Glutathione is incredibly beneficial, but there are 3 things you should know about what to avoid when taking glutathione. 

To get the most from your glutathione supplement, here is what you need to know- glutathione can be a delicate substance, and taking it the wrong way can diminish its benefits. 

Here are the crucial facts on what to avoid when taking glutathione. 

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is the strongest antioxidant our body can produce and is often called the “master antioxidant”. It is a tripeptide (peptide made up of 3 amino acids) made of the amino acids glycine, glutamic acid, and cysteine. Glutathione is considered an important antioxidant because it helps our body carry out a variety of processes, including detoxification and reducing oxidation.[1] 

Glutathione is often taken in dietary supplements to improve overall health and is most often available in a liquid or capsule. 

>>> Learn about the Best Glutathione Supplements 

What Happens to Your Body When You Start Taking Glutathione?

Glutathione has many health benefits that stem from how it works as a powerful antioxidant to scavenge and neutralize (aka collect and remove) free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause damage and aging to cells by causing oxidative stress, and having extra glutathione helps reduce this. 

Glutathione also helps with detoxification by supporting the removal of toxins. More specifically, glutathione helps remove toxins in 4 different ways.

One of the last major ways glutathione is helpful is through helping protect our cells and boost our immune system by supporting our body to recycle vitamins C and E. 


Thus, when you start to take glutathione, you can expect your body to detox better, have a stronger immune system, reduced inflammation, and have more energy in the cells. In the long run, this leads to improved health and improved healthspan.[1] 

Does Glutathione Interact with Anything?

Glutathione rarely has supplement or drug interactions  and is considered extremely safe for most people regardless of their health conditions. It is a GRAS-certified substance, meaning it has been determined by the FDA to be “Generally Recognized as Safe”.

Glutathione has been found to interact with some chemotherapy drugs and is thus contraindicated if someone is on chemotherapy.[10]

On rare occasions, the potential side effects of increased gas, loose stools, flushing, and weight gain have been reported.[11] However, this is uncommon and not something we’ve personally seen with our own supplementation or our clients use of glutathione.

 Though adverse effects when taking glutathione are rare, it is still best to discuss with a healthcare provider if supplementing with glutathione is right for you and what the recommended dosage for you should be.  

What to Avoid When Taking Glutathione

There is little information suggesting glutathione will negatively interact with specific foods, medications, or supplements, with the exception of potential risks with chemotherapy. However, if you want to know what to avoid when taking glutatione besides this, here is a list of things that may be a problem, 

1. Chemotherapy

Glutathione supplementation may help reduce the risk of cancer.[2] However, if one is receiving cancer treatment, it may allow cancer cells to be resistant to chemotherapy drugs.[1] 

2. Alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption is, without a doubt, the number one thing we can control that would contribute to impaired glutathione production and liver damage. 

With chronic excessive alcohol intake, damage to the liver occurs, which is also accompanied by chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.  As a result, the liver’s ability to produce the master antioxidant, glutathione, is reduced leading to oxidative damage, fatigue, and premature aging. 

While oral glutathione supplements can help, a damaged liver will struggle to produce and recycle glutathione, leading to chronically low levels of glutathione. 

3. Foods That Tax the Liver

As noted, glutathione is processed in the liver so having foods that consistently strain the liver are likely to decrease glutathione levels.[7]

What foods cause strain on the liver?

It is well-established that inflammatory foods such as those high in sugar, processed foods, and alcohol strain the liver and may contribute to developing liver disease. We need a healthy liver to produce enough glutathione to be healthy and release glutathione from our supplements. 

So, if you’re wondering what to avoid when taking glutathione, foods with any form of syrup like high fructose corn syrup, and processed foods with artificial ingredients and preservatives should be at the top of the list. 

4. Medications that Tax the Liver

We aren’t telling you not to take your medications. Also, we aren’t saying to avoid pain medications if you need them.  However, it is known that many prescription drugs and pain relievers such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) do place strain on the liver. 

Chronic use of pain medications and certain prescription medications could impair how well you produce or absorb glutathione. 

With that said, if you have to take these medications, it may be important to take a quality glutathione supplement to boost your levels. 

If however, you’re a relatively healthy individual and looking ot 

5. Binders

Often, with our nutrition coaching clients, we recommend taking glutathione in combination with various types of binders like the Cellcore Biotoxin Binder or the Quicksilver Scientific Ultra Binder.  

The glutathione helps release and mobilize toxins such as mold mycotoxins in your body, and then binders help bind to, and pull out the toxins to prevent them from recirculating. 

But, there is one thing you shouldn’t do- take them at the EXACT same time. The other items on this list fall under this principle as well.  

If we take binders too close to our glutathione supplement, the binder may bind to the glutathione, making it ineffective.

