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Glutathione's Role in Supporting Immune Health

Glutathione is a detoxifying agent produced in the cytoplasm, known for its immune supporting and antioxidating properties.

Glutathione is a detoxifying agent produced in the cytoplasm, known for its immune supporting and antioxidating properties. It is critical in preserving cellular integrity because every single cell needs glutathione to maintain healthy structure and function. Endogenously produced and utilised, the human body maintain proper levels of glutathione by eating a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables and lean protein.

Glutathione is a tripeptide of three amino acids: glutamic acid, cysteine and glycine. It exists in at least four different forms within the human body— reduced, oxidised, disulphide cysteine-containing, protein-bound.

An individual’s entire glutathione store turns over and fluctuates daily as the tripeptide is utilised and re-synthesised. To help maintain glutathione, adequate amounts should be acquired from the diet, but if consumers are not regularly eating high amounts of fruits and vegetables every day, their glutathione stores may likely be low to begin with. There is a wide variety of common conditions that deplete glutathione, so most adults could benefit from increasing glutathione consumption, either through diet, supplementation or both.

Setria® Glutathione is a branded form of reduced glutathione, clinically shown to increase levels within the body. A recent long-term, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trial, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, looked at the relationship between enhanced GSH dosages to quantifiable levels of markers of immune and overall health in 54 healthy adults. The placebo-controlled trial used 250 mg Setria glutathione and 1,000 mg Setria glutathione for comparison.

Results showed glutathione levels in the whole blood increased significantly after one, three and six months compared to baseline at both doses. At six months, mean glutathione levels increased 30 to 35 percent in erythrocytes, plasma, and lymphocytes, and 260 percent in buccal cells in the high dose group (P<0.05). Glutathione levels increased 17 and 29 percent in blood and erythrocytes, respectively, in the low dose group (P<0.05). Results also showed ratios of GSSH:GSH decreased at six months in both groups indicating a decrease in oxidative stress. Natural killer cell toxicity also increased two-fold in the high-dose group versus placebo at 3 months. Glutathione levels returned to baseline after supplementation was discontinued for one month. The results of this study were unprecedented, challenging the long-term assumption that oral glutathione cannot be absorbed. The study suggests that high quality Setria can be an effective way to increase glutathione levels to help boost body immune function.

Richie JP Jr et al. 'Randomized controlled trial of oral glutathione supplementation on body stores of glutathione.' European Journal of Nutrition. 2015; 54: 251-63.

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