Glutathione, the Natural Antibiotic
Glutathione is a tripeptide of the amino acids L-cysteine, L-glutamic acid, and glycine. Glutathione is not an essential nutrient, since it can be synthesized in the human body. The mechanism of action appears to be hydrogen sulfides that are produced. Research conducted by Carlsson et al, has demonstrated the ability of glutathione to kill P. micros (Peptostreptococcus micros) a known pathogen. Glutathione reacts with the bacterium from hydrogen sulfide and is able to kill the P. micros pathogen.
Oral Glutathione Increase Cellular Concentration
Mice were given an oral dose of glutathione 100mg/kg in this controlled study. Glutathione samples were measured at 30, 45 and 60 minutes in blood plasma and after 1 hour in liver, kidney, heart, lung, brain, small intestine and skin. One of the first results observed was that oral glutathione administration was consistent with a rapid flux of glutathione from the intestinal lumen to blood plasma.The results show that oral glutathione can increase glutathione concentrations in several tissues following glutathione depletion, such as can occur in toxicological and pathological condition in which glutathione homeostasis is compromised.
Glutathione as an Anti-Influenza Nutrient
Glutathione shows remarkable metabolic processes and regulatory versatility in the human body. Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants, converting free radicals into harmless substances.The capabilities of glutathione include crucial roles in nutrient metabolism and the regulation of pathways essential for whole body homeostasis. The importance of keeping the viral load down cannot be understated. Glutathione deficiency is directly linked to oxidative stress, and moreover, may play a key role in aging and the pathogenesis of bacterial and viral attack on the human body.
Reduced glutathione taken orally has demonstrated anti-influenza activity in lab, animal, and human experiments.
The antiviral effect of reduced glutathione on influenza virus proliferation was also observed in normal human small airway epithelial cells.
In Dr. Cai’s study, experiments were performed to determine whether the sulfur-containing antioxidant glutathione (GSH) blocked influenza viral infection in cultures of Madin-Darby canine kidney cells or human small airway epithelial cells.
The research suggests that glutathione has an anti-influenza activity in the lab and in human models. Free radical production and/or other circumstances that can potentially deplete glutathione levels in the protective layer of the membrane of the oral, nasal, and upper airway may, when damaged, increase the likelihood of influenza or other pathogens infecting the body.