Our bodies produce a beautiful antioxidant called Glutathione which is a combination of three amino acids found in the body – cysteine, glycine, and glutamine.
While this antioxidant naturally declines with age, it can also be reduced via poor nutrition, environmental toxins, and stress.
In addition to being produced naturally by the body, glutathione can be given intravenously, topically, or as an inhalant.
Love this summary about Glutathione benefits and sources from Healthline
Glutathione benefits 1. Reduces oxidative stress 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.
2. May improve psoriasis A small studyTrusted Source 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.
3. Reduces cell damage in alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease 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 studyTrusted Source 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 small studyTrusted Source 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.
4. Improves insulin resistance in older individuals 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.
5. Increases mobility for people with peripheral artery disease 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.
6. Reduces symptoms of Parkinson’s disease 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.
7. May help fight against autoimmune disease The chronic inflammation caused by autoimmune diseases can increase oxidative stress. These diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and lupus. According to one studyTrusted Source, 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.
8. May reduce oxidative damage in children with autism Several studiesTrusted Source, including a clinical trial reported in Medical Science MonitorTrusted Source, 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.
9. May reduce the impact of uncontrolled diabetes 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.
10. May reduce respiratory disease symptoms 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. N-acetylcysteine is byproduct of glutathioneTrusted Source.
Glutathione is found in some foods, although cooking and pasteurization diminish its levels significantly. Its highest concentrations are in:
raw or very rare meat
unpasteurized milk and other unpasteurized dairy products
freshly-picked fruits and vegetables, such as avocado, and asparagus
Forms Glutathione contains sulfur molecules, which may be why foods high in sulfur help to boost its natural production in the body. These foods include:
cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy
allium vegetables, such as garlic and onions
lean protein, such as fish, and chicken
Other foods and herbs that help to naturally boost glutathione levels include:
Glutathione is also negatively affected by insomnia. Getting enough rest on a regular basis can help increase levels.
Supplemental Glutathione Side Effects per Organicfacts
The use of this supplement, or changing your diet to include more of it, is a great idea for those who want to protect their overall health, but there can be some side effects, including the worsening of asthma, complications with pregnancy, stomach problems, and allergic reactions. In terms of dosage, most experts don’t recommend consuming more than 500 milligrams per day. 
Asthma: There have been numerous reports of glutathione supplements causing respiratory distress, including the worsening of asthma for those suffering from that problem.
Pregnancy: There have not been enough confirmed studies of glutathione use during pregnancy to recommend it safely, so it is usually not advised for nursing or pregnant women.
Stomach Issues: Cramping and bloating are common side effects caused by glutathione supplementation, due to the rapid metabolization of the compound in the small intestine. While this side effect is common, it can be very uncomfortable for those with a sensitive stomach.
Allergies: Although there is no clear allergic pathway for the compound, some users do describe allergic reaction symptoms, such as topical inflammation, stomach upset and nausea.
Takeaway Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that’s made in the body’s cells. Its levels decrease as a result of aging, stress, and toxin exposure. Boosting glutathione may provide many health benefits, including reduction of oxidative stress.
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