Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant and serves as one of the main molecules to maintain health and prevent the development of chronic disease. The body produces glutathione, which is composed of 3 different amino acids – glycine, cysteine and glutamine.
Glutathione preforms many functions in the body including:
Glutathione has a very distinct smell. This is because it contains sulfur. Dr. Mark Hyman, MD explains why sulfur is such an important part of glutathione. “The secret of its power is the sulfur chemical group it contains. Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule. It acts like fly paper and all the bad things in the body stick onto it, including free radicals and toxins like mercery and other heavy metals. Normally, glutathione is recycled in the body, except when the toxic load becomes too great.”
Glutathione can be taken as an oral supplement, but for lung and respiratory-related conditions, inhalation is the most effective, as it delivers the treatment directly to the lung tissue.
To inhale glutathione is must first go through a nebulizer. This device is used to transform medications and supplements into a mist that can be inhaled into the lungs.
Glutathione is found in very high concentrations in the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) of the lower respiratory tract. This is the first layer of cells that come in contact with inhaled air. Having a high concentration of GSH in this location is very important as it’s the body’s first line of defense against oxidative stress from the outside world. Our exposure to pollution, cigarette smoke, bacteria and viruses all contribute to our toxic load and oxidative stress. Keeping the level of GSH up in this area of the body to counteract the effect of these toxins may improve respiratory function and health of the lung tissue.
Adults and children can both benefit from nebulized glutathione when indicated. A note for children:
Parents are welcome to hold their child or sit right beside them during treatment.
Since glutathione contains sulfur, anyone who has a sensitivity to sulfur and sulphites is not a safe candidate for treatment. Treatment of this group may cause bronchoconstriction or trigger an asthma flair.
Nebulized glutathione is not used as a treatment for primary lung cancer.
Each case is assessed individually, and frequency will be decided by the administering practitioner based on the condition being treated, but typically treatment is giving 1 – 2 times per week for 4 – 6 weeks. After that period of time a maintenance plan is generally 1 treatment every 2 – 6 weeks to prevent recurrence of symptoms.
Minor side effects such as temporary cough and an unpleasant odour are common.
This treatment is available to patients of our clinic who are currently seeing one of our Naturopathic Doctors.
If you are not a naturopathic patient at the clinic, you are required to have an initial visit with one of our NDs for an assessment prior to beginning this treatment.
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