Acute & Chronic Glutathione Depletion

Acute & Chronic Glutathione Depletion

Acute & Chronic Glutathione Depletion

Generally, there are two situations where you might not have enough glutathione. These are termed acute and chronic glutathione depletion. Acute depletion occurs when your glutathione reserves are suddenly overwhelmed. Chronic depletion occurs when your cells lose their capacity to make enough glutathione for maintenance of good health or when the amount of free radicals produced by your body increases above normal.

  • Acute depletion can occur when you are exposed to high levels of toxins such as smoke, alcohol, drugs, heavy metals or radiation.
  • You might also deplete your glutathione during strenuous or prolonged exercise, where you are breathing faster and heavier in order to release the energy you need to keep going. The more you breathe, the more you generate free radicals. Producing free radicals faster than you can produce glutathione, can be a serious challenge.
  • During extended fasting you might also be at risk of depleting your glutathione levels because you are running out of cysteine normally supplied in your diet.
  • Acute glutathione depletion may also occur following traumatic injury or during some surgical procedures.
  • Even becoming sick can rapidly deplete your glutathione.

Examples of Chronic Glutathione Depletion

Chronic glutathione depletion occurs when either some of your cells (e.g. specific tissues or organs) lose the ability to produce enough glutathione to protect themselves against normal levels of toxins and free radicals or your body starts producing more free radicals than normal levels. This is often the case as we age. Examples of diseases and conditions that have been suggested as potentially being associated with chronic glutathione depletion include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka motor neuron disease)
  • Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Autism
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder (depression)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • COPD & lung disorders
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes (I and II)
  • Liver disease
  • Macular degeneration
  • HIV