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Benefits of Acetyl-Glutathione (A-G)

Glutathione (GSH) is the body’s primary antioxidant for limiting cell and mitochondrial damage from free radicals, as well as disposing of them. It consists of 3 peptides-Glutamine, Cysteine, and Glycine and is used by every cell in our bodies.

If GSH becomes depleted, the cell disintegrates and loses its immune activity. Added back to that cell, it regenerates and becomes immuno-active again.

This precious molecule must be stored sufficiently and age, health crises, cancer, arthritis, toxin and pesticide exposure, pollution, certain medications that stress the liver (acetaminophen and aspirin), and even some unhealthy foods deplete Glutathione.

When a vaccine is given, there may be a fever and inflammation which depletes GSH, and when treated with acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen, brain Glutathione is depleted leading to rampant inflammation. In addition, mercury displaces Magnesium, Zinc, and Selenium and leads to decreased Glutathione.

GSH has a role in raising T cell levels in the immune system, in maintaining red blood cells, in lipid metabolism, preventing the formation of LDL levels that contribute to atherosclerosis; in fighting cancer; in stabilizing blood sugar and in cellular repair after stroke. GSH slows cataract formation and plays a role in slowing or stopping macular degeneration. It is helpful for chronic fatigue, liver disorders and many more conditions.

“We are what we absorb” and this is also true of L-Glutathione versus S-Acetyl-Glutathione.

Acetylation in bio-chemistry and pharmacology means attaching an acetyl functional group containing a methyl group single-bonded to a carbonyl. In the case of GSH it is usually attached to the reactive Sulfur atom.

Adding an acetyl function group to create S-Acetyl-Glutathione should protect the GHS molecule through the gut, and allow it to permeate the selective blood-brain barrier. Additionally, the extra methyl group can theoretically bind to DNA providing DNA methylation benefits.

A great example of acetylation is Acetylsalicylic Acid commonly known as Aspirin. Salicylic Acid is a natural anti-inflammatory and attaching the Acetyl group increases its effectiveness and assists the drug in reaching the brain more quickly.

It works!

Acetyl-Glutathione is definitely the better choice than L-Glutathione and although a bit more expensive the evidence is strong and the theory behind it strong.

Let’s look at some studies showing great health promise:

Induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) in human lymphoma cancer cells. In Germany Lymphoma may be treated with Acetyl Glutathione (600mg) and Beta Glucan (2000mg). In animals with Lymphoma 4mg/lb of AG and 50mg/2lb of Beta Glucan was used successfully.

Normalized intracellular GSH content in cultured fibroblasts from patients with a glutathione synthetase deficiency.

In vitro and in vivo benefits as an antiviral agent in animal models involving herpes simplex type one infection. Acetyl Glutathione increases levels of H3O3 (hydrogen peroxide) to kill viruses by increasing Super Oxide Dismutase which increases H3O3.

Detoxification and Energy Production

Glutathione is the body’s primary antioxidant but it is amino acid base and so is referred to as an enzyme antioxidant. However, this type of antioxidant can help stop free radical damage before it starts to create a domino effect of damage. GSH is a major component of several intracellular anti-free radical enzymes-glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase to protect cells against damage from free radical scavengers. The reactivation for these antioxidants requires adequate amounts of reduced glutathione (after the Acetyl group is cleaved inside the cell).

Outside the cell, GSH seems to act directly to deactivate lipid peroxide free radicals and may support intestinal detoxification of dietary peroxides.

Mitochondria are responsible for cellular energy and are the little energy production power plants found in every cell of the body. When they pump out energy, they create waste in the form of reactive oxygen species.

Glutathione can also help remove heavy metals like mercury which has been linked to conditions with an inhibited MTHFR or methylation pathway like autism.

Since we know Acetylation helps absorption and enables GSH to cross the blood brain barrier, it makes sense that GSH could provide detoxification, protection, and heavy metal chelation in the brain at a level other GSH supplements cannot match. Acetyl Glutathione will clean that up, but specifically mitochondrial glutathione that is created only in the liver.

By boosting GSH with Acetyl Glutathione in the liver, you are providing the resources to maintain levels of mitochondrial GSH, this keeping high energy production at the cellular level.

Acetyl Glutathione maximizes the health benefits of Glutathione.

Integrating other supplements i.e., CoQ10 (Ubiquinol if over 40), Selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamins B6, B12 (Methylcobolamin), and Methyfolate, and NAC with GSH will maximize the absorption, lifespan, recycling, and benefits of GSH. The extra methyl donors could help those with MTHFR or methylation issues and maintain optimal glutathione levels.

I have used Acetyl Glutathione in my Pharmacy Practice for almost 20 years and I believe it represents the best Glutathione supplement in oral form available today.

For more information or to order, please go to www.GlutathionePharmacist.com

Susan Merenstein Pharmacist/Owner
Murray Avenue Apothecary and LabNaturals, Inc.


Mari M, 2009, Mitochondrial Glutathione, A key survival antioxidant-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19558212

Locigno R, 2002, S-acetyl-glutathione selectively induces apoptosis in human lymphoma cells through a GSH-independent mechanism.- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11743644

Okun JG, 2004, S-Acetylglutathione normalizes intracellular glutathione content in cultured fibroblasts from patients with glutathione synthetase deficiency. http://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pubmed/15617191

Vogel JU, 2005, Effects S-acetyglutathione in cell and animal model herpes simplex virus type 1 infection- http://www.ncbi.nlm,nih.gov/pubmed/14624658

Wu G, 2004, Glutathione metabolism and its implications for health. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14988435

Quadrilatero J. 2004, N-Acetyl-l-cystein prevents exercise-induced intestinal lymphocyte apoptosis by maintaining intracellular glutathione levels and reducing mitochondrial membrane depolarization- http://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X0400605

Baker D and Wood R Cellular antioxidant status and human immune-deficiency virus replication: Nutrition Reviews 1991; 50 (1): 15-18

Boxer L, Oliver J; et al. Protection of granulocytes by Vitamin E in glutathione synthetase deficiency. N Eng J Med 1979; 301 (17); 901-905

Meister A and Anderson M. Glutathione. Ann Rev Biochem 1983; 52; 711-760