5 Ways to Improve Glutathione Levels Naturally

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5 Ways to Improve Glutathione Levels 

The human body is under oxidative stress from a variety of sources at all times.  To combat this stress and damage the body utilizes antioxidants of all different varieties.  Glutathione (GSH) is a very special peptide molecule that provides the greatest antioxidant protection and recharges other antioxidants within the body (1).  In this article, you will discover 5 ways to improve glutathione levels naturally.

Every cell in the body produces glutathione.  Many longevity scientists believe that the level of glutathione in our cells is predicative of how long we will live (2, 3, 4).  This is logical considering the wealth of essential bodily processes that glutathione plays a critical role in.

Glutathione has been coined with the term “master antioxidant” due to its essential role in maintaining exogenous antioxidants such as vitamin C & E in their active form (5, 6).  Glutathione is like the cell’s security guard protecting the genetic equipment from outside attack.

It is estimated that each cell in the body withstands 10,000 hits by free radicals each day.  Glutathione disarms these free radicals before they wreak havoc and cleans up the oxidative stress related damage that has occurred.

Glutathione’s Role in Immunity:

Glutathione plays a significant role in immune function (7).  Studies have shown that glutathione strengthens T cells which are critical for modulating the immune system appropriately (8).  These are the cells that coordinate the attack against pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc. while keeping tissue damage and autoimmune responses in check.  An overactive immune system can trigger allergies and autoimmune disease processes.

Glutathione fights against cellular toxins and works to eliminate carcinogens from the intracellular environment while healing damaged cells.  Glutathione is constantly in action protecting the body against disease, toxins, viruses, pollutants, radiation, drugs and oxidative stress (9).  When damage does occur, it immediately goes to work repairing the free radical damage.

glutathione levels

Glutathione Levels Protect the Brain:

If sufficient glutathione is not available, the toxins will overload the liver and lead to fat soluble toxins being stored in fatty tissues.  The central nervous system, breasts, & prostate are the most susceptible areas.  Many researchers credit the increase in neurological and immune related problems to depleted cellular glutathione (1011, 12).  The brain produces more free radicals than any other tissues and is therefore in need of more glutathione than any other region.

Levels of glutathione begin to decline with aging as the majority of individuals in our society become more toxic and deficient.  Additionally, our society has more environmental toxicity than ever before so there is a significant need for more glutathione production.  Unfortunately, our modern world diets are void of the necessary precursors for this critical agent.

Aging Declines Glutathione Production:

By age 20, scientists estimate that the average person loses glutathione at 8-12% per decade (13).  Increased health challenges from infection, poor diet, smoking, increased toxic load, medication usage, etc. can deplete these stores at a much faster rate.  Scientists estimate that a 30% reduction of glutathione is enough for cellular dysfunction to occur.

When cellular dysfunction occurs over time it results in an accumulation of senescent “zombie” cells.  These zombie cells have lost their ability to perform normal functions. Instead, they leak a toxic chemical soup of oxidative and inflammatory compounds into their local environment.  This increases inflammation and damages healthy cells causing poor cell function and chronic symptoms.


Glutathione Precursors in the Diet:

Studies have shown that adequate vitamin D is necessary for optimal glutathione production (14).  The vast majority of our society is extremely deficient in vitamin D (15).  Optimal vitamin D levels should be between 60-100 ng/ml.

Glutathione precursors such as glycine, glutamic acid and cysteine should naturally be consumed through our diet.  The best vegetable sources include avocados, onions, spinach, & asparagus.  Herbs such as turmeric have also been shown to boost glutathione content.   Unfortunately, vegetable sources are still very low in these critical amino acids.

The best food sources are through high quality, non-denatured animal products.  These include non-denatured grass-fed whey protein and cultured, raw grass-fed dairy products and raw, organic eggs.

