Glutathione is an antioxidant that assists in ridding the brain of dangerous free radicals. People with PD have low levels of glutathione, specifically in the substantia nigra, the area in the brain where dopamine is lost. This can mean that their cells die faster and the disease progresses more quickly.
There has been some evidence that glutathione supplementation can help people with Parkinson's. The practical problem in increasing glutathione levels is that it is not absorbed very well by the digestive system, so taking it orally may not be that effective. However, intravenous (IV) glutathione injections have been shown to have positive results in some cases. The downside of IV glutathione is that it can be expensive and difficult to access, and infection, bleeding and blood clots are possible side effects. Taking glutathione via a nasal spray is something researchers are looking into as it is less invasive and has fewer side effects.
More clinical trials need to be done to determine whether glutathione supplements definitively work to reduce symptoms of PD. In the meantime, if you are interested in glutathione therapy, ask your doctor if it could be added to your regimen. Glutathione therapy is not suggested by most movement disorder specialists, but is offered by naturopaths. You can learn more about the potential treatment using Glutathione Therapy for Parkinson's in the study linked to the red box below.
Disclaimer: The Parkinson's Association of Alabama provides awareness and education about possible complementary therapies to incorporate into your overall wellness plan. The PAA does not endorse or suggest any specific therapy and it is at the discretion of each person living with Parkinson's and their Care Partners for incorporating any complementary therapies into their wellness plan. You should always consult with your physician prior to starting any new complimentary therapy treatments.