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Essential Glutathione: The Mother of All Antioxidants

Essential Glutathione: The Mother of All Antioxidants

IT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT MOLECULE you need to stay healthy and prevent disease — yet you’ve probably never heard of it. It’s the secret to prevent aging, cancer, heart disease, dementia and more, and necessary to treat everything from autism to Alzheimer’s disease. There are more than 89,000 medical articles about it — but your doctor doesn’t know how address the epidemic deficiency of this critical life-giving molecule …

What is it? I’m talking about the mother of all antioxidants, the master detoxifier and maestro of the immune system: GLUTATHIONE (pronounced “gloota-thigh-own”).

The good news is that your body produces its own glutathione. The bad news is that poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all deplete your glutathione.

This leaves you susceptible to unrestrained cell disintegration from oxidative stress, free radicals, infections and cancer. And your liver gets overloaded and damaged, making it unable to do its job of detoxification.

In treating chronically ill patients with Functional Medicine for more than 10 years, I have discovered that glutathione deficiency is found in nearly all very ill patients. These include people with chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, cancer, chronic infections, autoimmune disease, diabetes, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, asthma, kidney problems, liver disease and more.

At first I thought that this was just a coincidental finding, but over the years I have come to realize that our ability to produce and maintain a high level of glutathione is critical to recovery from nearly all chronic illness — and to preventing disease and maintaining optimal health and performance. The authors of those 76,000 medical articles on glutathione I mentioned earlier have found the same thing!

So in today’s blog I want to explain what glutathione is, why it’s important and give you 9 tips that will help you optimize your glutathione levels, improve your detoxification system and protect help yourself from chronic illness.

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is a very simple molecule that is produced naturally all the time in your body. It is a combination of three simple building blocks of protein or amino acids — cysteine, glycine and glutamine.

The secret of its power is the sulfur (SH) chemical groups it contains. Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule. It acts like fly paper and all the bad things in the body stick onto it, including free radicals and toxins like mercury and other heavy metals.

Normally glutathione is recycled in the body — except when the toxic load becomes too great. And that explains why we are in such trouble …

In my practice, I test the genes involved in glutathione metabolism. These are the genes involved in producing enzymes that allow the body to create and recycle glutathione in the body. These genes have many names, such as GSTM1, GSTP1 and more.

Nearly all my very sick patients are missing this function. The one-third of our population that suffers from chronic disease is missing this essential gene. That includes me.

These genes impaired in some people for a variety of important reasons. We humans evolved in a time before the 80,000 toxic industrial chemicals found in our environment today were introduced into our world, before electromagnetic radiation was everywhere and before we polluted our skies, lakes, rivers, oceans and teeth with mercury and lead.

That is why most people survived with the basic version of the genetic detoxification software encoded in our DNA, which is mediocre at ridding the body of toxins. At the time humans evolved we just didn’t need more. Who knew we would be poisoning ourselves and eating a processed, nutrient-depleted diet thousands of years later?

Because most of us didn’t require additional detoxification software, almost of half of the population now has a limited capacity to get rid of toxins. These people are missing GSTM1 function — one of the most important genes needed in the process of creating and recycling glutathione in the body.

Nearly all my very sick patients are missing this function. The one-third of our population that suffers from chronic disease is missing this essential gene. That includes me. Twenty years ago I became mercury poisoned and suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome due to this very problem. My GSTM1 function was inadequate and I didn’t produce enough glutathione as a result. Eventually, my body broke down and I became extremely ill …

This is the same problem I see in so many of my patients. They are missing this critical gene and they descend into disease as a result. Let me explain how this happens …

The Importance of Glutathione in Protecting Against Chronic Illness

Glutathione is critical for one simple reason: It recycles antioxidants. You see, dealing with free radicals is like handing off a hot potato. They get passed around from vitamin C to vitamin E to lipoic acid and then finally to glutathione which cools off the free radicals and recycles other antioxidants. After this happens, the body can “reduce” or regenerate another protective glutathione molecule and we are back in business.

However, problems occur when we are overwhelmed with too much oxidative stress or too many toxins. Then the glutathione becomes depleted and we can no longer protect ourselves against free radicals, infections, or cancer and we can’t get rid of toxins. This leads to further sickness and soon we are in the downward spiral of chronic illness.

