Glutathione

Hangover Fix: Get Glutathione!

Hangover Fix: Get Glutathione!

Being able to bounce back from a night out is probably the ultimate testament to health.

It doesn’t matter how healthy you are, or how health conscious you are, it’s still a reality that we have to face. Sometimes we go out.

How do you recover from a hangover?

I’m going to break down how glutathione, and exogenous use of glutathione through a supplement, might be one of the best ways to help your body recover.

But, I want to explain the science behind how glutathione works; how it’s a natural part of your body’s detoxification and recovery process.

Let’s start with that first drink…

When you take a sip of a drink, your liver begins the process of converting the alcohol from ethanol into acetaldehyde. It does this with a particular enzyme, ethanol dehydrogenase. From there, your body breaks it down even further into something as simple as a vinegar-like substance.

But here’s the thing, that acetaldehyde is extremely toxic. I mean, really toxic: 30 times more toxic than ethanol.

Most people think it’s the alcohol that’s very toxic. Well, it’s not exactly the best thing for you, but it’s what the body converts it to that’s the problem.

So that acetaldehyde that the liver converts alcohol to creates havoc throughout the body, and it’s up to your body to combine a couple of naturally existing components to neutralize it. It comes down to two things: acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione, the thing that we are hearing a ton about lately.

What that glutathione does is it neutralizes it the acetaldehyde, it allows the body to catch up. Since glutathione is prevalent in the liver, it helps the liver actually detox from the alcohol itself.

How about the morning after?

How about that hangover?

What exactly are you experiencing when you have a hangover? You’re experiencing a depletion of glutathione. Basically, your body is so toxic at that point that your glutathione stores have been depleted and you don’t have enough glutathione to neutralize the alcohol or the acetaldehyde.

So, you’re left with this overabundance of acetaldehyde in the body, quite literally leaving you in a toxic state. The feeling of a hangover in the morning, when you feel nauseous, sick, green in the face: that’s coming from you being toxic and not having enough glutathione to mitigate that.

The good news is…

There’s glutathione that you can take in supplement form and there’s things that you can do with your diet to help promote glutathione production to help prevent depletion of your stores.

Here’s the thing, it’s not entirely your fault.

I think that probably 50, 60 years ago, alcohol didn’t have as much of an impact on us as it does now, simply because we have so many external factors out in life today that are already depleting our glutathione stores.

See, our glutathione stores are what are responsible for detoxing the body from just about anything. They occur in every single cell, every cellular function in our body. So that means heavy metals in the fish that we eat, all the toxins in the air that we breathe, the stress that we incur from our relationships, work, lack of sleep or even even a hard workout, can all deplete our glutathione stores. So, when we do have a drink of alcohol it makes us much more susceptible to having a hangover.

Here’s the proof:

There was a study done that I want to bring to light: it talks about the gut mucosal layer.

One thing that I didn’t mention earlier, and this is quite important, is if you’ve ever had a hangover and you’ve had that sort of sour stomach, almost that pain, sometimes you end up with some diarrhea… Well, that may be due to the fact that your glutathione stores in your gut mucosal layer are depleted, and that means that the acetaldehyde can attach your gut that much easier.

So what this case study looked at was participants that had endoscopies done. These endoscopies looked at their gut mucosal layer and that macroscopic damage, (meaning the actual layer from the big picture of the gut lining). When glutathione level were depleted, they had much more damage incurred to the gut when exposed to ethanol, in this case, alcohol.

But when glutathione was supplemented there was significant reduction in damage to the macroscopic layer of the gut. Meaning, they were potentially able to reduce the actual impact of alcohol in the gut by supplementing glutathione. This is just a small instance of how glutathione can affect the gut. But it also displays what glutathione can do to the big picture of the human body.

Imagine the possibilities…

Glutathione is so new when it comes to emerging research, we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg with what it can do as a result of a hangover.

But, think about everything else. Think about every other miniature “hangover” that’s occurring in your life, whether it’s from alcohol, stress, eating the wrong food and exposure to a lot of sugars, etc. We’re always under this chronic stress that’s causing inflammation.

If we can start addressing the root of it and start paying attention to our glutathione stores, whether it be through the right foods or through proper supplementation, we may very well hold in our hands the very specific key that we need to detox our bodies from the inside out.


