Glutathione: Mitochondrial Protecting Nutrient

Updated: Jun 23, 2019



Glutathione is one of our master detoxification agents. It neutralizes toxins so they can be excreted safely from the body. Glutathione protects neurons in the brain from damage by squelching free radicals and preventing cell death (decreasing inflammation). Glutathione has a particular affinity for mitochondrial DNA and telomeres. Telomere shortening is associated with aging…Bottom line: long telomers=age like George Clooney.




Our mitochondria are the energy producing organelles in our cells. Mitochondrial DNA is super important for tons of reasons. We need to protect our mitochondria in order to:


  • Burn fuel/produce energy (allowing us to be alert, chipper and ready to take over the world). Poorly functioning mitochondria means that you can not efficiently burn energy stores (fat and carbohydrates) for fuel, possibly leading to weight gain and low energy.

  • Enhance cognitive function (thinking, latency, and memory all depend on mitochondrial function…)

  • Reduce brain fog (hazy thinking is not normal, we don’t have to live with this)

  • Protect our cells from damage and slow the aging process

  • Prevent light, noise, and smell hyper-sensitivities. An inability to tolerate the smell of any candle or sensitivity to bright lights can be an indication of suboptimal mitochondrial function.

  • TONS of other reasons that deserve another blog article


How do we enhance our glutathione status in order to enhance memory, latency, cognition, decision making, judgment, and get all Benjamin Button on your aging process:


1. Intravenous glutathione- An infusion of glutathione directly into the vein is the best way to increase stores in the body because you are able to bypass digestion which breaks down glutathione. Find a qualified naturopathic doctor that can get a line in!



2. Liposomal glutathione- If you can not get IV glutathione then this is another good option that can be taken orally. Non-liposomal glutathione has very low absorption rates and isn’t worth your time.


3. N-acetyl cysteine supplementation (NAC)- This is the precursor to glutathione, taking this can help increase stores in the body. It is essential to get a high quality source for this supplement, don’t bother with a grocery store brand, it is a waste of money.


4. Supplements that enhance your body’s ability to make and recycle glutathione

  • Cordyceps

  • Lion’s mane

  • Selenium, 200 mcg/day

5. Decrease your exposure to toxins- decrease the depletion of glutathione in the body and there will be more stores for you to use to protect your brain when needed.

  • Limit/avoid alcohol- alcohol depletes glutathione stores in the body

  • Choose organic produce whenever possible- pesticides deplete glutathione stores

  • Limit the use of acetaminophen (tylenol)- this along with other medications deplete glutathione stores

For Dr. Mary’s favorite glutathione supporting supplements visit the Modrn Store and get 10% off.


Reference: PMID: 26244378

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