These cultured, raw grass-fed dairy products are an incredibly good source of highly bioavailable amino acids and offer more cysteine than any other food source.  Our Gut Healing Protein has a number of both food and supplemental factors to support glutathione levels.

glutathione levels

Best Glutathione Supplements:

As a clinican, I recommend supplements to boost glutathione stores for nearly everyone.  This is because our society is so bombarded with toxins in the form of mental/emotional stressors, environmental chemicals in our air, water and food.  We are depleting our glutathione stores.

When we hit a critical mass where all of a sudden, our glutathione levels are unable to keep up with the oxidative stress from our environment, our health goes downhill quickly!  This is when all of a sudden, we have a significant rush of antibody formation and the maturation of an autoimmune disease develops, we develop chronic pain, or we have absolutely no energy anymore and/or tumors grow quickly (whether we know we have cancer or not).

21st century health is all about boosting our bodies antioxidant defense systems to protect the body from the onslaught of toxins and oxidative stress.

glutathione levels

Glutathione Precursors

The best ways to boost glutathione from supplements includes formulated compounds that have key precursors such as glycine, glutamic acid and cysteine.

We can also look for herbs such as turmeric and milk thistle and sulfur compounds like MSM, N-acetyl cysteine and lipoic acid.  Selenium is a trace mineral that also helps increase glutathione levels. One product we use that combines a number of these forms of glutathione is Thyroliver protect which acts specifically to improve both the thyroid and liver function.

Acetylated Glutathione

I recommend glutathione precursors as great everyday support. In more tough cases where people are facing a health challenge rooted in chronic inflammation, using supplemental glutathione can be powerful. The problem with supplemental glutathione however is that most simply do not absorb through the gut barrier.

I recommend using an acetylated glutathione as it has been shown to survive the digestive tract and improve blood glutathione levels. Additionally, the form I carry (Super Glutathione) is encapsulated with acid-resistant technology to support optimal absorption in the gut.

For optimal glutathione absorption and utilization within the cell, you want to use an acetylated form of glutathione that bypasses the gut and is easily absorbed into the cell.  You can also use liposomal glutathione which also bypasses the gut and fuses into the cell membranes for optimal absorption.  An added benefit of liposomal forms is that they provide phospholipids which are necessary for health cell membranes.

glutathione levels

Comprehensive Support

To take your antioxidant benefits to the next level, you can combine supplemental glutathione along with glutathione precursors and other anti-inflammatory nutrients. I often recommend using this combination strategy as it is likely the most effective. For this purpose, I always recommend ProOmega Curcumin.

This is a potent combination of reduced glutathione, glutathione precursors, and the powerful anti-inflammatory compound curcumin. Take all of this and combine it with purified omega 3 fatty acids and nothing beats it. For my patients struggling with chronic inflammatory conditions, this is my go-to.

glutathione levels

Inflammation Crushing Ebundle

The Inflammation Crushing Ebundle is designed to help you improve your brain, liver, immune system and discover the healing strategies, foods and recipes to burn fat, reduce inflammation and Thrive in Life!

As a doctor of natural medicine, I have spent the past 20 years studying the best healing strategies and worked with hundreds of coaching clients, helping them overcome chronic health conditions and optimize their overall health.

In our Inflammation Crushing Ebundle, I have put together my very best strategies to reduce inflammation and optimize your healing potential.  Take a look at what you will get inside these valuable guides below!

