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Glutathione, Because Everyone Needs a Little Support

Guest post by Bryan Hyde – another patient at Tampa General Hospital. We met out on the steps of the valet area one day waiting for our cars to be brought to us like kings.

Got girdle?In my previous post I talked about inflammation and its deleterious effect on the lungs of people with CF. I wrote about taking NAC (n-acetyl cysteine) as precursor that the body easily converts into glutathione and its derivatives. Glutathione is an extremely important antioxidant defender of the lungs. The goal of supplementation is to assist the body in what would otherwise be a normal process for a normal individual. Well, we all know that we are a little abnormal, CF or otherwise. CF lungs are deficient in glutathione in part due to the overwhelming response of our bodies to the constant attack by pathogens. In order to stabilize and reverse the tremendous negative feedback loop caused by these attacks, I believe it necessary to go on the offensive. I have found two supplements that work to enhance the body’s ability to produce glutathione as well as its function.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a super anti-oxidant that scavenges free radicals caused from oxidative stress. (CFers got a whole bunch of that goin’ on) ALA has been shown to restore intracellular glutathione by promoting the synthesis and chemical regeneration of glutathione within the body. Bingo! Acetyl L-carnitine (ALC) is a naturally occurring acetylated form of the ammonium compound carnitine. Like ALA, ALC is an antioxidant in its own right. However, it has also shown the ability to upregulate the levels of glutathione in the body. In summary, these two substances coupled with N-acetyl Cysteine should help the body maximize its production of glutathione and over time it should in theory stabilize and/or help reverse the negative effects that low glutathione levels cause on the lungs of people with CF.

Most of this information can be found on the internet. This is a summary and its potential benefits to CFers have not been proven through clinical trials. That being said, I have been doing this for roughly ten years and I stand by my personal anecdotal results.

Below is a list of other benefits of both ALA and ALC for your body.

Additional benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid include:

  • Reduces free radical damage
  • Preserves cell function
  • Increases natural chemicals in the body that decline with age
  • Enhances the action of other antioxidants such as Vitamins C & E
  • Helps to improve memory & brain function
  • Effective at removing heavy metals
  • Improves the immune system
  • Improves Glucose utilization – extremely helpful for diabetics/those with insulin resistance

Additional benefits of Acetyl-L-Carnitine include:

  • Helps to retard the aging process
  • Improves muscle strength
  • Supports the metabolism of food into energy
  • Helps to burn fat more efficiently
  • Transports long chain fatty acids to the cells to produce more energy
  • Increases blood oxygen
  • Can help to alleviate depression


  1. What would happen if you just took straight glutathione? Would it do the same thing or doesn’t it work that way?

    • taking glutathione orally is not effective. It is broken down into derivative compounds in the gut and very little if any active glutathione is absorbed in the small intestine to give you a therapuetic dose. By take NAC, ALA, ALC ( the precursor and supporting supplementsz) they are easily absorbed in the small intestine without much degredation and form the building blocks necessary for your body to produce the much needed glutathione

  2. A_agostinacci says

    Also if you take ALA with Vit C it helps enhance the glutathione production. I have done a lot of research on GABA and Glycine as well. I can send you some links if you are interested.

  3. Can you recommend anything specific with these agents in it to take on a daily basis? For instance, if I visit the health food store what do I ask for?

    • I use NAC (n-acetyl cysteine) 600 mg twice daily, Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) 200 mg twice daily, and Acetyl L-carnitine 250 mg twice daily.
      Ask for them by name and you can find them at vitamin world, GNC, and other supplement stores.

  4. Can you recommend anything specific with these agents in it to take on a daily basis? For instance, if I visit the health food store what do I ask for?

  5. Can you recommend anything specific with these agents in it to take on a daily basis? For instance, if I visit the health food store what do I ask for?