Friday, December 12, 2014

Glutathione and its Many uses in Parkinson's Disease, Cancer, Heart Attack and more

What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is synthesized in the body from the amino acids L-cysteine, L-glutamic acid, and glycine. The sulfhydryl (thiol) group (SH) of cysteine serves as a proton donor and is responsible for the biological activity of glutathione.
It is an antioxidant, preventing damage to important cellular components caused by reactive oxygen species such as free radicals and peroxides
Raising GSH levels through direct supplementation of glutathione is difficult. Research suggests that glutathione taken orally is not well absorbed across the gastrointestinal tract. In a study of acute oral administration of a very large dose (3 grams) of oral glutathione, Witschi and coworkers found "it is not possible to increase circulating glutathione to a clinically beneficial extent by the oral administration of a single dose of 3 g of glutathione."
One study showed that patients after a heart attack were benefited by intravenous glutathione. Another study was done in Italy by a neurologist named Sechi who showed that intravenous glutathione (600mg twice daily) significantly improved patients with early Parkinson’s disease giving a 42% decline in disability.

Glutathione and Heart Attack

Altomare, Emanuele, et al."High-Dose Antioxidant Therapy During Thrombolysis in Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction," Current Therapeutic Research, February, 1996;57(2):131-141.
This study evaluated 67 patients with a myocardial infarction treated with recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA), of which 35 received glutathione at an intravenous bolus initially of 1800 mg followed by 20 ug/kg per minute for the next 24 hours. Intravenous glutathione appears to limit the adverse effects associated with reperfusion-induced oxidative stress.

Glutathione and Cancer
Glutathione therapy can reduce the toxicity of some chemo agents. In one study (Tedeschi), the toxicity of cisplatin, an effective drug in the treatment of solid tumors, was greatly reduced. It is proposed in this article that glutathione is a promising antidote. Glutathione is a safe compound that prevents cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity without affecting its antitumor activity. This would enhance the ability to use higher doses of cisplatin and improve efficacy against certain tumors. The advantage of the combination of glutathione with high doses of cisplatin was demonstrated by the impressive response rate in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Sechi G, M.D. "Reduced Intravenous Glutathione in the Treatment of Early Parkinson's Disease," Prog Neuro-Psychopharmacol & Biol Psychiat, 1996;20:1159-1170.
Tedeschi M, et al Glutathione and Detoxification, Cancer Treatment Reviews, 1990;17:203-208.
Witschi A, Reddy S, Stofer B, Lauterburg BH, "The Systemic Availability of Oral Glutathione," Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 1992;43:667-669

To book an appointment call 587-360-1100
He is your Airdrie Naturopath and serving the surrounding, Olds, Didsbury, Drumheller, Cochrane, Calgary area.
Dr. Kin Leung, B.Sc., N.D., CCT, CPCC, FABNO
Naturopathic Fundamentals Wellness Clinic
191 Edwards Way SW, Unit 103
Airdrie, AB
T4E 3E2
(587) 360-1100

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