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Glutathione Precursor Cross Comparison

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by pgoody, May 10, 2013.

  1. pgoody

    pgoody

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    Ok, I made this thread as a means to compare the pros and cons of various methods used to increased Glutathione. Now I realize that increasing methylation overall should benefit GSH production overall, but I wanted to focus on Glutathione not methylation. Also, I am concerned about potential long term side effects of any supplementation so information on that should be included, not just the short term pros/cons. Please help me with this list if you have any more information. I know that the issue of methylation is quite intricate and individualized based on our SNPs, so I am trying to find a way to increase Glutathione without effecting the methylation cycle much.

    My interest in this resides in the fact that there are ongoing clinical trials of NAC as a means of reducing OCD (here:http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/nct01172275), which I have. The general theory behind NAC to help OCD is that it modulates glutamate and NMDA receptors in a beneficial way. I guess the glutamate involvement is a relatively newer developement in the OCD world, compared to serotonin deficits.

    Possible Glutathione increasing agents and things I have read about them:

    Cystine-
    -Saftey Issues: potential for causing cystine kidney stones?
    -The oxidized form of cysteine, which I guess is a common form in your brain anyways as cysteine from the liver gets auto-oxidized in the pro-oxidant environment of the brain

    Glutathione-
    -Pro: This is exactly what you are looking to increase. Supplementing with this means you don't have to deal with issues involved with precursors.
    - Ineffectively absorbed by the body. This is a rather large molecule and is broken down in the gut, so you don't get the amount that you supplement. (However could this just be overcome by supplementing with a lot of Glutathione, ignoring the expense that would incur).

    N-acetylcysteine
    -very effective means of increasing liver Glutathione as well as brain GSH, proven by the fact that it is the go to antidote for acetomenophan overdose.
    - Has been proven to cause pulmonary hypertenson at very high doses in rats (I understand that this might not actually be an issue, but the way I see it, if I can supplement with any of the other precursors and not have to worry about this, then that would be the way to go)
    -I have read from many individual testimonials that people have reduced OCD symptoms as a result of this supplement

    L-Cysteine
    - Don't know much about supplementing with straight L-Cysteine. I have read on one site that they believe that L-Cysteine is more "proven" to be safe over NAC.

    If anyone else has any experience with these and or additional suggestions to the pros and cons of these and their ability to help increase glutathione please let me know what they are. Or if there are more options to add to this list, please do so. I have read Rich's recommendations about Glutathione, but I am looking for your individual input.
    Jarod likes this.
  2. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    L-Cystine, L-Cysteine, and NAC can cause problems for mercury toxicity. Another option for increasing glutathione is non/undenatured whey protein (which would also carry the same mercury risks). It must be specifically this type of whey protein (other types of whey protein also would pose the same risk for mercury toxicity). It also has lactoferrin, albumin, and immunoglobulins which might be a good thing or bad thing depending on a person's immune system. I'm finding there's a downside to certain immune system supplements, but I'm not sure about the one's in whey.
    Tristen likes this.
  3. xjhuez

    xjhuez Senior Member

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    I took NAC for about a year and it did help my OCD a bit. I have no way of knowing whether it raised by brain GSH. I stopped taking it after learning here about the possibility of it depleting B12, and also because I feared improper chelation of mercury and unwanted chelation of minerals.
  4. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    That's interesting because according to Rich, glutathione protects B12.
    http://phoenixrising.me/research-2/...etion-theory-of-mecfs-by-rich-von-konynenburg
    One of the jobs that glutathione normally does is to protect your supply of vitamin B12 from reacting with toxins. If left unprotected, vitamin B12 is very reactive chemically. If it reacts with toxins, it can’t be used for its important jobs in your body. A routine blood test for vitamin B12 will not reveal this problem. In fact, many people with CFS appear to have elevated levels of B12 in their blood, while their bodies are not able to use it properly. The best test to reveal this is a urine organic acids test that includes methylmalonic acid. It will be high if the B12 is being sidetracked, and this is commonly seen in people with CFS.

    When your glutathione level goes too low, your B12 becomes naked and vulnerable, and is hijacked by toxins. Also, the levels of toxins rise in the body when there isn’t enough glutathione to take them out, so there are two unfortunate things that work together to sabotage your B12 when glutathione goes too low.

    The most important job that B12 has in the body is to form methylcobalamin, which is one of the two active forms of B12. This form is needed by the enzyme methionine synthase, to do its job. An enzyme is a substance that catalyzes, or encourages, a certain biochemical reaction.

