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Glutathione: Things To Avoid While Taking It

Mar 22, 2023
Glutathione: Things To Avoid While Taking It

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.

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


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

What Should You Not Take With 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.

Glutathione: Things To Avoid While Taking It

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.

Still have questions about 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.

Looking to purchase and get a Glutathione prescription? Shop Invigor Medical today!

While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.

Glutathione: Things To Avoid While Taking It

Leann Poston, M.D.

Dr. Leann Poston is a licensed physician in the state of Ohio who holds an M.B.A. and an M. Ed. She is a full-time medical communications writer and educator who writes and researches for Invigor Medical. Dr. Poston lives in the Midwest with her family. She enjoys traveling and hiking. She is an avid technology aficionado and loves trying new things.


  • Pizzorno J. Glutathione! Integr Med (Encinitas). 2014 Feb;13(1):8-12. PMID: 26770075; PMCID: PMC4684116.
  • Sekhar RV, Patel SG, Guthikonda AP, Reid M, Balasubramanyam A, Taffet GE, Jahoor F. Deficient synthesis of glutathione underlies oxidative stress in aging and can be corrected by dietary cysteine and glycine supplementation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Sep;94(3):847-53. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.003483. Epub 2011 Jul 27. PMID: 21795440; PMCID: PMC3155927.
  • Flagg EW1, Coates RJ, Eley JW, Jones DP, Gunter EW, Byers TE, Block GS, Greenberg RSDietary glutathione intake in humans and the relationship between intake and plasma total glutathione levelNutr Cancer. (1994)
  • Nimni ME, Han B, Cordoba F. Are we getting enough sulfur in our diet? Nutr Metab (Lond). 2007 Nov 6;4:24. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-4-24. PMID: 17986345; PMCID: PMC2198910.
  • Joshi PC, Guidot DM. The alcoholic lung: epidemiology, pathophysiology, and potential therapies. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2007 Apr;292(4):L813-23. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00348.2006. Epub 2007 Jan 12. PMID: 17220370.
  • Weschawalit S, Thongthip S, Phutrakool P, Asawanonda P. Glutathione and its antiaging and antimelanogenic effects. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2017;10:147-153
  • Jain SK, Parsanathan R, Achari AE, Kanikarla-Marie P, Bocchini JA Jr. Glutathione Stimulates Vitamin D Regulatory and Glucose-Metabolism Genes, Lowers Oxidative Stress and Inflammation, and Increases 25-Hydroxy-Vitamin D Levels in Blood: A Novel Approach to Treat 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Deficiency. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2018 Dec 10;29(17):1792-1807. doi: 10.1089/ars.2017.7462. Epub 2018 Oct 9. PMID: 30160165; PMCID: PMC6208166.


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