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All About Glutathione

Updated: May 15

Glutathione is experiencing quite a spike in popularity. It performs a variety of essential roles in the body, and naturally, people would want those benefits.

Glutathione molecule

Glutathione is produced in the liver from the amino acids glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid. Glutathione is often referred to as the body's “master antioxidant.”

Glutathione plays a role in many functions in the body. Its two most well-known jobs are acting as an antioxidant and supporting multiple detoxification pathways. As people age, levels tend to decline. Glutathione also helps to “recycle” antioxidant vitamins such as C and E.

There are a lot of claims made for glutathione. Some are reasonable, and others are truly outrageous. I could write an entire book on all the claims I have heard glutathione is good for because many proponents say it is excellent for everything. That will have to be a topic for another day.  However, I want to stress that nothing is a cure-all. Anyone claiming that one thing is good for everything is full of crap.

If you are wondering what your glutathione levels might be, your doctor can write for a glutathione blood test.

What are some ways to support healthy glutathione levels?

High levels of chronic stress increase oxidative stress and reduce glutathione levels. This means it’s essential to control stress to support healthy glutathione levels and improve your health overall. Check out our blog, Stress 101, for great tips to reduce and get stress under control.

Spending time in a sauna is excellent for glutathione levels. It helps to support the body's detoxification pathways and improve circulation. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids with electrolytes after spending time in a sauna because it can be very dehydrating.

Cold plunging might seem a little crazy, but one of the body's responses to it is increasing glutathione levels. It also helps to reduce uric acid levels, improve circulation, and harden the body, which enhances the response to stress. It’s time to get cold!

As if you needed another reason to exercise, it is one of the best ways to increase glutathione levels. Combing aerobic and weight training exercises was most effective at raising glutathione levels.

If you have a heart condition, please talk to your doctor before starting to use a sauna, do cold plunges, or begin an exercise program.

Getting proper sleep is a great way to support glutathione levels. Even just short-term sleep deprivation can reduce glutathione levels.

Click the button below to download our guide to healthy sleep.

Nourish Plan Sleeping Guide
Download • 2.59MB

Dehydration decreases glutathione levels. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and eating water-rich fruits to stay hydrated, especially if you are outside sweating a lot this summer.

Flavored Water Recipes

The right foods can help to support your body's production of glutathione. The key is to eat plenty of these foods every day. You cannot just eat them once in a while and expect to get results; consistency is critical.

Here are some of the best glutathione-supporting foods:

  • Grass-fed full-fat plain yogurt and kefir

  • Buy unsweetened versions and add fruit if desired. Most sweetened versions contain large amounts of added sugar.

  • Grass-fed full-fat ricotta and cottage cheese

  • Buy brands without thickeners and gums, like this one.

  • Lacto-fermented veggies (fermented without the use of vinegar)

    • Pickles

    • Kimchi

    • Sauerkraut

    • Beets

    • Ginger Carrots

  • Pastured Eggs

  • Organ Meats, especially kidney and liver

  • Wild-Caught Fish

  • Grass-fed red meat like beef, bison, buffalo, mutton, and lamb

  • Berries

  • Pomegranates

  • Apples - especially red ones

  • Fresh broccoli sprouts

    • Grow your own; don’t buy the ones in the store.r

    • Harvest them on day six for the most benefits

    • While broccoli and broccoli seeds have some of the beneficial compounds, broccoli sprouts have far higher levels.

  • Rescue Cacao

  • This is cacao that is ethically produced and lower in heavy metals than regular cacao.

  • Turmeric

    • Cook it in a good fat, like ghee, for the most benefits.

  • Garlic - especially black garlic

  • Beets

A healthy breakfast

A perfect breakfast to keep you healthy and full of glutathione!

Replacing ultra-processed junk foods with nutrient-dense whole foods makes a huge difference in your health and will help support healthy glutathione levels.

Eat real food!

There are two main schools of thought when it comes to supplements for glutathione.

The first one is to give glutathione directly, either through supplements, nasal sprays, or IV. The second is to support the body in producing its own glutathione. 

We fall into the second camp. However, we understand some people may want to use glutathione supplements. In this case, we recommend choosing liquid liposomal glutathione that is packaged in glass and free of gums and preservatives like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. It should also be free of sweeteners and “natural’ and artificial flavorings. Liposomal glutathione is significantly more bioavailable than traditional glutathione supplements.

The reason we fall into the second camp is that when you work on your body's own ability to produce glutathione, you will be supporting a lot of other pathways and important systems, which will yield a lot more benefits than glutathione alone does. 

Glutathione pathways in the body

It's important to support all of the pathways.

What are our favorite supplements for supporting healthy glutathione levels?