But that’s not all. Glutathione is also critical in helping your immune system do its job of fighting infections and preventing cancer. That’s why studies show that it can help in the treatment of AIDS.(i)

Glutathione is also the most critical and integral part of your detoxification system. All the toxins stick onto glutathione, which then carries them into the bile and the stool — and out of your body.

And lastly, it also helps us reach peak mental and physical function. Research has shown that raised glutathione levels decrease muscle damage, reduce recovery time, increase strength and endurance and shift metabolism from fat production to muscle development.

If you are sick or old or are just not in peak shape, you likely have glutathione deficiency.
In fact, the top British medical journal, the Lancet, found the highest glutathione levels in healthy young people, lower levels in healthy elderly, lower still in sick elderly and the lowest of all in the hospitalized elderly. (ii)

Keeping yourself healthy, boosting your performance, preventing disease and aging well depends on keeping your glutathione levels high. I’ll say it again … Glutathione is so important because it is responsible for keeping so many of the keys to UltraWellness optimized.

It is critical for immune function and controlling inflammation. It is the master detoxifier and the body’s main antioxidant, protecting our cells and making our energy metabolism run well.

And the good news is that you can do many things to increase this natural and critical molecule in your body. You can eat glutathione-boosting foods. You can exercise. And you can take glutathione-boosting supplements. Let’s review more specifics about each.

9 Tips to Optimize your Glutathione Levels

These 9 tips will help you improve your glutathione levels, improve your health, optimize your performance and live a long, healthy life.

Eat Foods that Support Glutathione Production

1. Consume sulfur-rich foods. The main ones in the diet are garlic, onions and the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, etc.).

2. Try bioactive whey protein. This is great source of cysteine and the amino acid building blocks for glutathione synthesis. As you know, I am not a big fan of dairy. But this is an exception — with a few warnings. The whey protein MUST be bioactive and made from non-denatured proteins (“denaturing” refers to the breakdown of the normal protein structure). Choose non-pasteurized and non-industrially produced milk that contains no pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics. Immunocal is a prescription bioactive non-denatured whey protein that is even listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference.

Exercise for Your Way to More Glutathione

3. Exercise boosts your glutathione levels and thereby helps boost your immune system, improve detoxification and enhance your body’s own antioxidant defenses. Start slow and build up to 30 minutes a day of vigorous aerobic exercise like walking or jogging, or play various sports. Strength training for 20 minutes 3 times a week is also helpful.

Take Glutathione Supporting Supplements

One would think it would be easy just to take glutathione as a pill, but the body digests protein — so you wouldn’t get the benefits if you did it this way. However, the production and recycling of glutathione in the body requires many different nutrients and you CAN take these. Here are the main supplements that need to be taken consistently to boost glutathione. Besides taking a multivitamin and fish oil, supporting my glutathione levels with these supplements is the most important thing I do every day for my personal health.

4. N-acetyl-cysteine. This has been used for years to help treat asthma and lung disease and to treat people with life-threatening liver failure from Tylenol overdose. In fact, I first learned about it in medical school while working in the emergency room. It is even given to prevent kidney damage from dyes used during x-ray studies.

5. Alpha lipoic acid. This is a close second to glutathione in importance in our cells and is involved in energy production, blood sugar control, brain health and detoxification. The body usually makes it, but given all the stresses we are under, we often become depleted.

6. Methylation nutrients (folate and vitamins B6 and B12). These are perhaps the most critical to keep the body producing glutathione. Methylation and the production and recycling of glutathione are the two most important biochemical functions in your body. Take folate (especially in the active form of 5 methyltetrahydrofolate), B6 (in active form of P5P) and B12 (in the active form of methylcobalamin).

7. Selenium. This important mineral helps the body recycle and produce more glutathione.

8. A family of antioxidants including vitamins C and E (in the form of mixed tocopherols), work together to recycle glutathione.

9. Milk thistle (silymarin) has long been used in liver disease and helps boost glutathione levels.

So use these nine tips and see how they work to help you optimize your glutathione levels. When you do, you will take one more step to lifelong vibrant health.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Had you ever heard of this important nutrient before?

