Glutathione is a molecule that has been the subject of over 160,000 scientific articles due to its beneficial properties. Unfortunately, many people are deficient in this molecule due to factors such as chronic stress, environmental toxins, and poor nutrition. Glutathione is an antioxidant that is naturally produced in cells from three amino acids: glutamine, glycine, and cysteine.
Although glutathione can be taken orally as a supplement, it is most effective when given directly intravenously, topically, or as an inhalant. Here are some of the many benefits of glutathione IV therapy:
- Reduces oxidative stress: Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to fight them off. Too much oxidative stress may lead to diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. Glutathione has been shown to help reduce oxidative stress, thus decreasing the likelihood of developing such diseases.
- May improve psoriasis: A small study has indicated that taking whey protein orally, which increases glutathione levels, can improve psoriasis with or without additional treatment.
- Reduces cell damage in fatty liver disease: Glutathione can improve protein, enzyme, and bilirubin levels in the blood of individuals with alcoholic and nonalcoholic chronic fatty liver disease.
- Improves insulin resistance in older individuals: Baylor School of Medicine researchers have found that low glutathione levels are associated with less fat burning and higher rates of fat storing in the body. Adding cysteine and glycine to older subjects’ diets to increase glutathione levels improved insulin resistance and fat burning.
- Increases mobility for people with peripheral artery disease: Glutathione improved circulation, increasing the ability of study participants to walk pain-free for longer distances.
- Reduces symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: Intravenous glutathione has been shown to reduce symptoms such as tremors and rigidity in people with Parkinson’s disease.
- May help fight against autoimmune disease: Glutathione helps reduce oxidative stress by either stimulating or reducing the body’s immunological response, thus making it beneficial for individuals with autoimmune diseases.
- May reduce oxidative damage in kids with autism: Children with autism have higher levels of oxidative damage and lower levels of glutathione in their brains. Glutathione supplements have been shown to improve cysteine, plasma sulfate, and whole-blood glutathione levels in autistic children.
- May reduce the impact of uncontrolled diabetes: Patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes have severely deficient glutathione levels. Dietary supplementation with glutathione building blocks cysteine and glycine has been shown to boost glutathione levels, lowering oxidative stress and damage in people with uncontrolled diabetes.
- May improve recovery after exercise: Glutathione may be beneficial for optimal performance, recovery, and overall health after prolonged, high-intensity or unaccustomed exercise.
- May help fight infection and protect the lungs from damage: Glutathione may help improve the immune system and decrease inflammation when fighting infections such as viral infections like influenza, HIV, tuberculosis, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
In addition to supplements, there are dietary sources of glutathione as well, such as raw or very rare meat, unpasteurized milk and dairy products, freshly-picked fruits and vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, allium vegetables, eggs, nuts, legumes, and lean protein like fish and chicken.