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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-17 (EDT)

See Also Food Supplements

Glutathione is a major antioxidant present in the lung tissue and other body tissues.[1] It contains three amino acids linked together: Glutamate, cysteine and glycine. It is produced by the body when the needed building blocks and cofactors are present. The level of glutathione in the body is often associated with a person's overall health status. That is, the healthy you are the higher the levels. Glutathione functions in the scavenging and inactivating of hydrogen and lipid peroxides, thereby protecting the body against oxidative stress.

Article The Health Dividend of Glutathione, NMJ, [1], 2012 January

Food sources

  • Glutathione(GSH) is not found directly in foods, yet by eating foods that are rich in cysteine, a sulphur-containing amino acid you can assist the body in increasing glutathione(GSH) levels, including: avocado, asparagus, broccoli, raw eggs, garlic (Allium sativum) and onions, spinach, tomatoes and fresh unprocessed meats.
  • Foods high in alpha lipoic acid can also boost glutathione levels. Food sources of ALA include spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, peas, brussels sprouts, and rice bran.
  • Foods high in selenium can help with the production of glutathione as it is an important co-factor for the enzyme form of glutathione. Foods high in selenium include cereals, oats, Brazil nuts, walnuts, legumes, tuna, beef, poultry, cheese, eggs.


Glutathione has been used to treat a number of conditions including:

General Uses

Glutathione Inhalation may benefit:

Article Nebulised Glutathione for the Management of Pulmonary Conditions: Truth or Myth?, Vital Link; 2007 Fall

IV Glutathione:

  • IV administration is used to reduce the side effects of several chemotherapeutic drugs.

Prescribing considerations

The body needs a adequate supply of the necessary building blocks in order to produce glutathione.

  • Glutathione is not absorbed orally. Supplementation with glutathione is typically done by supplying the body with a number of the critical building blocks.
  • Glutathione can be absorbed directly through inhalation or through intravenous administration.


Glutathione is generally considered safe.


  1. Gaby AR (2011) Nutritional Medicine, Fritz Perlberg Publishing.