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How Do You Know if Your Glutathione is Low?

How Do You Know if Your Glutathione is Low?

Glutathione is the most important antioxidant in the entire body because it protects our DNA from damage and plays a key role in our detoxification system.  And our body knows how important Glutathione is too! 



It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly brilliant and well planned our bodies are.  With Glutathione being the key protective antioxidant, our amazing bodies produce it in every single cell from the top of our heads to the tips of our toes.   It protects us against damage from dietary and environmental toxins as well as eliminating free radicals from our normal everyday metabolic processes.  It is most concentrated in our liver and kidneys (our detoxification organs), our spleen (a blood cleansing organ that also plays a large role in our immune system), and our pancreas (a critical organ responsible for insulin and digestive enzyme production).  Glutathione is also highly concentrated in our eyes!

Your blood levels of glutathione can be tested through both standard labs such as Quest Labs and Lab Corp, and generally through your local testing facilities.  You can even order your own lab for a blood Glutathione level by purchasing it through Life Extension, and taking the lab slip they provide to Lab Corp.  The results are sent to you personally with normal reference ranges which make it simple to determine if you are low, or if you lie within the normal range of expected Glutathione levels.  This blood test allows you to clearly see where you stand.  And through Life Extension, the test costs about $175.00. 

But I have a better suggestion for you that is easier and one that comes from personal experience.

Between 2005 and 2006, I tested Glutathione levels in over 140 patients, including my own.  We were all between the ages of 40 and 90, both men and women.   It was quite interesting how the levels were highly correlated to a person’s lifestyle and stress levels.  It was early in the development of my private Functional Medical practice, which was one of extreme business.  At that time I saw patients in the office, hospital, nursing home and even made home visits.  I easily found my work weeks extending to about 80 hours for years and when I wasn’t actually seeing patients, I was often creating or researching something that I felt was important to a patient or my practice as a whole.

Out of the 140 patients I tested, there was only one person who had LOWER Glutathione levels than I had.  And I’ll give you three guesses what this person’s job was – and the first two guesses don’t count!

If you’re thinking “physician”, you’re right!  He was a pain management specialist.  I recall him well, and remember him being very unhappy with his work.  This discovery actually held up as a whole within the entire group of 140 patients.   Those enjoying higher Glutathione levels were generally retired, less stressed and busy, and had committed to enjoying taking care of themselves.  Most of these “top ranking” patients were in their late 60’s and 80’s and had retired from work and practiced taking care of themselves.  But age was actually not really a factor by itself.  There were younger patients who took good care of their own needs and had healthy Glutathione levels as well.


Younger patients who were in the middle of their careers, still working tirelessly and spending less time on themselves had generally lower Glutathione levels.  Those with higher stress levels, smoked and / or drank moderate amounts of alcohol had lower levels of Glutathione as well.  Diets also played a factor but correlated with other aspects of their lives.  Those who took better care of themselves generally had more healthful diets verses those who were so busy, even their food preparation was limited.Glutathione is consumed by our cells quite quickly during stress, illness, and any time there is a need to reduce free radicals. That is what Glutathione is for, so therefore it makes sense that the levels will be lower when there is a great need for it.

People who consider themselves to be in good health may not necessarily be glutathione deficient but may still have declining glutathione levels. The main reason for that is age first of all, because glutathione production in cells declines naturally at an average rate of 10% per decade after age 20. Secondly, on a daily basis we all are exposed to environmental pollution, exhaust fumes, smoke, viruses and do not always eat nutritious homemade meals with recommended 7-9 servings of organic vegetables and fruit a day.

Such a lifestyle eventually leads to a certain degree of glutathione deficiency.

The symptoms may include:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • weakness/lack of energy
  • brain “fog”
  • joint pain
  • rashes
  • dry skin
  • sleep disorders
  • depression
  • frequent colds
  • onset of a more serious health condition

Healthy people may not notice instantaneous results when boosting glutathione levels. However, they will notice improvement in energy levels, mind clarity, improved sleep and mood, and will see fewer colds. Those who do power workouts several times a week will see faster recovery times, reduced muscle soreness and improved athletic performance.

I haven't tested my Glutathione since 2006.  I haven’t seen the reason to spend another $175.00 on the test when I recognize what my life requires of my body. 

For me, fighting back with a foundation of nutrients, anti-oxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids, focused on maintaining Youthful Hormone levels with my Hormone Heaven and Happy Hoo Hoo, incorporating enjoyable moderate exercise, and obtaining adequate sleep, (though I hate to admit I still skimp on sleep simply due to my passion for life and my life’s work!).  

I am well aware that my lifestyle is THE CRITICAL FACTOR in my body’s NATURAL Glutathione production, and that the demands of two full time medical businesses, along with my devotion to my family, is a very demanding lifestyle which requires a lot of Glutathione.



So, Glutathione supplementation, for which I use Designs for Health Liposomal Glutathione, is a critical piece of my supplement regimen.  At this time in my life, I know there will always be long stretches of extensive work projects, periods of poor sleep, times I don't eat my best, stressors flaring, responsibilities I can't avoid or even want to avoid, as well as unexpected sadness and loss.

The cost of one Glutathione test costs about the same as 3 to 4 months of of Designs for Health Liposomal Glutathione.  And since I know I need it, I might as well save the money.  Maybe one day when my life slows down (Humm….  Not sure when that will be!), I might see how the level is managing on less supplementation, but right now, it’s actually a no brainer for me.

I use 2 sprays under my tongue on average 3-5 days a week.  I think that’s pretty good because at one time, my weeks rarely gave me a reprieve from excessive stress.  Today, my weeks may vary significantly.  Some weeks I seem to glide through getting 8 hours of sleep each night, eating big healthy green meals and shakes, and run into very few things that upset the apple cart. 

Other weeks are quite challenging, and I get far less sleep than I should have, have a more challenging time nourishing my body the way I want, and seem to be faced with unexpected or disappointing events.  It’s not rocket science to know when my body is being challenged.   These are the times I make sure I don’t skip my Liposomal Glutathione Spray. 

Most people are like me.  They NEED, (and should have), a bottle of Liposomal Glutathione in their refrigerator.  They don’t’ even need to test their levels.  They know when they are “over-doing” it. 

I put my Glutathione bottle right up front in the top tray of the left door because that is the door I always open first.  In other words, I keep it in sight, (just like I do the rest of my supplements).  It’s easy to hear your body calling out for it!  It’s like a delicious Lemon-flavored Bottle of Self-Love.  You might want to seriously consider supplementing with it.  Just squirt 2 pumps under your tongue and keep it there for about 60-90 seconds before you swallow it.  Repeat this 3-4 times a week, and I assure you, your body will Love You Back!

You can find it on my website here! 

https://drkarenleggett.com/pages/liposomal-glutathione-general

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