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Huffington Post: Healthy Living Glutathione: The Mother of All Antioxidants Link Here
2. Richie JP Jr, Leutzinger Y, Parthasarathy S, Malloy V, Orentreich N, Zimmerman JA. Methionine restriction increases blood glutathione and longevity in F344 rats. FASEB J. 1994 Dec;8(15):1302-7. PMID: 8001743
3. Alternative Medicine Glutathione: A Closer Look at the Master Antioxidant Link Here
4. Cascella R, Evangelisti E, Zampagni M, Becatti M, D’Adamio G, Goti A, Liguri G, Fiorillo C, Cecchi C. S-linolenoyl glutathione intake extends life-span and stress resistance via Sir-2.1 upregulation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Free Radic Biol Med. 2014 Aug;73:127-35. PMID: 24835770
5. Oz: Glotathione: The Master Antioxidant Link Here
6. Mark Hyman: Essential Glutathione: The Mother of All Antioxidants
7. Dröge W, Breitkreutz R.Glutathione and immune function. Proc Nutr Soc. 2000 Nov;59(4):595-600. PMID: 11115795
8. Chang WK, Yang KD, Chuang H, Jan JT, Shaio MF. Glutamine protects activated human T cells from apoptosis by up-regulating glutathione and Bcl-2 levels. Clin Immunol. 2002 Aug;104(2):151-60. PMID: 12165276
9. Nicola Traverso, Roberta Ricciarelli, Mariapaola Nitti, et al., “Role of Glutathione in Cancer Progression and Chemoresistance,”Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol. 2013, Article ID 972913
10. Schnelldorfer T, Gansauge S, Gansauge F, Schlosser S, Beger HG, Nussler AK. Glutathione depletion causes cell growth inhibition and enhanced apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells. Cancer. 2000 Oct 1;89(7):1440-7. PMID: 11013356
11. Nicola Traverso, Roberta Ricciarelli, Mariapaola Nitti, et al., “Role of Glutathione in Cancer Progression and Chemoresistance,”Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol. 2013, Article ID 972913
12. Garrido M, Tereshchenko Y, Zhevtsova Z, Taschenberger G, Bähr M, Kügler S. Glutathione depletion and overproduction both initiate degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons. Acta Neuropathol. 2011 Apr;121(4):475-85. PMID: 21191602
13. PHTPHarma: Oxition Link Here
14. Jain SK, Micinski D. Vitamin D upregulates glutamate cysteine ligase and glutathione reductase, and GSH formation, and decreases ROS and MCP-1 and IL-8 secretion in high-glucose exposed U937 monocytes. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 Jul 19;437(1):7-11. PMID: 23770363
15. Holick MF, Chen TC. Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Apr;87(4):1080S-6S. PMID: 18400738

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  1. I have had a full thyroid blood test. I have high peroxidase (TPO) antibodies. How can I heal this naturally? Is this condition always due to pathogens? (virus,yeast,bacteria,parasite?) or other toxins? Or can something else be the cause?

    I understand about needing Vit D and glutathione for my immune system.

    Everything else in the test is OK.

    1. Clare – this is a great question. I would recommend reading the article -Beat Hypothyroidism Naturally on this site.

  2. Dr. Jockers
    do you have a protocol to help with Parkinson disease?
    My husband..only 50 is not on medicines…looking for a much better alternative.
    thank you so much

  3. Greetings Dr. Jockers:

    My mom will be 93 in June 2013. She is healthy. Cleans , cooks, and is up and around. She has cataract in both eyes……the left is more severe. She does not want to have surgery even though the drs assured her that she would be ok.
    Please give me a natural recommendation that can help her to see a little better.


    1. Allison,

      I would recommend her supplement with Astaxanthin – 12mg daily. It will improve her vision, brain function and energy. You can find this on our products list on this website!

  4. Do you have a brand of whey protein that you would recommend? I need help finding the best one. Thank you!

  5. Re: Glutathione

    I have a genetic inability to make glutathione. I have a healthy diet, but don’t think I get enough glutathione, as I have lots of health problems. I have taken a lipoceutical liquid glutathione for years but don’t know if it is helping. What do you recommend for supplementation?
    Thank you.

  6. Sorry to hear about this Lynne. I would do a lipoceutical liquid and you can get weekly glutathione infusions from some advanced health clinics. I know Progressive Medical does this in the Atlanta area

  7. I posted the link to this article on the Polymyositis Board online. I’ve read conflicting research that said the body cannot process glutathione orally — and then just the opposite. What is your take on this?

