Glutathione Testing

Glutathione testing is still not a mainstream procedure like cholesterol testing or blood sugar testing, although glutathione’s role in health and disease has been studied extensively, and persistently low glutathione is associated with increased mortality.

One of the reasons is that glutathione levels fluctuate throughout the day (the lowest being in the early morning) in response to exposure to toxins, pathogens, smoke or car exhaust fumes, medications, food choices, stress levels, illness, etc. – thus, repeated testing may be required.

Another reason is that glutathione is an integral part of your body’s own antioxidant system and other parameters should be considered along with glutathione levels – evaluation of a person’s antioxidant reserves, the activity of protective antioxidant enzymes and the degree of cellular damage from oxidative stress if any.

Ray had glutathione testing done back in 2006 and then again in 2007. Our family physician was open–minded enough to suggest and order an Oxidative Stress Analysis kit from Genova Diagnostics, a NC based laboratory which is one of very few that provide this type of testing. The last time I checked (2013) such well-known and widely used laboratories as Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp do not provide oxidative stress evaluations.

Ray had already been on Immunocal and glutathione boosting protocol and diet for good 6 months prior to this testing (for details see our Peripheral Neuropathy page). All his results came back within normal range both times.

If you would like to get your glutathione levels and/or oxidative stress status evaluated I recommend you do it before and after you start raising your glutathione. This way you will be able to compare the before and after results and see how effective your glutathione boosting protocol is.

Oxidative Stress Analysis 2.0 (blood) from Genova Diagnostics evaluates the following:

Antioxidant Reserves Normal Reading
Glutathione (GSH) >= 669 micromol/L
Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) >= 0.54 mmol/L
Cysteine 0.61-1.16 mg/dL
Cystine 1.60-3.22 mg/dL
Cysteine/cystine ratio 0.23-0.53
Sulphate 3.0-5.9 mg/dL
Cysteine/sulphate ratio 0.12-0.32
Antioxidant Enzymes Normal Reading
Superoxide dismutase (SOD) 5,275-16,662 U/g Hb
Glutathione peroxidase (GPx) 20.0-38.0 U/g Hb
Cellular Damage Normal Reading
Lipid peroxidation <=10.0 micromol/L

To get you glutathione and/or oxidative stress levels tested you will need to do the following:

  1. Contact your doctor (usually a general practitioner) and ask him/her to contact Genova Diagnostics for a price quote for Oxidative Stress Analysis 2.0 (blood). The laboratory provides this information only to doctors. You will be able to pick and choose which parameters you would like to get tested to keep the cost down. So, if you are interested in only glutathione testing, then ask for a quote for Glutathione (GSH) part of the analysis only.
  2. Contact your health insurance company and ask if this test is covered and to what extent. Your doctor may be able to do that for you.
  3. Ask your doctor to order the Oxidative Stress Analysis 2.0 (blood) kit from Genova Diagnostics.
  4. Schedule an appointment with your doctor to come in and get your blood collected.
  5. Blood samples are collected at the doctor’s office according to the enclosed instructions. Since this test is not on the list of the standard blood tests, you might have to fill out all patient and billing paperwork included in the kit yourself.
  6. Blood samples must be shipped immediately, within 2-3 hours, to the laboratory for testing. A call to the shipping company (FedEx) is important to make sure pick-up can be scheduled for the day of your office visit. These arrangements are usually made by the doctor’s office.
  7. Turn-around time is 1 week. Your doctor will interpret the results for you in accordance with the interpretive guide.

Additional information about this analysis can be viewed at Genova Diagnostics web-site here.

Disclaimer: We are not in any way associated or affiliated with Genova Diagnostics and do not receive any compensation for recommending their services. We suggest this laboratory only because we used their services in the past for the purpose of glutathione testing.

Further reading:

How To Raise Glutathione: pros and cons of most known ways to raise glutathione

What Depletes Glutathione?

Glutathione Precursors

Cysteine – the limiting factor in glutathione production

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