1) Glutathione Information: What is GSH, Biochemistry, Metabolism, and Mechanism of Action. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.essentialgsh.com/glutathione.html

2) Retrieved from http://aldh2deficiency.com/acetaldehyde/

3) Hangover Hacks You Can Hang Your Hat On. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/31/hangover.aspx

4) Hangover Prevention – 2 – Alcohol, Liver, Glutathione – Life Extension Health Concern. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.lifeextension.com/Protocols/Lifestyle-Longevity/Hangover-Prevention/Page-02

Alcohol and Glutathione Science

Alcohol and Glutathione Science

You’ve probably heard about glutathione by now…

It’s being talked about as a brain aid, a liver aid and a possible neutropic, that could enhance brain activity.

The thing is that probably the most important use of glutathione is as a combatter of oxygen. Yes, you need oxygen to survive, but oxygen metabolism results in byproducts, and those can be bad news.

I’m going explain the metabolic process and how glutathione actually works in the body, and how you can naturally increase your levels of glutathione so your body can find that homeostasis that it needs to perform at its best.

How does Oxygen Metabolism work with Glutathione?

Glutathione is actually a peptide. It’s a peptide of 3 different amino acids; it’s glutamic acid, it’s cysteine, and it’s glycine. Those 3 amino acids combined create a peptide that’s also known as GSH, or in this case glutathione.

Glutathione has a lot of different functions within the body but it’s mainly geared towards oxygen metabolism. We have aerobic cells within the body. Those aerobic cells combine oxygen with other components of the body to create energy. Whenever they create energy they have a certain level of cellular waste, aerobic waste and oxygen waste. We are specifically concerned with something called the Reactive Oxygen Species or ROS.

ROS sounds like a horrible thing because it’s a byproduct, otherwise known as cell waste. However it’s also important, because if we don’t have that level of ROS our body never knows how to regulate cell metabolism; it never knows how to regulate energy.

Although it’s not necessarily a bad thing, when it’s present in excess it can become a problem, and that’s where glutathione comes in.

GSH plays a big role in actually mitigating the excess oxygen or the Reactive Oxygen Species that occurs when we have aerobic metabolism. It’s basically a hardcore antioxidant; a free radical eliminator that specifically works with aerobic cells so that we can get the most out of out oxygen and ultimately get the most out of our days in the office, in the workplace, in the gym and at home.

The body is all about balance…

We have these natural negative feedback loops, that always keep things in homeostasis. All of our hormones have this level of homeostasis where they’re always trying to find balance. Whenever you have any kind of cell metabolism as well, there’s always this level of homeostasis; your body is finding balance. If your body goes into a really injured state where the cells are really damaged because you’re over-training, or because you’re super stressed, then your body is going to have a lot more free radicals.

Consequently, to find balance your body is going to increase some of these natural antioxidants. Glutathione is one of most potent options. The body is going to naturally increase those GSH levels so it can bring your body back to normal, keep you in balance. The problem is sometimes our glutathione stores can get depleted. What happens then is we have oxidative stress that overwhelms the body and can make you feel downright miserable and weak.

Let’s talk about the benefits of glutathione, specifically what people seek glutathione out for. It’s protecting you from a lot of toxins, environmental and internal (internal being the cell waste). External toxins includes alcohol, pollution, pesticides, BPA’s, all these different toxins that we’re exposed to daily. Glutathione can help mitigate those, reducing the oxidative stress.

Additionally, glutathione is known to reduce peroxide levels. Basically peroxide, like hydrogen peroxide are natural bleaching agents that are byproducts of cell metabolism as well, and glutathione can help reduce the presence of those in your body.

Glutathione also helps the metabolism, taking some of the stress off the liver so that the liver can produce the enzymes and the hormones that it needs to help metabolize food, fat, sugar, and ultimately make you feel your best.

Then, of course, glutathione is going to help out your immune system. When the body is not under that kind of stress, when the liver is able to do its job, when the brain is able to signal appropriately, then your immune system works better. Your inflammatory responses go down, your immunoglobulins A and B, all those IgA, IgB, IgM immunoglobulins go down and allow your body to heal, plain and simple.

I want to specifically talk about how glutathione works for the brain and the liver…

The brain; the brain makes up 2% of our overall body weight, yet it utilizes 20% of our overall oxygen in the entire body. You do the math right there, and you can figure it out that the brain is running on a high amount of oxygen per overall weight.

What that tells us is there’s going to be a large amount of oxidative stress. There’s also going to be a lot more ROS as a result of oxidative metabolism than there would be anywhere else in the body.

