Things To Avoid While Taking Glutathione

March 4, 2024
Foods that are high in antioxidants

Glutathione is called the “master antioxidant” and not without reason. It is used by every cell in the body to detoxify toxins, whether they are byproducts of metabolism, drugs, or environmental toxins. Glutathione also plays a key role in immune function and helps to break down nutrients for energy. This article is about things to avoid while taking glutathione.

Glutathione is produced by liver and nerve cells and is made from glycine, L-cysteine, and L-glutamate. These amino acids are consumed in your diet and are produced in the body. Glutathione levels decrease with age, poor nutrition, exposure to environmental toxins, stress, and poor health.1

Since it has such an important role in the body, many people choose to supplement with glutathione to help ensure body tissues have the antioxidants they need to operate at peak efficiency.

What Should I Eat When Taking Glutathione?

Aging is associated with oxidative stress, and researchers believe it may be at least partially due to glutathione deficiency. When research participants took cysteine and glycine supplements, their glutathione levels improved.2 Glutathione is broken down and poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Consuming its precursor amino acids in your diet or using an injectable form of glutathione can help bypass this obstacle.

The best sources of amino acids are found in animal proteins such as beef, poultry, and eggs. The best sources of glutathione are fruits and vegetables.3

Meat, vegetables, and eggs on a platter - Things To Avoid While Taking Glutathione


Your body makes cysteine from methionine, an essential amino acid. Neither cysteine nor methionine is stored in the body, so consuming them in your diet or taking supplements is essential. Many foods contain at least some methionine, but eggs, fish, dairy, and meats are high in this nutrient.4


Glycine is used to make glutathione, the neurotransmitter serotonin, and collagen. Your body can make glycine, and it is found in red meats, seeds, turkey, chicken, pork, peanuts, and many other cheeses, grains, and dairy products.


Glutamate can be made in your body and consumed in your diet. Glutamate is found in cheese, sauces, flavorings, nuts, processed meats, fruits and vegetables, and seafood.

Glutathione rich foods

Things To Avoid While Taking Glutathione

Alcohol puts severe oxidative stress on body cells. Excessive alcohol consumption causes lung damage, and researchers believe it is related to glutathione. In the tiny air sacs in the lungs, glutathione levels were lowered by as much as 80% to 90% in people who chronically consumed alcohol.5 Consuming alcohol will negate many of the benefits of glutathione supplementation.

Other substances linked to decreased glutathione levels include:

  • acetaminophen
  • acetone
  • heavy metals
  • nitrates and food preservatives
  • aspartame
  • synthetic food dyes
  • cigarette smoke

What Are The Dangers Of Glutathione?

Glutathione is produced in the body from amino acids consumed in your diet. If you supplement with glutathione long-term, ask about getting your zinc levels checked. Long-term glutathione supplementation has been linked to lower zinc levels.6

Zinc is an essential mineral that is involved in hundreds of chemical reactions, protein production, and gene expression regulation. Oysters are rich in zinc. Other good sources of dietary zinc are red meat, poultry, legumes, nuts, and dairy products.

Glutathione comes in an inhaled form. People with asthma should not use this product.

In some people, glutathione may cause cramping, bloating, or allergic reactions.7

It is unknown whether glutathione supplementation is safe during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Things To Avoid While Taking Glutathione

Does Glutathione Interact With Any Medications?

According to, glutathione has no severe, serious, or moderate interactions with other drugs. It does have mild interactions with 89 drugs.

People with asthma should not use inhaled forms of glutathione.

Is It OK To Take Vitamin D With Glutathione?

There do not seem to be any contraindications to taking vitamin D with glutathione. In fact, according to Jain et al., 2018, it is beneficial to take vitamin D and glutathione together. Correcting vitamin D levels seems to improve glutathione levels and vice versa.

Looking to buy glutathione? Contact one of the specialists at Invigor Medical to discuss your healthcare needs and learn whether glutathione supplements are a good option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you not mix with glutathione?

It’s generally recommended to avoid mixing glutathione with certain medications and substances that may interfere with its effectiveness or cause adverse reactions. Examples include certain antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, and substances that increase oxidative stress, such as alcohol and recreational drugs. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine specific contraindications and potential interactions.

Things to avoid while taking glutathione?

When taking glutathione supplements, it’s advisable to avoid substances that may interfere with its absorption or effectiveness, such as alcohol and certain medications. Additionally, individuals may want to avoid excessive exposure to environmental toxins and pollutants to support the body’s natural production of glutathione. Consulting with a healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance on what to avoid when taking glutathione.

Does glutathione interact with anything?

Glutathione may interact with certain medications and substances, potentially affecting their effectiveness or causing adverse reactions. It’s essential to inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and substances you are taking before starting glutathione supplementation to minimize the risk of interactions. Your healthcare provider can provide guidance on potential interactions based on your individual health status and medication regimen.

Is it OK to drink coffee while taking glutathione?

While there isn’t specific evidence suggesting that drinking coffee directly interferes with glutathione supplementation, it’s essential to consider individual factors such as caffeine sensitivity and overall health status. Some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort or other adverse effects when combining coffee with supplements. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance on whether it’s safe to drink coffee while taking glutathione, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns.

Author: Leann Poston, M.D.
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