Have you tried any of the advice in this article?

What effects have you noticed on your health?

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below.

References

(i) De Rosa SC, Zaretsky MD, Dubs JG, Roederer M, Anderson M, Green A, Mitra D, Watanabe N, Nakamura H, Tjioe I, Deresinski SC, Moore WA, Ela SW, Parks D, Herzenberg LA, Herzenberg LA. N-acetylcysteine replenishes glutathione in HIV infection. Eur J Clin Invest. 2000 Oct;30(10):915-29

(ii) Nuttall S, Martin U, Sinclair A, Kendall M. 1998. Glutathione: in sickness and in health. The Lancet 351(9103):645-646

Mark Hyman MD is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

Comments (75)

  • Good day..nice and very informative..I would like to ask if It’s bad for diabetics to take glutathione supplements? If so, why?..

    • Hi Joy,

      Glutathione is not bad for people with diabetes. For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

    • i have been doing hours upon hours of research to find the best suplements for glutathione, i have been finding mixed messages about the safety of the suplements you list. is it really safe to be taking

      N-Acetyl Cysteine NAC Capsules 600mg
      Alpha Lipoic Acid Capsules 100mg
      Selenium Plus Zinc Tablets
      Schwabe Pharma Thisilyn Milk Thistle Capsules
      as well as your normal a-z multivitamins?

      this seems like an awful lots to take, with mixed reviews of over dosing or side affects present with each one.

  • I am one that is missing the GSTM1 altogether, which I believe led to my cancer. I am amazed that doctor’s don’t know what this is or how to help you.Two of the doctor’s used the excuse they didn’t learn it in medical school. Do they not know what the internet is?

  • Thank you for the information . Im going to give it a try . Will let you know what happens . Thanks again .

    JIM HENDRIX

  • This is a great article. How much of the above products should I take per day – bioactive whey protein, N-acetyl cysteine, alpha lipoic acid, selenium and milk thistle. My siser takes immunocal daily, but do they above products give the same result?

    • Dear Margaret,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. The dosage for each of these is dependent upon many factors such as can you tolerate whey, do you take a multivitamin that might already have some of these nutrients in them or are you on any medications that might conflict with an herb etc. Because of this, Dr. Hyman suggests personalizing his suggestions by working with his nutrition coaches.

      To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.
      In Good Health,
      The Nutrition Team

  • Dr. Hyman,

    Coming from a family of physicians, I found your article fascinating yet frustrating on certain levels.

    On the one hand I see tremendous of hope for personal health and wellness due to a better understanding of these issues at a molecular level. This is elegantly pointed out in your article here on glutathione as it relates to health and its deficiency as it relates to a myriad of disorders.

    On the other hand, lies my frustration. Why are our physicians and health care professionals seemingly ignoring this foundational information and/or not applying it in their practice? Is it ignorance? Arrogance? The stronghold of protocol?

    Yesterday was Mother’s Day and its a wonderful day for celebration, especially if one had a mother to celebrate it with. My brother (a highly respected M.D.), father and I miss her tremendously. We lost her way too early to a disease that had we had this article, perhaps this story would be told differently today.

    This leads me to my final point. I have discovered a product I have personally aligned with and have become impassioned about. It is called ASEA. It is a non-toxic supplement which has clinically shown to increase the natural production of glutathione levels by +500%. What are your thoughts regarding the efficacy of the product?

    Kindest regards,

    Skip

    • Dear Skip,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Dr. Hyman does not promote or endorse any products. His protocol for boosting glutathione involves diet and specific supplements as mentioned in the article.For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.
      In Good Health,
      The Nutrition Team

  • Dr. Hyman, I am a member of NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally ill ) We feel that the word crazy is not appropriate language. We work hard as volunteers to treat our members with respect in the context of there recovery. Continued use of these words adds to the stigma that our members put up with day after day. I’m sure you can use other words and I’m reasonably sure you know better. Thank you Dr. We have great respect for your vast training and your ability to connect with your readers/ viewers.

    • George, I went back and looked through the entire article again and didn’t see the word “crazy” anywhere. Perhaps you were hallucinating.

