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What Are the Known Glutathione Side Effects?

Glutathione is also important to physically active people. Many world-class athletes are discovering that well-maintained glutathione levels give them the edge over their competitors, bringing greater strength and endurance, decreased recovery time from injury, less muscle pain and fatigue, and muscle-promoting activity.

The side effects of taking glutathione depend on the form you are taking it in, and the side effects maybe direct or indirect.

Practitioners of complementary medicine have long advocated the use of milk thistle for liver problems. It turns out that this herb works by modestly elevating glutathione levels.

Drugs that are precursors (building blocks) for glutathione. Some include S-Adenosyl-Methione, which is expensive and can cause gastrointestinal problems, while ornithine decarboxylase, procyteine, and oxothiazolidine carboxylate both are enzymes and limited in their production of GSH in the body.

American physicians seeking ways to raise a patient’s glutathione levels can open the standard Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) and find an options i.e., the pharmaceutical drug NAC (n-acetyl-cysteine), but has significant side effects, which include its efficacy or usefulness peaks very quickly, and has to be administered several times per day, which causes toxicity. This is a direct glutathione side effect.

Generally it is considered to be free of side-effects. Neither untoward side-effects, nor interactions with oral administration reported even in prolonged use. It is SAFE. Classified as Food Supplement not an herbal. Made from genetically synthesize molecules. The only reported side- effect is SKIN WHITENING when taken in increased doses by modifying conversion of eumelanin (dark/brown/yellow pigmentation) to phaeomelanin (reddish white pigmentation). This is the main reason why whiter skin is produced. Most dermatologists use it. It is proven to be very safe and effective.

Then there are Co- Factors or substances working synergistically for glutathione production.

Defination of cofactor: A substance, such as a metallic ion or coenzyme, that must be associated with an enzyme for the enzyme to function eg., Selenium, Vitamin C, B6, B12, folic acid, vitamin E, and other micronutrients, are included in the substances called co-factors.

Selenium: The mineral selenium also produces subtle elevations in glutathione by becoming integrated into the enzyme glutathione peroxidase.

Side effects of over doses occur around 400 mcg/day and include hair loss, numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes, and white spots on fingernails and toenails. Selenium overdose leads to an indirect glutathione side effect.

Glutamine: Whether taken orally or intravenously, glutamine supplements raise glutathione concentrations.

Side effects: Completely healthy individuals shouldn’t require supplemental glutamine and it can lead to side effects such as gastrointestinal upset. Older people as well as kidney and liver patients should be cautious. Any serious use of this supplement must be monitored by a health professional.

Vitamin E: Like selenium Vitamin E is an antioxidant, a detoxifier, and helps to keep glutathione in its reduced (non-oxidized) state. Dosages up to 400IU are recommended.

Side effects: Excessive intake can be toxic creating gastrointestinal and neurological side-effects.

Silymarin (Milk Thistle): The milk thistle plant, (Silybum marianum, silymarin) has a long history in the treatment of liver problems. It clearly prevents the oxidation of fats and maintains glutathione levels, but possible toxic reactions include gas, cramps and diarrhoea. Liver disease should never be treated without the supervision of a health professional.

“We would like to add… as to date there is no scientific evidence as to the harm or value. It would be best that you discuss it with all on the health care team. There is a theoretical risk in taking the product if you have an organ transplant.”

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