Glutathione (GSH) has gained massive popularity because of its benefits that involve every organ system. Most notably, Glutathione is associated with the respiratory system and its effects on upper and lower respiratory infections.
Let’s take a look at Glutathione and its connection with respiratory health.
What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is a potent antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress by neutralizing reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are known to cause tissue damage and increase the risk of a wide range of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and neurocognitive illnesses. This compound is produced by the cell using three main amino acids; glutamine, glycine, and cysteine.
Glutathione is found in plants, animals, and even microbes (e.g. fungi, bacteria).
How does Glutathione help with respiratory health?
Glutathione has recently surfaced as a potential treatment for multiple respiratory conditions, including chronic diseases. In one paper published by Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, scientists reviewed a large database of studies and clinical trials from reputable sources, such as Biomedical Reference Collection, MEDLINE, and Nursing and Allied Health Collection.
They concluded that Glutathione offers positive results to patients with respiratory diseases, stating that “GSH inhalation is an effective treatment for a variety of pulmonary diseases and respiratory-related conditions. Even very serious and difficult-to-treat diseases (e.g., CF, IPF) yielded benefits from this novel treatment.”
These findings suggest that even chronic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis can benefit from glutathione.
Glutathione works in these cases by eradicating free radicals intracellularly, and reducing inflammation.
Another recent study found that a variety of potent antioxidants (e.g. Glutathione) could be implemented to reduce the severity and duration of viral infections.
These results suggest that glutathione may be effective in the treatment of several respiratory conditions, which is not the case for every drug out there.
Glutathione and COVID-19
COVID-19 causes acute severe respiratory distress in a small subset of patients, leading to the following symptoms:
– Severe dyspnea (shortness of breath)
– Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)
– Organ failure
The pathophysiology behind this presentation is thought to be the result of a “cytokine storm syndrome.“
In two case studies, experts tried the inhaled and oral forms of glutathione to treat two COVID-19 positive patients from New York.
Patients’ symptoms improved after one hour of administration, and succeeding doses gave similar results.
These findings are preliminary, but may offer a clue towards finding medicines that will work to help patients suffering from COVID-19.
Glutathione is a tripeptide that offers several health benefits due to its antioxidant properties.
In our medical practice I use glutathione regularly to treat patients.
If you have any questions about this compound, feel free to ask in the comment section below!