27. How much does Immunocal raise glutathione?

Studies done with Immunocal show glutathione increase ranging from 35.5% to 70% depending on a person's health condition and the dose.

  1. Study "The Effect Of Supplementation With A Cysteine Donor On Muscular Performance" Lands L.C., Grey V.L., Smountas A.A. J Appl Physiol.Oct;87(4) :1381-5 (1999) - 20 healthy subjects saw a 35.5% increase in lymphocyte glutathione levels after 3 months of supplementing with 2 pouches a day. Additionally peak athletic power (cycling) increased 13%.
  2. Study "Improved Glutathione Status in Young Adult Patients with Cystic Fibrosis Supplemented with Whey Protein" Grey V, Mohammed SR, Smoutas AA, Bahlool R, Lands LC. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis, Vol. 2, Issue 4, Dec. 2003 - 21 CF patients were on Immunocal or placebo for 3 months at 2 pouches a day. Lymphocyte GSH in the Immunocal group increased 46.6% compared to placebo group.
  3. Pilot Study "Whey Proteins As A Food Supplement In HIV-Seropositive Individuals" Bounous G., Baruchel S., Falutz J., Gold P. Clin Invest Med. Jun;16(3) :204-9 (1993) - 3 patients took Immunocal at a dose increasing progressively from approx. 8 to 39 gram a day (under 1 to almost 4 pouches). Over the 3-month period, GSH levels increased and in one case rose by 70% to reach normal value.

Is 35.5-70% increase in glutathione levels, that Immunocal has been scientifically proven to achieve, a considerable increase or not? After all, there are supplements out there that promise 300% glutathione increase based on a single cell tube culture experiment, not blinded placebo controlled human trials. Due to the complexity of our body’s process of  digestion, absorption and utilization (effectiveness of a given dosage) the levels of any substance based on single cell tube culture results cannot be compared to controlled human trials.

Only very gravely ill people are severely glutathione deficient: cancer patients, HIV/AIDS patients, patients with any advanced chronic condition and those with specific genes mutations that impair glutathione production. Such patients’ glutathione levels are usually in the range of 20-50% of normal levels.

Healthy people experience natural age related glutathione loss at a rate of 10% per decade on average after age 20. This means that a healthy 40 year-old will have his/hers glutathione levels at about 80% of normal levels, plus/minus depending on exposure to any of the GSH depleting factors. 

Glutathione system is very tightly regulated by cells themselves. Cells do not produce more glutathione than is absolutely necessary to tackle a threat at hand. This means that your cells’ glutathione reserves cannot exceed 100% under normal conditions. Also, glutathione levels cannot drop below approximately 10% - when cells’ glutathione levels drops critically low cells begin the process of self-destruction that ends in death.

Thus, a 35.5-70% increase in glutathione levels is a very substantial increase in lymphocyte glutathione levels. Lymphocytes are small white blood cells that are at the heart of the immune system. Lymphocyte glutathione levels are the levels that glutathione is at in these white blood cells.

This amount of increase does correct glutathione deficiencies and returns glutathione to its optimal levels to improve immune health.

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