According to a recent consumer survey by Kyowa Hakko USA Inc., only 16 percent of consumers would give their immune systems an “A” grade, leaving 84 percent of consumers looking for ways to support their less-than-perfect body defenses. Luckily, a new long-term, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trial showed, for the first time, that an oral supplement of Setria® glutathione can strengthen the body’s immune system.
The results of a recent study, led by Dr. John P. Richie of Penn State University, and published in the European Journal of Nutrition showed that supplementation of glutathione doubled natural killer (NK) cell activity. NK cells are vital to immune health as they play a major role in the body’s rejection of damaged or infected cells. Additionally, NK cells play an important role in protecting the body from viral infections.
The consumer survey by Kyowa Hakko USA Inc. (Kyowa Hakko) also discovered that a similar number (83 percent) of consumers believe there are things they can do proactively to help boost their immune health. The results of Dr. Richie’s research validate those 83 percent, and further prove that glutathione—already considered one of the most powerful protective substances in the human body—is a proven fortification option for those consumers looking for ways to strengthen their immune systems.
Dr. Richie, who has studied glutathione for more than 30 years, said, “Seeing the twofold increase in NK cell activity from glutathione supplementation indicates that glutathione could be playing an important role in boosting the body’s immune system.”
About the study:
- Trial measured effect of glutathione supplementation at 250 mg/day and 1000 mg/day onglutathione levels in different blood components and exfoliated buccal mucosal cells over a six month period.
- Subjects were 54 healthy adults (41 females/13 males), 28 to 72 years of age (mean=46.6 years).
- Results of the study showed glutathione levels in the blood increased after one, three and six months versus baseline at both doses.
- At six months, mean glutathione levels increased 30 to 35 percent in erythrocytes, plasma, and lymphocytes, and 260 percent in buccal cells in the high dose group (P<0.05).
- Glutathione levels increased 17 and 29 percent in blood and erythrocytes, respectively, in the low dose group (P<0.05).
- Natural killer cytotoxicity increased twofold in the high-dose group versus placebo at 3 months.
- A reduction in oxidative stress in both glutathione dose groups was indicated by decreases in the oxidized to reduced glutathione ratio in whole blood after 6 months.
- According to the study, the effects of glutathione supplementation on the levels of the glutathione precursor cysteine in plasma and the activity of the rate-limiting glutathione biosynthetic enzyme GCL in erythrocytes were examined after the six-month study period. No changes were observed in cyst(e)ine concentrations or GCL activity in any of the groups.
In addition to its immune benefits, glutathione is known to work in the body to eliminate toxic chemicals, maintain cell proteins, act as an antioxidant, and maintain proper levels of vitamins C and E. While it is considered the body’s “master antioxidant,” factors such as age, medication intake, health conditions, lifestyle, diet, weight and even time of day, can all outpace the body’s natural production of glutathione.