    When there isn’t enough methylcobalamin, methionine synthase has to slow down its reaction. Its reaction lies at the junction of the methylation cycle and the folate cycle, so when this reaction slows down, it affects both these cycles.
  5. xjhuez

    xjhuez Senior Member

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    I understand you disagree with Freddd about NAC and B12.

    I'm taking mB12 to increase methylation which should increase GSH, so if the possibility exists that NAC flushes it out then I'm not going to take it. Yes, it may in fact raise it or be otherwise beneficial, but as I said I took it for a year and I have nothing positive to show for it.
    ahmo likes this.
  6. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I'm not necessarily recommending NAC (and neither was Rich btw). I'm just pointing out that there are other viewpoints (backed up by science) and I'm not convinced a handful of anecdotes and conjecture. If someone has mercury issues then it would be a bad idea to take NAC, cysteine, cystine, or non/undenatured whey.
  7. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Glutathione powder can be applied to the skin, where it is absorbed. You can rub on say ¼ teaspoon of glutathione powder into the top of your thighs (or any convenient area of skin on your body), and then add just a few drops of water to help the glutathione sink into the skin.

    Rectal administration of glutathione powder is even better (higher absorption), but you need to buffer with sodium bicarbonate to neutralize the acidity of glutathione (else it irritates the rectal mucosa).

    You can buy glutathione powder cheaply here and here.

    Essential reading:
    Augmenting Glutathione in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) by Rich Van Konynenburg
    UM MAN likes this.
  8. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    One quick clarification about what I posted earlier from Rich. He wasn't talking about supplemental glutathione. Rich did say that there were certain SNPs that could have a problem with glutathione and B12 (but most people wouldn't):
    NOTE: Freddd disagrees with this
  9. pgoody

    pgoody

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    Hip, do you know if the transdermal application of GSH is more effective than taking an oral dose?

    Lotus, the whole idea of mobilizing a bunch of mercury doesn't sound too good. I am somewhat familiar with Andy Cutlers ideas about chelating properly with ALA and that you're supposed to keep taking it so the mercury doesn't land in the brain, primarily. Is this a problem that even straight glutathione supplements could cause?

    As far as my mercury status goes, I have something like 5-7 fillings, but none of them have a metallic appearance, and they are tooth colored. I am pretty sure though that my dentist did an initial filling with some merc/silver based substance and then sealed it with ceramic or porcelain, which is unfortunate. :(
  10. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Pgoody,

    I don't know if you have heard of this group? They started selling Glutathiodne precursors to patients years ago. Put together different formulas to try and increase glutathione. My blood test was low so I bought the Defense and the Replenish forumulas.

    http://www.cfsn.com/

    The result for me was a massive down turn in my health and functioning.

    Same thing happened when I tried Whey Protein (also to try and increase my blood glutathione and general health)

    I've no idea why this doesn't help. Sensitive to quite a few different supplements.

    Also I tried NAC alone and that didn't increase my Glutathione but at least it didn't make me worse.
  11. pgoody

    pgoody

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    ukxmrv,

    Did you ever try a straight Glutathione supplement just for the sake of it? I feel like any sort of whey protein, if it's not specifically one of the L-cystine/ l-cysteine types like ImmunoPro or Immunocol, that it would be impossible to tell what is helping you and what is hurting you. I don't even know if ImmunoPro/col are purely those substances, it just seems like such a broad brush type of way to treat low glutathione
    .
  12. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Glutathione is made up of cysteine, glycine, and glutamate. Some people have said that it breaks down into those 3 components when ingested and then is reassembled so then it would carry the same risks as taking cysteine. I'm not too familiar with Cutler's ideas, but I'm definitely aware of his position on alpha lipoic acid. A quick Google search revealed that he's against supplementing with glutathione for the same reason he's a against NAC, cysteine, chlorella, and spirulina. Rich has also said not to take cysteine, cystine, or NAC if you have mercury issues. I'm not sure if Rich got his information from Cutler or arrived to that conclusion based on another source. I'm not sure I have an opinion yet on the best way to chelate mercury. I am concerned about Alpha Lipoic Acid being able to cross the blood brain barrier. While it could potentially remove mercury from the brain it could also redeposit mercury into the brain. I want to do more research before I make any decisions, but I'm not sure I'd want to have my amalgams removed like Cutler suggests even if I could afford to do so. I found a post from someone that offers a counterargument to Cutler. I don't know enough to agree or disagree with this person, but it is good to hear other points of view.
    pgoody likes this.
  13. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    Can I ask how much NAC are people taking when they do take it?

