Lung Disease / ARDS, Asthma, Bronchitis, COPD, Emphysema, Cystic and Pulmonary Fibrosis, Cancer, Pneumonia, COVID-19

This is already BIG in Canada and now arriving here in the USA.

New Discovery in Cell Defense from McGill University in Montreal.

Your immune system cannot function without glutathione

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The content of this article is from the book “The Comprehensive Guide to Glutathione”
by Dr. Jimmy Gutman MD FACEP

The importance of Glutathione in the respiratory system cannot be overstated.


As you will see in the following pages, inflammation of the lung is common to most pulmonary diseases, whether the disorder is acute — like toxic exposure — or chronic — like cystic fibrosis. The processes of infection in asthma, bronchitis or pneumonia all lead to inflammation. Many traditional medications attempt to reduce this inflammation. The body’s inflammatory response itself generates free radicals, and antioxidants are increasingly used to complement conventional treatments. The researchers P.E. Morris and G.R. Bernard drew attention to this complimentary treatment in an article aptly called “Significance of glutathione in lung disease and implications for therapy,” in which they reviewed the great weight of evidence that supports such research.

There is a fragile balance in the lungs between oxidants and antioxidants. Oxidative stress is high in the lungs for many reasons. For a start, this center of oxygen interchange produces very large numbers of oxyradicals. Secondly, white blood cells are highly active in the lining of the lungs, where they release huge quantities of oxidative products, both because of their high metabolic rates and the way they combat biological and chemical invaders. Finally, antioxidants in the fluid lining of the lungs play a large part in our front-line defense against airborne pollutants, many of which are powerful sources of free radicals.

White blood cells, when they encounter a bacteria for example, release caustic substances like peroxides. This is biochemical warfare, and the white blood cell and the surrounding tissues use glutathione to defend themselves. When oxidant levels grow too high or glutathione levels too low, the inevitable result is tissue damage. Remember that glutathione is the most critical of all naturally-occurring antioxidants and that it effectively supports exogenous antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. Unlike glutathione, exogenous antioxidants are derived from the outside environment and are not native to the body, but together they soak up free radicals.


Bronchitis is an inflammation or obstruction of the bronchi, the larger airways that eventually branch out to become the bronchioles (the site of asthma). It resembles asthma in some ways, their common symptoms being shortness of breath, a phlegm-producing cough, chest discomfort and occasional wheezing. Bronchitis has two distinct forms — acute or chronic. They differ in important ways.

Acute bronchitis is almost always caused by infection, either viral or bacterial. Coughing, chest pains, fever and chills are common complaints. In the healthy individual, it is usually a short-lived illness that clears up once the infection is overcome. If the infection is bacterial or my coplasmal, antibiotics may be required. Occasionally, some inflammation remains, leading to a post inflammatory cough that may persist for weeks. Inhaled steroids are often prescribed for this condition.

Like emphysema (described below), chronic bronchitis is an ongoing illness requiring frequent medical attention. Although it may be exacerbated by infectious disease, chronic bronchitis is usually caused by long-term exposure to lung irritants — toxins, allergens or repeated bouts of acute bronchitis. The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoke.

Lungs exposed to tobacco smoke are subject to several pathological processes. One of the most critical is the dysfunction or loss of cilia lining the airways. Cilia are microscopic hair-like structures that trap and remove dust, mucus and other debris. A single puff of a cigarette can paralyze these hairs, increasing the chances of subsequent lung injury and infection.

As chronic bronchitis progresses. the lung’s ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide diminishes. In an attempt to compensate for the loss of pulmonary function, energy demands increase, the chest muscles work harder and the heart pumps faster. This in turn can lead to secondary diseases such as pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and emphysema.

Emphysema progresses slowly over time and is usually the result of prior lung disease. Chronic cough and shortness of breath are typical symptoms. Although it may occasionally be caused by hereditary factors, environmental exposures, chronic asthma or chronic bronchitis, emphysema most often results from years of heavy smoking. It is the most common cause of death from respiratory disease in North America.

Emphysema shares many symptoms with chronic bronchitis. In fact, the two diseases usually overlap to some degree. They are often classed together under the heading COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). However, they differ anatomically. Emphysema results in irreversible damage to alveoli — tiny sac-like structures where the actual exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs. Alveoli are counted in the millions, like bubbles in a bubble bath. Emphysema causes them to burst one by one. They then coalesce into fewer,

Pharmacologists are investigating the use of inhaled glutathione to prevent the onset or progression of emphysema in smokers. As a glutathione precursor, NAC is receiving equal attention. Double blind studies in smokers using NAC demonstrate the enhanced ability of their lungs to clear away thick secretions in their airways.

R.B. Balansky at the Institute of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine in Italy exposed rats to high levels of cigarette smoke. This led to decreased body weight, intense pathological damage of the terminal airways, inflammation of the bronchial and bronchiolar linings, alveolar damage, emphysema, white blood cell abnormalities and pre-cancerous lesions. Rats given daily NAC at the same time suffered significantly less damage, demonstrating the protective role of glutathione against lung damage and the onset of cancer.

Smokers are also more prone to the development of infectious bronchitis and pneumonia. Chronic bronchitis in smokers results in increased bacterial colonization. Treatment with NAC has decreased both the frequency of infectious episodes and the virulence of the bacteria.


