Glutathione is an antioxidant that is created and used by every cell in the body. It protects the body from damage, deterioration, and disease (1).
It is made up of 3 different amino acids; glutamine, glycine, and cysteine. And surprisingly, studies indicate that cellular glutathione levels can even predict an individual’s life expectancy (2, 3).
Due to its various uses, it is critical that glutathione levels don’t fall too low. In fact, a glutathione deficiency can cause damage leading to Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer (6).
However, glutathione taken orally, intravenously, as an inhalant, or even topically, can help counteract its natural decline in the human body (7).
1Jarrow Formulas Reduced Glutathione
Jarrow Formulas reduced glutathione lives up to the already high-standards set with their other supplements. To set themselves apart from the competition, Jarrow Formulas has used a plant-based formula for its caplets.
This allows not only those looking for a standard supplement to consider them but also those who identify as both vegan or vegetarian. They are also a certified NON-GMO product by the NSF.
Each caplet provides 60mg of glutathione more than enough to fulfill the daily recommended dosage amount for a healthy adult. Additionally, this option gives a significant amount of value, providing an almost 4-month supply with one single purchase.
2Viva Naturals Glutathione
Viva Naturals is a company with name recognition and a stellar reputation in the supplement industry. True to form, their glutathione option is one of the top choices currently available.
Aside from providing the standard supplement as advertised, their formula also focuses on maximum absorption. Viva Naturals includes not only L-glutathione and alpha-lipoic acid to promote bioavailability. This is one area where Viva Naturals excels and tends to exceed other brands.
The vegan capsules also make this a choice that can be used and tolerated by a wide array of customers and needs.
3aSquared Nutrition Reduced Glutathione
While at first glance this supplement appears to be nothing unique, aSquared Nutrition provides a glutathione option that is both effective and efficient.
Among many other benefits, aSquared’s formula focuses on maximum strength performance and provides more for your money. As a vegan-friendly option, this supplement option has opted to include turmeric in their formula. Working as a natural anti-inflammatory, users can get a double dose of this feature when combined with the natural qualities of glutathione.
Additionally, consumers will automatically receive a 100 day supply with a purchase price below that of some other brands. Made in a GMP compliant facility, this all-natural product will make a great choice for anyone concerned about inflammation or chronic illnesses.
4NusaPure Reduced Glutathione
Manufactured by a small family business, NusaPure’s glutathione exceeds standard expectations. Though they may be a young company, NusaPure is highly rated and their glutathione supplement is one of the best on the market.
Though it is a natural product, those who prefer to maintain a vegan or vegetarian diet may need to find another option as these capsules do contain gelatin. Their ingredients, however, are absent of any soy, dairy, eggs, yeast, or gluten, so most dietary needs can be accommodated
With 40mg of glutathione per serving, this is a prime choice for someone with an established supplement routine. Though not as innovative as some options, this is a solid choice from a company you can trust.
5Liposomal Glutathione Softgels
Though not quite as natural as other supplements provided on this list, Liposomal still has a considerable amount to offer.
Those that are taste sensitive will certainly want to give these a try. Their soft gel exterior prevents any sulfuric taste commonly found with glutathione supplements. Liposomal also has committed itself to excellence and is highly-rated in general.
This supplement does include a proprietary blend of phospholipid complex to boost bioavailability and efficacy. While this is not the most robust option, it is worth a try for those who may have more than one health-related goal in mind.
6Double Wood L-Glutathione
While this is a smaller company, Double Wood has a very good reputation for high-quality products. Their glutathione supplement focuses primarily on bioavailability and absorption, two of the primary elements found in a good supplement.
With the addition of an acetyl function, the L-glutathione is more effective than many other brands on the market. Additionally, customers will find 100mg per serving in each capsule provided. This provides an automatic supply that should last 100 days.
BulkSupplements is a trusted name in the supplement industry and should certainly be a contender for your attention when choosing a supplement. For purists, this will be the best choice by far. Simple yet effective is a key element of any BulkSupplements product. There are no other ingredients in this option and it provides those who prefer to incorporate supplements into their meals the opportunity to be creative.
As with most BulkSupplement choices, there may be a bit of a price tag depending on the size of the package purchased. Though this choice could go above your preferred purchase price, it will be more than worth it.
8CCL Advanced Glutathione Spray
When thinking of supplementation, very few people consider the possibility of a spray to fill their supplement needs. Though fairly new in the healthcare market CCL has distinguished itself as innovative and inventive.
The CCL glutathione spray provides users with the benefit of 90% bioavailability, faster absorption rates, and a choice for those who want to avoid powders or capsules. As a bonus, this particular supplement also contains organic ashwagandha to boost energy, immunity, and a whole host of other benefits.
