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GLUTAMINE vs. GLUTATHIONE: What’s the Difference?

Hi Friends,

Two of my favorite supplements are Glutamine and Glutathione.  They sound similar, but are actually quite different.  Do you know the difference between these two?  Glutamine is an amino acid.  It is “food” for the enterocytes (cells that line your small intestine), helping to heal intestinal inflammation.  For example, it is used to seal up the tight junctions which may be disrupted in leaky gut.  It is great for autoimmune disease, which often flares when there is gut inflammation.  For example, I have seen it clear up psoriasis, eczema, and joint pain!  It’s a powder with no taste and is best taken 1-2 scoops (3-6 grams) with water in the morning on an empty stomach (alongside your probiotic).  In order for it to heal your gut, it must be taken separate from food.  If you have markers of inflammation on your gut microbiome test (elevated fecal secretory IgA or zonulin), I recommend glutamine powder.  

Glutathione is the master antioxidant and detoxifier for every cell in your body!  It’s especially important for your liver cells.  It works to reverse free radical damage.  We are all exposed to toxins in our environment such as car exhaust, charred foods, pesticides, cleaning chemicals, radiation from the sun, and trace amounts of heavy metals in our food.  Glutathione helps repair any damage in our cells.  Everyone can benefit from glutathione, and it’s considered a preventative “anti-cancer” and “anti-aging” supplement.  It comes as a capsule, liposomal (liquid), or transdermal spray.  I recommend glutathione to my patients when undergoing procedures that involve radiation (mammograms, x rays, and CT scans).  Anyone using acetaminophen (Tylenol) regularly, should take glutathione.  If you are exposed to any form of potential toxins, like anesthesia, vaccinations, and viral infections, etc, glutathione is great to help your body detoxify.  Anyone with elevated liver enzymes (fatty liver) can also benefit from glutathione.  

Hope this helps clear up any confusion between these two supplements that sound similar, but are actually very different!  Both of them do amazing things for our body!

Wishing you all great health,

Warm regards, 

Rajsree Nambudripad, MD

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