Studies have shown that glutathione may be beneficial for some uses, but more research is necessary to support these claims. Research has indicated that glutathione may not be effective when taken orally, as it is not well absorbed by the body when taken by mouth. However, there is some research that suggests glutathione may be effective for various uses when injected or inhaled.
Separating Fact From Fiction: Does Glutathione Work?
Like many dietary supplements, glutathione is claimed to be useful for a wide variety of different conditions. While there is some scientific truth to many of these claims, some are quite exaggerated and have little or no scientific basis.
Is Glutathione Effective When Taken By Mouth?
Studies suggest that glutathione is not well absorbed into the body when taken by mouth. In other words, it is possible that glutathione is completely ineffective when taken as a capsule, tablet, elixir, or any other oral form. There is little or no evidence to suggest that glutathione is effective for any use when taken by mouth.
Does Glutathione Work When Inhaled?
Inhaled glutathione is a popular remedy prescribed by practitioners of complementary or alternative medicine. Although inhaled glutathione requires a prescription (as it must be mixed by a pharmacist), it is not an FDA-approved medication. Very small and preliminary studies or case reports suggest that inhaled glutathione may have some role for treating various lung diseases, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, or emphysema. However, these studies are much too small (and not adequately designed) to determine whether glutathione really works for such uses. Much more research is necessary before it can be suggested that inhaled glutathione is of any benefit.
Does It Work When Injected?
Like inhaled glutathione, injectable glutathione is not an FDA-approved medication, even though it must be obtained with a prescription. There is some evidence that injected glutathione can help prevent some of the toxic side effects caused by chemotherapy. However, there is not enough evidence to suggest that injected glutathione is effective for any other use.
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