How This Powerful Nutrient Can Help You Feel and Look Better
Glutathione, an antioxidant produced naturally by the body, plays a critical role in maintaining good health and wellness. However, factors like aging, poor diet and exposure to environmental toxins can lead to reduced levels in the body.
This is where supplementation comes in. In this article, we’ll explore the various benefits of glutathione when taken intravenously—let’s delve in!
What Is Glutathione?
The antioxidant glutathione, or GSH, is a natural compound in your body made from the amino acids L-cysteine, glycine, and L-glutamate. It’s produced by the liver and the nerve cells in your central nervous system to help break down nutrients, fight free radicals, regulate your immune response, and protect your body from oxidative stress.
While you can get glutathione in your diet—most commonly in raw meat, unpasteurized dairy, and fresh fruits and vegetables—cooking and pasteurization heavily reduce its levels.
To fully reap its health benefits, many people choose to either take glutathione as an intramuscular injection or as a glutathione IV. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, however, you should avoid taking it in any form.
Benefits of Glutathione
Here are eight reasons that make GSH a popular supplement among people looking to improve their health.
1. Lowers Oxidative Stress
Whenever your body has trouble fighting free radicals, oxidative stress occurs. Oftentimes, too much oxidative stress precedes certain diseases like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes.
Since glutathione can reduce oxidative stress, it can help lower the risk of developing these diseases. In fact, a Journal of Cancer Science and Therapy article supported this by stating that oxidative stress caused by a deficiency in GSH may lead to cancer. At the same time, increasing glutathione in the body could lower oxidative stress in cancer cells.
2. May Alleviate the Effects of Uncontrolled Diabetes
Prolonged high blood sugar levels lead to decreased levels of glutathione, causing tissue damage and oxidative stress. However, a two-week study demonstrated that glutathione levels could be increased through supplements with cysteine and glycine. Even when their sugar levels were high, people with uncontrolled diabetes who took GSH supplements showed reduced oxidative stress and damage as a result.
3. Potential to Combat Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and lupus cause chronic inflammation, resulting in increased oxidative stress. Glutathione can combat oxidative stress by removing free radicals, thereby protecting cell mitochondria attacked by these autoimmune diseases.
4. Glutathione Benefits for Fatty Liver Disease
The deficiency of antioxidants, such as glutathione, can contribute to liver cell damage and the development of fatty liver disease in both alcohol abusers and non-drinkers. Research has shown that intravenous administration of high doses of glutathione is most effective for those with fatty liver disease, leading to improvements in blood levels of proteins, enzymes, and bilirubin.
5. Boosts Insulin Sensitivity in Elderly Individuals
A team of researchers at Baylor School of Medicine conducted animal and human studies to examine the role of glutathione in weight management and insulin resistance among older people. The results showed that low levels of glutathione were linked to reduced fat burning and increased fat storage in the body. To increase glutathione levels, the study added cysteine and glycine to the diets of older people, which led to a significant improvement in insulin resistance and fat burning within just two weeks.
6. Alleviates Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease, a condition that impacts the central nervous system, has no known cure. However, a previous study found that intravenous administration of glutathione improved symptoms of Parkinson’s such as rigidity and tremors. Although further research is needed, these findings are promising and demonstrate that glutathione may alleviate symptoms, resulting in an improved quality of life for patients.
7. May Alleviate Psoriasis
A study in which participants received 20 g of whey protein as an oral supplement demonstrated that GSH may improve signs of psoriasis. Whey protein has been shown to elevate glutathione levels in the body, indicating that GSH can help alleviate this skin condition.
8. Enhances Mobility in Individuals With Peripheral Artery Disease
Characterized by plaque build-up in peripheral arteries, peripheral artery disease commonly affects the legs. A study discovered that glutathione enhances blood circulation, which allows participants with the disease to walk longer distances without experiencing pain. Those who received glutathione via intravenous infusions twice daily for five days exhibited improved mobility compared to those who were administered a placebo.
With its promising antioxidant effects, glutathione has become a supplement of choice for many people looking to support their health and achieve their beauty goals.
While GSH is not considered an essential nutrient, supplementation can provide a number of health benefits such as lowering oxidative stress, reducing cell damage in the liver, improving psoriasis, enhancing insulin resistance in older people, boosting immunity, and more.
If you decide to take intravenous glutathione, or in any other form, we recommend you put safety first and consult your primary healthcare provider.