What Is It?: Glutathione is a small protein composed of three amino acids: cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine.
Uses: Glutathione is usually considered to be a supplement. A deficiency can be the result of diseases that increase the need for glutathione, deficiencies of the amino acids needed for synthesis, or diseases that inhibit glutathione formation. Examples of some health conditions that are associated with glutathione deficiency include diabetes, low sperm counts, liver disease, cataracts, and HIV infection, respiratory distress syndrome, cancer, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Cigarette smoking is also associated with low glutathione levels because it increases the rate of utilization of glutathione. Dr. David Perlmutter says that the primary role of glutathione is not necessarily in preventing symptoms, but in slowing the disease by limiting free radicals. Glutathione is a free radical scavenger, so regardless of whether it helps patients symptomatically, day-to-day, it is still something that should be considered.
Glutathione is frequently given by IV injection because there are some concerns about how quickly it is destroyed when taken by mouth. Recent work with transdermal preparations suggests that applying glutathione with an active cream base will cause the glutathione to be absorbed (like an injection) but without the potential degradation (from an oral dose).
Glutathione doesn’t raise dopamine levels, but it allows the dopamine in the brain to be more effective. That’s not a new idea in medicine. Diabetic drugs work not by increasing insulin, but by increasing the receptors to insulin. Glutathione not only increases sensitivity to dopamine, but also to serotonin,
Possible Side Effects: No side effects or interactions are known with oral administration of glutathione. Since glutathione may increase the ability of the liver to process chemicals, there’s possibility that glutathione administration might render chemotherapy less effective.
Storage: Keep in the original container. Keep out of the reach of children and pets. Store all medicines away from excess heat and moisture. Do NOT store in the bathroom.