Glutathione, is oral intake effective?

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The debate about the efficacy of orally administered glutathione to improve glutathione levels in cells and tissue is being fiercely debated among experts and has been boiling for years. A study by the Penn State College of Medicine (USA) has now shown that the oral intake of this important nutrient effectively increases the body’s own reserves of GSH.

The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial with 54 healthy adults showed that the levels of glutathione (GSH) in the group of subjects taking 1000 mg of glutathione per day over six months increased by 30% to 35% in many areas.

In the control group, who consumed 250 mg of glutathione per day, an increase in whole blood was found. Parallel to increasing the glutathione storage in the body’s group with high-dose also increased the function of NK cells, a marker for increased immune defense, said John P. Richie, Jr., Professor of Public Health Sciences and Pharmacology at Penn State College of Medicine.

“After three months of glutathione supplementation, a variety of immune function markers were examined and, as a result, the cellular immune response improved more than two fold in the group taking a daily dose of 1000 mg” said Dr. Richie. ”We are convinced that supplementation with GSH can be an effective intervention strategy to prevent and strengthen immune function “.

“The current prevailing opinion is that glutathione is destroyed by oral administration in the stomach and intestine and that GSH must therefore be administered intravenously. However, previous animal studies have shown that oral glutathione is bioavailable and improves GSH levels in tissue” Dr. Richie said.

“Our investigations have shown that the increases are in most cases dose- and time-dependent and have “washed out” to the initial level within one month after discontinuation of supplementation” said Dr. Ritchie. “We are convinced that the daily intake of GSH as a dietary supplement stabilizes the glutathione levels and that oral administration is an effective way to increase the glutathione stores in the body.”

The results of the study “Improved Glutathione Levels in Blood and Buccal Cells by Oral Glutathione Supplementation” were presented by Dr. Richie at the “Experimental Biology 2013” conference of the “Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)” in Boston on 22-23 March 2007. April 2013 (The FASEB Journal. 2013;27:862.32) and meanwhile also published in PubMed, the leading international scientific database:

Link to the publication  |  Link to the Infografic

The study was conducted in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health Sciences, the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute and the Penn State College of Medicine Hershey, PA/USA.