For anyone looking for something a little different and more simple, the CCL spray is a great idea. The only drawback is the very small size of spray available. The 2 oz bottle may not last log in the event of a spill or damage to the bottle, but if you are in the market for a solid short-term option, this is certainly it.
9Nature’s Craft Glutathione
Though this may focus on evening skin complexions, Nature’s craft has a very unique approach to glutathione supplementation and is a strong contender for those wanting to zero in on the quality of their skin.
Complete with milk thistle extract, Nature’s Craft also addresses any immunity concerns that you may have. As a dual-purpose supplement, consumers can enjoy multiple benefits with one daily serving. Additionally, the caplet form allows for usage at anytime day or night without the need to apply to food or drink. As this product contains a whitening agent, those with more melanin may want to choose a more neutral option.
10Nature Bound Glutathione
Nature Bound’s glutathione lives up to its name. Having been made of 100% natural ingredients, this glutathione supplement is sure to interest those with a goal to even their skin complexion while also boosting their immunity.
Similar to Nature Craft’s supplement, Nature Bound also uses milk thistle extract. This organic ingredient allows for smoothing of lighter complexions and has a superior whitening formula. Good for both men and women, those looking for a quick and affordable introduction to glutathione may want to give this option serious consideration.
As previously mentioned, those with a darker complexion may want to look elsewhere for a solution as this could change the pigmentation and melanin in their natural skin color. For those of lighter complexions, however, this is a great choice.
How We Rank
When looking at glutathione supplements, the first thing we looked at was the dosage of glutathione per serving. Anything that was not similar to the controlled human trial dosages, was eliminated. We continued after to look at the ingredient list, and what was on it. Products that contained additives and fillers were also axed.
On the other hand, some supplements included supporting ingredients, like N-A-C. We rewarded these supplements, like CCL Advanced, since adding supporting ingredients enhanced the effect of glutathione in the body.
Lastly we looked at the delivery method. Capsules were the preferred method in this case. The use of plant-derived cellulose in the capsules is what allowed Viva Naturals Glutathione to score so well. We also penalized companies that used animal-derived gelatin.
After all this, we came up with out top 10 best glutathione supplements on the market.
1 Glutathione reduces oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress is caused by the production of free radicals. Glutathione protects the body from this oxidative stress which can lead to an array of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis (8).
It may further reduce oxidative stress in cancerous cells, preventing these cells from multiplying or turning normal cells into tumor cells (10)
2Glutathione may decrease inflammation throughout the body. A 2011 review reported that glutathione inhibits the inflammatory immune response. In turn, it may reduce inflammation in pulmonary diseases where the main cause of such diseases is inflammation (11).
Another study found that glutathione reduced inflammation caused by allergies in mice. This study suggested that a depletion of glutathione is linked to an allergic response in the airways of the mice and thus, possibly in humans. However, more human studies are needed to validate this study (12).
Autoimmune diseases are also known for causing chronic inflammation issues. Glutathione, again, plays a key role in reducing inflammation in these diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and celiac disease. It works by protecting the mitochondria in the cell via the elimination of free radicals (13).
3Glutathione can decrease age-related effects. Free radicals damage and deteriorate tissues and cells in the body. This damage and deterioration causes wrinkles and wear and tear on the body’s systems. Yet, glutathione may help reduce or slow these effects (14).
As aforementioned, less glutathione is naturally produced by the body with age. Most notably, women have lower glutathione levels after menopause, which explains the accelerated aging effects after this stage in a woman’s life (15).
Further, oxidative stress may lead to age-related diseases, such as osteoporosis, and age-related cognitive decline. In fact, Myricitrin, a drug taken to prevent or reduce osteoporosis and its effects, is thought to increase glutathione levels and thus, reduce oxidative stress, slowing the progression of the age-related disease (16).
4Glutathione decreases the cell damage caused by fatty liver disease. In a study conducted in the 1990s, researchers explored glutathione use in treatment for fatty liver disease. After several months, patients showed improvements in some hepatic tests, as well as reductions in markers of hepatic damage (17).
Another study combined glutathione treatment with lifestyle changes to treat fatty liver disease. This study suggested that oral glutathione is an effective part in treating the disease and improving symptoms of patients (18).
5Glutathione can protect the brain. Glutathione may prevent further neurodegeneration, specifically in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease (19).
The brain consumes 20% of the body’s oxygen. Due to the processes involved in this consumption, reactive oxygen compounds are frequently produced. Glutathione plays a major part in reducing and eliminating the effects of these reactive oxygen species (20).
