Glutathione is one of the few nootropic compounds that can aid in mitochondrial health in every cell of our body. Even though everyone benefits from glutathione, it has historically been challenging and somewhat expensive to develop a supplement that is bioavailable (easily absorbed) in an efficient manner.
The primary benefit of glutathione is as an antioxidant in each of our cells . Although our food has glutathione (consisting of a few amino acids), most people could use more of this essential nutrient to boost their cognitive and physical performance. This is one reason why Dave Asprey (known for Bulletproof coffee) has popularized glutathione therapy for performance and longevity.
While it can be challenging and expensive to buy glutathione therapy, there are a few products that can adequately do the job, which we will describe below.
Also Known As
Editors’ Thoughts on Glutathione
Alongside CoQ10 and PQQ, I tend to believe glutathione is one of the must-use nootropics for improving foundational health through each cells. By improving mitochondrial health throughout the body, it aids in all aspects of physical and mental performance at a root level.
That being said, I’m a little wary of MOST glutathione products, which simply don’t have the right bioavailable glutathione. There are a few, but they are expensive. For people who don’t mind the cost or simply have a poor diet, glutathione could be a relatively consistent therapy that provides maximum returns.
The verdict is still out on what supplemental glutathione can do. While glutathione on its own is imperative, hopefully some kind of evidence will validate the use of specific bioavailable forms.
Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor
NOTE: Use code “nootropedia” to save 10% on your order
Benefits of Glutathione
The main glutathione benefit is as an antioxidant to remove free radicals. Our environment in the modern world is full of pollutants whether it comes from the air, our food, or any number of other lifestyle practices that we maintain. Glutathione is essential because it can act as an antioxidant, but it is more powerful than any other we could use .
The glutathione is so potent as a nootropic compound because it helps to clear many of the free radicals and reduce oxidative stress simply by donating an electron to certain internal processes. While the details of this internal system is not important, it is necessary we have enough glutathione in our diet or else find a way to create / supplement with more.
In certain situations, glutathione can act as a neuroprotective . In fact, certain nootropics interact with glutathione in order to provide their main cognitive effect (as is the case with Withanolide A (a compound found in many nightshade vegetables).
Generally, the downstream effects of healthier and detoxified cells are manifold. Simply enumerating the many benefits would not be helpful as glutathione mainly helps by aiding each cell to perform more effectively.
Glutathione Side Effects
Given that everyone needs glutathione for adequate human function, there are relatively few side effects of the molecule itself. Glutathione side effects are more common during an attempt at supplementation because it is so challenging to do so.
For example, many people try to use N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in order to increase glutathione levels in the body, but not effectively. It is unreliable and requires a high dosage, which is both expensive and potentially toxic (above 1200 mg).
Another mistake is to simply take oral glutathione powders or capsules, which does not work in a reliable way either. While neither of these supplemental attempts are “bad” per se, they increase the range of potential side effects of glutathione without any real benefits.
The glutathione dosage will depend highly upon the administration method and product that you have. If you are using a liposomal glutathione (a product that includes fat molecules to prevent glutathione from being broken down in the intestines), then a dosage of around 250 mg seems to work best.
As we’ll describe later, there is only one place we reliably recommend for glutathione within the parameters we mentioned.
How and Where to Buy Glutathione
Glutathione is challenging to use reliably. Most glutathione for sale in powder and capsule form does not work. The most reliable form of glutathione therapy was produced by Dave Asprey, but he has now discontinued that in favor of something else.
The Portland Nutrition Company is currently the only product we trust for glutathione because the molecule is encased in liposomes (the fat molecules mentioned earlier). They have also included mitochondrial boosters like CoQ10 and PQQ, which are both highly suggested nootropic compounds as well.
The price tag for the Portland Nutrition Company glutathione might seem high, but consider it is a 40 day supply for around $90. Taking CoQ10 and PQQ alone would probably cost $40 for the same time period and an entire year of glutathione therapy is reasonable compared to many other nootropics.
Be mindful that most glutathione reviews online are on products that simply don’t work. The majority of products you can find on Amazon are not easily absorbed and become broken down in the body in inefficient ways. The complaint that “glutathione doesn’t work” might be a result of a poor quality product as opposed to a truly adequate review.
That being said, take glutathione reviews with a grain of salt given that it is challenging for someone to experience side effects of better detoxification. Similar to many other nootropics that provide cellular support, it takes a long time (if ever) for the substance to have a noticeable change.
Selected Community Experiences
“As you can see from the below charts, my energy seems to have been positively affected during this time…” – healthvibed
“Second, individuals who are suffering from Th1 dominance might do better not supplementing glutathione.” – John Brisson
- References (Click to Expand)
- Other Scientific Resources (Click to Expand)