Treating cancer is a nasty business. There are so many treatment options out there, it can
sometimes feel hard to decide which treatment option is the best one. And then, sometimes,
many cancer treatments simply don’t work. This can leave people with cancer feeling
heartbroken and devastated.
On top of treatment effectiveness, there’s also the issue of side effects. Chemotherapy and
radiation treatment, two of the most common cancer treatments, are notorious for leaving
people with a range of side effects that can make it difficult to recover from cancer treatment.
Given these realities, people expect more. Want more. A large share of cancer patients explore
non-conventional treatments in the hopes that something will either work or help them feel
better without all the side effects. This includes ways to prevent cancer from starting in the first
Keep reading to learn about glutathione, a naturally-occurring molecule that could play an
important role in treating and preventing cancer. Keep reading to learn more.
What is glutathione?
Glutathione is an antioxidant produced naturally by the body. Despite being produced naturally
by the body, however, the amount we produce naturally can be affected by a variety of factors,
such as stress and poor diet. It’s also something the body produces less of as we age, and has
been linked to a number of age-related conditions, including cancer.
What does glutathione do for the body?
As an antioxidant, glutathione plays a number of important roles in the body, though it’s primary
purpose is to help reduce the effects of oxidative stress on the body.
But what is oxidative stress?
The body has a number of ways of regulating itself to keep the body working and healthy.
Oxidative stress poses challenges to this ability to stay healthy. In a healthy person, the immune
system produces what are called “free radicals” to help fight infection and keep foreign invaders
in check. However, free radicals are a double-edged sword: if left unchecked, they can start to
damage healthy cells and DNA, which can cause a host of problems, such as cognitive issues
and potentially cancer.
Antioxidants are the body’s answer to this problem: antioxidants are produced to eliminate
unneeded free radicals. However, as we age, or through poor diets and habits like smoking, free
radicals reign, surpassing what antioxidants are able to keep up with. And as we age, our levels
of glutathione are depleted, putting us at higher risk for problems.
How does glutathione help with cancer?
Glutathione has been explored as a cancer treatment largely because it’s such an important
antioxidant in the body and one of the most powerful ones our body produces. But how does it
The main goal behind using glutathione to treat cancer is to target oxidative stress, so
glutathione’s benefits can be largely protective if used early enough to prevent cancer. It could
also be a way to improve the effectiveness of certain cancer treatments. Scientists have
developed synthetic versions of glutathione that can be purchased online with ease.
Is glutathione an effective cancer treatment?
Glutathione has proven quite effective in treating a number of conditions, including aging-related
conditions like cognitive problems. But can it help with cancer? Here’s what research says:
- Protective benefits, with a twist. Research shows that glutathione does offer some
protective benefits against cancer, largely because of it’s ability to detoxify and prevent
oxidative stress. However, research also suggests that this protective benefit comes with
a drawback: it could also apply to cancer cells. In fact, research suggests that
glutathione at certain levels could create chemotherapy-resistant cancer cells.
- Reducing glutathione levels? This may seem a bit strange considering what we know
about glutathione: if we lose it, it makes us prone to damage that could cause cancer.
However, it’s this exact mechanism that researchers have explored to treat cancer. In
fact, research shows that cancer cells, much like healthy cells, don’t thrive very well
when subjected to oxidative stress. Subjecting cancer cells to oxidative stress can
improve how they respond to chemotherapy and other treatments, such as
photodynamic therapy, sonodynamic therapy, and more.
Is glutathione safe?
Generally speaking, glutathione is safe. However, you should also make sure you purchase
glutathione supplements from a trusted source or work with your doctor to find a solution that
works for you.
With any type of cancer treatment, it’s important to make sure you fully understand the available
treatment options and choose options that work for you. This should include talking to your
doctor before starting any cancer treatment. They can help you decide which treatment options
are right for you.