Glutathione Primer

Great video from Modern Healthspan!

Key points:

  1. When you have a disease (diabetes, hyperlipidemia, COVID, cancer, etc…), your glutathione levels decrease.
  2. If they decrease too much you can get cytokine storms and other harmful effects.
  3. Glutathione production decreases at age 30.
  4. Glutathione demand does not decrease and even gets larger with age.
  5. Senescent cells create a greater demand for glutathione.
  6. Glutathione production can be increased by taking Cysteine, Glycine along with NAD.
  7. Direct glutathione supplements are a bit sketchy right now so best to take the precursors in 6. above.

Other info:

  1. Dr. Stanfield said Glutathione supplements are hard for your body to regulate which may cause an overdose. Best to go with precursors.

Part 1 of the series

Key takeaways

  1. Optimal Glutathione levels are 1000-1100
  2. Most people have levels in the 500-600 range
  3. Most people in the 400 and below range are in serious trouble
  4. Glutathione is the Master antioxidant in that other antioxidants such as vitamin C only provide energy to Glutathione molecules to regenerate themselves.

Why you should not supplement with Glutathione directly. You should only supplement with precursors.


What is a good precursor? I’m already taking 35 pills a day lol


The precursors for glutathione are Glycine and NAC. :slight_smile:


What is the consensus on NAC Ethyl Ester. The claims are that regular NAC doesn’t get absorbed but ~5% of what this does, and this form crosses the BBB and membranes much better than NAC.

My research seems to indicate the absorption part is correct, and NAC Ethyl Ester probably does better crossing membranes.

Are others taking this form, or just regular NAC?


If you prefer food to pills and live somewhere it does not freeze, I recommend growing Moringa. I grow it in a pot and use in smoothies and dry it for tea. Great for glutathione production.

Here is some more info on Moringa


Isn’t D-ribose a better precursor?

I’ve taken both forms of NAC. I didn’t really notice any difference. Both forms worked about the same for me.

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Glycine + NAC (GlyNac a Nestle trademark) is very dose dependent.

Not until I went to much higher dose did I notice any benefit. This could be due to the point DrFraser mentions, the form of NAC. I did not know there was more than 1 form of NAC so I’ve been using the commonly available version that is used in most of the trials.

Dose-Dependency of GlyNAC Bioavailability

To compare bioavailability of GlyNAC in blood plasma in response to each dose, we quantified fasting levels of glycine, NAC and oxidized cystine 60 min before and after oral intake. Quantifying the pool of oxidized cysteine can be used as a surrogate endpoint for NAC dosing; acetyl groups are removed from NAC in the gastrointestinal tract and the liver, releasing cysteine into the circulation where it is present in a redox equilibrium between the reduced form, cysteine, and the oxidized form, cystine.

Basically if you don’t take enough, you are wasting your time and money

We found that the medium and high doses efficiently increased glycine levels compared to baseline (4.8 g coefficient = 65.10, p-value = 0.021; 7.2 g coefficient = 74.9, p-value = 0.007, linear model ANCOVA, reference level: placebo), whereas the 2.4 g groups did not show a significant effect (2.4 g, coefficient = 29.99, p-value = 0.27) (Figure 5; Supplementary Tables S5, S6). Of note, the medium and high doses were able to increase glycine levels close to the median level observed in young individuals


So the high dose was 7.2 g of GLYNAC. I would assume that would be similar to 4 g of Glycine and 4 g of NAC daily. Even for a high dose, that’s not very much. I take a heaping spoonful of Glycine twice a day - 4g and 3.6 g of NAC in capsule form daily.


I’ll post a spreadsheet tomorrow that I did on this combo - the NAC dose needs to be much higher (as per the successful studies) than the glycine dose and it is weight dependent.


This study must have disappointed Nestle (the sponsor) since it says that most older healthy adults (in Germany) have sufficient Gluthathione : older healthy adults on average have more Gluthathione circulating in their blood than young individuals, though there is a wider variation in Gluthathione blood levels in older adults than young adults. Also Glycine+NAC supplementation did NOT significantly increase Gluthathione levels in this set of older healthy adults, regardless of dosage.

That is surprising given the Baylor studies that implied growing deficiency in Gluthathione in older adults and benefits from Glycine+NAC: perhaps the older US population is not as healthy as the older German population ?

The study also showed that on average older healthy adults are deficient in Glycine (compared to younger adults), but that just requires Glycine supplementation (NOT Glycine+NAC as implied by this study) to fix.

The study did show that a sub-group of older adults with higher level of MDA (a marker of oxidative stress) did increase their total Glutathione from the higher dosage levels of Glycine+NAC supplementation.

Bottom line : Healthy older adults (at least in Germany) on average are NOT deficient in Glutathione, though there is wide spread of Glutathione levels. Even for those that are deficient, it is not clear if Glycine+NAC will raise your Glutathione levels unless you belong to the subgroups with oxidative stress (based on MDA levels). On the other hand Glycine supplementation may be a good idea.


The German results are contrary to the American studies where Americans are deficient in glutathione.


Based on the studies that showed a result, the dose seems to be quite high and when the studies used half or less, there were no measurable changes.

Can’t post a spreadsheet, I’ll see about converting it to a link-able G-Sheet when I have a bit more time.

Here is an image of what the spreadsheet contains.

This is the study the spreadsheet is based on. There have been a number of studies since this one.

Glycine and N-acetylcysteine (GlyNAC) supplementation in older adults improves glutathione deficiency, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, genotoxicity, muscle strength, and cognition: Results of a pilot clinical trial


Just the same numbers I did a couple years ago, glycine 7 grs. and NAC 9 grs. for a 75-80 kg. guy like me. And it was a ‘before and after’ clearly defined since I started. My grip force has gone through the ceiling to almost 2 mins. hanging on a bar. And, by the way, I had been proposed three years ago a stripping of my saphenous vein in my left leg due to internal valves dysfunction. After a year of consuming GlyNAC (sorry Nestlè) sympthoms are almost gone (swollen leg and varicose veins showing up). Glad to say the least. Endothelial dysfunction mentioned in the study resolved?. No (valves won’t work properly any more), but greatly improved.

Steve_combi, thanks for the chart, good job. :clap: