DNC News

How to increase glutathione levels in the body:

Prior newletters have extolled the virtues of increasing levels of reduced glutathione (GSH) in the body as being protective against oxidant damage to cells and thus useful in preventing a range of degenerative conditions from Parkinson's Disease to cancer. It is especially useful to increase glutathione levels during cancer treatment. Glutathione both protects the healthy cells from damage and at the same time appears to make the cancer cells more sensitive to the chemotherapy or radiation increasing the rate of cancer cell apoptosis (programmed cell death).

There are a number of supplements that may help increase glutathione levels:
1. Reduced glutathione itself may be taken orally. There has been debate on how well this is absorbed.[see prior newsletter] Taken with water on an empty stomach increases absorption apparently to therapeutic levels. The addition of anthrocyanins may protect the glutathione from degradation.


3. Vitamin E

4. N-acetyl-cysteine or NAC

5. Whey Protein: We have been using this for several years to aid in heavy metal detoxification. A special hydrolyzed protein is preferred. We have seen no problems in people who are milk sensitive. At this point I prefer most cancer patients to use whey protein in smoothies over the soy protein isoflavones. Adding blueberries, strawberries and raspberries (good sources of anthrocyanins) further increase glutathione levels.

Anticancer Res 2000 Nov-Dec;20(6C):4785-92

Whey protein concentrate (WPC) and glutathione modulation in cancer treatment. Bounous G Research & Development Department, Immunotec Research Ltd., 292 Adrien-Patenaude, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec, Canada, J7V 5V5.

The glutathione (GSH) antioxidant system is foremost among the cellular protective mechanisms. Depletion of this small molecule is a common consequence of increased formation of reactive oxygen species during increased cellular activities. This phenomenon can occur in the lymphocytes during the development of the immune response and in the muscular cells during strenuous exercise. It is not surprising that so much research has been done, and is still being done on this small tripeptide molecule. Whey protein concentrate has been shown to represent an effective and safe cysteine donor for GSH replenishment during GSH depletion in immune deficiency states. Cysteine is the crucial limiting amino acid for intracellular GSH synthesis. Animal experiments showed that the concentrates of whey proteins also exhibit anti-carcinogenesis and anticancer activity. They do this via their effect on increasing GSH concentration in relevant tissues, and may have anti-tumor effect on low volume of tumor via stimulation of imm unity through the GSH pathway. It is considered that oxygen radical generation is frequently a critical step in carcinogenesis, hence the effect of GSH on free radicals as well as carcinogen detoxification, could be important in inhibiting carcinogenesis induced by a number of different mechanisms. Case reports are presented which strongly suggest an anti-tumor effect of a whey protein dietary supplement in some urogenital cancers. This non toxic dietary intervention, which is not based on the principles of current cancer chemotherapy, will hopefully attract the attention of laboratory and clinical oncologists. Publication Types: * Review * Review, tutorial PMID: 11205219

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