Glutathione is the body’s major anti-oxidant which is produced by almost every cell in the body. It is particularly found in high concentrations in the eyes, skin, kidneys, liver, and lungs. It works to protect cellular tissue against free radical damage and therefore plays a crucial role in cellular growth and restoration, and detoxification. It recycles other well-known antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E, so they can be reused by the body. It is required for the maintenance of a healthy immune response. Lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight off infection, are dependent on glutathione for their production. Glutathione also enables the body to eliminate undesirable drug metabolites, environmental pollutants (e.g. fuel exhaust, cigarette smoke) and other toxins (e.g. heavy metals) by first neutralizing toxic compounds and then forming water soluble compounds that can be excreted via the gut and urine.
As we age, glutathione levels decline. Low levels have been implicated in many diseases associated with aging such as cataracts, diabetes, atherosclerosis (i.e. plaque formation in the arteries which can lead to heart attack or stroke), kidney disease, and neuro-degenerative diseases (e.g. ALS, Alzheimer’s, MS, Parkinson’s). Higher glutathione levels in older people have been correlated with better health. One of the best ways to improve the body’s glutathione levels is to administer glutathione intravenously in varying doses depending on the condition being addressed.