Glutathione is a very potent antioxidant that plays a crucial role in the human body. It is found in almost every single cell and is involved in multiple processes, even though it is most well-known for its role in detoxification and its ability to neutralize free radicals. The highest concentrations of glutathione exist in the liver, where detoxification primarily takes place. In addition to its detoxification abilities, it also scavenges and neutralizes free radicals and helps with the recycling of other antioxidants (vitamins C and E) to keep them in their active form.
Glutathione is synthesized from three main amino acids, glycine, cysteine and glutamine. And while it is possible to increase glutathione levels from consuming these extra amino acids, intramuscular injections provide a quick increase to support the body’s needs at times of increased demands.
It is possible to take oral glutathione; however, it is less efficacious, due to it being broken down by enzymes as it passes through the digestive tract. In one study performed in 2013 participants had to take 1000mg orally for 6 months to see a 30% increase in blood concentration. Within one month of stopping supplementation levels had decreased back to baseline.
So, what causes an increased demand for glutathione in the body? Life!
Excess demands for glutathione occur when the body is exposed to prolonged stressors such as chronic illness from both bacteria and viruses, a build-up of toxins from pharmaceuticals, infection, radiation, pollution and carcinogens. All of these put a demand on the body for glutathione. When glutathione levels are low the immune system doesn’t function as well, and inflammation can be increased.
There are minimal side effects with glutathione injections, but it is important to talk to your doctor about what supplements and medications you are currently taking.
What is Glutathione?
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