  • http://www.nbnus.net/shopexd.asp?id=224&bc=no

    What about this product? I opened it for my son who is diagnosed with ASD an noticed that it has soy in it, so he cannot have it. I decided to take it myself but it tastes terrible! It is very expensive, so I guess I can mix it in my protein shake if its beneficial, but is this a good product ?
    Thanks,

    • Dear Karina,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately, Dr. Hyman cannot endorse any products however, you might find his suggestions for how to boost your son’s levels helpful in the article. And if you need more support, please hop on over to nutrition coaching to get personalized attention.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

      In good health,
      The Nutrition Coaching Team

  • The article is great and in line with most of the research that I have read on the subject. Thank you. I may have a slightly different problem as most of the sugars that I have consumed came from alcohol consumption. I have always eaten well, and make most of my own foods from fresh products, thus avoiding a lot, but not all of the commercial foods that, yes are laden with sugars. I read that this concept, these ideas work for non-alcohol related fatty liver, but what if part of the cause was related to alcohol? Any suggestions? Thank you.

  • Great and informative article. For the past six months, I’ve been following your dietary suggestions and taking recommended supplements from your book, “The Blood Sugar Solution” and am definitely seeing some positive results! My need for diabetic medication has been cut by 75% and I have more energy. I have found a functional medicine practitioner in my area that knows of your work and is guiding me to make the positive lifestyle and dietary changes that are truly healing. Thank you for all the good advice, the weekly Housecall videos and all of the many ways you communicate the message of creating health and wellness.

  • Hi, can you send me information about how can I get the glutathione and the price of it?
    Thanks.

  • What an useful information to help people to live well and prevent the nasty diseases. I shall definitely try to include all the foods mentioned in your article and also buy the supplement. It may take some months to see any im[provement but I shall let you know. Thank you for helping people to live well without forc ing us to buy your products like some other people do.

    All the best to you always.

  • Greetings Dr. Hyman

    I would like as much information as you can share with me about glutathione and Parkinson’s disease.

    My father is 71 and has been dealing with PD now for approximately 15 to 20 years and it is progressively getting worse. He has a hard time walking (he stumbles and trips often), he falls a lot, he cannot speak clearly at all (mumbles), and he has been given a number of different medicines by his doctor. And one of those medications made him hallucinate to the point of sleeping walking with a loaded pistol thinking there was an intruder in their home. My mother was afraid he would, one day, mistake her for the alleged intruder. (There was never an intruder). Since then he’s stopped that medication.

    I have seen on Dr. Oz, he talked about glutathione and PD. Great episode by the way. Anyways, I would like this information in paper form so I can respectively share with my parents and have them read it.

    We are desperate for some help and manageability as his medical doctor answers nothing when asked about concerns with my father taking the supplement.

    If and when you reply I am more than willing to give my email address where I will share a mailing address.

    (I have no way of printing anything. I do not own a computer or printer. Just my iphone)

    Thank you kindly.

    • Hi Loralee. I can get some information to you, what is your email address so I can communicate with you privately. Cheers

  • My mom is 81 yrs old and has been diagnosed with parkinson’s and taking Levodopa 100/25 four times a day. She also has hypertension and had been on blood pressure medication for the last 35 yrs. She is loosing balance now and cannot walk without a walker and getting tired soon. do you think injecting Glutathione will help her? Pse advise me as I am all out to help my mom and save her from suffering.

    • Hi Jenny,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide your mom the proper care she needs we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you and your mom the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I am amazed to read your article about the importance of Glutathione. I still don’t understand why our physicians never mention anythiong about this Glutathione.

  • Wow, what a great read…

    I’m 25, and I really wanted to take ALA and Oral Gluta. Is 300mg for ALA an OK dose? Or should I stick to 50mg? And I’m also taking Apple Vinegar Cider tablets. Will it upset my stomach if I suddenly take ALA and Gluta together with that?.. Thanks!

  • What are your suggestions for someone who is compound heterozygous for mthfr and has the CBS mutation?? Meaning no sulfur foods, no milk thistle, no ALA, NAC, whey protein, etc…

  • My daughter has chronic lyme with 6 co-infections. She also has MTHFR .
    Her dr. Says not to take C because lyme feeds off of C as well as candida. He told me to apply glutathione, but i am confused about which brand is the best, any recommendation? She is 15 and is also oing on Dr Lee Cowden’s protocol with no sugar and very low GF diet.

