The effect of glutathione in the body

Glutathione is a strong antioxidant and detoxifier. This substance solubilizes fat-soluble toxins by binding with water, stores and transports cysteine through the body to the kidneys and participates in bile production. Cysteine is a building block of glutathione, removes heavy metals and plays a role in the production of enzymes. Glutathione is also an important regulator of neurons in the brain. GSH serves as a substrate for enzymes and, together with vitamin E, selenium and glutamine, forms the substance glutathione. A deficiency of GSH disrupts the functioning of the HPA axis. This axis consists of the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands.


The biosynthesis of glutathione occurs in two steps, in which magnesium and ATP are required for energy supply.
Technically, GSH is the reduced form of glutathione, meaning it contains a sulfhydril (SH) group. However, the terms GSH and glutathione are used interchangeably. GSH, which removes oxidants by making them more water soluble, consists of the amino acids glutamic acid, cysteine and glycerin. GSH and various nutrients + R-alpha lipoic acid, selenium and vitamin C produce enzymes that promote GSH action. Glutathione is obtained from food (meat, fish, vegetables and fruit) and is also produced by the body itself. This is done by the intermediate substance homocysteine with the help of vitamin B11 and other B vitamins. The amount of intracellular cysteine in the body determines how much glutathione (GSH) can be produced.

  • General
  • Functions of GSH
  • Consequences of glutathione deficiencies
  • SAM and homocysteine
  • Possible medication

Functions of GSH

The main functions of GSH include:

  • neutralizing harmful free radicals.
  • the transport of amino acids through the body
  • binding heavy metals.
  • detoxifying the liver.

The status of glutathione

If the glutathione bond no longer works, the fat-soluble toxins are no longer made soluble in water. As a result, excretion takes place via the bile. Used vitamins C + E will also no longer be recycled. GSH determines the detoxification mechanism of both phase I and phase II in the liver. Reduced L-glutathione is important for detoxification and to suppress viruses. The insulin value should remain low. The link – methionine-Sam-homocysteine-cysteine-glutathione is used to remove toxins through the process of methylation , ultimately converting glutathione back into methionine. Red blood cells (RBC) are the basis of better combustion, they produce glutathione and transport oxidized glutathione. Betaine HCL is important to add to certain acids. The status of glutathione can be increased with R-alpha lipoic acid, selenium, NAC and vitamin C. In this way, good results can be achieved in the treatment of diseases such as cancer, AIDS, lupus, heart problems and glaucoma.

Consequences of glutathione deficiencies

Deficiencies in glutathione, which can be genetically determined, can result in, among other things:

  • dysfunction of the HPA axis.
  • accumulation of peroxide, hydrogen and superoxide in mitochondria, which therefore produce less ATP
  • A low intracellular GSH value does not provide protection against viral infections because there are too few Th1 cells
  • causes a low intracellular level of magnesium
  • carnitine and sulfur (sulfur) deficiencies, oxidative stress
  • all kinds of diseases and/or conditions such as ME/CFS, autism, digestive complaints, allergies and joint complaints
  • a low number of NK cells (natural killer cells), accumulation of toxins that are not detoxified in phase I
  • immune response via Th2 cells

SAM and homocysteine

SAM (S-adenosyl-methione) is important for producing glutathione and it also produces intracellular glutathione. It is made from methionine with the help of vitamin B11, B12 and choline. This substance serves as a raw material for taurine and cysteine, both of which are important for detoxification. Methionine is also necessary for the production of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Sam and homocysteine are actually two versions of the same molecule (SAM is the benign one and homocysteine the malignant one). SAM supports the detoxification of membranes and the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. High homocysteine levels are an important risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. Low levels of glutathione, whereby less dopamine is produced by the cells, can be linked to Parkinson’s disease.

Possible medication

  • (injections via an IV) of glutathione, taking it in tablet form often does not help due to poor absorption of glutathione
  • taking precursors of glutathione: N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), L-cysteine and selenium-L-methionine
  • enzymes, whey protein and cysteine (1000 mg per week)
  • phospholadityl, choline, SAM and R-alpha lipoic acid

In the event that whey protein and NAC cannot be tolerated due to the sulfur present, then in addition to starting slowly with NAC, supplementation with 250 mg molybdenum and vitamin B6 is another option. Alpha-lipoic acid and glutathione can penetrate the blood/brain barrier and are therefore ideally suited for detoxifying the brain. A glutathione deficiency can cause depression.

read more

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  • Glutamine, more important than long thought
  • The activities of the liver
  • Herbs for liver recovery