What that means is glutathione is going to be more important in the brain than in any other part of the body. In order for that cell recovery to occur and the cell damage to stop, for our brain cells to stop dying, and for us to be able to actually grow neurologically, we need those levels of glutathione.

Glutathione doesn’t just magically appear in the brain, it has to be synthesized. Generally, the GSH that’s synthesized in the brain comes from a specific amino acid called cysteine, and that cysteine is triggered by a specific enzyme that’s called glutamate cysteine lipase enzyme. That enzyme reacts with the cysteine to create the GSH that allows the brain to recover.

Here’s the kicker: we have so many different components of our brain doing so many different things, that we actually require different precursors for GSH for different components of the brain.

Let’s talk about the liver…

Specifically, how the liver works when it’s metabolizing alcohol, and how glutathione actually plays a pretty big part in that.

When you take a sip of alcohol, as soon as it hits your saliva, it is converted into something called acetaldehyde. Not all of that alcohol is converted into acetaldehyde, only most of it. The remainder travels down into your liver, where the liver converts the rest into acetaldehyde.

News flash, acetaldehyde is probably one of the most toxic things that you can possibly consume.

So, what does the liver do? The liver prioritizes the metabolism of that acetaldehyde. It stops it in its tracks and it does everything that it can, stopping all other metabolic processes to make sure that it can break down this acetaldehyde.

How does it do that? It uses glutathione or GSH. Glutathione actually neutralizes the acetaldehyde. It neutralizes it to about the acidity of vinegar. The ability of the GSH to turn something that’s extremely toxic into something that’s not all that toxic shows the importance of glutathione in the liver.

Now, if you’re exhausted, or if you’re training hard, or you’re overall just fatigued or stressed out, then your glutathione levels are going to be depleted. Your overall aminos that make up those glutathione stores are going to be depleted, which means your liver isn’t going to be able to process that acetaldehyde. Which means all the other metabolic processes go in the back burner, creating enzymes, digesting food, creating bile, all the things that are necessary for survival get put on hold and your liver is just churning, and churning, and working really, really hard to produce this glutathione.

You’re probably wondering: okay, well how do I boost my glutathione levels?

How do I specifically boost my glutathione levels if I’m going out with my friends, and want to have a drink?

Right now the evidence is pretty inconclusive. There’s not a lot of science supporting the exogenous use of pure glutathione. You see since that glutathione response is a negative feedback response based on your body trying to find homeostasis to different situations, taking exogenous glutathione may not actually impact your overall glutathione stores.

However, what is being shown is if you take the precursors to glutathione, like some of these amino acids, particularly cysteine, your body is able to produce more glutathione.

You’re better off giving your body the fuel to actually produce glutathione, than you are just taking an exogenous supplement.

Another thing that you can do is take milk thistle. If you take milk thistle then you can take some of the stress off the liver, so the liver can produce more glutathione and can properly dispose of the toxins it’s dealing with.

At the end of the day…

This isn’t a fix-all for all of your problems, but supporting your liver health, balancing your body and boosting your immune system will definitely help get you on the right track.


1) Glutathione Information: What is GSH, Biochemistry, Metabolism, and Mechanism of Action. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.essentialgsh.com/glutathione.html

2) Retrieved from http://aldh2deficiency.com/acetaldehyde/

3) Hangover Hacks You Can Hang Your Hat On. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/31/hangover.aspx

4) Hangover Prevention – 2 – Alcohol, Liver, Glutathione – Life Extension Health Concern. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.lifeextension.com/Protocols/Lifestyle-Longevity/Hangover-Prevention/Page-02

Fight Infection with Glutathione

Fight Infection with Glutathione!

Even your antioxidants need antioxidants!

Today I want to talk in some detail about the direct correlation between glutathione and infections, viruses and bacteria in the body.

You see, glutathione is known as the mother of all antioxidants. Why? Because it exists in virtually every single cell in your body.

It’s made up of three very simple amino acids; cysteine, glycine, and glutamate. Those three aminos together create this wonderful glutathione that has such a powerful detoxing impact on the body that you practically couldn’t live without it.

In fact, your immune system would suffer tremendously without glutathione.

There are now studies that are showing a correlation between decreased glutathione levels and a suppressed immune system.

Let me explain a little bit about the immune system:

A healthy immune system differentiates between good and bad elements, like bacteria.

