09 Jul Inhaled Glutathione for COPD
Involved in so many processes in the body from liver, ophthalmic, brain and lung functioning, Glutathione has been shown to be a very beneficial, functional medicine therapy. GlutaGenic makes the only high potency and absobabe Glutathione.
- It is the major endogenous antioxidant produced by the cells, participating directly in the neutralization of free radicals and reactive oxygen compounds, as well as maintaining exogenous antioxidants such as vitamins C and E in their reduced (active) forms.
- Regulation of the nitric oxide cycle, which is critical for life but can be problematic if unregulated
- Through direct conjugation, it detoxifies many xenobiotics (foreign compounds) and carcinogens, both organic and inorganic. This includes heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic.
- It is essential for the immune system to exert its full potential, e.g., modulating antigen presentation to lymphocytes, thereby influencing cytokine production and type of response (cellular or humoral) that develops, enhancing proliferation of lymphocytes, thereby increasing magnitude of response, enhancing killing activity of cytotoxic T cells and NK cells, and regulating apoptosis, thereby maintaining control of the immune response.
- It plays a fundamental role in numerous metabolic and biochemical reactions such as DNA synthesis and repair, protein synthesis, prostaglandin synthesis, amino acid transport, and enzyme activation. Thus, every system in the body can be affected by the state of the glutathione system, especially the immune system, the nervous system, the gastrointestinal system and the lungs
- Glutathione by Inhalation for COPD
- Glutathione is made in the body and used in every cell, but it is of special importance in lung tissue. It is helpful in emphysema, some asthma and even lung cancer. It can be inhaled as a spray in order to get a higher level directly to the needed lung area.
- A simple home nebulizer allows treatment twice daily for only five to ten minutes and increases the removal of sticky secretions and gives greatly increased lung efficiency. One uses a solution of glutathione in a nebulizer and attaches that to the electric pump. Breathe in as much as you can during the five to ten minute treatment. If you need to stop during the treatment, simply shut off the pump and resume when ready.
- Ophthalmic Drops (Stock #: 15269)
- Glutathione/Vitamin C/DMSO 15ML 1.25/1.25/6.25%
- Glutathione for injection: Glutathione injection is primarily for IVís for many different oxidative brain disorders, such as: Parkinsonís, MS and Alzheimerís. According to Dr. Perlmutterís research, frequent high dose IVís are very beneficial for ìFire in the Brain.î Watch out for his new book.
- One of the most powerful antioxidants in the body
As I wrote about in the September 2003 issue of Health & Healing, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a collective term for several diseases of the lungs. COPD most often refers to emphysema, which is almost always caused by smoking. Other ailments falling under the COPD category include chronic obstructive bronchitis and asthmatic bronchitis, which narrow the airways and fill them with mucus.
Conventional medicine holds that there is no remedy for COPD. Yet at the Whitaker Wellness Institute, we recently began utilizing a safe new therapy that has shown great promise: inhaled glutathione. Glutathione is the most efficient free radical scavenger in the airways, and dozens of studies have confirmed that free radical damage is a primary player in COPD. Although not particularly well absorbed when taken orally, the effects of inhaled glutathione are remarkable. (I have attached a medical journal article on this therapy, which includes a list of references.)
This treatment requires a doctor’s prescription. If you or someone you love suffers from chronic lung disease and would like to seek treatment at the Whitaker Wellness Institute, call (800) 488-1500. Or pass along this information and ask your doctor to help you implement these recommendations – and send me a note to tell me how it worked for you.
Protocol for Inhaled Glutathione
Glutathione 300 mg nebulized twice a day (Physicians note: vial = 200 mg/cc, draw 1.5 cc and place in nebulizer)
Treatments take five to ten minutes and may be continued as long as the patient remains symptomatic.
A nebulizer, sometimes called a breathing machine, transforms liquid medications into mists that can be inhaled. To get a nebulizer for home use you will need a prescription from your doctor. Nebulizers cost from $50 to more than $300 and are often covered by insurance. Below is one company that sells nebuliziers. Ask your physician for a referral to other medical equipment companies and for instructions in its use.
