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GLUTATHIONE

Other Names:

Gamma-Glutamylcysteinylglycine, Gamma-L-Glutamyl-L-Cysteinylglycine, Gamma-L-Glutamyl-L-Cystéinylglycine, Glutathion, Glutatión, L-Gamma-Glutamyl-L-Cysteinyl-Glycine, L-Gamma-Glutamyl-L-Cystéinyl-Glycine, L-Glutathion, L-Glutathione, GSH, N-(N-L...
See All Names

 Overview
 Uses
 Side Effects
 Interactions
 Dosing
Overview Information

Glutathione is a substance produced naturally by the liver. It is also found in fruits, vegetables, and meats.

People take glutathione by mouth for treating cataracts and glaucoma, preventing aging, treating or preventing alcoholism, asthma, cancer, heart disease (atherosclerosis and high cholesterol), hepatitis, liver disease, diseases that weaken the body’s defense system (including AIDS and chronic fatigue syndrome), memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoarthritis, and Parkinson’s disease. Glutathione is also used for maintaining the body’s defense system (immune system) and fighting metal and drug poisoning.

Glutathione is breathed in (inhaled) for treating lung diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and lung disease in people with HIV disease.

Healthcare providers give glutathione as a shot (by injection into the muscle) for preventing poisonous side effects of cancer treatment (chemotherapy) and for treating the inability to father a child (male infertility).

Healthcare providers also give glutathione intravenously (by injection into the vein, by IV) for preventing “tired blood” (anemia) in kidney patients undergoing hemodialysis treatment, preventing kidney problems after heart bypass surgery, treating Parkinson’s disease, improving blood flow and decreasing clotting in individuals with “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), treating diabetes, and preventing toxic side effects of chemotherapy.

How does it work?

Glutathione is involved in many processes in the body, including tissue building and repair, making chemicals and proteins needed in the body, and for the immune system.

Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Possibly Effective for:



INTRAVENOUS
  • Reducing side effects of chemotherapy treatments for cancer.

Insufficient Evidence for:



TAKEN BY MOUTH
  • Cataracts.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Preventing aging.
  • Treating or preventing alcoholism.
  • Asthma.
  • Cancer.
  • Heart disease.
  • High cholesterol levels.
  • Liver problems.
  • AIDS.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Memory loss.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Other conditions.
INHALED
  • Treating lung diseases.
  • Other conditions.
INTRAVENOUS
  • Treating Parkinson’s disease.
  • Diabetes.
  • Anemia in people on hemodialysis.
  • “Hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis).
  • Infertility in men.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate glutathione for these uses.


Side Effects & Safety

Glutathione is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth, by inhalation, or by injection into the muscle or into the veins. But the possible side effects are not known.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of glutathione during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Asthma: Do not inhale glutathione if you have asthma. It can increase some asthma symptoms.

Interactions What is this?

We currently have no information for Interactions

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

INTRAVENOUS:

  • Healthcare providers give glutathione intravenously (by IV) along with chemical cancer treatments (chemotherapy) to reduce some of the unwanted side effects of the chemotherapy.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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