Basically you have cells that travel around and are able to identify something as natural or invader. You see, your body has these things that are called T cells. What these T cells do is they float around your bloodstream and essentially put labels on different organisms. They’ll either put a label on something that says, “natural, this is existing, this is okay to be here,” or they will put a label on it that says, “invader,” and that will trigger your immune system to attack it.

The next step in the equation is white blood cells. You’ve got phagocytes and you’ve got macrophages. What these white blood cells do is they actually attack the invader. They consume it and dispose of it.

But here’s the caveat: you need glutathione to create those white blood cells. Without glutathione, those white blood cells can’t materialize, which means your immune system never has the ability to attack what the T cells put a label on.

So, you have a direct correlation between the effectiveness of glutathione and your body’s ability to fight off disease, illness, and recover from a workout.

In essence, glutathione is basically food for immune cells. It functions as such because it exists in your intestinal mucosa. Basically what that means is that that glutathione is very active in the intestinal lining. That’s also where you have a lot of your immune system, in your gut.

You can start making the connections here: if you have glutathione levels in your gut mucosa, then you have high levels of glutathione affecting your immune system. This can make it so that you’re creating more phagocytes, creating more macrophages, and supporting that T cell function. This leads to a healthy immune system, healthy recovery, and ultimately you have more energy.

You don’t have to take it from me, there have been studies…

This first one that I want to reference is very interesting, and it’s in regards to viruses.

What this first study found was that mouse models that were suffering from the influenza virus, were seeing quite a bit of inflammation in their pulmonary area. They were also seeing an increase in what is called reactive oxygen species, ROS. That’s basically a fancy way of saying high levels of free radicals.

Well, in conjunction with that, there were decreased levels of glutathione, and increased levels of oxidized glutathione.

Let me break it down for you: what that means is, there were a lot of free radicals as a result of the flu. Then they noticed that the glutathione levels were depleted. Following that they noticed that the glutathione was oxidized, meaning it was used up. So, direct correlation: increase in influenza = depletion of glutathione (because it’s spent its energy attacking the influenza, or actually supporting the recovery).

Now the next study I want to talk about is in relation to bacteria…

Particularly tuberculosis. In case you didn’t know, tuberculosis is kind of tricky. It hides in what’s called the phagosome. The phagosome is like a vacuole inside the cell. Think of it sort of like the belly of a cell. It’s very, very difficult for T cells to identify tuberculosis properly because they’re buried in the cells. When we come across something that’s able to identify or help with tuberculosis, it’s a pretty big deal.

Well, it’s been found that bacteria, particularly tuberculosis, can increase nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide levels may be good if you’re in the gym and you’re looking for blood flow, but increased nitric oxide isn’t necessarily good because downstream it can trigger some inflammation.

Well, in this study it seemed as though glutathione neutralized some of the nitric oxide, thereby potentially reducing the inflammation later on down the line. Which means that the body can heal itself much better. This enables your immune system to do its job much more efficiently, which means that the lymphocytes, phagocytes, and the macrophages can start doing their job and healing the body.

The moral of the story is…

If you boost your immune system, it makes everything easier. It makes your workouts easier, your mood better, and it makes it easier to adhere to a diet.

Plus, it puts you in a better position to take control of your health and block out the noise from the rest of the internet, and the rest of the world, and focus on you.


1) Glutathione Information: What is GSH, Biochemistry, Metabolism, and Mechanism of Action. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.essentialgsh.com/glutathione.html

2) Role of glutathione in immunity and inflammation in the lung. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048347/

3) Understanding Glutathione (GSH), Point of Return.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.pointofreturn.com/glutathione.html

4) Role of glutathione in immunity and inflammation in the lung. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048347/

Glutathione could help correct leaky gut

Glutathione could help correct leaky gut

How would you like that breakfast that you just ate to slip right on through your intestinal tract and end up in your bloodstream, in giant chunks rather than digested material?

That may be a bit extreme, but that’s basically what’s happening with a leaky gut.

I want to show you some science that’s actually proving that glutathione may be something that can help out with a leaky gut.

Let me explain a little bit more about what a leaky gut is, and then explain what glutathione is, and then wrap it all together with some science with a nice little bow on top so it all makes sense.

So, what is leaky gut?

A leaky gut, also known as intestinal hyperpermeability, just like the name implies, means that things are flowing through your intestinal tract into your bloodstream that shouldn’t.

It’s when your gut lining is so broken down and worn out from inflammation, bad foods, stress, lack of antioxidants, etc. that food particles can slip through into the bloodstream.

