Often referred to as the “master” antioxidant because of its capacity to enhance the utilization and recycling of other antioxidants, glutathione (GSH) is a small protein found in virtually all cells. Its primary functions within the body include supporting the immune system, providing antioxidant protection, and removing toxins. The glutathione molecule is made up of three amino acids: cysteine, glycine, and glutamate. These amino acids act as glutathione “precursors,” and effectively increase the body’s production of glutathione. Health factors such as aging, infection, poor nutrition, excessive exercise, alcohol use, exposure to toxins, genetic defects, and high blood sugar levels may lead to an unhealthy glutathione status. Fortunately, some of these factors are “modifiable,” meaning that making healthy lifestyle choices can support healthier glutathione levels. Conversely, older adults, people with certain medical conditions, and athletes that train extensively may need additional glutathione support to maintain adequate levels.
Maintaining adequate glutathione levels helps optimize antioxidant levels, maintain immune and respiratory health, support brain and liver health, and increase the body’s capacity to remove toxins. Glutathione also plays a vital role in male fertility, maintaining adequate magnesium levels, and may help support healthier homocysteine and blood pressure levels. Given glutathione’s importance, the fact that infections, aging, and common medical conditions can deplete glutathione levels means many of us stand to benefit from supplementing with glutathione.
Benefits of Glutathione administered via IV drips may include:
- Supported immune system
- Reduced oxidative stress
- Regenerated antioxidants
- Removed toxins
- Healthy liver function
- Brain-supportive properties
- Supported cellular health by reducing homocysteine levels
- Support respiratory health