A 2014 study explored the connection between glutathione uptake and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers found that by giving the mice a protein to increase glutathione levels, the mice’s memory significantly improved (21).
Other studies show that Parkinson’s disease patients have a lower level of glutathione levels. Yet, by administering a drug that raises glutathione levels to these patients, scientists found it limited further neurodegeneration of the disease (22, 23).
Another study also noted glutathione’s effects in reducing Parkinson’s symptoms such as rigidity and tremors (24).
Huntington’s disease is another disease triggered by oxidative stress. Surprisingly, a type of curcumin was found to increase glutathione levels. Consequently, mitochondrial dysfunction in certain cells were reduced (25).
6Glutathione can help the body fight infections. Individuals with viral infections have lower glutathione levels and high amounts of oxidative stress. In fact, researchers have found that patients suffering from AIDS, cystic fibrosis, COPD, and alcoholism have an increased risk of infections due to lower glutathione levels (26).
By maintaining or improving glutathione levels, the body is more equipped to fight off such infections (27).
7Glutathione may prevent and decrease symptoms of certain psychiatric disorders. Patients with schizophrenia, OCD, bipolar disorders, and certain depression disorders have lower glutathione levels. Various studies have shown improvements in these conditions when glutathione levels were raised via medication or other forms (28, 29).
One study explored NAC, a medication for schizophrenia, and how it improved schizophrenic symptoms. Researchers reported that NAC increases glutathione levels, reducing oxidative stress, and thus, reduces schizophrenia symptoms (30).
Medications for bipolar disorders were found to act similarly by increasing glutathione levels and reducing symptoms (31).
An 8-week study examined the effects of oral and transdermal glutathione in autistic children. Health-wise, these children showed improvements in plasma sulfate, cysteine, taurine, and glutathione levels. In turn, oxidative stress may be reduced – alleviating other health problems that could arise (34).
9Glutathione can decrease diabetic complications and overall health impact. High blood sugar and diabetes is closely linked with lower glutathione levels. Due to these low glutathione levels, free radicals are often the cause of complications associated with diabetes (35, 36, 37).
Supplemented glutathione in the body may reduce or prevent such complications from happening by lowering oxidative stress (38).
Researchers further suggest that glutathione supplements may positively impact insulin resistance in older adults (39).
10Glutathione improves cardiovascular health. Low glutathione levels are linked to a higher risk of heart disease and heart attacks. Unsurprisingly, heart disease is frequently caused by oxidative stress. Glutathione works to protect the body against this oxidative stress, improving heart health (40, 41).
A 2002 study even noted a link between increased glutathione levels and mobility in those with peripheral artery disease. After 5 days, patients who were taking intravenous glutathione had improvements in walking ability and pain (42).
11Glutathione may improve psoriasis. Psoriasis is a long-lasting autoimmune disease characterized by patches of abnormal skin. These skin patches are typically red, dry, itchy, and scaly. A small 2013 study determined that non-denatured bioactive whey protein isolate previously demonstrated to increase glutathione levels can clinically improve patients with psoriasis (43).
12Glutathione can help reduce cell death in liver disease. One 1995 study showed that glutathione reduced malondialdehyde, a marker of cell damage in the liver (44).
Another small study found that orally administered glutathione had positive effects on people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease following proactive lifestyle changes. In this study, glutathione was provided in supplement form in a dose of 300 milligrams per day for four months (45).
13Glutathione has powerful anti-aging benefits. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to help with anti-aging via multiple pathways. A 2011 study showed that by maintaining glutathione levels, aging individuals may prevent age-related cognitive decline (46).
Another 2009 study showed that imbalances in glutathione levels affect immune system function and are thought to play a role in the aging process (47).
Glutathione drops off during menopause, which may be part of the reason for the dramatic aging that occurs during this time in a woman’s life. By maintaining glutathione levels, aging individuals may prevent age-related cognitive decline (48).
14Glutathione may heal the gut. Patients with IBS have decreased activity of enzymes involved in glutathione synthesis, as well as lower levels of glutathione’s precursor, cysteine (49).
15Glutathione protects the intestinal mucosa. Administration of glutathione may protect the gut wall which, when weakened, can lead to leaky gut (50).
16Glutathione may help prevent addiction. The consumption of cocaine, methamphetamines, and alcohol leads to an increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These species can alter proteins involved in neuronal and behavioral pathways, causing the subject to become addicted.
This may also be applicable to overeating disorders (53).
17Glutathione can help improve eye and visual health. As age progresses, it is not uncommon for vision issues to become more prevalent. Though medical studies should be conducted continuously to ensure accuracy, glutathione is a possible solution for those suffering from glaucoma and other chronic vision problems.