Why is that bad?

These food particles trigger the immune system to activate on high alert. This can cause you to feel run down. It can totally zap your energy levels, but it can also trigger some autoimmune issues, because the body starts activating all kinds of antibodies and immune responses. This can lead to intolerances, food cravings, weight gain and autoimmune issues. Ultimately it can even lead to some hormonal imbalances.

It’s a big problem right now, and that’s probably why we’re hearing so much about it.

Let’s start breaking down the real science…

One thing that I like to talk about a lot is glutathione.

Glutathione is known as the mother of all antioxidants, because it’s our body’s built in defense mechanism, insurance policy and detoxification agent.

How does it have a correlation with a leaky gut?

Glutathione is a tri-peptide. It’s made up of three simple amino acids that are ultimately synthesized into this substance called glutathione.
What glutathione does is it travels around, or exists in the cell, with an extra electron. That electron acts as sort of a lure to catch free radicals, because those free radicals need an electron to pair with.

Basically that glutathione has a hook on it. That hook attaches that spare oxygen that is your free radical and neutralizes it.

When you have these issues going on in the gut all the time, you have excess inflammation and stress. It would make sense that you need additional glutathione at the source.

When you’re under stress, you have a high level of reactive oxygen species and free radicals, and they exist predominantly in the gut.

Since glutathione is so present in the gut, it’s spending all of its energy neutralizing extra free radicals in the gut, so your gut is never getting a chance to heal. Even if you don’t have a leaky gut to begin with, you’re compromising your immune system and your body’s ability to rebuild the intestinal lining that naturally gets depleted.

I want to reference some studies that break down some legitimate evidence that glutathione may be linked to a leaky gut…

The first study that I want to talk about looked at inflammatory bowel disease, where you have inflammation throughout the bowels, typically like Crohn’s disease.

What this study looked at was what your levels of glutathione were doing when you had irritable bowel disease.

What they found is that there were elevated levels of glutathione disulfide. That glutathione disulfide is the already used form of glutathione, suggesting that when there was inflammation, and when there was disease, our bodies were depleted in active glutathione, because that glutathione was being used to try to recover from the inflammatory bowel disease.

The next study is even more interesting:

This one looked at celiac patients that had issues with gluten intolerance.

They took 39 patients, 19 of which were in the control study, (19 that didn’t have celiac disease, and the rest did).

What they looked at in this study were the levels of what is called lipid peroxidation. To make it simple, lipid peroxidation is when fats are oxidized and turn into free radicals.

What they found is that lipid peroxidation increased in the presence of celiac disease, directly correlating with a diminished antioxidant level and diminished levels of glutathione in the body, suggesting that the antioxidant effects in those with celiac disease, an inflammation in the intestinal tract, are directly correlated by a decrease in glutathione.

So what does this all mean?

This isn’t the end all, be all. But, the fact that we’re starting to find some correlation between these advanced and peer reviewed studies, glutathione, our immune system, and a leaky gut is pretty amazing.

So what can you do?

First and foremost, make sure you’re keeping on top of those free radicals, whether that means eating the right kinds of foods, supplementing with a little bit of cysteine to help that glutathione production, or taking the easy way and just using some glutathione exogenously to help your body out and give it a break.

Make sure that you’re keeping an eye on the mother of all antioxidants, because at the end of the day, you need to take care of yourself, and this is a great place to start.


1) Glutathione: New Supplement on the Block. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/glutathione-new-supplement-on-block#1

2) The Health Dividend of Glutathione | Natural Medicine Journal. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2011-02/health-dividend-glutathione

3) What is Glutathione? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/what-is-glutathione/

4) Intestinal Permeability: Clinical Unwinding of Leaky Gut | San Jose Functional Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://sanjosefuncmed.com/intestinal-permeability-clinical-unwinding-leaky-gut/

5) Oxidative Stress: An Essential Factor in the Pathogenesis of Gastrointestinal Mucosal Diseases. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4044300/

6) How to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome: 20 Tips From Gut Health Experts. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://blog.kettleandfire.com/how-to-heal-leaky-gut-syndrome/

7) BodyBio Health News | Glutathione: It’s Your Gut. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bodybio.com/content.aspx?page=Glutathione-Gut

8) Impairment of intestinal glutathione synthesis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9616308

9) Antioxidant status and lipid peroxidation in small intestinal mucosa of children with celiac disease. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19560448