    • If I were you I’d do a bit more research on Candidiasis and Lyme. I know nothing about lyme disease, sorry, but I reversed my candida overgrowth in the gut and I took C to bowel tolerance. The advice against using vitamin C is very mainstream and shows a general lack of understanding on the part of most allopathic physicians. For help with the MTHFR issues please take a look at the phoenixrising.me site, it has helped me. Especially Freddd’s protocol, which can be tweaked to fit your needs. NDs may understand this, a few MDs that use holistic and/or orthomolecular methods understand it as well, and biochemists may understand it. Best wishes.

  • Thanks for the interesting and informative article on a critical antioxidant that no dr. talks about. I actually discovered that I may have a deficiency in glutathione when researching a genetic mutation I have (mthfr-homozygous)… I began supplementing with l glutathione and while I’ve read (such as in this article), that you don’t get the benefits taking it orally, I feel that I have. My health (knock on wood and praise God) seems to have improved a lot while taking the supplement. I will try some of your other tips, especially the milk thistle since it’s great for your liver. Thank you!

  • I am 50 yrs old. An Army Veteran and Im convinced I have a toxic situation within my body. I have always been about 95-100 pounds even after four pregnancies but am only 60 inches in height. My problem is I never feel hungry, and when I eat I have a lot of digestive problems. I rarely am able to have a bowel movement and have been using enemas on weekends to keep myself from serious GI problems. I work 8 hrs a day as a nurse where everyone is pretty much micromanaged and not allowed to eat nor drink where we work and the environment of my work doesn’t allow breaks nor on some occasions even a lunch. As a result of years of this kind of beating I am no longer functioning at optimal levels. In fact I’m so exhausted both mentally and physically so much so that when I leave work I crash in my care having to sleep for an hour or so in my car before making the 45 minute drive home. When I say I crash I mean just that, It feels like whole body crashing where my body simply can’t go one on more minute without physical rest. Nursing has sucked the life right out of me. Anyway I was doing some on line research and found your internet site and went to look for all of these supplements you talk about that should be in certain forms and no health store carries them nor have most of them even been heard of when I bring the list in. So I take it this regimen is specifically designed and sold by you? I have heard of most of the supplements on the list as well as the Acetyl cysteine as this is something we give our surgical patients who have respiratory illness prior to their surgery. Anyway I just keep becoming more and more exhausted as each day comes and goes and more and more depressed with less and less motivation for doing anything I used to enjoy. I find myself reflecting on my past trying to think back to that point in my life when my health was good (as it was once good) but I can no longer reflect that far back so as to think how do I get back to good. It is an awful feeling because I feel I am a prisoner of a body that I feel is killing me. Anyway please let me know where I can get the things on the list necessary to create optimal health. Also I ended up with Lymes Disease 2 summers ago which caused severe nerve damage to my lower extremity. I could hardly walk due to neuropathy in both of my feet. My research led me to Alpha Lipoic Acid which I purchased at my local nutrition store and I swear on my mothers grave that I took one pill and by the very next day I had ZERO pain! How shocked I was to see this supplement in a store for a few bucks that completely cured my neuropathy. I continued taking it however had to cut back severely due to low blood sugar. My blood sugar has always run low but with the Lipoic Acid it became dangerously low. I stopped taking it after about a week and still my neuropathy has never returned. I love this supplement and I do still take it but I have to take it in very low doses and am unable to take it every day. Any information is greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Glenda Skinner

