Some snippets from various sources...
Cysteine And N-Acetyl-l-cysteine are two potent antioxidants that raise
glutathione levels to protect the body against premature aging and protect
us against degenerative diseases.
Apparently lipoic acid is the only antioxidant that can boost the level of
Agents that deplete glutathione, such as ethanol, have been shown to impair
the body's immune defense. TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor alpha), increased in
many diseases of aging, has been shown to be involved in depletion of
cellular glutathione. (Phelps DT et al., 1995).
Aging of the immune system is characterized not only by thymic degeneration
and consequent decline in functioning T-cells, but also by increased levels
of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) in the blood stream. TNF-a is a
so-called cytokine, a messenger protein involved in the regulation of
inflammatory and immunological responses. With aging, TNF-a becomes
increasingly involved in the death of T-cells. It has recently been shown
that T-cells from aged humans have an increased susceptibility to
TNF-a-mediated apoptosis (programmed cell death/ cell suicide) as compared
with cells from young subjects (Aggarwal S et al., 1999).
Surprisingly, the leaves of the common stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) have
been found to contain substances that affect cytokine levels in the human
body, particularly TNF-a. Nettle leaf extract has a long tradition as a
medical remedy in Germany for inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid
arthritis and allergic rhinitis.
A study by Obertreis, Giller et al. (1996) showed that nettle leaf inhibits
the expression of several cytokines as well as the formation of
pro-inflammatory leukotrienes and prostaglandins, but its mode of action has
remained unclear. It has now been discovered that this seemingly
insignificant herb reduces TNF-a levels by inhibiting a genetic
transcription factor, known as nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-kb), that
controls the expression of numerous enzymes and proinflammatory products
including TNF-a (Riehemann K et al., 1999).
"Taking glutathione supplements"
Does it make any sense to take glutathione, or is it much more effective to
take NAC? . .
[Glutathione is a simple tripeptide (complex of three amino acids:
glutamate, glycine and cysteine) and has been shown to largely survive
digestive degradation. Since cysteine is generally the limiting amino acid,
glutathionine synthesis may also be increased by NAC supplementation. -- Tom
] . .
Does it make any sense to take SOD supplements? . .
[SOD is a large complex enzyme (protein) which will not normally survived
digestion. Possibly enterically coated versions will get slightly absorbed
intact. -- Tom ] . .
Thanks in advance
[It is a good supplement and totally harmless to take in large quantities so
long as sufficient vitamins C is taken with it. Some of it is undoubtedly
lost in digestion by being enzymatically broken into its constituent amino
acids. However, studies show that much of it does get through. Glutathione
works synergistically with vitamin C, so may sure you take lots of vitamin C
The problem of Superoxide dismutase uses in humans will be discussed in the
2nd International Conference on SOD, 18-19 May 2000 at Institut
Pasteur-Paris France, Chirman J. MCCORD.
The main topics will be SOD and ageing (J. P. Philips, S. Melov..), and
pharmaceutical and nutritional development of SOD.
The questions will be: Which kind of SOD for Which diseases, injectable or
oral form, Can SOD enhance functional foods and dietary supplements quality,
what about SOD in cosmetics, stability and purity.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and see:
> Does anyone know of any safe accessible oral drugs that
>increase levels of Superoxide dismutase; glutathione
> peroxidase and catalase (separately or
> I know of silibinin - milk thistle seeds; and maybe Deprenyl.
Silymarin is supposed to increase the efficiency with which glutathione is
You can buy L-glutathione supplements from health food stores, but I'm not
sure how effective they are (tends to get digested before reaching the
bloodstream I think). Taking alpha-lipoic acid and N-Acetyl-Cysteine (a
precursor) might boost GSH levels. There is a product called Thiodox by
Nutricology that is a combination of all three.
Dr Cheney has done some work on undenatured Whey and Glutathione:
The product he suggests is ImmunoPro, but I'm sure there are others.
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