Lung Disease and COVID-19

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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 immune system coordinates a variety of specialized cells to fight off infection and other threats. The healthy growth and activity of these cells depends upon the availability of glutathione. Glutathione is at the heart of most immune functions, explaining why low levels are seen in many diseases. This is best exemplified by AIDS, which is characterized by a severely compromised immune system. 

Raising and maintaining glutathione levels can minimize the risk of these diseases. Although only very ill people are severely deficient in glutathione, those in good or fair health will benefit from glutathione supplementation, especially considering the environmental toxins and

drug-resistant bacteria we’re exposed to these days. 

The use of glutathione supplementation fights all kind of diseases from respiratory to auto immune to degenerative diseases.

Without question, the best type of preventive medicine is an optimized immune system, and a critical means to optimize it is by feeding it glutathione.

Glutathione as a dietary supplement.

We must first clarify an important, frequently misunderstood part of the glutathione story.

Upon learning about glutathione for the first time, many people go to their health store, buy it, and start dosing themselves. However, while glutathione is freely available in this form, this sort of oral, ingested glutathione will have negligible effects on your health. The product decomposes rapidly in the digestive system and is quickly removed from the gut. Apart from a few very specific instances, glutathione cannot be introduced into the body in this way. It must be made within your cells -which is where it’s naturally found. The effective way to stimulate the production of glutathione is to provide your body with the basic elements it needs to make glutathione by itself. Some pharmaceutical medications, such as N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), have been developed to provide these precursors. There are also natural ways to increase glutathione levels, in particular the use of denatured (bioactive) whey proteins.

These are discussed throughout this website.

Watch amazing testimony and cure of Pulmonary Fibrosis and Hodgkin’s disease in this video:

From the book “Glutathione Your Key to Health” Jimmy Gutman MD/Stephen Schettini


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 reasonsFor 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.

Generally, most tissues and organs must manufacture their own glutathione from dietary or drug-delivered precursors. However, the lining of the respiratory tree — which usually requires high levels of glutathione — can absorb glutathione directly. To take advantage of this unusual ability, a topical glutathione aerosol has been developed and used successfully to treat a number of diseases, including adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), pulmonary fibrosis, and H 1 v infection. In addition, the topical form Of NAC (Mucomist) — a potent glutathione precursor — has long been used as a treatment for cystic fibrosis.

Oral and intravenous glutathione precursors are receiving a lot of attention from researchers and many papers have been published on the subject. Pulmonologists (lung doctors) are paying increasing attention to lung glutathione content and learning a great deal about future applications. O. Ortolani and his team in Italy placed forty intensive care patients with respiratory difficulties on intravenous glutathione, then compared their response to an equal number of untreated patients and found significant reductions in oxidative stress levels.

An experiment in preventive medicine was conducted by S. De Flora and his research team at the Institute of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, University of Genoa. Patients were placed on a course of oral NAC tablets or placebo during the months of the influenza season. Although the number of people infected by the virus was unchanged, subjects receiving NAC experienced significantly fewer and less virulent symptoms.


Bronchial asthma causes constriction of the bronchioles (airway passages). Asthma is always unpleasant and sometimes even fatal. The intensity of asthma attacks vary, but all are characterized by a feeling of tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, restlessness, coughing and wheezing. Although asthma is reversible and intermittent, it tends to recur and is generally considered a chronic condition. It is one of the most common causes of absenteeism and hospital admission in school-age children, among whom it is most prevalent. It currently affects about 15 million Americans and is on the rise.

Asthma is variable in frequency and severity and can be triggered by a very wide variety of stimuli, including allergens (things that provoke an allergic response). These include dust, pollen, dander (tiny particles of animal skin, fur and feather), certain foods and drugs, viral infections, emotional stress, anxiety and even plain old exercise. Muscles within the walls of the bronchioles flex and go into spasm, the walls thicken, air passages become clogged by mucus, and air is trapped in the deepest airways (the alveoli). The wheezing sound is caused by air passing with difficulty through these narrowed passages. In its severest form, breathing becomes impossible and the patient suffocates.

Asthma sufferers should make an effort to identify and avoid the triggers that cause their attacks, whether allergic, infectious, toxic, or emotional. They can also take preventative medications — antihistamines and sodium cromoglycate. These minimize the effects of the allergic response. Once an attack is in progress other drugs are needed to reopen (dilate) the walls of the bronchioles. These are called bronchodilators and are commonly used in inhalers such as salbutemol or albuterol. Inhaled or ingested steroids are also available. minimize the swelling and inflammation of the bronchial walls. In any case, once an attack has begun, treatment must be immediate and aggressive. The longer an attack lasts, the more the symptoms advance and the longer they take to reverse. There is little time to waste.

It has been long thought that low levels of glutathione and glutathione peroxidase levels play a role in the onset and progression of asthma. Numerous studies in asthmatics have identified such abnormalities in their red-blood glutathione, white-blood-cell glutathione, serum glutathione, platelet glutathione, and lung-fluid glutathione. There is a direct correspondence between low glutathione levels and the severity of the asthma attack.

