Glutathione is probably the most important substance in our body of those whose levels can be regulated. Its role is primarily to boost immunity; in studies, people whose levels were raised contracted the flu almost three times less often than the control group.

It is also used to fight cancer cells – in one clinical trial it prolonged the life of women suffering from an incurable form of ovarian cancer almost twofold (the study has not yet been completed, so the effect will be even greater), while in one patient the disease regressed. Although a synthetic version of glutathione was used there, its effect is similar to the natural one, and they studied the synthetic one, as only it can be covered by a patent.

This substance also removes toxins and free radicals, for example, increasing its levels significantly increases the excretion of mercury in urine. It also protects the skin from wrinkle-inducing damage. It is particularly strong in protecting the liver, able to completely reverse some of its diseases.

The body builds it from 3 “intermediates”: glycine, glutamine and cysteine. Almost always the first two are present in sufficient quantities, the problem is usually cysteine. So you only need to supplement it to effectively and, most importantly, cheaply raise glutathione levels.

Does it carry the risk of side effects? It’s really hard to say anything here, all studies so far have shown positives. Even if there are some risks, the balance of losses and gains strongly tilts the balance in favor of supplementation. One may wonder if there will be subtle problems in case of heavy exercise at the gym, one study suggested something like that, but mainly the effect will be slightly worse training results. In the case of infections, chlamydia bacteria (a common bacterial pharyngitis and, in more severe cases, pneumonia) use cysteine, colloquially speaking, they feed on it, and supplementation in this particular infection makes it much worse. There are reports that a form of acetylcysteine can cause a buildup of substances in the brain that will lead to memory problems in old age, but for now these are just hypotheses.

Something of particular interest to readers of this site: many scientists are pointing out that as old age progresses, cysteine levels in the body decline, and supplementation can eliminate some of the problems associated with this. The phenomenon is so strong that some call old age “cysteine deficiency syndrome.” Of course, nothing in life is that simple, one supplement is not enough for eternal life, nevertheless, its impact is really very big.

Cysteine should be tried by anyone who feels worse for no apparent reason, unable to diagnose their ailment. Even in severe autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus, where theoretically boosting immunity can be very harmful, it has proven to be salutary and has reduced the activity of the disease in a very noticeable way, competing in effectiveness with very expensive drugs, without their side effects.

Whether it’s a chronic infection or poisoning, or even an autoimmune-type condition, cysteine can help.

If someone wants to raise glutathione levels particularly strongly, such as when suffering from a serious infectious disease or cancer, they can supplement with glycine and glutamine at the same time. The first substance is widely available as aminoacetic acid, a chemical reagent, and can also be purchased as a dietary supplement. The second, on the other hand, is in every sports store. They are quite cheap and in normal doses have no side effects, so you can take a little more than cysteine itself.

500 mg of cysteine per day is enough, as long as there are no serious medical conditions. The cheapest and effective form is N-Acetyl-Cysteine, NAC – beware, the acronym can be confused with N-Acetyl-Carnitine.

Note: it is suspected that NAC may accelerate one of the brain’s aging processes. So far we only have studies on rats, but if it turns out to be the same in humans, pure cysteine would be a good option.

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