GLUTATHIONE TREATMENTS FOR PARKINSON’S DISEASE: IS IT EFFECTIVE ENOUGH?

The loss of Glutathione in the brain of individuals with Parkinson’s occurs years before the onset of motor symptoms. Glutathione has been proposed as a neuroprotective therapy in Parkinson’s for decades, but the therapy has been limited by the lack of oral availability and the invasiveness of intravenous administration. Recently, a Phase I Study of glutathione nasal spray concluded the therapy is safe and tolerable.

But, What is Glutathione and What Does it do? Glutathione is a naturally occurring co-enzyme (antioxidant) that is made in the human body to reduce free radical damage. Free radicals (Oxidative stress) are often the byproduct of normal cellular metabolic oxidation and toxic overload. They can lead to chronic inflammation, which is associated with many disease processes and linked to autoimmune diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer, and even heart attacks. Oxidative Stress is not a disease; every mammal has oxidative stress building up daily. Healthy cells can rid themselves of free radicals with the help of enzymes such as Glutathione.

Glutathione is a combination of three simple building blocks of protein or amino acids—cysteine, glycine, and glutamine—and it is produced naturally in the body. Glutathione is one of the most powerful and effective antioxidants that our body creates. Often it is called “the master antioxidant” because it can regenerate itself in the liver after each fill-up of free radicals and go back to work. Glutathione is also essential for maintaining healthy cellular mitochondria. Along with Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) another master regulator, Glutathione keeps our cells in balance and regulates health inside our body.

Free Radical damage is the largest source of electrons damage in cells. A normal human creates over 32 sextillion free radicals per day. Between the ages of 1 to 20, our bodies are growing and have an abundance of naturally occurring enzymes and growth factors that can keep up with balance and remove toxins before they can damage our cells.

When we age, our bodies slow down the creation of enzymes that break down free radicals in our bodies. When the channels producing Glutathione and SOD are “clogged” up, our body slows down the processes. There is a daily build-up of free radicals. Thus chronic inflammation and disease is the ultimate breakdown of a cell. Glutathione is one of the main antioxidants that slow down the process of cellular damage.

Parkinson’s Disease is associated with oxidative stress, and thus, Glutathione treatments have been researched in trials as a treatment of the disease.

As natural health author, Paul Fassa wrote“Glutathione is critical for one simple reason: It recycles antioxidants. You see, dealing with free radicals is like handing off a hot potato. They get passed around from vitamin C to vitamin E to lipoic acid and then finally to glutathione which cools off the free radicals and recycles other antioxidants. After this happens, the body can “reduce” or regenerate another protective glutathione molecule, and we are back in business.”

Dr. Richard Cutler, Director of the National Institute of Aging, had this to say about Glutathione, “The amount of antioxidants in your body is directly proportional to how long you will live.” And anti-aging specialist and New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Don Colber, put it best when he says:“Optimizing our Glutathione levels is very important if we want to live to be over 100. I would add to this statement by stating extending quality of life if I lived to be over 100.”

Although Glutathione treatments are controversial, there are Parkinson’s patients that go weekly to get glutathione injections and pills for treatment. Although injections are most effective, they are very dangerous on an ongoing basis. The onset is fast, effective, yet expensive and transient. When taken orally, acidic digestive tract enzymes destroy most of the Glutathione in the pill form. No matter what you pay for Glutathione treatments, research has shown that synthetically made glutathione is not the same as the Glutathione manufactured in our bodies. Finding ways to stimulate cells to produce more naturally occurring Antioxidants and enzymes to breakdown Oxidative Stress is the answer.

Can it be done? The answer is YES.

The naturally occurring antioxidant, Glutathione is generated via a process known as the Nrf2 activation Pathway. This pathway activates our cells to create our Glutathione. Your body is the most effective glutathione-producing machine on earth. By supplying your cells with Nrf2 activation pathway, you can use your body’s natural ability to produce Glutathione. What are ways to get our body to create more Glutathione you ask? Well, there are several ways to do this.

Nrf2 activators are not all created equal; some faster and more efficient than other. Some are natural while others synthetic to try to mimic naturally occurring ones. The main goal of a Nrf2 activator is to open channels in our body to create our own molecules to break down free radical damage, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging.

Some Natural occurring Nrf2 activating supplements that help create Glutathione are Selenium and Sulfur. Research has found Icelanders live the longest on earth, eating a diet rich in Selenium and Sulfur, which activates our cells to create more Glutathione.

Another Nrf2 activator, among the scientific world, would agree that the strongest natural activator on the market today is called Protandim. It has several patents, and it claims that the proprietary blend of 5 herbal ingredients has a synergistic quality; the five together surpass multiple times beyond the capabilities of each ingredient on its own. In fact, one study showed Protandim to increase production of Glutathione by as much as 300%. While research keeps getting better and better, I feel there still has to be more clinical trials before Protandim becomes mainstream.

Weekly injections of Glutathione is extremely expensive and dangerous. The effects, Dr. Perlmutter a neurologist that has dedicated his life to this research, has also stated that Glutathione is one of the body’s key antioxidants. But beyond the effect of glutathione serving as a powerful antioxidant, it does a lot of things such as:

Glutathione plays an absolutely key and critical role in the liver in a process called Phase II Detoxification, where things that reside in the body that have been modified by what is called Phase I Activity then, through the action of glutathione, are excreted

Glutathione is important for the way the body repairs tissues. Glutathione allows for the regenesis of other antioxidants, like vitamin C and vitamin E. (glutathione makes them more water soluble so they can be excreted more easily). In our very toxic world, having healthy amounts of glutathione in the liver available for the process of detoxification is critically important.

Glutathione allows for the regenesis of other antioxidants, like vitamin C and vitamin E.

“It is just a remarkable fit of elegance that is impressive in its simplicity, and its effectiveness and clinical efficacy,” Dr. Perlmutter said. “Protandim is just in its infancy. There is going to be a global impact of this”.

To learn more about Nrf2 Activation of Glutathione go to PubMed.org the National Institute of Health digital database for the leading clinical trial research.

To learn more about Protandim and Dr. Kimberly Hubenette visit the Wellness Village under Healthy Products. Watch the video, read her bio and visit her website. Dr. Hubenette has been a member of the Wellness Village since July 2017.