For Optimal Health, Step up Your Glutathione Game

There is no other compound quite like glutathione. It is so important that your body makes its own supply to protect us from tumors, keep DNA-damaging oxidative stress at bay, help the body rid itself of toxins, and keep every cell rejuvenated and healthy.

Unfortunately, our glutathione levels tend to drop due to aging, genetics, disease, environment, and dozens of other factors out of our control.

Supplementation can be a challenge because most forms of glutathione are unstable and really don’t raise levels of the compound efficiently.

One reasonably workaround is supplementation with NAC (N-acetylcysteine), which is processed by the body into cysteine which can then be used to synthesize more glutathione in the cells. And this works, up to a point. But a better method is to boost glutathione levels directly, and that’s what the researchers in this study were able to do.

They used a sublingual (under the tongue) form that protected the supplemental glutathione from oxidative damage while allowing it to absorb into the bloodstream slowly and stably. This unique sublingual glutathione boosted the healthy ratio of glutathione in the body 65 percent better than NAC and the healthy ratio 230 percent better than unprotected supplemental glutathione that takes the usual course through the digestive tract.


Schmitt B, Vicenzi M, Garrel C, Denis FM. Effects of N-acetylcysteine, oral glutathione (GSH) and a novel sublingual form of GSH on oxidative stress markers: A comparative crossover study. Redox Biol. 2015 Dec;6:198-205.

Glutathione (GSH) is critical to fight against oxidative stress. Its very low bioavailability limits the interest of a supplementation. The purpose of this study was to compare the bioavailability, the effect on oxidative stress markers and the safety of a new sublingual form of GSH with two commonly used dietary supplements, N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and oral GSH. The study was a three-week randomized crossover trial. 20 Volunteers with metabolic syndrome were enrolled. GSH levels and several oxidative stress markers were determined at different times during each 21-days period. Compared to oral GSH group, an increase of total and reduced GSH levels in plasma and a higher GSH/GSSG ratio (p=0.003) was observed in sublingual GSH group. After 3 weeks of administration, there was a significant increase of vitamin E level in plasma only in sublingual GSH group (0.83 µmol/g; p=0.04). Our results demonstrate the superiority of a new sublingual form of GSH over the oral GSH form and NAC in terms of GSH supplementation.

Here is the link to the complete article: Effects of N-acetylcysteine, oral glutathione (GSH) and a novel sublingual form of GSH on oxidative stress markers: A comparative crossover study

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.

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