Glutathione Before and After
Glutathione is the master oxidant. It leads the defense against environmental pollution and the bad lifestyle choices we inflict on our bodies each day. Glutathione is found in high concentrations in every cell of our bodies, protecting our cognitive health and reducing our risks for cancer and other diseases.
Because glutathione is so essential to your survival, your body has many ways to produce it and to protect its supplies. You can also obtain glutathione in your diet. However, the aging process and daily exposure to poor diet and pollution can overcome your body’s ability to store enough glutathione.
Symptoms possibly associated with low glutathione levels include:
- Cognitive impairment
- Frequent infections
- Skin damage
- Weight Gain
- Male infertility
For this reason, many people look to oral or injectable glutathione supplements to restore their levels.
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How Long Do Glutathione Injections Work?
The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements like glutathione. Therefore, they are not tested for safety and efficacy in the same way that prescription medications are. Many wonder why this is the case when supplements can also have risks and benefits.
Money is a significant factor. Running clinical trials is expensive. If a company is not confident that its medication will treat disease, be approved by the FDA, and be granted a patent to allow for exclusive production for 20 years, they are not likely to invest in a clinical trial.
With this said, glutathione has been studied more than some supplements. Glutathione is generally recognized as safe.1 Dosages have been tested up to 5 grams per day, which is much higher than oral or injectable doses are usually prescribed.2
As far as effectiveness, researchers have found that there is a dose-dependent increase in glutathione levels after using supplements. This means supplementing with glutathione leads to a proportional increase in bodily levels.3
However, metabolism is complicated, with many pathways that interact. Restoring glutathione levels when people have below-healthy amounts is likely to be beneficial, but how could this be tested?
Researchers are conducting many clinical trials to evaluate glutathione’s use in a multitude of cognitive and physical diseases, and they are getting positive results.
All this is to say that there is scientific evidence that restoring glutathione levels in the body is beneficial to health, but how this works and how long the effect lasts has not been determined.
How Many Times Should You Inject Glutathione
Invigor Medical instructions to patients are to inject 1 ml (100 units) intramuscularly one to two times weekly in the morning or as directed. The dosage recommended by your doctor may differ from this, as could the preparation and concentration they are using. Always follow your dosage instructions and ask your doctor or pharmacist if anything is unclear.
How Long Do Injections Last?
This question is also tricky to answer. Everyone metabolizes glutathione differently. Your body has complex feedback loops to regulate hormones, electrolytes, and nutrient levels.
If you are not glutathione-deficient, your body may break the compound down into cysteine, glycine, and glutamate. It may use one or all of these amino acids and excrete the excess.
On the other hand, if your body needs more glutathione, it not only holds onto the injected dose but also continues to produce glutathione through pathways in the body.
Track the symptoms that led you to try glutathione and see if they improve. If they do, see if you notice any fluctuations in how you feel. This may indicate that you need an increased or more frequent dose.
Signs Your Glutathione Injections Are Working
There are unlikely to be any physical signs or symptoms that suggest that your glutathione injection is working.
One of the first improvements people who take glutathione report is an improvement in skin quality and texture. It is hard to tell whether that is truly the most responsive organ system to glutathione or the easiest one to evaluate. If you notice changes in your skin quality, glutathione should have beneficial effects throughout your body.
Signs Your Glutathione Injections Aren’t Working
Most people who stop taking their glutathione injections do so because they experience side effects or do not perceive any benefits.
This is the case with many supplements. For example, you may have your vitamin D levels tested and find they are low. You start taking vitamin D daily as directed. Do you notice any significant changes in your body? Maybe not. Restoring vitamin D to healthy levels may not produce apparent benefits. Many of its benefits are preventative.
It is similar with glutathione. If you are taking glutathione to improve your skin quality, you may notice benefits. If you don’t see the benefits you were hoping for, you may choose to stop taking the supplement. Suppose you are taking glutathione to help protect your cells against oxidative damage. In that case, you won’t have signs or symptoms to track.
If your symptoms persist, contact your doctor. The symptoms you attribute to low glutathione levels may be due to another medical condition.
How Long Do Glutathione Oral Supplements Take To See Results?
Noticing changes with oral glutathione may be even more challenging to track and measure than with injectable glutathione.
Why? Because there are more variables involved. Oral supplements are not regulated and may not contain the same ingredients. Besides this, oral glutathione would need to be digested and absorbed across the lining of the gastrointestinal tract before it has any benefits. Foods you have recently eaten, viral illnesses, other medication, gut bacteria, and gastric acidity may affect this process. After passing from the gastrointestinal tract to the bloodstream, oral glutathione passes through the liver, where additional changes may occur.
Signs Your Glutathione Oral Supplements Are Working
The signs that oral glutathione is working are the same as intramuscular glutathione injections.
Signs Your Glutathione Oral Supplements Aren’t Working
While it may be slightly more likely that oral glutathione supplements do not have the intended effect, only because of the extra variables involved with getting it from the gastrointestinal cells to the body cells, at this point, there are no definitive signs or symptoms that indicate it is not having an effect in your body.
What To Do If You Don’t See Results from Taking Glutathione
Over the last decade, there has been an increase in antiaging research and an increased interest in disease prevention. Hopefully, this will lead to better funding for researchers evaluating the potential to prevent disease with supplements. Until that happens, you are the best judge of whether glutathione supplementation is helping you.
If you are taking glutathione to treat a specific symptom or a medical condition and your symptoms are not improving, contact your doctor. Although glutathione is generally regarded as a safe supplement, it does not negate the possibility that you have an untreated medical condition that needs a different diagnosis and treatment.
- Minich DM, Brown BI. A Review of Dietary (Phyto)Nutrients for Glutathione Support. Nutrients. 2019 Sep 3;11(9):2073. doi: 10.3390/nu11092073. PMID: 31484368; PMCID: PMC6770193.
- Wang HL, Zhang J, Li YP, Dong L, Chen YZ. Potential use of glutathione as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Exp Ther Med. 2021 Feb;21(2):125. doi: 10.3892/etm.2020.9557. Epub 2020 Dec 4. PMID: 33376507; PMCID: PMC7751460.
- Richie J.P., Jr., Nichenametla S., Neidig W., Calcagnotto A., Haley J.S., Schell T.D., Muscat J.E. Randomized controlled trial of oral glutathione supplementation on body stores of glutathione. Eur. J. Nutr. 2015;54:251–263. doi: 10.1007/s00394-014-0706-z.