from damage, glutathione may help keep our skin healthy and reduce signs of aging.
  • Reduces inflammation: Glutathione can help lower inflammation in the body, which may reduce the risk of certain health problems.
  • Helps other antioxidants work better: Glutathione helps recycle other essential antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, so they can keep doing their job in protecting our cells.

The Different Forms of Glutathione: What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Each?

Glutathione is an antioxidant naturally produced in the body that helps prevent cell damage and plays a role in various bodily functions. Here are the different forms or types of glutathione:

  • L-glutathione: This is the most common form of glutathione and is produced naturally in the body. It has numerous benefits, including: improving the immune system, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, and supporting liver function.
  • Acetyl-glutathione: This is a modified form of L-glutathione that is more stable and has better absorption in the body. However, it can be more expensive and may not have as many benefits as L-glutathione.
  • Liposomal glutathione: This form of glutathione is encapsulated in tiny fat droplets called liposomes, which help it to be absorbed better in the body. However, it is more expensive and may not be necessary for everyone.
  • Reduced glutathione: This form of glutathione is the active form and is used by the body for various functions. However, it is unstable and can break down easily, making it less effective.
  • Oxidized glutathione: This is the inactive form of glutathione and is the result of the body using glutathione to neutralize toxins and free radicals. It can be recycled back to its active form, but this process can be slow and inefficient.

Is Glutathione Safe?

Glutathione is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in many fruits, vegetables, and meats. It is considered generally safe when consumed in appropriate amounts. As a supplement, it has been used safely by many people to support overall health and wellness. Most people tolerate glutathione supplements well, and they are often used without significant side effects.

Medication Interactions with Glutathione

  • Paracetamol (Acetaminophen): Depletes glutathione levels. High doses can reduce liver glutathione stores, increasing the risk of liver damage.
  • Chemotherapy Drugs (e.g., Cyclophosphamide, Cisplatin): Glutathione may reduce side effects. It can protect against oxidative damage in healthy cells without interfering with the therapeutic effects of the drugs.
  • Statins: May lower glutathione levels. Some studies suggest that long-term use of statins can deplete antioxidants, including glutathione.
  • Alcohol: Reduces glutathione in the liver. Chronic alcohol consumption can deplete liver glutathione, impairing detoxification processes.
  • Immunosuppressants (e.g., Cyclosporine): Potential for reduced glutathione levels. These drugs may stress the liver and deplete glutathione.
  • Aspirin and other NSAIDs: May decrease glutathione levels. Regular use of these medications, especially at high doses, can lower glutathione, affecting the stomach and liver.
  • Anticonvulsants (e.g., Phenytoin, Carbamazepine): Can deplete glutathione levels. Long-term use of these drugs may affect antioxidant status in the body.
  • Antiretroviral Drugs: Interaction with glutathione varies. Some drugs in this category may affect glutathione metabolism, impacting overall oxidative stress and liver function.

Supplement Interactions with Glutathione

  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC): Enhances glutathione production. NAC is a precursor to glutathione, thus it may boost glutathione levels in the body.
  • Milk Thistle (Silymarin): Supports glutathione levels. Milk Thistle is believed to increase glutathione in the liver, aiding in detoxification.
  • Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Recycles glutathione. It helps regenerate glutathione and extend its lifespan in the body.
  • Vitamin C and E: Work synergistically with glutathione. These antioxidants help regenerate glutathione in its active form.
  • Selenium: Integral for glutathione activity. Selenium is a key component of glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme that uses glutathione to detoxify harmful substances.
  • Curcumin: May increase glutathione levels. Curcumin is shown in some studies to boost glutathione synthesis and improve its activity.
  • Vitamin B6, B9 (Folate), B12: Involved in glutathione synthesis. Adequate levels of these vitamins are necessary for the body to produce glutathione.

Food Sources of Glutathione

Food SourceAmount of Glutathione
Fresh fruits and vegetablesVaries, but typically low to moderate amounts
Avocado27.7 mg per 100 g
Asparagus28.3 mg per 100 g
Spinach5.3 mg per 100 g
Okra13.4 mg per 100 g
Broccoli19.9 mg per 100 g
Tomatoes169.7 mg per 100 g
Peppers (red, green, yellow)Varies, but typically low to moderate amounts
Garlic14.4 mg per 100 g
Onions6.3 mg per 100 g
Walnuts28.6 mg per 100 g
Pistachios10.6 mg per 100 g
Fresh, raw meat (e.g. beef, pork)22.6 – 34.9 mg per 100 g
Fish (e.g. salmon, cod)20.8 – 50.6 mg per 100 g

It’s important to note that cooking and processing can affect the levels of glutathione in foods, so it’s best to consume these foods in their fresh, raw or lightly cooked state to maximize their glutathione content. Additionally, the body can also synthesize glutathione from other nutrients, such as cysteine, which is found in high-protein foods like meat, poultry, and dairy products.

Order Glutathione Online

Why Professionals Choose the Fullscript Formulary

Your health is on the line. Health professionals know that many other online and retail options set a very low bar for quality–sometimes amazingly low. The Fullscript formulary is the most secure online source for the highest quality brands securely sourced to assure freshness and purity. Here’s what makes Fullscript the best:

  • Meticulous vetting of brand quality. Health professionals trust Fullscript to continuously monitor the quality of each item on the platform. Other retailers operate with profit as their highest or only motive when choosing brands. Fullscript cares only about quality and reliability. Unlike discount stores, large online marketplaces, and other retailers you won’t find ingredients sourced from China or other questionable locations or companies.
  • Free shipping over $50 and best prices when you order through Supplement Sciences.
  • Freshness. Fullscript prioritizes freshness over bulk buying even if it means an increased risk of briefly being out of stock.
  • Top quality phone and online support. When you call, knowledgeable humans at Fullscript answer your questions.
  • How It Works:
    • Easy Sign-up & No Spam Email: Click the “View Product” button below to be taken to Fullscript’s login page where you can quickly create your secure account with just your name, email, and phone number. Then you will be taken directly to the product page.
    • Wide variety of supplement options: Once you sign in to your account, you are not limited to the products listed below. You will see similar items listed at the bottom of each product page on Fullscript.
    • Search For What You Want: Once inside Fullscript, you can search for the exact brands and products you want from their wide selection of quality brands.

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Liposomal Glutathione

Research Dose: 500 mg-1000 mg of Liposomal Glutathione

Explanation: A study of 12 individuals given either 500 or 1000 mg/day of liposomal glutathione showed increased intracellular absorption, not just an increase in plasma levels. With 2 weeks of use, it also showed improved oxidative stress markers and improved natural killer cell function. They did not note a difference between the two dosing levels. PMC6389332

Reduced Glutathione is not the same. Initial research with oral glutathione, not in the liposomal form, did not show elevated glutathione levels or decreases in oxidative stress markers.12 Glutathione easily changes from the active “reduced” form to the inactive “oxidized” form, so it may not remain in the active form during absorption from the digestive tract. Reference: PMID: 21875351

To Sum It Up

We’ve seen that Glutathione supplements offer a few very worthwhile health benefits. These include enhancing antioxidant defenses, supporting detoxification processes, and potentially improving skin health. Research also suggests a role in boosting immune function and may have benefits for respiratory health.

This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.

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