Glutathione

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We deal with Glutathione in our clinic in Tulsa as well as the Edmond clinic. Why? What is glutathione and what does it do?

Glutathione has numerous cellular function benefits including antioxidant protection and detoxification. It is essential for the maintenance of cell membrane integrity in red blood cells. Intracellular glutathione concentrations (as determined by the Spectracell test) are principally derived by intracellular synthesis, as few cells directly uptake glutathione from the surrounding extracellular fluid. The high concentration of glutathione in virtually all cells clearly indicates its importance in metabolic and oxidative detoxification processes.

Glutathione¬†is considered the “Master Antioxidant.”

Deficiency Symptoms

A wide range of human conditions such as aging, cancer, atherosclerosis, arthritis, viral infections, AIDS, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative diseases and pulmonary diseases may be produced, or made worse, by “free radicals.” Their treatment or prevention often includes antiooxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, carotenoids, and selenium. Glutathione is an essential component of the antioxidant defense system producing a “sparing effect” for both tocopherol and ascorbate by reducing the oxidized forms, and by eliminating hydrogen peroxide by reacting with glutathione peroxidase. Cellular glutathione functions to decrease the formation of oxidized LDL, implicated in the development of atherosclerosis. T-lymphocytes become deficient in glutathione in the prostaglandins from n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids which are important in the inflammatory response. Patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome are favorably affected by treatments that increase cellular glutathione.

Repletion Information

Glutathione is poorly absorbed from the GI tract and foods rich in glutathione do not appear to contribute to increases in intracellular glutathione levels. Cysteine appears to be the limiting amino acid in the intracellular synthesis of glutathione and supplementation with up to 2000mg daily of N-Acetyl Cysteine appears safe. Supplementation with cysteine is not recommended as it may be poorly tolerated by many patients. In addition, it may be rapidly oxidized to L-cystine, a less usable form for the synthesis of glutathione. Foods rich in cysteine are generally high protein foods such as meats, yogurt, wheat germ, and eggs.

S-Acetyl Glutathione is a form of glutathione that is well absorbed from the GI tract and can increase glutathione levels.