First up is black garlic. When raw white garlic undergoes thirty days of aging at one hundred and fifty-eight degrees in a controlled humid environment, it undergoes a mallard reaction and transforms into black garlic, not only offering delectably sweet umami flavors and aroma but also enhancing its nutritional profile. During this process, a highly beneficial compound, s-allyl-cysteine (SAC), is formed, amplifying the potential benefits of black garlic. This compound is not found in regular garlic supplements. S-allyl-cysteine works on the NRF2 pathway, which is one of the main pathways by which glutathione is synthesized in the body. 

Nearly all black garlic supplements are produced from garlic grown in China and much of the garlic grown in China is produced with prison labor. The Netflix documentary show Rotten has a great episode about it. Check out our blog to learn why we work hard to avoid sourcing supplements with ingredients from China.  

Our black garlic supplement is made from organic garlic grown on small Australian family farms. A true farm-to-bottle garlic capsule. It is gently freeze-dried to preserve the beneficial compound, rather than the traditional high-heat spray drying. It is easier to digest than regular garlic pills and gentle on the stomach.

Black Garlic

One of the most popular ways to support healthy levels of glutathione in the body is through “sulforaphane” supplements. The funny thing is that supplements claiming to contain sulforaphane is that they don't contain any sulforaphane. They actually contain a compound called glucoraphanin. Sulforaphane does not exist in food. Some plants, such as broccoli sprouts, have glucorphanin. Glucorphanin must be converted in the body to sulforaphane using the enzyme myrosinase. Sufloraphane is not in broccoli. Certain gut bacteria produce small amounts of myrosinase, so some people are able to convert some glucoraphanin into sulforaphane, but many people are not able to do this due to poor gut health. Unfortunately, most glucoraphanin supplements contain little to no myrosinase, so most people do not benefit from them.

Sulforaphane Supplement

Broccoli seeds do not contain sulforaphane, so they cannot be standardized to 0.1% sulforaphane. This is mislabeled or meant to be deliberately misleading. Either way, it's wrong. Do not buy supplements claiming to contain sulforaphane.

Broccoli sprouts are one of the best ways to support healthy glutathione levels in the body through their actions on the NRF2 pathway, but it has to be done right, just like anything else. 

You can grow your own broccoli sprouts pretty easily; just make sure to harvest them on the sixth day to get the highest levels of beneficial compounds. We don’t recommend store-bought sprouts as they can often be too old, the levels of beneficial compounds will be much lower, and they often have high levels of mold and unwanted bacteria. The sprouts naturally contain myrosinase, so you do not need to supplement with that separately. Eat an ounce of them raw each day for maximum benefits. 

The other option is to take a properly made broccoli sprout supplement. The compounds in broccoli sprouts are fragile, so the growing and manufacturing process needs to reflect that. While most glucoraphanin supplements are made from broccoli or broccoli seeds because they are cheaper to produce, you should use a supplement made from sprouts due to a higher level of beneficial compounds and more myrosinase.

Our broccoli sprout supplement is made using Australian organically grown broccoli sprouts that are harvested on day six and then immediately taken to the manufacturing facility, where they are gently freeze-dried to retain the active myrosinase enzyme and glucoraphanin. They are retained intact by the freeze-drying process, which removes all water from the sprouts using cold drying technology under a vacuum. After being freeze-dried, they are milled into a powder using a special cryo mill to prevent heat and friction degradation. Then, the powder is encapsulated. That’s it; nothing is added or removed except the water. When the capsule enters the gut, stomach acids break down the cellulose capsules and create a reaction between the myrosinase enzyme and the glucoraphanin molecule, which in turn produces sulforaphane. Three capsules supply the equivalent of one ounce of fresh broccoli sprouts.

Broccoli Sprouts

Last but certainly not least is one of our favorite products, Seleno Health GPX Immune Protect. It is a revolutionary breakthrough developed from years of clinical research that acts to support the body's production of a group of compounds called glutathione peroxidases (GPx), thio-redoxins, and peroxy-redoxins along with their co-factor glutathione (GSH). It contains the following ingredients:

  • Super concentrated milk thistle extract (75:1, meaning it takes seventy-five pounds of milk thistle seeds to make one pound of this extract)

  • Alpha-lipoic acid

  • Buffered Vitamin C

  • Glutamine

  • Quercetin

  • A very special form of cysteine, Fermopure.

  • Fermopure is a vegan form of cysteine produced in Spain. Most NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) and cysteine are made from duck feathers and human hair; yummy!

  • A unique form of selenium, SelenoExcell.

  • This form of selenium is safer and more effective than traditional selenium supplements.

To get more detailed information about GPX, check out this page.

For the complete package, check out our Glutathione Support Pack. It contains black garlic capsules, broccoli sprout capsules, and GPX to help support healthy glutathione levels, as well as brain, liver, lung, and immune health.

Glutathione Support Smoothie


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