ARDS is acute, life-threatening respiratory failure following pulmonary injury. It leads to profound dyspnea (shortness of breath), pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation in the lungs) and hypoxemia (oxygen starvation). This all-too common medical emergency is caused by a number of different acute processes that directly or indirectly damage the lung. They include bacterial or viral pneumonias, inhalation of stomach contents or other toxins, direct trauma to the chest, sepsis (overwhelming generalized infection), profound circulatory shock, drowning and many other medical conditions. Even with appropriate therapy the survival rate is only about 50%. Long-term complications include the eventual development of pulmonary fibrosis.

ARDS is a very complicated inflammatory process of which edema is only one facet. In the past, physicians treated this disorder aggressively with corticosteroids, because of their well-known anti-inflammatory properties. Unfortunately, randomized trials have shown that steroids are relatively ineffective against this disease. A hunt is on for useful treatments.

For several reasons, ARDS patients experience high levels of oxidative stress and subsequent depletion of antioxidants and glutathione. One cause may be the release of free radicals at the injury site by endotoxins. Endotoxins are produced by certain bacteria, though only released when the bacteria die. However, most of this oxidative stress probably comes from inflammation. Some white blood cells (neutrophils) are very active at sites of inflammation, producing very large amounts of reactive oxygen species, such as free oxygen radicals, hydrogen peroxide, ‘ hot’ oxygen, and others.

Recognizing the severe oxidant-antioxidant imbalance and GSH depletion


Case study

With a background in law from her native France, Nona became actively involved with business and philanthropic pursuits in Canada. She was a 41 year-old mother Of three suffering from Hodgkin’s disease and requiring both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Although these treatments cured her of Hodgkin’s disease, the treatments left her lungs scarred — the condition of pulmonary fibrosis. Her interests had to be dropped as her breathing deteriorated. She ended up staying at home, using home oxygen and many medications. Despite all interventions, her pulmonary function tests (PET’s) continued to fall. After Six weeks of Immunocal 20 grams/day She went back to her pulmonary doctor, claiming she could breath again. Thinking there might be a placebo effect; the physician repeated her pulmonary function tests, which showed her back at about 90% of normal values. To eliminate other possibilities, the Immunocal was withdrawn. She subsequently deteriorated again. Three weeks after reinstating the Immunocal, her PFT’s went back up to 95% of normal values. She promised herself never to stop again.


Cystic fibrosis affects many organ systems, but particularly the lungs. It is also called mucoviscidosis because it secretes a sticky mucus which neither lubricates nor flows freely in the nose, throat, airways and intestines. Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common inherited diseases in North America and affects some 30,000 people. Survivors live to an age of about 28 years, depending on the extent of pulmonary involvement.

Cystic fibrosis is most often classified as a disorder of the exocrine glands, and primarily affects the pancreas in fibrocystic pancreatic disease, the sweat glands, and pulmonary mucus production in mucoviscidosis. The problem stems from an inherited defect in the gene responsible for secreting certain fluids from these glands.

disease often appears early in life. Cystic fibrosis babies have very frequent digestive difficulties since the pancreas cannot provide enough digestive juice. This leads to malabsorption (poor ability to use nutrients) and malnutrition. Their skin loses large amounts of salt and they may sweat profusely. The lungs secrete a very thick (viscous) mucus that can obstruct airways, causing coughing, wheezing, and recurrent lung infections. Comprehensive and intensive therapy with health workers specialized in nursing, nutrition, physical therapy and respiratory therapy is essential for this problem.

Dr. Larry Lands, director of the cystic fibrosis clinic at McGill University in Montreal, aptly points out that inflammation is central to cystic fibrosis, that inflammation always precedes lung infection, and that lung infection almost inevitably follows severe inflammation. Continued inflammation depletes antioxidants and G SH even more and a vicious circle ensues.

Endogenous deficiency of glutathione as the most likely cause of serious manifestations and death in patients with the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19): a hypothesis based on literature data and own observations

Preprint (PDF Available) · April 2020 with 37,532 Reads 

Kursk State Medical University

Preprints and early-stage research may not have been peer reviewed yet.

Based on an exhaustive literature analysis and own observations, I proposed a hypothesis that glutathione deficiency is exactly the most plausible explanation for serious manifestation and death in COVID-19 infected patients. The major risk factors established for severe COVID-19 infection and relative glutathione deficiency found in COVID-19 infected patients with moderate-to-severe illness have converged me to two very important conclusions: (1) oxidative stress contributes to hyper-inflammation of the lung leading to adverse disease outcomes such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiorgan failure and death; (2) poor antioxidant defense due to endogenous glutathione deficiency as a result of decreased biosynthesis and/or increased depletion of GSH is the most probable cause of increased oxidative damage of the lung, regardless which of the factors aging, chronic disease comorbidity, smoking or some others were responsible for this deficit. The hypothesis provides novel insights into the etiology and mechanisms responsible for serious manifestations of COVID-19 infection and justifies promising opportunities for effective treatment and prevention of the illness through glutathione recovering with N-acetylcysteine and reduced glutathione

Immunotec is one of the only nutritional companies with a (non-drug) nutritional product listed in the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR) and the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS).

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Glutathione and health:

Why worry about glutathione?” The answer is simple: “Disease prevention, quality of life, longevity, sense of well-being.” Or, to put it more clearly, “Stay alive. as long as possible and enjoy good health until the end. “

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