    • Hi Glenda,
      Thank you for sharing your story and for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/. Note that you can find professional brand supplements in the Healthy Living Store at http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Supplements.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in June 2010. We have been following his Neurologists advice. For Parkinson’s, He has been taking 4.5 mg of Mirapex ER since January 2012 and in May his new Neurologist took that prescription to 6.0 mg of Mirapex a day. (4.5 mg of ER and 1.5 of regular, not time release, Mirapex. Also, all this time he has been taking Azilect 1mg daily. We knew Don had a stroke in 2005, but were unaware of 2 others, that revealed themselves in a brain scan. Long story short, Don had been getting worse constantly since his diagnosis. We accepted that because that’s what Parkinson’s does. 4 weeks ago Don had another stroke. We were overwhelmed, I thought I was going to lose him. He was weak, could not stay awake, could not use a fork, his shirt term memory was shot, he could not even stay awake to eat. I was reading article after article about stroke, Parkinson’s and treatment. I felt like all the chemicals were literally kill in my husband. In the left margin I noticed a link to your report on Glutathione. I was amazed, it all made sense. I read the whole report to my husband and all we could say was . . . what if?? The next day I began to gather the supplements exactly as mentioned in your report. Changed his diet to organic fruits and vegetables. No more diet sodas for him, only specialized red meat but in very small amounts. No processed foods. The big pay off. Don is doing better every day. I notice small things but significant to us. He has more energy he wants to do projects, he can now sleep for 6-8 hours a night, and he wakes up rested. He does not seem confused about what happened on what day, or just finding a movie on Netflix, his left eye which drooped so badly is opening so much wider, almost normal (I just noticed this at dinner tonight) Don had been looking down at his plate his head still down he lifted his eyes to look at me, it shocked me, the difference was so significant. He had such leg pain, finding a chair he could sit in was a challenge. Yesterday he was on the phone, talking to his mom, I noticed he had his knee bent under him and he was sitting on it . . Like a kid would do. Every day I am amazed. Don is no longer taking Azilect, there does not seem to be an agreement in the medical community of its benefit, more chemicals, why? We have reduced his Mirapex ER to 4.5mg per day. Clearly 6.0 was too high. In just 4 weeks, the results of following your plan, I have my husband back, he feels better, does not feel drugged, he us encouraged and hopeful for the future. Thank you so very much.

    • Hi Peggy,
      Thank you so much for inspiring us with your husband’s heartfelt story!
      Wishing you and your husband the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Magnificent website. A lot of useful information here.
    I am sending it to a few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious.
    And certainly, thanks to your effort!

  • Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video
    to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence
    on just posting videos to your weblog when you could
    be giving us something enlightening to read?

    • This is a Reply to: http://Www.google.ca July 22, 2014 at 4:09 am # . I agree with some of what that writer says.

      Dr. Hyman, lots of us in North America, including Canada, still, usually, or frequently don’t have modern internet access (up to date hardware, software, techi services, internet service provider subscriptions, unlimited service terms, etc.). So we can seldom benefit from one of your fine videos. We too would love to see articles or transcripts — or at very least detailed outlines — that correspond to your life changing videos!

      Thank you so much for all your writings! They inspire hope. May your front edge, practical science based work thrive, and continue to expand so it nourishes the lives of people in ALL economic demographics in North America, so that all of us — including those of us who are still trying to restore our health without economic means — become able to help bring the benefits of your work to our neighbours on this continent who are not in a health & economic position yet to help contribute to progress, collectively first at home and then, empowered with health and the means to maintain it, abroad. Much thanks for your writings, Dr. Hyman!

  • I just read about glutathione in a book called “why don I still have thyroid symtoms” and it says to use lyposomal glutathione cream on my feet. Do you agree?

  • I wish we could vote with stars or numbers or something – these comments are so helpful! A special thank you to Dr. Hyman for his excellent and informative site, he succeeds where so many allopathic doctors fail. There aren’t enough doctors like him, but thankfully there are a few and they are making a huge positive difference in the health of many, and the health of the nation as a whole. Thank you.

  • Hi Doctor

    Very interesting your information!

    Could you please tell me what suplements can i get to increase my levels of gluthatine.

    thank u

  • Dear Dr Hyman and staff – does the palmitic acid in coffee, especially if administered rectally as an enema, increase the production of glutathione s-transferase (leading to the increased production of glutathione) or is this widely utiised alternative medicine technique not credible? Dr David Perlmutter (neurosurgeon) has had spectacular results with Parkinson’s Disease patients post I.V. glutathione (see youtube) – a technique which is not practicable or affordable by the average P.D.sufferer. Apparently there is a strong relationship between the low levels of glutathione and the decreasing numbers of cells in the Substantia Nigra of the Basal Ganglia – leading to the loss of dopamine release – and thus the trmors and stiffness of P.D. There are research articles on Google Scholar which find both palmitic and stearic acids tightly bound to the glutathione s-transferase molecule – if coffee enemas assisted with P.D. symptoms – this would be an amazing addition to your list which I have noted and will follow with much interest.
    With thanks for your thoughts, Catherine

  • It’s always good to see that awareness on this important antioxidant is going up 🙂 But I think you have missed at least 1 other way of increasing Glutathione levels. It’s called Lifewave patces, and one of them is specifically designed to increase glutathione dramatically in a short period of time.