    Have you heard of Dr. Kevin Connors? He wrote a book on auto-immune disease called, “Help, My Body is Killing Me”. He is a believer and very knowledgeable. He states in his book that he puts all his auto-immune patients on this antioxidant.

    Your thoughts?

    1. Dr Jockers
      5/2019 my labs for immunology test showed a double stranded DNA antibodies are present in 57-62 systemic lupus erythematosus. 10-40 percent polymyositis 8percent mixed connective tissue disease during this time l was being treated for hep b which is undetected now ,my skin is wrinkle dry l have following you for a long time wow you are the best. am on different supplement what will be the best approach to be healed from this l am 61yrs also to gain a little wt thank you God bless you for everything you are doing to people like me

  8. I’m 47 yes.old and I’m a kidney transplant for 6 years now I would to know if I can use glutathione injections?

  9. Hi Dr Jockers,
    I am new to your website. I have read and started implementing and changing my diet. I have a good way to go but I will get there.
    My question today for you is on the SuperOxicell cream.
    Last October 2013, I had bi- lateral total knee replacements. Sometimes after exercising or short hikes my miracle knees can get a bit stiff or clicks a bit. My Surgeon explain that the tissues can get swollen. With RICE it goes away after a few days. Do you think that rubbing the SuperOxicell can help?
    Thank you.

    1. Hey Yasmin,

      I have been using the Super Oxicell for a back injury I recently suffered with and it has dramatically improved my healing time. Not only that, but I just feel a noticeable and positive difference in my body rhythms when I am using it. Very good stuff, I would recommend it.

  10. Hi Dr jockers,
    I was introduced to your wonderful site by my son who became paralyzed 10 years go. We read everyone of your posts. You give such grat Information. Wish you had a Practice here in JACKSONVILLE, nI would be your patient.
    I just had my 60th birthday, no major health problems (praise God), however I do not feel energetic or feel in optimal shape. I lead a very stressful and hectic life. Is the stress draining on my body or is this what to expect at my age? I read everything I can get my hands on about health, but I need a specifc plan .what do you suggest?

    1. Thanks for the compliments Diane. Sorry to hear about the stress and health challenges you are facing. I do work with people long-distance via phone/Skype and I set up customized health plans for people to follow. You can email me at drjockers@drjockers.com and we can schedule. Blessings!

  11. Hi Dr. Jockers,

    I’m 47 years old, weighs 115 lbs and 5’1 in height. I have been feeling warm on my joints and went to the doctor for medical check up. The initial finding is RA, and was ordered to do another series of test to confirm if it’s really RA or something else. I don’t think I’m overweight, doing 2 X a week Zumba for my exercise. And I was wondering how did I get RA in my system. But anyways, I would like to ask if you could send me some links to your site that would give me information and definitely help me overcome, or get through this challenge, or articles about what to eat and what to avoid so as not to have flare ups, and what supplements do you recommend for this?

    Thank you so much.

  12. If u supplementing with glutathione does it tell ur body to stop producing glutathione? Do u become dependent on the supplement? Will ur body continue or increase its productivity if it is lie and u supplement?

    1. Hey Lisa, it is possible. That is why I like using things that boost glutathione instead of actually supplementing with glutathione. Thyroliver Protect is good for this!

  13. I would like to use a couple of photos here on my closed group. I will give credits to Dr. Jockers
    Would this be ok?

    Also looking to ask him about Immunocal as listed in the PDR and wondering why he doesn’t mention this?

  14. If I didn’t want to use any supplements and just wanted to boost/increase mine with food naturally what foods would I use? I know asparagus, but is it realistic to think I can just use food to achieve a boost?

  15. Hi, I am using a glutathione supplement, but it comes with Vit C and collagen. Is it okay to take it, because it has a collagen together with the glutathione.
    Hope you will notice my question. Thank you. 🙂

    1. Yes that is fine, the most important question is what form of glutathione does it have. The most absorbable forms are Acetylated glutathione or liposomal.

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