Glutathione & N-Acetyl Cysteine: Master Antioxidants Critical for Our Health

Glutathione Levels

Glutathione is one of the strongest and most important antioxidants produced in the human body. Because of the way the body metabolizes and manufactures related nutrients, glutathione cannot be discussed apart from N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), a form of the amino acid cysteine. NAC raises glutathione levels in the body, sometimes even better than oral glutathione itself!

Nearly any systemic disease will show markedly diminished levels of glutathione. People with cancer, for example, fare much worse when their levels of glutathione readings are low. Older people with lower levels are closely associated with greater risks of heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Conversely, NAC supplements correspond to improvements in blood pressure, body fat, and the cholesterol ratio. It is also critical in lowering Lpa, a sticky form of cholesterol that is strongly related to heart disease and stroke. Additionally, no other antioxidant works so dramatically as glutathione to reverse blood clotting inside vessels.

Which brings me to an important topic in the news recently regarding a mom fighting severe signs of COVID-19 given oral glutathione by her pre-med son. She was rapidly declining with increased shortness of breath, and no prescription medication was working. Her son, through the advice of a preceptor, gave her 2000 mg of oral glutathione as a last resort. Within an hour, her symptoms improved dramatically, and she has remained symptom-free since. It appears that glutathione worked in three important ways. It enhanced her immune response, reduced inflammation systemically, and, possibly most importantly, eliminated blood clotting to her lungs, of which COVID is known to cause, which allowed her to rapidly improve breathing. Glutathione was studied in the nineties for its positive effects on AIDS and other viruses. It also showed strong antiviral activity among a large group of other viruses.

For Parkinson’s patients, I always make sure they receive both high doses of intravenous glutathione and oral versions. It has been shown that the area of the brain called the substantia nigra, where Parkinson’s originates is markedly depleted of glutathione, and consequently, oxidative damage occurs there. NAC and glutathione are strong detoxifiers of heavy metals, pesticides, and other environmental pollutants, and they are always used when I am chelating patients. NAC is also a strong mucolytic, meaning it will break up mucous, particularly in the lungs during infection. That is why at the Salerno Center, we use iv, oral and nebulized NAC and glutathione. Results are great, and their antiviral properties are another major plus.

For many years oral glutathione was not very effective because our digestive enzymes destroyed it. That is why NAC orally was considered superior in raising serum glutathione levels. However, recently scientists have developed a form of glutathione that bypasses the stomach acid and is absorbed consistently in the small intestine. We are happy to report that the Salerno Center was one of the first to carry this vitamin, now called Glutathione Factor. It is an essential nutrient to take during this time of COVID-19 and while experiencing periods of stress, which depletes our production.

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