To receive the benefits of glutathione supplementation, take your glutathione 30 minutes prior to your binder if you’re taking a liquid glutathione supplement and 60 minutes before if you’re taking a capsule. 

If you choose to take glutathione after your binder, wait at least an hour before doing so. 

6. Digestive Enzymes 

Getting glutathione to bypass the harsh environment of the gut without being broken down is tough. Taking digestive enzymes can benefit many people, but, it could cause much of the glutathione products to be broken down before being absorbed. 

When possible, take your glutathione on an empty stomach, away from digestive enzymes. The time it takes for digestive enzymes to work is very short, so having at least 60 minutes between consuming enzymes and glutathione is preferred. 

Remember that if glutathione is taken in capsule form instead of a liquid, the enteric coating will help it bypass the stomach if you prefer to take it with a meal or digestive enzymes. 

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

We’re big fans of the benefits of fermented foods for keeping the gut healthy and boosting the immune system.  We also enjoy using apple cider vinegar to boost digestion and enhance health

Similar to digestive enzymes however, it is best to avoid taking glutathione at the same time to avoid it being broken down in the stomach before being absorbed in the intestines. 

So, keep taking your ACV. It is super healthy for you, and research has proven this. Just keep in mind that the best time to take glutathione is 30-60 minutes away from enzymes or ACV to avoid potential interactions. 

Can I Drink Coffee While Taking Glutathione?

Absolutley and it fact it is recommended! A study in Italy found that those who regularly consumed coffee had higher concentrations of glutathione in their blood.[9]

Coffee can be a powerful antioxidant, and there has been a lot of research that has proven its benefits.  However, most large coffee brands are full of toxins and mold. 

If you’re looing for the BEST coffee, be sure to check out our list of the 9 Best Mold Free Coffee brands which includes brands not not only test for toxins, but grow their beans in a way that increases the amount of antioxidants!

How to Naturally Boost Glutathione Levels with Foods

Glutathione naturally occurs in many foods, though in low amounts. Additionally, it is a challenge to have a major impact on glutathione levels from food because much of it is broken down in the gut.  

This is one of the reasons why liposomal supplements are so popular- they’re the best way to help glutathione bypass the harsh environment of the gut. 

With that said, there has been research showing whey protein supplementation can increase glutathione levels. So, there is good reason to put forth the effort to naturally increase glutathione levels with food.  

To naturally boost and support healthy glutathione levels without supplements, regularly incorporate the following foods in your diet:[4,5]

  1. High-Quality Grass-fed Whey Protein Powder
  2. Grass-fed/wild-caught/pastured animal protein
    1. This provides the amino acids necessary for the body to create glutathione. 
  3. Avocados, Okra, asparagus, & spinach
    1. All of these foods have glutathione naturally occurring in them
    2. Avocados have been found to have nearly 40g of glutathione per fruit!
    3. Those who consume foods higher in glutathione have a lower risk of developing cancer[6]

How to Boost Glutathione Levels with Supplements

There are a number of high-quality glutathione supplements with research to prove their effectiveness.

The key to finding good oral supplements with glutathione is supplementing in a liposomal form that enhances absorption. 

We have tested and reviewed all the best rands to create a a list of the Best Glutathione Supplements to help you know what to buy.

If you would prefer to go right to buying a glutathione supplement, here is our Fullscript affiliate link where you can buy quality supplements at a discounted price.  We recommend purchasing Quicksilver Scientific Liposomal Glutathione if you’re new to supplementing with glutathione, as it allows you to control and find your appropriate dosage in liquid form. 

You may purchase Quicksilver Scientific Liposomal Glutathione on AmazonA better option, however, is to 👉buy it through Fullscript👈, which is nearly $20 cheaper 🤯 when you use our affiliate link to create your account.

Summary

Glutathione is a potent antioxidant, and we need to maintain high antioxidant levels to fight oxidative stress from environmental toxins and aging. 

Oral supplementation of glutathione products is a great choice to help optimize health, and there are few adverse reactions to be concerned about when wondering what to avoid when taking glutathione. If you’re looking to purchase a supplement, be sure to read our post on the best liposomal glutathione supplement to heop guide your purchase.

The number of drug interactions with glutathione is very few, but those who are on chemotherapy should avoid taking glutathione. 

Other issues are possible interactions between glutathione and supplements that boost digestion, such as enzymes or apple cider vinegar, which may cause it to break down in the stomach before being absorbed. 

Always talk to your health care provider before starting or changing any supplements. 

References: 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684116/ 
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23766865/ 
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cbf.1149
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28853742/ 
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PMC6770193/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33050144/
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/glutathione
  8. https://www.health.harvard.edu/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12622769/
  10. https://www.drugs.com/npp/glutathione.html#interactions
  11. Allen J, Bradley RD. Effects of oral glutathione supplementation on systemic oxidative stress biomarkers in human volunteers. J Altern Complement Med. 2011;17(9):827-833.21875351