Can Taking Glutathione Help With Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Glutathione has numerous functions in the body, and many people with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis are taking this substance in an attempt to improve their health. But what is glutathione, and can it really be beneficial for people with autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis? To answer the first question, glutathione is produced naturally in the body, as it is a combination of the amino acids glutamine, cystine, and glycine. It has multiple functions, but one of its most important functions is as a powerful antioxidant, as it is a free radical scavenger, and plays an important role in immunity.

But can glutathione benefit people with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis? Well, just the benefits this substance has on the immune system alone can make it beneficial for autoimmune thyroid conditions. But besides playing an important role in immune system health, glutathione has other functions as well. It is very important with regards to liver detoxification. In fact, the highest concentration of glutathione is in the liver. And if someone has a deficiency in glutathione it can affect how they detoxify many of the chemicals, heavy metals, and other toxins they're exposed to on a frequent basis.

As an example, while everyone will at least have small amounts of the heavy metals in their tissues, mercury is a heavy metal that is commonly high in people. This shouldn't be surprising, considering that mercury is found in fish, and many people also have dental amalgams which contain mercury. Vaccines are another potential source of mercury, even though ingredients such as thimerosal is being phased out. In any case, sufficient glutathione levels are important in order to detoxify mercury from the body.

Glutathione is also important with regards to gut health. And so a deficiency in glutathione can cause or contribute to leaky gut syndrome. And since problems with the gut can lead to an unhealthy immune system, this is yet another reason why people with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis need to have sufficient levels of this molecule. This isn't to suggest that having sufficient levels of glutathione alone will mean someone will have a health digestive system, but I can say with certainty that if someone has a glutathione deficiency then it will be nearly impossible to have a healthy gut.

Stress & Poor Diet Depletes The Body Of Glutathione

Chronic, prolonged stress is one of the factors which can lead to a deficiency in glutathione. And many people I consult with who have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis deal with a lot of stress on a daily basis. It's not so much the stress itself which causes the problem, but instead it's the way we manage the stress. As a result, one needs to focus on improving their stress handling skills.

Eating a diet consisting of a lot of refined foods and sugars can also deplete the body of glutathione. And while many people with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis have cleaned up their diet by the time they consult with me for the first time, often times changing one's diet alone won't correct a glutathione deficiency.

Similarly, changing one's diet usually won't correct any mineral deficiencies, address weak adrenals, or fix other problems which developed over the years due to poor dietary habits. Don't get me wrong, as it is important to eat well, and many people feel substantially better upon cutting out the refined foods and sugars, as well as common allergens such as gluten and dairy. But many times doing this isn't enough to restore their glutathione levels back to normal, or correct other compromised areas of the body.

You Can't Correct A Glutathione Deficiency By Taking Glutathione

While it would be great to be able to correct such a deficiency by taking a glutathione supplement, the problem is that glutathione doesn't absorb well when taken orally. And while there are other ways that it is better absorbed, such as through a liposomal-based cream, or if given intravenously, these approaches won't increase the levels of glutathione inside the cells. Remember that this substance is produced in the body naturally, and in order to make this happen you need to consume some of the precursors of glutathione.

Four of the best supplements to help increase glutathione levels include 1) Alpha lipoic acid, 2) N-acetyl-cysteine, 3) L-glutamine, and 4) selenium. Milk Thistle, which is an herb that helps with detoxification, can also help to increase the production of glutathione. You can also get some of these precursors through the food you eat, as eating vegetables such as onions, broccoli, kale, garlic, and carrots can help raise the glutathione levels. Other foods that can help include meat, eggs, and brazil nuts. Exercise can also help the body manufacture glutathione. However, if someone has a moderate to severe deficiency, then they probably will need to supplement with some of the precursors I mentioned. And then once the levels have increased significantly they most likely will be able to maintain the levels by eating well.

So hopefully you now have a better understanding of the importance of glutathione, and how it can benefit people with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Glutathione isn't only deficient in people with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, but is commonly deficient in people with other chronic conditions. And for anyone who is looking to restore their health naturally, it is very important to have sufficient levels of this molecule.

(Posted by Dr. Eric Osansky at