Is it Safe To Take Glutathione Supplements?
What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant found in every cell of the human body. It consists of three types of molecules called amino acids. Amino acids combine in different ways to make all proteins in the body. The most important thing about glutathione is that the body can make it in the liver, which is not the case with most antioxidants.
Glutathione has many important functions, including:
- The basis for making DNA, proteins and cells.
- Support of immune function.
- Sperm formation.
- Break down some free radicals.
- Help certain enzymes to work.
- Regenerate vitamins C and E.
- Transport mercury from the brain.
- Help the liver and gallbladder process fat.
- Support normal cell death (a process called apoptosis).
Researchers have found a link between low glutathione and certain diseases. Oral or intravenous (IV) supplementation can increase glutathione levels.
Another option is to take supplements that activate the body’s natural glutathione production. These supplements include:
- Superoxide dismutase.
Reducing exposure to toxins and increasing healthy food intake are also excellent ways to naturally increase glutathione levels.
What are the benefits of glutathione?
Here are the benefits of glutathione that you need to know:
- Antioxidant Activity
Free radicals can cause ageing and certain diseases. Antioxidants help fight to the free radicals and protect the body from their harmful effects. Glutathione is a very powerful antioxidant, partly because high concentrations of glutathione occur in every cell of the body.
- Prevent Cancer Progression
Some studies have shown that glutathione can prevent cancer progression. However, the same study found that glutathione may decrease the sensitivity of tumours to chemotherapy, which is a common cancer treatment. Determining the effect of glutathione on cancer requires more research.
- Reduce Cell Damages In The Liver Disease
Hepatitis, alcoholism and fatty liver can all damage liver cells. A small clinical trial in 2017 concluded that glutathione may help treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease due to its antioxidant properties and detoxification potential. The researchers pointed out that larger studies are needed to confirm this effect.
- Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin resistance can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. The production of insulin causes the body to transfer glucose (sugar) from the blood to the cells that use it for energy. A small study in 2018 found that patients with insulin resistance tend to have lower glutathione levels, especially if they experience complications such as neuropathy or retinopathy. A 2013 study came to a similar conclusion.
- Reduce the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Some studies suggest that maintaining glutathione levels may help relieve Parkinson’s disease symptoms. The findings appear to support glutathione injection as a possible therapy, but there is little evidence for oral supplements. Further research is needed to support its use.
- Reduce the damage from ulcerative colitis
Like other inflammatory diseases, ulcerative colitis is also associated with oxidative damage and stress. An animal study in 2003 showed that glutathione supplementation in rats may improve some damage to the colon. Determining the effect of glutathione on ulcerative colitis requires more research in humans.
- Treat Autism Spectrum Disorder
There is some evidence that children with autism have lower glutathione content than children with neurotypes or children without autism. In 2011, researchers discovered that oral supplements or injections of glutathione can reduce some of the effects of autism. However, the research team has not specifically investigated whether the child’s symptoms have improved, so further research is needed to determine this effect.
Frequently Asked the Question About Glutathione
- Is there any side effect of glutathione?
Glutathione does help, but it should be taken regularly. There are side effects, but these are very rare. However, it is important to discuss the same issues with a dermatologist.
- Is it safe to take glutathione supplement while on an isoniazid medication?
Glutathione is an antioxidant normally produced by the liver. Antioxidants help repair the damage caused by free radicals and thus prevent cell death. Recently, many people are interested in increasing their antioxidant content, hoping that it will further improve damaged cell repair. Unfortunately, there is no high-quality data to support this. In fact, some recent data indicate that a high intake of antioxidants is harmful.
The FDA regulates supplements other than medications. Therefore, many supplements don’t really contain the supplements they claim. This can be particularly dangerous in terms of drug interactions. Isoniazid usually interacts with several other substances. Therefore, unless you discuss further with your doctor, I recommend that you do not take glutathione supplements.
Glutathione is a very strong antioxidant that the human body makes and uses every day. Researchers associate low levels with various medical conditions. While supplements may be suitable for some people, they may not be suitable for everyone and may interact with other medications that people take. Talk to your doctor before starting to supplement glutathione to determine if it is safe or effective.