I’ve heard so much about this “amazing” supplement designed to increase the production of glutathione in the body. What’s the deal?
There is no question that glutathione is a very important biochemical that plays a role in reducing oxidative stress. In other words, it is an antioxidant produced in the body to counter the effects of free radicals. Oxidative stress is linked with aging as well as with a variety of diseases so it makes sense that raising glutathione levels could be beneficial. The problem is that glutathione itself cannot be taken orally. It is composed of three amino acids linked together into a “tripeptide” and is easily broken down during digestion. One way to increase cellular levels is by ingesting N-acetylcysteine (NAC) which is absorbed from the digestive tract and releases cysteine in the bloodstream. Cysteine is the limiting amino acid for the body’s synthesis of glutathione so it does make sense that oral NAC can increase cellular levels. But theoretical possibility is a long way from scientific evidence. The company does not have any compelling evidence that its product has produced any clinical success. Personal testimonials of “feeling better” are meaningless scientifically. In the absence of placebo controlled trials it is not possible to be enthusiastic about this product. It is expected to be safe enough but there is an issue with cancer patients. Reducing free radical concentrations in tumours allows more vigorous growth.