Pancreatitis is a progressive inflammatory disease of the pancreas. The pancreas starts being digested by digestive enzymes. Lipid peroxidation increases due to enhanced amounts of oxygen radicals. Oxidative stress has a huge, negative impact on this disease. Glutathione is dramatically decreased due to oxidative stress. Glutathione can help control the activity of oxidative stress and help maintain normal function of the pancreas.
Glutathione is highly concentrated in the epithelial lining fluid of the lungs. It helps protect against inhaled oxidants. Glutathione’s response to cigarette smoke was examined in mice. After cigarette exposure, the levels of GSH were depleted by almost 50%. Glutathione adapted to the smoke by increasing its levels within the epithelial lining fluid.
Irritation from components of particulates in smoke cause oxidative stress. Chronic smokers increase their defenses from the smoke by increasing their glutathione levels in the epithelial lining fluid. The epithelial cells (lung cells) become overwhelmed due to the repeated cigarette smoke which leads to cell toxicity. Repeated inhalation of cigarette smoke results in smoking-induced lung disease.
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Free radical production and nutritional depletion increase as the disease progresses. Reactive oxygen species cause tissue injury in Crohn’s Disease. Active enzymes and cysteine are critical for glutathione synthesis. Individuals with Crohn’s have low levels of enzymes and cysteine, resulting in a depletion of glutathione. When glutathione is depleted oxidative stress increases. Glutathione is starting to become the target for a therapeutic intervention for people who are suffering with Crohn’s Disease.
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that causes abnormal brain function due to the characteristic of seizures. Seizures produce large amounts of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress causes damage to brain cells. Glutathione is a neuromodulator, meaning it affects the function of brain cells. Glutathione can help prevent seizures and the effects of anticonvulsants. Anticonvulsants can lower the levels of glutathione within the brain, which allows for more oxidative stress.
Glutathione does not treat the cause of Parkinson’s disease, but helps improve the symptoms and limits the action of free radicals. The free radicals degenerate the cells in the mid part of the brain, which decreases the amount of dopamine. Glutathione does not raise the amount of dopamine, but it allows the dopamine within the brain to become more effective. About 80-90% of patients with Parkinson’s disease that were treated with glutathione improved dramatically.
Depression is characterized by severe emotional despondency and dejection felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. Common symptoms include difficulty with remembering things or making decisions, setting priorities, planning, and taking action. Free radical oxidative stress is one of the main causes of the mechanisms that contribute to depression. Glutathione is a new way to treat the condition. The results of a clinical trial published in a 2008 issue of “Biological Psychiatry” showed that taking 1 gram of N-acetyl cysteine as a supplement twice daily for 24 weeks increases glutathione levels in the body and helped alleviate depressive symptoms.
Bipolar Disorder is associated with oxidative stress. Bipolar Disorder creates alterations in dopamine and glutamate, which are highly redox reactive. When both dopamine and glutamate are altered there is an increase in oxygen to the brain. Glutathione and other antioxidants are being researched further for a treatment, but an antioxidant precursor treatment is effective.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a terminal, paralytic illness that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Although ALS’s cause is currently unknown, recent studies implicate the affect of free radicals in the death and deterioration of motor neurons in this disease. The motor neuron’s death erodes the brain’s ability to initiate and control muscle movements. It is not uncommon to see advanced ALS patients completely paralyzed.
Studies further indicate that glutathione activity is greatly reduced in the parts of the brain that are affected by ALS. These findings suggest that glutathione levels and free radicals may be involved in the evolution and manifestation of the disease. Research shows that raising the levels of glutathione in ALS patients may help prevent cellular damage by free radicals.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the lining of the joints, which produces joint inflammation. Glutathione may help control the disease and alleviate the symptoms. Rheumatoid Arthritis progresses with age; glutathione neutralizes free radicals, which lessens the damage to the muscles and tissues of the joints. Glutathione is anti-inflammatory meaning it will help control joint inflammation.
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the nervous system. Multiple Sclerosis is multifactorial, but one major cause could be oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a result from the imbalance of antioxidants and oxidants. In certain studies, glutathione was found low within the cerebrospinal fluid and blood in patients with Multiple Sclerosis.