Glaucoma patients in several studies have a startling improvement in aqueous fluid outflow in the eye. This inevitably helps to maintain both balance and clearer vision. This improvement is seen as a natural link given the high amounts of glutathione within the lens of the eye
As an antioxidant, glutathione attacks radicals in the eye that could form in the eye. This is normally seen in those who have diabetic retinopathy. Taking a glutathione supplement can reduce the risk of developing damage in the retina and loss of vision (54, 55)
18Glutathione can help infertility. Considered to be a master antioxidant for fertility by some, glutathione is becoming increasingly popular in the fight against infertility. Unlike some supplements designed for either men or women respectively, glutathione proves to be beneficial for both genders.
Glutathione has shown to have the ability to improve both sperm count and quality in men and egg development in women. Before ovulation, a process called folliculogenesis occurs. During this process, the cells surrounding the egg replicate and are heavily dependent on glutathione to protect it. A lack of this antioxidant makes it more likely for egg quality to be somewhat poor (56).
According to various studies, younger women have ovaries with a higher intracellular glutathione level. With this being the case, increasing the amount of glutathione as age progresses could have a much higher rate of success in terms of conception. A deficiency of glutathione could cause premature ovarian aging making it very difficult to conceive regardless of age (2)
Though taking a supplement of glutathione does not fully guarantee a successful pregnancy, it increases the chances of both getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy
19Glutathione can help with weight loss. As obesity in the United States continues to climb, many are turning to not only dieting but supplements to curb unhealthy habits. Though not commonly considered an option for weight loss support, glutathione is slowly emerging as a natural alternative to more extreme weight loss solutions.
Glutathione has been shown to help protect your damaged cells from exercise, enhance liver function and detox, and positively influence blood sugar levels. Absorption of fat is much more likely in cases involving a glutathione deficiency. Taking a glutathione supplement could prevent the reabsorption of toxins that occur in fat cells during a workout.
Additionally, metabolic syndrome can keep blood glucose levels at a higher than normal level. These high levels prevent proper weight loss from occurring naturally. The use of glutathione supplements will help to decrease glucose levels and optimize weight loss attempts (57).
1Glutathione may cause IBS like symptoms. Glutathione supplementation has been shown to cause some digestive distress such as cramping and bloating in certain individuals.
2Taking glutathione long-term has been linked to lower zinc levels.
That being said, glutathione obtained via natural dietary sources does not pose any risks of lowering your zinc.
The standard glutathione dosage is 500 – 1000mg per day. However, there is no set dosage when consuming food that fuels glutathione production.
What are the symptoms of glutathione deficiency? Signs of metabolic acidosis may include nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. The severe form of glutathione synthetase deficiency usually causes the same signs and symptoms seen in the milder forms of the deficiency, but can also affect the brain, which causes neurological problems.
What does glutathione do to your skin? Glutathione can cause skin lightening by converting melanin to a lighter color and deactivating the enzyme tyrosinase, which helps produce the pigment.
Is it safe to take glutathione? Glutathione injections are not only safe, but they are also beneficial for your health. Glutathione helps eliminate toxins from the body, supports the central nervous system, aids in fertility and supports a healthy and strong immune system.
What foods are high in glutathione? The best foods are dietary proteins, such as beef, fish, and poultry. However, there are vegetarian sources as well, such as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, watercress, and mustard greens.
Can glutathione remove pimples? Yes, increasing glutathione is excellent for boosting your antioxidant supply and clearing acne.
Can glutathione cause liver damage? No, in fact, it does the opposite. Glutathione has been shown to improve protein, enzyme, and bilirubin levels in the blood of individuals with alcoholic and nonalcoholic chronic fatty liver disease. A study reported that glutathione was most effective when given to people with fatty liver disease intravenously, in high doses.
Is taking glutathione orally effective? Yes, glutathione is effective both orally and intravenously.
Is glutathione the same as NAC? No, NAC is a precursor to glutathione. It helps replenish and create glutathione.
Does Glutathione help sleep? Yes, many people have discovered that glutathione, a natural antioxidant, can help to get a good night’s rest, and the good news is that it’s quite simple to increase your glutathione levels to achieve better sleep.
Can glutathione remove dark spots? Yes, glutathione supplement thus can help remove dark spots and have a flawless white complexion when consumed regularly and when a good beauty skin care regimen is observed resolutely.