- Vitamin C, multiple doses throughout the day, to bowel tolerance (minimum 10 grams per day)
- Magnesium, 500 mg twice a day
- Fish oil, 2 grams three times a day (6 capsules daily)
- Beta-carotene, 300 mg per day (500,000 IU)
- Vitamin A, 20,000 IU per day
- N-acetyl-cysteine, 500 mg three times a day
- Lycopene, 15 mg twice a day
- IV vitamin C
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a designation which includes emphysema, is a leading cause of death in America. This case study reports on the successful treatment of both acute and chronic emphysema with a novel agent. Much of the tissue damage in emphysema is thought to be mediated by an oxidative down-regulation of the activity of -1-proteinase inhibitor.1 This down-regulation has been shown in vitro to be slowed by glutathione, a sulfhydryl-containing tripeptide known to be a major antioxidant in the lung.2
Glutathione concentrations in bronchoalveolar fluid have been found to be inversely correlated with the degree of inflammatory activity in the lungs of smokers.3 Thiol compounds (i.e., compounds containing an -SH group) like glutathione have a history of use as mucolytics as well.4 Previous clinical trials of nebulized reduced glutathione have demonstrated the bioavailability and safety of up to 600 mg twice daily.5,6 The absorption of oral glutathione remains controversial, with animal studies suggesting significant absorption and some human studies showing little to none.7,8 Based on these findings, it appears inhalation might be the preferred route of administration for respiratory and perhaps systemic effect. We report the case of a man with an acute respiratory crisis due to emphysema and apparent bronchial infection that responded favorably to treatment with nebulized glutathione.
We present the case of a 95-year-old man with an acute respiratory crisis secondary to emphysema and apparent bronchial infection. Treatment with nebulized glutathione led to a rapid resolution of the crisis, as well as a marked improvement in the chronic course of the disease. This treatment has been used since for a number of patients with emphysema. The safety and bioavailability of this method of delivery have been established in human studies. Preliminary results suggest efficacy for nebulized administration of glutathione in this patient population. We suggest this treatment can be considered an option for acute respiratory crises due to COPD.
In 1997, a 95-year-old male with emphysema presented in a wheelchair and using an oxygen tank and mask necessitated by his acute illness. He was alert, responsive, and reported a productive cough with colorless sputum. His breathing was obviously labored.
He refused hospitalization and antibiotic treatment.
We chose to try a single trial dose of 2 ml of GlutaGenesis solution (prepared by GlutaGenic.com) nebulized and inhaled over a 5-10 minute period.) Due to the obvious immediate benefit, it was decided to continue this treatment with twice-daily administration and close monitoring by his family of his overall condition. He returned to the office in three days without wheelchair or oxygen tank. He showed no signs of respiratory distress, and no adventitious lung sounds were noted on auscultation. The patient reported his breathing was better than it had been in years. He continued daily treatment with glutathione until his death from congestive heart failure over two years later.
While resolution of the acute episode due to a mucolytic effect was the desired outcome of the glutathione treatment, the lasting improvement in breathing was unexpected.
Since we have no serial spirometry data available on this patient, placebo effect cannot be ruled out as an explanation for his marked response.
However, given the progressive nature of his disease, the dramatic and rapid change in physical findings, and the emphatic insistence of the patient for continued treatment, we believe placebo response to be an unlikely explanation. We have subsequently prescribed this preparation for six patients with emphysema, five of whom reported improved breathing after a single in-office application and who later requested to continue treatment. We also have found nebulized glutathione is best administered daily from 4 ml vials. We have also seen improved respiratory function associated with nebulized glutathione treatment in cases of chronic bronchitis and asthma.9 In the case of asthma patients we feel it is advisable to check urinary sulfite excretion to verify proper metabolism of sulfur compounds, as certain individuals appear to experience exacerbation of respiratory symptoms from exogenous sulfur compounds.10 In three cases of non-small cell lung cancer with effusion, the effusion resolved completely. Given the safety and promise of this treatment, combined with the paucity of other effective treatments for emphysema, we suggest this treatment be considered for widespread use.
John Lieurance, DC, ND