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S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is the most effective glutathione variant currently on the market. Glutathione is one of the most potent antioxidants that is naturally produced by the body (and the only one that is intracellular) and it has been shown to neutralize free radicals, detoxify the liver, and to improve the functioning of the immune system. After age 45, the body begins to produce less and less Glutathione and supplementing it becomes an attractive idea.
Unfortunately, most Glutathione supplements have nearly no bioavailability, as the molecule breaks down rapidly after oral ingestion. S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is an altered form with an attached acetyl function group. This greatly improves its ability to remain intact in the gut and allows a greater concentration to be absorbed into the bloodstream where it can take effect.
The recommended dosage of S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is 1-2 100 mg capsule per day. While taking a higher dosage is unlikely to be dangerous, 100 - 200 mg is plenty to get sufficient levels. (Exact amount needed will depend how much one gets from dietary sources.
S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is very well tolerated when taken at the recommended dosage and adverse side effects are very rarely reported. Long term supplementation of glutathione has been shown to lower zinc levels.
While some studies have shown that inhaled glutathione can trigger asthma attacks in people suffering from asthma, there is not currently enough evidence to show that this applies to orally ingested glutathione. Asthma sufferers may want to play it safe and avoid using Glutathione supplements.
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S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is a variant of glutathione, an amino acid containing molecule that acts as an intracellular antioxidant in the human body. glutathione is considered to be the most important antioxidant that helps to protect from a wide array of health issues and can act as an immune system booster. (1,2,3,4)
S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is an altered form of glutathione that has an acetyl function group attached. Glutathione has almost no bioavailability and by attaching the acetyl function it increases the ability to be absorbed by the blood steam where it can take effect. (2,3)
Our body naturally produces glutathione on its own but levels diminish over time due to diet, stress, infection, or various other reasons. Supplementation with S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is important for individuals over the age of 40 as by the time we hit 45, our body produces significantly lower amounts of glutathione and supplementation can help raise levels back to what they’d naturally be in younger people. (2,3)
Glutathione by itself is not very bioavailable and has shown to be relatively ineffective when taken orally. The stomach breaks down as much as 90% of glutathione that’s orally ingested. (5) Since glutathione is made up of three peptides, glycine, cysteine, and glutamate, it is easily broken down since these are three amino acids. Although IV treatments or injections are available for glutathione, they are time consuming and expensive. (5)
S-Acetyl L-Glutathione combines glutathione with the acetyl function group allowing it to be far more bioavailable. With the acetyl function the glutathione can cross the blood brain barrier which allows it to detoxify and protect the brain. The molecule is protected from oxidation in the digestive tract and protected from being broken down by peptidases. (4) Additionally, S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is able to permeate the membrane of mitochondria where it works to maintain function and integrity. (2,3)
As previously discussed, the primary benefit of S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is to increase glutathione levels in the body. Glutathione plays a key role in overall health and cellular function as its present in every cell. Glutathione acts as our body’s primary intracellular antioxidant and helps to maintain cellular production, function, and to reduce oxidative stress caused by ROS or free radicals.
S-Acetyl L-Glutathione has shown to have other benefits that will be discussed in the “Research and Scientific Studies” section. Although some of these studies utilize glutathione injections in their testing models, their results are still relevant to S-Acetyl L-Glutathione as the acetyl function of S-Acetyl L-Glutathione has shown that it is the most effective way to pass through the blood-brain barrier and have an impact on the entire body. These benefits include but are not limited to:
Since determining that S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is a more effective alternative for oral glutathione supplementation than glutathione, it is being sold more commonly in capsule form. These capsules typically range from 100mg – 200mg each. Depending on mg and dosage, S-Acetyl L-Glutathione should be taken once or twice per day with food.
Dosage of S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is different on an individual basis and may be dependent on age or diet. You should consult with a health care provider prior to taking S-Acetyl L-Glutathione who can help with a recommended dosage.
On average and American consumes 35 mg per day of glutathione from natural food sources. (3) If you follow an average diet then then the recommended dosage of S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is 100mg – 200mg per day. This can be split across one dose or two.
Half-life and Duration of Effects
The half-life of S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is roughly two hours. This is a significantly larger time than glutathione. For the trace amounts of glutathione that is able to reach plasma, the half-life is roughly 1.6 minutes.
S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is considered to be very safe and non-toxic as it is naturally produced in the human body. S-Acetyl L-Glutathione has been shown to reduce the toxic effects following the intake of other amino acids.
S-Acetyl L-Glutathione has been shown to be very well tolerated. When taken at the proper doses, little to no side effects have been reported. On testing at increased levels of S-Acetyl L-Glutathione (500mg – 1,000mg per day) some side effects were observed such as increased flatulence and loose stools, flushing, and minor weight gain. Extended use of S-Acetyl L-Glutathione has been shown to lower zinc levels.
Some studies have shown that S-Acetyl L-Glutathione can potentially trigger asthma attacks if an individual suffers from asthma. Although in all of the cases reported above, testing is minimal and does not produce enough evidence to sustain these claims.
Even though the asthma attack side effect has not been produced on a significant interval, it’s still recommended asthma suffers do not take S-Acetyl L-Glutathione until more testing has occurred.