Is the glutathione whitening effect permanent? Its whitening effects are permanent only if you will maintain it (by avoiding exposure to sunlight). The reason why our skin becomes white in using l-glutathione is because it reverses the dark melanin pigments turning to a light pigments and reduces melanocytes which produce melanin. Less melanin means whiter skin.
Can I drink alcohol while taking glutathione? Yes, you can drink alcohol however it is counterintuitive as alcohol depletes the liver’s glutathione stores.
Should you take glutathione on an empty stomach? Yes, if taking glutathione orally, it should be taken on an empty stomach followed with water.
Does bone broth have glutathione? Bone broth is rich in a wide variety of nutrients, including the amino acid glycine. Glycine is one of several starting compounds needed to make the body’s most powerful antioxidant and detoxifying agent glutathione.
Are glutathione supplements regulated by the FDA? As with many other supplements, glutathione is not regulated by the FDA. This means that there are a few added risks to beginning treatment with this supplement. Customers are strongly encouraged to speak with a primary care physician and research their options before beginning usage
Who would benefit from a glutathione supplement? In general, glutathione can provide benefits to multiple people with various ailments. Both men and women would benefit from taking daily doses of this supplement. Those suffering from more serious illnesses will want to consult with their physician before beginning use continuously.
Can glutathione cause the skin to lighten? Yes, glutathione can cause skin lightening in some individuals. This will vary greatly from person to person. Glutathione lightens skin by converting melanin to a lighter color and deactivating the tyrosinase enzyme which helps to produce pigment. Glutathione should not be used primarily for skin lightening.
Can you take too much glutathione? Though there have been no reported cases of glutathione overdose, it is important to make sure you are using the supplement as intended. This will help to reduce the risk of any unforeseen adverse effects.
What is reduced glutathione? Reduced glutathione is the stable and active form of glutathione. The human body’s normal functionality will typically destabilize any antioxidant it comes in contact with. The reduced version of glutathione is stabilized for more efficient use.
What is liposomal glutathione? Often referred to as l- glutathione, liposomal glutathione is another version of reduced glutathione. The main difference between the two types is the former’s transformation into oxidized glutathione which maximizes the use of oxygen.
Is glutathione safe for pregnant women to take? The answer to this question is still very uncertain. Unfortunately, no current scientific studies show that glutathione is safe to take during pregnancy or breastfeeding. With this being the case, it is highly recommended that women consult with their physician before taking this supplement.
What is glutathione comprised of? Glutathione is a simple molecule that is naturally produced in your body. It is a combination of three simple amino acids — cysteine, glycine and glutamine.
How can a deficiency of glutathione occur? The primary reason for a glutathione deficiency is an increase in age. Though the reason for this is unknown, it is a prevalent reason for a deficiency of this antioxidant. Glutathione levels can also be affected by poor diet, a lack of exercise, sleep apnea, a weaker immune system, or chronic diseases.
Can glutathione deficiency cause death? Though a deficiency does not cause death directly, its absence could make you more prone to this outcome. As glutathione regulates many of the body’s functions and manages several different cell types, a lack of this can create larger health issues.
Why is glutathione so critical? Glutathione is great because it recycles antioxidants.
How and why is glutathione effective? Glutathione is effective because of the sticky sulfur chemical group it’s made up of. It acts like a mouse trap containing all the bad things in the body, including free radicals and toxins like mercury and other heavy metals.
Does glutathione have any effect on a workout? While there have only been a handful of studies on the effects of glutathione on exercise routines, there is some evidence to suggest it may help to suppress muscle fatigue. This suppression could potentially assist in lengthening workout durations and easing the recovery process following strenuous exercise.
Can glutathione help with weight loss? Yes, Though there is still some research to be done, there are preliminary research studies that show a positive correlation between exercise and the use of glutathione
Are there topical applications of glutathione? Yes, glutathione comes in a variety of forms including topical applications. Consumers may also find this antioxidant in a spray, powder, or gel cap format as well. Choosing which one is right for you will depend heavily on your preferences and routine.
Is glutathione an amino acid? Glutathione itself is not an amino acid. It is, however, comprised of 3 different amino acids: cysteine, glycine, and glutamate.
Glutathione supplements can help prevent and reduce numerous age-related diseases and effects. As you age, it may prove to be an important supplement to consider.
However, many other supplement types also increase glutathione levels in the body. For instance, curcumin, cysteine, vitamin C, and many more are found to increase the body’s natural production of glutathione.
Prevent age-related diseases and oxidative stress before it impacts your life.
Take into account the positive effects related with normal or higher glutathione levels and your age when considering supplementation. Higher glutathione levels can prevent heart disease, liver disease, neurodegeneration, cancer, and much more – ensuring you lead a quality life well into your senior years.