Things I’m hyped about: Glutathione! This is especially important for all you vocal performers or chronic sufferers of upper respiratory infections, so listen up.
Glutathione is a VERY important component in the body’s antioxidant defense against oxidative damage (life’s normal wear and tear that your body is constantly working to repair). The burden increases with exposure to the sun, smoking, eating the wrong foods, etc. In ears, nose, and throat (ENT) research, glutathione is found to be ESPECIALLY important for fighting injury from oxidative stress and free radical formation. It’s thought to be the first line of defense against oxidative stress, especially in the throat.
Research has pinpointed that ENT issues are associated with increased oxidative stress and (drum roll) decreased levels of glutathione. Meaning that increasing these levels of glutathione could have a very positive effect on your body’s ability to fight off pathogens and better repair damage to these areas. A small number of studies have been held to explore this theory, and so far they’re reporting clinical benefits from the use of glutathione. Woo!
And for my vocalists out there? “Anecdotal reports have suggested that high doses of intravenous glutathione can support vocalists’ ability to perform and has been observed to help resolve benign vocal-fold lesions.” Inhaled (or nebulizer) glutathione is another option. Some performers take their nebulizers on the road with them to keep their pipes in top shape!
Even better? There have been NO reports of side effects from its use. So you’ve got nothing to lose by giving it a shot.
If you don’t have access to a practitioner who offers IV or inhaled glutathione, I’ve personally found spray glutathione (ACG Glutathione Extra Strength from Results RNA, to be exact) to be great for kicking the first sign of a scratchy throat.
*Though based in research, personal, and clinical experience, the opinions in this article should not be taken as medical advice. Botanical medicine and nutriceuticals should be treated with the same caution and care as pharmaceuticals, as both have the potential for strong, potentially adverse effects and allergic reactions. Please consult a trained herbal medicine practitioner, licensed Naturopathic Doctor, or licensed Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine before attempting treatment.
Prousky, J. (2008). The treatment of pulmonary diseases and respiratory-related conditions with inhaled (nebulized or aerosolized) glutathione. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 5(1), 27-35. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2249747/
Asher, B. F., & Guilford, F. T. (2016). Oxidative stress and low glutathione in common ear, nose, and throat conditions: a systematic review. Altern Ther Health M, 22(5), 44-50. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27622960