Dietary glutathione is found in fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, fish, and meat.1 Asparagus, avocado, and walnuts are particularly rich dietary sources of glutathione.
Glutathione has been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the individual health concern for complete information):
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and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit.
A deficiency can be the result of diseases that increase the need for glutathione, deficiencies of the amino acids needed for synthesis, or diseases that inhibit glutathione formation.2 Examples of some health conditions that are associated with glutathione deficiency include diabetes, low sperm counts, liver disease, cataracts, and HIV infection, respiratory distress syndrome, cancer, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Cigarette smoking is also associated with low glutathione levels because it increases the rate of utilization of glutathione.
There is very little evidence that taking glutathione supplements provides any benefit, despite promising evidence about the effects of aerosol, intravenous, and intramuscular glutathione, for people with a wide variety of conditions. People who have a proven glutathione deficiency, which may require administration of glutathione intravenously, intramuscularly, or by aerosol, should be treated by a healthcare professional. All ovarian cancer patients currently taking cisplatin (Platinol®) should discuss using intravenous glutathione with a healthcare professional.
No side effects or interactions are known with oral administration of glutathione.
Are there any drug
Certain medicines may interact with glutathione. Refer to drug interactions for a list of those medicines.
1. Jones DP, Coates RJ, Flagg EW, et al. Glutathione in foods listed in the National Cancer Institutes Health Habits and History Food Frequency Questionnaire. Nutr Cancer 1995;17:57–75.
2. White AC, Thannickal VJ, Fanburg BL. Glutathione deficiency in human disease. J Nutr Biochem 1994;5:218–26.
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or chemist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.