    My own experience with this patch is, that whenever I feel a cold or a flu creaping up on me, I apply a patch, and usually the sore throat goes away within an hour.

    It’s not a miracle, it’s just a combination of science and acupuncture knowledge.
    Hope you will look into it.

  • Dear Staffperson of Dr. Hyman,

    Dr. Mark Hyman’s article here —- at http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/19/glutathione-the-mother-of-all-antioxidants/ —- about glutathione suggests that the mineral selenium is important to the human body’s ability to recycle glutathione and to produce more glutathione. In recent years, some scientific research studies have suggested that ingesting selenium in the form of supplements increases one’s risk of developing diabetes 2 (and therefore I would assume diabetes 3 – diabetes in the brain, dementia). But I understand that Dr. Hyman is a strong proponent of ideally letting food be our medicine. I have heard somewhere that some of the foods highest in minerals are seeds and nuts. Would Dr. Hyman’s Staff consider sharing —- with those of us who (through no fault of our own) are in circumstances that do not permit sufficient income to be able to find and see a specialist who knows —- the answer to the following question?

    Which seeds and nuts have the highest levels of selenium? And what amounts? Thank you for accepting the question. I promote wherever I can Dr. Hyman, his books, and his PBS lectures. He brings wisdom from nature. He brings hope, including for many people whose health limitations have become a debilitating obstacle to a normal income and life. To having the means to live authentically and contribute authentically.

    Blessings,

    Sunny
    Canada

    • Hi Sunny,
      Thank you for your question. Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds contain the highest levels of selenium. Be careful if you decide to eat more Brazil nuts; one ounce contains over 700% of the recommended daily amount. Other foods rich in selenium include shellfish, fish, beef, and poultry.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • i’m surprised Dr. Hyman doesn’t recommend organic sulfur to help with glutathione

  • There are glutathione supplements. What is the minimum mg per day that is useful? I heard it is important to take if you are having amalgams removed from your fillings to help clear out the mercury released from them. Also, I think I took glutathione supplements many years ago and it gave me extreme gas. Is that due to the sulfur? Thanks for your article.

    • One would think it would be easy just to take glutathione as a pill, but the body digests protein — so you wouldn’t get the benefits if you did it this way. Please refer back to recommendations above to optimize your glutathione level.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Would like to know the answer to my question: I took glutathione supplements many years ago and it gave me extreme gas. Is that due to the sulfur?

  • If one is lacking the gene for glutathione, will transdermal glutathione be helpful in plenishing this important antioxidant? If one does not have the gene, what is the best thing to do?

  • If one has no gstm-1 gene, will a transdermal glutathione cream (clean, high quality) help? What can one do for this condition? Thank you

  • I originally read this article about a year ago whilst researching routes to improving my immune system health having at that time been diagnosed with Sjogrens. I have totally changed my diet and followed suggestions re supplementation following guidelines suggested by Dr. Hyman and other likeminded practitioners to whom I’m very grateful. I Iive in the UK and we don’t seem to have much in the way of Functional medicine in this country or an approach to autoimmune conditions (or seemingly anything else) that is anything other than dosing symptoms with pharmaceuticals. I am currently following the Autoimmune summit which is excellent and in his presentation today, Dr. Hyman, reiterated the importance of glutathione. Amongst other things, I have followed his suggestion in this article to take non denatured whey protein (organic, grass fed etc) to support my production of this essential antioxidant. My question is, given that this article was written 4 years ago, is this still the best way (along with the other suggestions in this article for boosting production) or is there more benefit to be gained by taking S-Acetyl Glutathione as a supplement which I understand has possibly become available subsequently. I’ve hesitated so far because it tends to be very expensive but if it’s more beneficial I might just bite the bullet.

