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Jane's Blog Glutathione for Immune Health and Inflammation

Posted by Jane Jansen on

Glutathione (GSH) is essential to good health and is known as “The Mother of All Antioxidants” and “The Master of the Immune System”. It is able to prevent damage to important cellular components caused by reactive oxygen species such as free radicals, peroxides, lipid peroxides and heavy metals.

According to numerous studies, glutathione is a powerful re-generator of immune cells and is easily the most important agent in keeping the body detoxified and healthy. GSH is vitally important in the synthesis of DNA and the maintenance DNA, the synthesis of protein and amino acids, so the body can utilize them effectively. In addition, it is essential in protecting cells from oxidization and activates enzymes vital for the removal of all toxic build up at the cellular level. One unique thing about glutathione is that the body is able to make it in the liver, which is not true of most antioxidants.

Research shows that active glutathione (GSH) also primes white cells such as natural killer (NK) and T cells, your body’s front-line infection fighters. GSH-enhanced T cells are able to produce more infection-fighting substances, controlling both bacterial and viral infections. One clinical trial in particular found that GSH doubled NK cells’ ability to be cytotoxic (kill invaders) after just six months of use. Glutathione controls when inflammation increases or decreases as needed, by instructing and influencing our immune white cells. This is a completely separate mechanism from its antioxidant properties. Re-balancing GSH levels is important as it reduces chronic inflammation and restores immune function.

Glutathione can attach itself, like sticky flypaper, so its intended object cannot escape and is removed from the body. GSH is our body’s natural scavenger, knows what is normal and belongs and what does not.

Obviously, anything that is not normal, like bad bacteria, viruses and fungi will be quickly removed if there is enough GSH present to do the job. Glutathione boosts white blood cell production to fight infection, particularly the T-cells, which are called lymphocytes. T-cells are at the core of our immunity, and tailor the body’s immune response to pathogens, viral and bacterial infections or anything the cells recognize as being invasive. Studies have shown that Glutathione is food for the immune cells, boosting the strength of lymphocytes. B-cell lymphocytes identify the unwanted pathogen that the T-cells then attack.

A new study published in the February 21st 2020 International Journal of Molecular Sciences states, “Recently, a new glutathione-dependent molecular mechanism by which the human immune system activates its immune cells was discovered. T cells effectively ward off pathogens if a gene, Gclc, which is essential for glutathione production, is expressed within them. Mak et al. discovered that after contact with pathogens, glutathione stimulates energy metabolism in T cells, so they can grow, divide, and fight off intruders. It has been shown that glutathione is an important molecular switch for the immune system. Furthermore, GSH affects the production of most inflammatory cytokines and is required to maintain adequate interferon (IFN)-γ production by dendritic cells. Based on these data, Dröge and Breitkreutz claimed that the immune system is highly affected by the level of GSH in the body.”

A study published in the July 16th 2020 journal Antioxidants suggests, “A common denominator in all conditions associated with COVID-19 appears to be the impaired redox homeostasis responsible for reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation; therefore, levels of glutathione (GSH), the key anti-oxidant guardian in all tissues, could be critical in extinguishing the exacerbated inflammation that triggers organ failure in COVID-19. Drawing on evidence from literature that demonstrates the reduced levels of GSH in the main conditions clinically associated with severe disease, we highlight the relevance of restoring GSH levels in the attempt to protect the most vulnerable subjects from severe symptoms of COVID-19. Finally, we discuss the current data about the feasibility of increasing GSH levels, which could be used to prevent and subdue the disease.” The researchers concluded, “Several pieces of evidence reported in our biochemical analysis suggest that low levels of GSH could be one of the major causes of the excessive inflammatory response linked to severe COVID-19 symptoms and indicate that increasing body GSH could reduce the number of symptomatic patients. Future clinical studies investigating the levels of GSH in COVID-19 patients may be the starting point to explore this possibility.”

A study published September 16th 2000 European Respiratory Journal shows, “Inflammatory lung diseases are characterized by chronic inflammation and oxidant/antioxidant imbalance, a major cause of cell damage. Alterations in alveolar and lung GSH metabolism are widely recognized as a central feature of many inflammatory lung diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, cystic fibrosis and asthma. The imbalance and/or genetic variation in antioxidant gamma-GCS and pro-inflammatory versus antioxidant genes in response to oxidative stress and inflammation in some individuals may render them more susceptible to lung inflammation. Knowledge of the mechanisms of GSH regulation and balance between the release and expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators could lead to the development of novel therapies based on the pharmacological manipulation of the production as well as gene transfer of this important antioxidant in lung inflammation and injury. The role of glutathione in oxidant-mediated susceptibility/tolerance, gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase genetic susceptibility and the potential therapeutic role of glutathione and its precursors in protecting against lung oxidant stress, inflammation and injury.”

Unfortunately taking glutathione as a supplement does not work!

The question is how to elevate glutathione levels in the body effectively.

Taking glutathione as a supplement has unfortunately been proven to be not effective. One study gave healthy people 500 milligrams twice a day for a month, however due to the digestive process they were unable to raise the glutathione level in the blood.

In 1995, award-winning microbiologist Marika Mikelsaar, MD, PhD and her team of research scientists at the University of Tartu, Estonia isolated this distinctive probiotic strain. ME-3 is considered by scientists as a "complete glutathione system" due to its ability to produce glutathione in the human body via three different mechanisms. The unique strain ME-3 is proven to stimulate glutathione production naturally in the human body and works as a glutathione-activating agent.

REG’ACTIV - ESSENTIAL ME-3 : Essential ME-3® provides in one single capsule more than 8 billion micro-encapsulated bacteria. Essential ME-3® can be taken for a short treatment course as well as for long periods of time. Ingredients: maltodextrine, Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3®, magnesium salts of fatty acids (anti-caking agent). Vegetable capsule (hydroxypropylmethylcellulose).

Directions: Take 1 capsule daily, 30 minutes before a meal is best, however it can be taken with a meal as well, or as directed by a health care professional.

For more information about: REG’ACTIV Essential ME-3 and REG’ACTIV Immune and Vitality Go to

As always it is best to treat any serious health problem through an appointment with your Holistic Practitioner to get specific dosages of supplements and to take into account the rest of your health concerns as to what is most appropriate for you. Appointments  (in office or via telephone) are available at the Tree of Life Wellness Center (508-336-4242).

Jane Jansen, Holistic Practitioner

Host of Holistic Healthline Radio


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