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Can glutathione be used as an ORAL

supplement in patients to prevent or treat


diseases associated with deficiency?
The use of glutathione in the form of a pill is
widely debated. Many health food stores and
websites claim that their oral supplements
prevent aging and much more. These claims are
not based on any scientific evidence, and use of
these supplements should be cautioned. They are
not going to cause you any harm, but they arent
going to increase your glutathione levels either.
The reality is that glutathione is not absorbed
very well when taken in the oral form. It is largely
broken down by enzymes within the intestine.
Studies have found that it is not possible to
increase the amount of glutathione in your blood
by taking it orally. Instead, glutathione must be
administered intravenously.
With that being said, it is has been shown that
consuming the precursors (amino acids) of
glutathione orally will cause the body to increase
its production of glutathione. That is, consuming
whey protein is one way to increase the amount
of glutathione within your body. More studies are
needed to determine if consuming a whey protein
will affect the course of diseases known to be
associated with glutathione deficiency. In the
meantime, if you want to increase your
glutathione levels, drinking whey protein shakes
at the recommended amounts is the best way to
do so.

Glutathione is a peptide comprised of the amino acids


glutamine, cysteine and glycine. A universally
acclaimed constituent of cellular defense systems,
glutathione has been the subject of over 20,000 studies
over the past 80 years. In its reduced form, glutathione
serves as a powerful antioxidant in nearly every cell of
the body. In the liver, it aids detoxification by
interacting with toxins and promoting their excretion. In
light of its widespread protective roles, glutathione is a
prudent addition to any health and wellness protocol.*
Significant antioxidant support and related health
benefits have been demonstrated in animal and human
studies of orally administered glutathione.1-4 Despite
these outcomes, questions regarding bioavailability
have evoked some controversy over the years. Since
glutathione is a peptide, it is subject to degradation by
peptidase enzymes in the digestive tract. Indeed, some
evidence suggests that a fraction of an oral dose is
broken down in this manner, yielding free glutamine,
cysteine and glycine.3 The amino acids reassemble
following absorption, affording considerable increases
in plasma glutathione levels. However, other lines of
evidence suggest that only a fraction of glutathione
follows this course.*
Absorption of intact glutathione through the intestinal
epithelium has been clearly documented.4 In addition,
special carrier proteins that occur in the intestine,
heart, lungs, liver and brain enable intact glutathione to
cross membranes throughout the body.3,4 Regardless of
the route taken, the efficacy of orally administered
glutathione is generally supported by cumulative body
of evidence. However, enhancement of
pharmacokinetic performance through various delivery
technologies is an evolving area of glutathione research

Glutathione?
Glutathione is the most abundant anti-oxidant
found within the human body. It is a tripeptide
composed of three amino acids.
What does glutathione do?
Glutathione has many important roles within our
bodies. Some of which include DNA and protein
synthesis, gene expression, immune response,
and cell death. Deficiency of glutathione
contributes to aging as well as many diseases
such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, cardiovascular
disease, AIDS, cancer, liver disease and epilepsy.
How do we get glutathione?
Glutathione is synthesized within the body from
amino acids when they are consumed in the form
of protein in the diet. Consuming protein is
essential for the formation of glutathione.
Can glutathione be used as an ORAL
supplement in patients to prevent or treat
diseases associated with deficiency?
The use of glutathione in the form of a pill is
widely debated. Many health food stores and
websites claim that their oral supplements
prevent aging and much more. These claims are
not based on any scientific evidence, and use of
these supplements should be cautioned. They are
not going to cause you any harm, but they arent
going to increase your glutathione levels either.
The reality is that glutathione is not absorbed
very well when taken in the oral form. It is largely

broken down by enzymes within the intestine.


Studies have found that it is not possible to
increase the amount of glutathione in your blood
by taking it orally. Instead, glutathione must be
administered intravenously.
With that being said, it is has been shown that
consuming the precursors (amino acids) of
glutathione orally will cause the body to increase
its production of glutathione. That is, consuming
whey protein is one way to increase the amount
of glutathione within your body. More studies are
needed to determine if consuming a whey protein
will affect the course of diseases known to be
associated with glutathione deficiency. In the
meantime, if you want to increase your
glutathione levels, drinking whey protein shakes
at the recommended amounts is the best way to
do so.