  • I was wanting to know if glutathione is available in IM or IV form as I have a disease where I am unable to absorb many nutritional benefits from food and have to take B12 shots as my gut will not absorb it.

  • I’m wondering how important it is to eat the vegetables mentioned above raw, especially squash which I can’t imagine eating completely raw.

    • Hi Alyson,
      We recommend that you eat a variety of vegetables either raw or cooked. Avoid overcooking your vegetables and/or cooking them in large amounts of water to maximize your nutrients.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Hi! Sir, I have read articles regarding glutathione and i’ve find it really interesting, and it let me think of taking it too. But, i am hesitant to for try taking pill with glutathione contents like Metathione. And, since then i always dream of having that fair looking skin. Would it be ok if i ask some advise?

    I’m 28 year old, 52 kg. in weight. Now, is it ok for men like me to take Metathione? Is there any adverse reaction or side-effects with regard to Metathione intake?

    • Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I am a healthy, 43-year-old person who is just simply interested in staying as healthy as possible. I have no health issues or illnesses, so I can’t state whether Glutathione helps with any particular ailments. HOWEVER, funny enough, after taking this supplement, there is one area where I have noticed a SIGNIFICANT IMPORVEMENT, and that is in the area of SLEEP.

    I am just one of those who never really sleeps solid throughout the night. At some point in the night I eventually wake. Sometimes its 2am, sometimes its 4am. I began taking Glutathione about a month ago, and just recently realized that BETTER SLEEP began to occur shortly after taking this supplement. Prior to now I never put two-and-two together, but now that I realize what may have induced better sleep, there is NO WAY I am going to stop taking this supplement. Better for me to take this than some pharmaceutical pill that can be addictive.

  • Hello to Dr hyman and staff,
    I have really enjoyed your view on health and glutathione, thank you for sharing your insight. Have you heard of riboceine and how it can help intracellularly gsh? My family has found this particular product and we have now decided to help and share this. The product experiences we’ve had with this has been well beyond expected and was wondering how interested you would be in finding out more? Someone with your knowledge and influence can be amazing.
    Thank you in advance!

  • Glutathione is need in our body it help support the body’s own production it also help our liver. i got mine in enhancedgluta dot com the product name is luxxe white i share this it to help other as well. i use the product and its verry good and safe for info visit the enhancedgluta dot com

  • I used to make my own whey from good quality raw milk. Will his whey be just as beneficial as immunocal?

  • Dr. Hyman,

    Do you have any thoughts for people who cannot take Silymarin or Glutathione due to CYP450 polymorphisms and bad Herxheimer reactions? Would you just supplement them to help them build their own? How would that be different than taking glutathione directly and reacting from it?

  • Hello there Dr Mark ! I’m FInal Stage Four Cirhossis. My four year anniversary of NO ALCOHOL was just this past March 31st ! Im juicing and taking supplements and would like to thank you for this article, as I have been studying relentlessly to be healthy. That means I’m constantly revising my diet and reviewing. My phone # is 248-820-1207. Love and Yours, Vicki Jo*✨

  • What can be used to help a 14 year old boy who still wets the bed despite waking up to use the bathroom at night ?

  • Can we give whey powder to kids age 7yr(boy) and 5yr(girl). What should be the dosage or daily intake.

  • With a highly sensitive digestive tract, eating the recommended sulfur rich foods tears me apart. I’ve also tried to supplement with small doses of methyl folate and had a reaction to it. My heart started to beat way too fast and I couldn’t sleep. In my case, would it be more beneficial to start with the whey protein and the other supplements recommended?

  • I recently found out I was severely deficient in glutathione and chromium. Also deficient in B6, folate, and vitamin E. I would like to take the methylation nutrients, but when I have taken methyl b12 in any dose I feel like I can’t breathe. Is it possible to remedy this methylation problem or can I use non-methyl versions with the same effect? Or can my glutathione be restored without methylation nutrients?

    I was put on non-methyl B complex, vitamin E, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), chromium glycinate, Adrenal Health herbal supplement, vitamin D.