S-Acetyl L-Glutathione contains an acetyl functional group that is attached to the reactive sulfur atom. With the acetyl group attached the compound is able to permeate the gut to effectively enter the blood stream. Once in the blood stream, glutathione can enter cells and get to work. (2,3,4)
Since glutathione is an amino acid is it defined as an enzyme antioxidant. (2,3) As an enzyme antioxidant it can help stop free radical damage before it snowballs into a greater chain of damage. Once in the blood, it can provide detoxification, protection, and heavy metal chelation. (2) Glutathione is primarily found in the liver but functions in organs and tissues everywhere in the body.
Mitochondria are the part of a cell that is responsible for energy production. While producing energy, mitochondria creates reactive oxygen species (ROS), a free radical. As we exercise or have an injury or wound, the body’s endogenous antioxidant system is not able to as effectively remove ROS. This creates oxidative stress. (11) Glutathione assists by cleaning up the ROS thus reducing oxidative stress.
Protection from Foreign Compounds (6)
Mice were both injected with and orally given dosages of a glutathione ester to determine how it spread throughout the body. Glutathione levels in the liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas, and heart were increased in both scenarios. Additionally, an increase of intracellular glutathione increased. This shows potential for glutathione as an agent in protection against toxicity due to foreign compounds. This also helps to show how when properly ingested, glutathione can transport to cells throughout the entire body.
Increases Blood Flow to the Brain (7)
A study was conducted on rats who had an occlusion of the middle cerebral artery. In connection to this it was found that the rats brain showed a selective loss of total glutathione from its mitochondria. This could lead to a susceptibility of total cellular loss.
Bilateral injections were given immediately after the arterial occlusion and lead to a substantial increase in glutathione in mitochondria in the brain (190% in the non-ischemic hemisphere and 240% of the ischemic hemisphere), tested after two hours. This demonstrates that glutathione is an effective modulator during ischemia.
Replenishment of Blood Cells (8)
As S-Acetyl L-Glutathione was being synthesized it was incubated in rat plasma and red blood cells. Also included was tissue slices from rat liver, kidney and heart. Both of these sources recognized S-Acetyl as a substrate and intracellular glutathione increased within the blood cells. This demonstrates the role S-Acetyl L-Glutathione can play in replenishing blood cells.
Assists with Vision during Aging (9)
As we age our glutathione levels decrease which causes us to be more susceptible to oxidative stress. An increase in oxidative stress in an aged lens can lead a greater likelihood of cataractogenesis, the formation of cataracts.
An in vitro test of aged human and rat lenses that were conducted with a S-Acetyl ethyl raised glutathione levels by 25% in the human lens and 150% in the rat lens showing supplementation with S-Acetyl L-Glutathione can counteract the effects of again on vision.
Assists with Skin Health during Aging (10)
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted on heathy female subjects. These volunteers were randomly selected to be put into one of three groups; a 250mg of S-Acetyl L-Glutathione group, a 2520mg of oxidized glutathione group, and a placebo group. The participants were then checked for melanin index, wrinkles, and other biophysical properties of the skin.
The group administered S-Acetyl L-Glutathione showed to be lower on the melanin index, to have fewer ultraviolet spots, have increased skin elasticity, and to have a significant reduction in wrinkles than the placebo group. The group that took the oxidized glutathione also showed to be lower on the melanin index and greater skin elasticity than the placebo group.
Regulation of Gene Expression (11,13)
Recent research has suggested that ROS, in moderately high concentrations, may act as a signal transduction messenger. The intracellular interplay between oxidation and redox allows ROS to function as a second messenger. The binding site of redox-regulated transcription factors are located on a large variety of genes. Since S-Acetyl L-Glutathione works to reduce the amount of ROS in cells, this speaks to the endogenous glutathione system acting as a regulator of gene expression.
What is S-Acetyl L-Glutathione used for?
S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is used to promote the body’s naturally occurring antioxidants while also playing a significant role in energy metabolism.
Can I take glutathione orally?
Since glutathione does not have the ability to take pass through the cell membrane of pass through the blood brain barrier, it is inefficient to take it orally. However, when attached to an acetyl function such as S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is, it can perform both of these tasks and works as a supplement.
Does S-Acetyl L-Glutathione lighten skin?
S-Acetyl L-Glutathione has been shown to lower the melanin index but is not used as a skin lightener.
Is it okay to take S-Acetyl L-Glutathione while drinking alcohol?
Although there are no scientifically proven adverse reactions to S-Acetyl L-Glutathione ingestion and alcohol consumption, alcohol consumption has been shown to deplete the levels of glutathione in the liver. This means if you drink regularly supplementing S-Acetyl L-Glutathione may be a good idea.
What foods are high in glutathione?
Sulfur-rich foods such as beef, fish, and poultry are high in glutathione, but the average American diet does not consume enough glutathione to replenish what the body uses. Therefore, supplementation with S-Acetyl L-Glutathione is important.
What are symptoms of glutathione deficiency?
Signs or symptoms of glutathione deficiency may include anemia, metabolic acidosis, frequent infections, or loss of coordination. Generally, these are more prevalent with age which is why S-Acetyl L-Glutathione supplementation is suggested for individuals over the age of 35.
* These reviews are the experiences of the individual customers that submitted them, results may differ from person to person.
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