Leaky Gut Fix: Glutathione and Digestion: Thomas DeLauer

Leaky Gut Fix: Glutathione and Digestion: Thomas DeLauer



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Leaky Gut Fix: Glutathione and Digestion: Thomas DeLauer

How Does Glutathione Work?

Glutathione exists within cells in its reduced form (GSH), meaning it has an extra electron.

In the process of neutralizing reactive oxygen species it becomes oxidized (GSSG), but reacts with another oxidized glutathione to become glutathione disulfide. (5, 7)

What causes glutathione depletion?

– Our body makes sufficient glutathione to help keep everything running smoothly, however it becomes depleted as a result of extreme stress

– Stressors include: insulin surges from sugary, high-carb diets, immune aggravation from food intolerances, gut infections, hormonal imbalances, lack of sleep, smoking/drinking and hectic lifestyles

Glutathione and a Leaky Gut

A low level of liver glutathione is a common occurrence in leaky gut syndrome

Leaky Gut Syndrome is used to describe the condition of “Hyperpermeable Intestines”

A condition that allows all kinds of substances, such as toxins, bacteria and undigested food particles to pass through the junctions in your small intestine and enter your bloodstream

In other words, the intestinal lining has become more permeable (leaky), with more holes developing that are larger in size and the screening out process is no longer functioning properly

Glutathione May Protect Your Gut

– Research has shown that glutathione may help improve gut health by decreasing oxidative stress

Case Study #1: Looked at the impairment of intestinal glutathione synthesis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

– Study investigated basic amino acid plasma levels and the glutathione status in IBD with an emphasis on intestinal glutathione synthesis in Crohn’s disease

– Reduced glutathione (rGSH) and oxidised glutathione (GSSG) were determined enzymatically in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, red blood cells, muscle, and in non-inflamed and inflamed ileum mucosa.


– Abnormally low cysteine and cystine levels were associated with inflammation in IBD

– Decreased rGSH levels were demonstrated in non-inflamed mucosa and inflamed mucosa in patients with IBD, while GSSG increased with inflammation compared with controls


– Decreased activity of key enzymes involved in glutathione synthesis accompanied by a decreased availability of cysteine for glutathione synthesis contribute to mucosal deficiency in IBD

– Glutathione deficiency might be a target for therapeutic intervention in IBD. (8)

Case Study #2: Looked at the antioxidant status and lipid peroxidation in small intestinal mucosa of children with celiac disease

– Activities of antioxidant enzymes and the levels of glutathione and lipid hydroperoxides were measured in samples of small intestinal biopsies from 39 children with different forms of the disease and in 19 control subjects


– Activities of analyzed enzymes varied significantly between the examined groups

– An increase in the activities of superoxide dismutase was observed in patients with active and silent celiac disease, while the activities of glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase and the glutathione content were significantly reduced

– The level of lipid hydroperoxides was significantly elevated in these groups (9)

1) Glutathione: New Supplement on the Block. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/glutathione-new-supplement-on-block#1

2) The Health Dividend of Glutathione | Natural Medicine Journal. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2011-02/health-dividend-glutathione

3) What is Glutathione? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/what-is-glutathione/

4) Intestinal Permeability: Clinical Unwinding of Leaky Gut | San Jose Functional Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://sanjosefuncmed.com/intestinal-permeability-clinical-unwinding-leaky-gut/

5) Oxidative Stress: An Essential Factor in the Pathogenesis of Gastrointestinal Mucosal Diseases. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4044300/

6) How to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome: 20 Tips From Gut Health Experts. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://blog.kettleandfire.com/how-to-heal-leaky-gut-syndrome/

7) BodyBio Health News | Glutathione: It’s Your Gut. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bodybio.com/content.aspx?page=Glutathione-Gut

8) Impairment of intestinal glutathione synthesis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9616308

9) Antioxidant status and lipid peroxidation in small intestinal mucosa of children with celiac disease. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19560448


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