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Glutathione & Autoimmune Disease Connection

Dr Auto Immune
May 12, 2023

There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune diseases — diseases, and fifty million Americans alone suffer from an autoimmune disease. So why does this happen? One reason is people with autoimmune disease have too much inflammation in their bodies and they don’t make enough glutathione.


Glutathione, often referred to as the “master” antioxidant because of its capacity to enhance the utilization and recycling of other antioxidants, glutathione (GSH) is a small protein found in virtually all cells. Its primary functions within the body include supporting the immune system, providing antioxidant protection, and removing toxins.

In a nutshell, it’s a natural substance your own body makes to reduce inflammation and eliminate toxins. NAC (n-acetyl cysteine) is the precursor to glutathione, and it’s the most important building block for allowing your body to manufacture glutathione. People with autoimmune disease usually can’t make enough of it and because of this, it can make their symptoms worse and even trigger the onset of autoimmunity.

Glutathione is an antioxidant. It’s actually the most powerful antioxidant because it is made in your own body, helping to protect you from the chemicals we are all exposed to each day.

Glutathione is made in your liver, so you need a healthy liver in order to make a sufficient amount of glutathione; but unhealthy lifestyle choices can affect how much your body makes. For example, alcohol consumption can adversely affect your liver, therefore how much glutathione your liver makes. Excess inflammation from poor dietary choices like refined carbohydrates can sap your bodies natural ability to make enough glutathione. If you are using the lions share of it in your gut, other areas in your body don’t have enough to protect tissues!

It’s not just alcohol that can affects the liver. Many common health conditions such as having a: fatty liver, gut problems like irritable or inflammatory bowel syndrome, food sensitivities,

chronic infections, nutrient deficiencies, and immune problems all impair glutathione production.

Pretty much, having health problems can make you deficient in glutathione which puts you at risk of developing even more health problems- it’s a vicious cycle!

What are the symptoms of low glutathione?

The following are a few of the common symptoms:

  • Brain fog
  • Aches and pains (fibromyalgia)
  • Fatigue
  • Weak immune system
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain

How to boost your body’s production of glutathione


Selenium is required for glutathione production. You probably know how important selenium is for the health of your immune system and thyroid gland. It is also a powerful antioxidant and this is largely because of its role in glutathione production.

Many parts of the world have selenium deficient soils and very few foods are a rich source of this mineral. The best food sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, seafood, onion and garlic.

Getting plenty of those foods in your diet is a good way of maintaining and improving your health

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)

NAC is the precursor of glutathione and can be taken in supplement form. Studies have shown that most oral forms of glutathione are not well absorbed. The body tends to digest it to its building blocks and blood levels of glutathione don’t rise significantly.

NAC supplements tend to be far more effective. This substance has a long history of use.

NAC also helps to protect the kidneys from potential harm, protect your body from oxidative damage, and help to make you a more efficient detoxifier.

Methylation nutrients are important.

Methylation is a process that assists your body’s production of glutathione.

The main nutrients required for methylation are B vitamins, particularly B6, B9 (folate) and B12.

B12 is found in animal foods such as meat, poultry and seafood, while plant foods are an excellent source of the other B vitamins.

It is important to eat lots of vegetables each day, either as salads, vegetable juices, smoothies, or cooked vegetables.

Whey Protein

Whey protein has been shon to significantly bump glutathione levels. Unfortunately some are dairy intolerant and this may not be a great way to get your glutathione fix.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

ALA is an amazing nutrient that has been utilized as a detoxification agent and has the ability to stimulate T-regulatory cells (LINK FROM WEBSITE HERE). Its a potent stimulator of glutathione and is found in Dr. Ian’s custom formula, “Immuno Power”. <<< SUPPLEMENT COMING IN 8 WEEKS.


Sulfur is needed for glutathione production. Sulfur is found in cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic, leek and eggs. If you don’t include much of these foods in your diet.

This supplement is traditionally taken by people who want to improve their liver health, reduce joint pain and protect your body from autoimmune disease.

Get more movement

Try to get some movement each day. Exercise boosts your body’s production of glutathione. As long as you don’t exercise to complete exhaustion, exercise acts as a minor stress on your body, boosts your immune system and improves your detoxification abilities.

It is often said that “sitting is inflammatory” because inactivity raises your body’s production of inflammation generating compounds. Exercise helps to counteract that.

Glutathione and the autoimmune disease connection

When glutathione levels drop too low this makes you more susceptible to autoimmune disease, multiple food sensitivities, chemical and heavy metal sensitivities, chronic inflammatory disorders, leaky gut, and other immune-related issues.

Study after study shows that your body’s ability to constantly take oxidized glutathione and recycle it back to reduced Glutathione is critical for managing autoimmunity.

By ensuring your glutathione levels stay at robust levels, you provide your body with an army of soldiers ready to “take a bullet” and shield your cells from the destructive forces of toxins and inflammation.

The Takeaway

It is dangerous to walk around without glutathione. It’s not just about taking the supplements that I listed above. But you really need to focus on rebuilding and repairing your body.

As you’ve learned from above, glutathione greatly aids in the immune system’s proper function.

When I have someone suffering from an immune system that is out of control, glutathione is often a molecule I am worried about.

So how do you know if your immune system is out of control? If you suffer from an autoimmune disease, allergies, asthma, rashes, chronic infections, leaky gut, or chemical sensitivity then you have inappropriate immune system activation.

To manage this your body needs to get back to being able to constantly take oxidized glutathione and recycle it back to reduced glutathione- which is critical for managing autoimmunity.

How Dr. Autoimmune can help!

Addressing autoimmunity requires a personalized approach. At Dr. Autoimmune, we discover and address the root causes. We look at how these causes influence the autoimmune process which changes the game when it comes to caring and preventing autoimmune disease.

There is nothing like working with a practitioner who listens, acknowledges and knows how to find the answers that you seek while simplifying what can feel like a really complicated and overwhelming process of discovery and healing.

To optimize your glutathione levels and better manage your autoimmune disease, please contact Dr. Autoimmune for guidance.

To get started, give us a call today at 303-882-8447. Or click here to schedule your appointment today!

We offer 100% remote care so anyone can heal from anywhere! And we’ve set up ‘The Dr. Autoimmune Solution’ which is a comprehensive new patient special that includes everything necessary to determine the root cause of your condition and start you on the journey to getting your life back.

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