Town & Country Compounding

Glutathione (and N-Acetylcysteine) in COVID-19 and Other Diseases

Glutathione (and N-Acetylcysteine) in COVID-19 and Other Diseases:

What Is Glutathione and What Can It Do For You?

Glutathione is an antioxidant and has shown antiviral properties in past studies. Studies have also demonstrated that a deficiency of glutathione is associated with a growing number of chronic diseases and impaired immune function. Low glutathione levels have been associated with increased risks for diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

(Source: US National Library of Medicine)

“Endogenous deficiency of glutathione as the most likely cause of serious manifestations and death in patients with the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19): a hypothesis based on literature data and own observations”

Researcher Dr. Alexey V Polonikov, Department of Biology and Medical Genetics of Kursk State Medical University in Russia, drew conclusions that

“(1) oxidative stress contributes to hyper-inflammation of the lung leading to adverse disease outcomes such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiorgan failure and death;

(2) poor antioxidant defense due to endogenous glutathione deficiency is the most probable cause of increased oxidative damage of the lung”

What Does Glutathione Do?

Glutathione prevents oxidative stress and inflammation and helps boost the immune function of other cells in the body. Dr Polonikov observed that patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19-infection had lower levels of glutathione than patients with mild illness. From this, he hypothesized that coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 may not actively replicate at higher levels of cellular glutathione, and therefore, a lower viral load presents with milder symptoms. 

As people age, glutathione levels naturally decrease which allows the elderly to be more susceptible to oxidative damage caused by environmental factors including viral infections, than the younger population. 

The deficiency of glutathione could be one of the contributing factors leading to the progression of COVID from mild infection to severe conditions. It could cause more oxidative stress and exacerbate inflammation in the lung, which may lead to respiratory distress syndrome and possible death.

Sources:, Thailand Medical News

Oral Absorption of Glutathione and N-Acetylcysteine(NAC)

Glutathione is not easily absorbed orally. When replacement is needed, it can be given by intravenous administration, oral liposomal capsules, or via nebulization (inhalation). Additionally, glutathione levels may be increased by giving N-Acetylcysteine (NAC), since it is a precursor to glutathione, meaning NAC converts to glutathione. NAC is absorbed orally easier than glutathione.

Liposomes have been used as an effective means of drug delivery allowing for more efficient absorption and greater protection against oxidation and degradation. A 1-month pilot clinical study of oral liposomal glutathione administration at two doses (500 and 1000 mg glutathione per day) was conducted in healthy adults. Results showed glutathione levels were elevated after 1 week. Glutathione is thought to degrade in the acid environment of the stomach, making oral drug delivery difficult. 

However, liposomes are a means of drug delivery that can help protect drugs against oxidizing and degrading.

For more in-depth explanation of the literature:

Refer to Youtube: #COVID19 #SARSCoV2 #FOAMed

Recommended Video:
Coronavirus Pandemic Update 70: Glutathione Deficiency, Oxidative Stress, and COVID 19

Evidence that Glutathione Works

In the clinical article, oral supplementation with liposomal glutathione elevates body stores of glutathione and markers of immune function, preliminary findings support the effectiveness of daily administration of liposomal forms of glutathione for increasing levels of glutathione and affecting immune function and levels of oxidative stress: Oral supplementation with liposomal glutathione elevates body stores of glutathione and markers of immune function.

A very small study with only 2 patients suggested that Oral and IV glutathione, N-acetylcysteine(NAC) and alpha lipoic acid may represent a new treatment method for addressing the “cytokine storm” and respiratory distress in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.  Source: Efficacy of Glutathione Therapy in Relieving Dyspnea Associated With COVID-19 Pneumonia: A Report of 2 Cases

Ask a pharmacist about glutathione. Contact Town & Country Compounding now.

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