We’ve been administering IV glutathione at WholeHealth Chicago for years now, but because I’ve been observing more widespread acceptance among conventional physicians from a range of specialties (including cosmetic surgeons, dermatologists, and neurologists), it seems like a good time to review glutathione, just in case you’ve not been keeping up.
I first began following glutathione research when I saw these videos showing before-and-after results of Parkinson’s disease patients who received IV glutathione under the care of neurologist (and author of the bestseller Grain Brain) David Perlmutter, MD. These clips are pretty dramatic, though to maintain the results requires frequent infusions. The results of Dr Perlmutter’s infusions lasted just a few days.
Currently, glutathione nasal sprays are in clinical trials at the NIH. Low dose proved to be no better than a placebo but a higher dose is being tested.
What was recognized some years ago was that Parkinson’s was a form of super-accelerated aging confined to certain parts of the brain. Like aging itself, there was evidence of excessive damage from free radicals, the altered oxygen molecules that wreak havoc everywhere in your body. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, green tea, CoQ10, and resveratrol mop up free radicals, and glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant of them all.
The good, the marginally good, and the complicated
So that’s the good news. And despite the inevitability that your glutathione declines with age, eating a nutritious diet, not smoking, and avoiding toxins will support healthful glutathione levels.
In reasonably good news, you can have your glutathione levels measured with a simple blood test, generally covered by insurance.
In the more complicated news category, if your levels are low or you’re concerned about any of the issues below, raising your glutathione levels can be challenging. This is because the glutathione molecule is delicate and easily destroyed during digestion.
One product we like to use, especially during a detoxification challenge (such as when treating cancer, Lyme, or mold) is this one, but as you’ll note it can overwhelm your supplement budget.
For years we were able to recommend an inexpensive precursor (building block) to glutathione called NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine). NAC had been sold as a supplement for years when suddenly, to everyone’s surprise, the FDA insisted it could no longer be sold over the counter. Rather than have a dramatic recall, they’re allowing wholesalers to sell out their on-hand stocks. My prediction is that it will resurface as an expensive prescription drug.
Thus, if you see NAC anywhere (including our apothecary) and want to raise your glutathione, snap it up. We recently bought out the stock of our wholesaler.
Benefits of glutathione
Keep in mind that glutathione is a powerful antioxidant, important to almost all bodily functions, including:
- Supporting the immune system.
- Lowering free radicals throughout the body.
- Reducing inflammation.
- Removing environmental toxins.
- Boosting energy and mental clarity.
- Increasing metabolism, making it important in weight loss.
- As an anti-aging agent that helps skin look smoother by diminishing wrinkles and ﬁne lines.
Dermatologists prescribe glutathione to lighten skin and remove age spots and ﬁne wrinkles. It works by deactivating the enzyme that produces skin pigment. When administered with IV vitamin C, patients can see improvements in their skin in four to six weeks.
Costs for IV therapies are reasonable. IV glutathione is given during a 15-minute IV push and is $100. IV vitamin C is usually priced between $100 and $250 depending on the amount of administered. It’s given over 30 to 45 minutes.
You need not be a WholeHealth Chicago patient to schedule any of our infusion therapies.
David Edelberg, MD