Glutathione and COVID-19: Russian Study Indicates That Glutathione Deficiency Affects COVID-19 Susceptibility

A study, "Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients" was led by Dr Alexey Polonikov from Russia (ACS Infect Dis. 2020).
Glutathione and COVID-19

What he found was that the reactive-oxygen-species-to-glutathione ratio was able to predict the severity of COVID-19 and the patient’s outcome. When the patient had a low ROS-to-glutathione ratio, the patient had a very mild case. The fever disappeared on the fourth day without any treatment whatsoever.

When the ROS-to-glutathione ratio was high, the patient developed air hunger on the fourth day, experienced significant fever, hoarseness, myalgia and fatigue persisting for 13 days. A patient with even higher ROS and lower reduced glutathione had critical disease requiring hospitalization for COVID-19-related pneumonia. According to the author:

"Endogenous glutathione deficiency appears to be a crucial factor enhancing SARS-CoV-2-induced oxidative damage of the lung and, as a result, leads to serious manifestations, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi-organ failure, and death in COVID-19 patients. 
Glutathione deficiency is an acquired condition attributable to decreased biosynthesis and/or increased depletion of the endogenous GSH pool influenced by risk factors such as aging, male sex, comorbidity, and smoking alone or in combinations. Glutathione deficiency in COVID-19 patients with serious illness may also be a result of decreased consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits (especially during winter and spring seasons), which contributes to over 50% of dietary glutathione intake.
The hypothesis provides novel insights into the aetiology and mechanisms responsible for serious manifestations of COVID-19 infection and justifies promising opportunities for effective treatment and prevention of the illness through glutathione recovering with N-acetylcysteine and reduced glutathione."

In another publication on Respiratory Medicine Case Reports:

Two patients living in New York City (NYC) with a history of Lyme and tick-borne co-infections experienced a cough and dyspnea and demonstrated radiological findings consistent with novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP). A trial of 2 g of PO or IV glutathione was used in both patients and improved their dyspnea within 1 h of use. Repeated use of both 2000 mg of PO and IV glutathione was effective in further relieving respiratory symptoms.


What Is the Primary Cause of Severe COVID-19 Illness: Glutathione or Vitamin D Deficiency?

The hypothesis that vitamin D (VD) deficiency is responsible for severe manifestations and death in COVID-19 patients has been proposed and is actively being discussed by the scientific community. 
Several studies reported that glutathione levels positively correlate with active vitamin D. (PubMedPubMed
Interestingly, a recent experimental study (PubMed) showed that Glutathione deficiency and the associated increased oxidative stress epigenetically alters vitamin D regulatory genes and, as a result, the suppressed gene expression decreases Vitamin D production, ultimately leading to a secondary deficiency of vitamin D. This study provides important information that glutathione is essential for the control of endogenous vitamin D production and demonstrates potential benefits of Glutathione treatment in reducing the deficiency of vitamin D. Taken together, these findings suggest that glutathione deficiency rather than vitamin D deficiency is a primary cause underlying biochemical abnormalities, including the decreased biosynthesis of vitamin D, and is responsible for serious manifestations and death in COVID-19 patients.

Related: Vitamin D and COVID-19 - Here's What You Need to Know



Glutathione, Zinc, Selenium and Molecular Hydrogen
To improve your glutathione, you need zinc, and zinc in combination with hydroxychloroquine (a zinc ionophore or zinc transporter) has been shown effective in the treatment of COVID-19.

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), meanwhile, is a precursor of glutathione, and may protect against coagulation problems associated with COVID-19, as it counteracts hypercoagulation and breaks down blood clots.

Selenium is also important, as some of the enzymes involved in glutathione production are selenium-dependent.

One of the best ways to increase glutathione, though, is molecular hydrogen. Molecular hydrogen does so selectively and will not increase glutathione unnecessarily if you don’t need it. You can view Tyler LeBaron’s excellent lecture on the details of how it does this in “How Molecular Hydrogen Can Help Your Immune System.”

NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine)

Cysteine is a semi-essential amino acid. It’s considered semi-essential because your body can produce it from other amino acids, namely methionine and serine. It becomes essential only when the dietary intake of methionine and serine is low.

Cysteine is found in most high-protein foods, such as chicken, turkey, yogurt, cheese, eggs, sunflower seeds and legumes.

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a supplement form of cysteine.

Consuming adequate cysteine and NAC is important for a variety of health reasons — including replenishing the most powerful antioxidant in your body, glutathione.

NAC is valued primarily for its role in antioxidant production. Along with two other amino acids — glutamine and glycine — NAC is needed to make and replenish glutathione.

Glutathione is one of the body’s most important antioxidants, which helps neutralize free radicals that can damage cells and tissues in your body.

People with bleeding disorders or taking blood thinning medications should not take NAC, as it may slow blood clotting (Trusted Source).

NAC has an unpleasant smell that makes it hard to consume. If you choose to take it, consult with your doctor first.

Online Shopping Guide (Malaysia)

Before adding a new supplement to your routine, discuss its use with your healthcare provider, especially if you have an underlying health condition or are taking medication.

While many of the supplements may be available in local stores like Watsons or Guardian, it may be more convenient or affordable to shop for them online on Lazada Malaysia:

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