As the primary endogenous antioxidant naturally produced in our cells, glutathione is critical for detoxification, nutritional regulation, and protection against cellular damage.* Comprised of three amino acids — cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine — glutathione acts as a free radical scavenger, eliminating harmful oxidized molecules known to cause a wide range of adverse pathological conditions.* A depleted glutathione level in the body can result from factors like aging, poor diet, or lifestyle changes, and needs to be replenished with the help of a glutathione nutritional supplement.
Below, we discuss various glutathione supplement types and highlight the benefits and limitations of different delivery modes to enable you to determine the best way to enhance the level of glutathione in your body.
As a nutritional supplement, glutathione is well-tolerated, with no adverse side effects, and it can be delivered through supplementation, including oral, intravenous, intramuscular, intranasal, and nebulized forms.
Although the oral route is probably the most popular delivery method of glutathione supplementation, it has not historically been considered the most effective way to enhance the level of glutathione in the body. This is because the metabolism of glutathione by the intestinal enzyme γ-glutamyltransferase results in poor absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.
|Easy delivery||Rapid absorption in the intestine|
|Cost-effective||Low bioavailability makes it difficult to raise blood or intracellular glutathione levels sufficient to achieve clinical benefits.|
In response to oral glutathione’s above limitations, alternative delivery methods like intravenous and intramuscular injections have been explored. Although IV or IM glutathione is considered safe, concern focuses on the short half-life of glutathione in the bloodstream, which limits the duration of efficacy. Delivering an IV or IM glutathione supplement typically requires injecting it directly into the upper arm, upper thigh, or buttocks to carry the formulation into the bloodstream. The natural limitations here are exceptionally high costs and required visits to a medical office for injections.
|The IV bypasses the absorption of glutathione in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby allowing it to directly enter the bloodstream..||Medical supervision is required for IV drips|
|Some clinical studies suggest injected glutathione is more effective than oral supplements under a narrow set of conditions.||Might be incompatible with certain health conditions.|
When targeting tissues in the brain or upper respiratory tract, the intranasal route is considered advantageous over other deliveries because the rich vasculature of the nasal mucosa enhances the systemic absorption of glutathione. In plainer words, the nose contains multiple blood vessels close to the surface, which makes absorption in the bloodstream easier.
|Non-invasive, easy-to-use ; Might bypass the blood-brain barrier, slowing glutathione degradation.||Nasal congestion can interfere with delivery.|
Nebulizing glutathione — or its precursor, N-acetylcysteine — in a water or saline solution is an innovative approach as a supplementary therapy for certain respiratory conditions. Clinical trials of nebulized glutathione have established its bioavailability and safety up to 600 mg twice daily1. However, determining the advantages and efficacy of nebulized glutathione over other delivery routes will require further clinical evidence.
Of all glutathione supplement types, most individuals prefer oral glutathione capsules or tablets because it’s a very familiar delivery form and also offers savings and convenience over injections and other alternatives. As far as the efficacy of oral glutathione is concerned, advanced formulations can enhance the absorption and bioavailability in the body of this master antioxidant molecule.
Advanced oral glutathione supplementations like SafeCell,® developed by Tesseract Medical Research, are designed to take detoxification to a new level. As an acetylated form of glutathione, SafeCell® ensures the optimal absorption and efficacy of glutathione molecules with a proprietary nutrient delivery system.
The CyLoc® - DexKey® delivery technology is a revolutionary approach that deploys individual glutathione molecules directly in the intestinal tract. The CyLoc® matrix protects the glutathione molecules from early degradation, while DexKey® reactors, accompanying each CyLoc® molecule, release the molecules at the desired point in the intestinal tract for maximum absorption. Tesseract’s breakthrough supplement formulation supports natural detoxification pathways and modulates oxidative stress to promote optimal cellular and neurological functions.*