Dietary, environmental, and genetic factors that diminish the potency of the antioxidant systems in the lung increase the risk of asthma. This relationship between antioxidant levels and asthma is seen in situations of elevated free-radical activity. Examples are lead poisoning, excessive iron stores and G6PD-deficiency, as well as low levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium (a component of glutathione peroxidase).

The pulmonologist Dr. Carol Trenga recently presented to the American Lung Association an antioxidant cocktail that helped asthmatics particularly sensitive to air pollutants. European physicians have long used glutathione precursors in the treatment of asthma, particularly as a mucolytic (phlegm thinner) to break down thick secretions. In a double-blind study, inhaled bronchodilators were tested with and without NAC. The NAC (glutathione-enhanced) group experienced greater improvement in lung function than the control group.

Case study

Jean-Pierre, a financial analyst, suffered from allergies and asthma his whole life. Summers were particularly bad and he often had to leave bis native Montreal for weeks in August to escape the ragweed allergy season. In early summer, he was started on a program of NAC (N-acetylcysteine), L-cysteine, selenium, alpha-lipoic acid, multivitamins and stinging nettle (Urtica dioici). That season, he reported having to use his Ventolin inhaler (salbutemol, a bronchodilatorfor asthma) only two or three times a week, rather than two or three times a day, and his use of antihistamine drugs was at a minimum. He’s even ventured to go camping with his girlfriend.


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 glutathione depletion that comes with this condition, many researchers have put NAC under the spotlight. G.R. Bernard and his team at Vanderbilt University tested the usefulness of intravenous NAC for the lungs. Both in the lab and in clinical trials they found increased oxygen delivery, improved lung compliance (elasticity), and an improvement in the condition of pulmonary edema patients. Trials with another glutathione precursor — OTZ (Procysteine) — led to similar results and reduced the duration of lung injury.

In a larger double-blind study, P.M. Suter’s group at the University of Geneva used intravenous NAC on intensive care patients. Compared to a control group, the NAC patients showed significant improvement in oxygenation and required less time on mechanical ventilators (life support).


Pulmonary fibrosis is called fibrosing alveolitis or interstitial fibrosis, among other things. It is a non-specific condition in which the lungs respond to damage by the production of scar tissue (fibrosis). This leads to stiffness of the lungs and difficulties clearing secretions. It also interferes with gas exchange. Its causes include numerous bacterial, viral, or fungal infections and inhaled toxins, dust (organic and inorganic), and chemicals. Occasionally stomach contents can be inhaled to the detriment of the lungs. Other diseases are involved less often, such as certain autoimmune disorders (mistaken immune response to healthy processes), sarcoidosis (a multi-system inflammatory disorder), or collagen vascular diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, polyarteritis nodosa, scleroderma, and dermatomyositis). This disease is often an unwanted result of radiation therapy or chemotherapy. standard treatments have limited success.

Oxidative stress plays an important role in the causes and conditions of many types of pulmonary fibrosis. J. Behr and his group of pulmonologists from the University of Munich studied this phenomenon both in laboratory cultures and in pulmonary fibrosis patients. Because pulmonary fibrosis is an inflammatory disorder, their treatment includes therapy to suppress the immune-inflammatory response. With the help Of NAC, patients’ pulmonary function tests improved and the number of oxidative breakdown products fell. By using aerosolized NAC, Z. Borok from the NIH (National Institute of Health) reversed the oxidant-antioxidant imbalance in pulmonary fibrosis patients. Both NAC and aerosol GSH have shown success in this situation. Clearly, both oral and inhaled NAC can successfully raise pulmonary glutathione levels.

In pulmonary fibrosis, fibroblasts — cells in part responsible for the fibrous scar tissue — grow excessively in both number and activity. Tissue cultures made of these cells revealed that the presence of glutathione down-regulated their growth, implying that glutathione may slow the progress of pulmonary fibrosis.


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 this product 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, this product was withdrawn. She subsequently deteriorated again. Three weeks after reinstating it, 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.

The 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 glutathione 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 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 glutathione 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.

Drugs NAC and OTC can raise glutathione levels, but their effects are short-lived. These pharmaceutical drugs also have little nutritional value. Whey proteins have excellent nutritional value but usually lack glutathione precursors. The ideal source of dietary cysteine should be natural, nutritional, bioactive, and undenatured and As many of you are aware, whey protein, especially whey protein isolates (over 90% protein), are sometimes referred to as the “perfect” proteins because they contain all the essential amino acids required for your body’s protein synthesis.

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The use of glutathione supplementation fights all kind of diseases from respiratory to auto immune to degenerative diseases.

Without question, the best type of preventive medicine is an optimized immune system, and a critical means to optimize it is by feeding it glutathione.

This is not the same glutathione that you see at the health food store. This is glutathione precursor. It’s very different because glutathione must be made inside your cells and the precursor is the food your cells   require to make its own glutathione as nature intended. That is the most natural and effective approach to boost your immune system.

It’s all natural with NO side effect. 

Want to know if this is for you? 

You can try it for only $10.00 (5-day sample)

Just send me a text here 703-895-0496 with the hashtag “sample” and I will send you a form to fill out, so I know where to send it.

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