    I have 100mg in my multi antioxidant tablets and after a bumpy and bit scary start am doing ok on them...
  14. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I guess oral glutathione might be effective to some degree if you took say a ¼ teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate a few minutes before taking oral glutathione, as this would help neutralize your stomach acids, and thus help prevent these acids breaking down the oral glutathione. Though I have not tried this; I just thought of this idea now.

    I find transdermal application of glutathione powder fast and easy, so I tend use this approach. The armpit area is another good area to apply the glutathione powder, as the skin there seems thinner, and so I think may better absorb the glutathione.


    For me, glutathione gives me a slight antidepressant, mood lifting feeling around 30 minutes after I take it (glutathione increases the sensitivity of the brain to dopamine, and dopamine is one of the brain's happy neurotransmitters), so I use this mood lifting feeling of glutathione to judge roughly how effective each mode of application is.

    I find sublingual administration of glutathione powder is effective, but I don't recommend this, because glutathione is acidic, and it seems to rot your teeth if you apply it sublingually too often (ie, you get sensitive teeth after a few weeks).
  15. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Are you saying that your multi antioxidant tablets caused side effects? What other ingredients are in them? And do you think it's the NAC that caused the side effects? I mainly buy all my supplements separately because it's cheaper, but another reason would be so you could tell which ingredient is causing side effects.

    I was taking 600 mg twice a day, but after finding out the information about NAC/cysteine and mercury I stopped them until I can figure out my mercury situation. Like 95% of my supplements, I'm not sure if NAC was helping or not. I also have Lyme and Rich said that the Lyme bacteria uses cysteine so I might be depleted of cysteine. I'm not sure what to do since I can't afford to get my mercury tested right now. I'm doing methylation right now and methylation will increase cysteine, but I would also like to supplement with it if it's not going to cause me problems. I've stopped NAC, ALA, chlorella and spirulina until I learn more information about mercury.
  16. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I've noticed the same effect from glutathione sometimes which makes me wonder if that means that I'm depleted of glutathione.
  17. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    i couldnt follow all the supplement/methylation plus I am not good at detailing what causes what due to the fluctuating nature of M.E. plus delayed effects plus possible delayed toxicity plus weighing all this against combination effects good and bad under similar conditions.

    So I am just taking in powdered form from capsules:

    vit A 10,000
    c - 500mg
    e - 200iu
    b2- 6mg
    zinc 15 mg
    selenium 200 mcg
    manganese 2 mg

    blue-green algae 100mg
    garlic 100mg
    ginger 100mg
    green tea 100mg
    NAC 100mg
    Sweet Cherry fruit 100 mg
    Turmeric (90% curcuminoids) 50 mg
    grape seed extract 10mg


    First time I tookvit before bed and forced awake in night it felt like I had stopped breathing.

    Then even though I was exhausted I had to stay awake breathing was exceptionally laboured and slow (like you see before someone dies).


    I never take before bed as moving and my lymph system massage stops this extreme from happening.

    I have from this had a bumpy stop start/ pacing with them but feel they are now doing me good.

    But I am working on a foundation of The lymphatic System...

    I can take them no probs now. If I feel too laboured I skip a day.
  18. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    My blood test showed I had low Glutathione. I decided to eat foods rich in Glutathione as I read it was useless to supplement this.
  19. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I'm glad to hear they're working better for you now. Maybe it was just your body detoxing. It's hard to know which ingredient was causing the problems so I'd be careful as far as supplementing with additional NAC until you know more information.
    I don't know if taking glutathione is useless. I think the jury is still out on whether it can be beneficial or not. While Rich doesn't necessarily hold a strong opinion against supplemental glutathione like Freddd, both Rich and Freddd agree that the best way to raise glutathione is through methylation. This is what Rich said about glutathione in 2012. It seems that he was unsure whether taking glutathione was a good idea or not:
    golden likes this.
  20. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    The solution to this is to keep a journal of your supplement and drug experiments, and make a note every time you observe an improvement or worsening of any particular symptom. Then when you look back at your notes, if a medication was consistently making an improvement each time you took it, you can be reasonably confident it was the medication (and not just random symptom fluctuations) that was responsible for the improvement.

    Making notes is particularly important for ME/CFS patients, because our memories are well below par anyway, so we are unlikely to remember things unless we write them down. I keep my journal in a word processor document on my computer, as I find that I can type in information quicker that I can write it on paper.
    triffid113 and golden like this.

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