November 8, 2004
By Michelle Alpert, D.O. The world we’re living in today is a toxic minefield — from vaccines to pesticides to antibiotic-laden foods to mercury-poisoned fish to pollution both indoors and outdoors. It’s no wonder so many people are suffering from fatigue and chronic illness, as well as chronic infections with viruses, bacteria and fungi.
In order to detoxify, I recommend a very effective detoxification “drip” to my patients. My patients know I believe in it, because I get it myself. On long, busy workdays, I can often be found at my office desk, conducting consults with an IV drip that is helping heal my body even as I help heal my patients. This specialized “detox” intravenous drip is one that has helped patients of mine with chronic fatigue syndrome, lyme disease, multiple sclerosis and Guillain-Barre syndrome. It contains typical vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, B5 and B6, but more importantly, it contains precursors to glutathione, as well as glutathione itself. The precursors include two amino acids, glycine and cysteine.
Together with glutathione, they pack a powerful punch that truly assists the body in meeting the demands of modern life. There is a remarkable amount of evidence that glutathione is hugely important in detoxification, and has so many benefits that it can help patients with a range of conditions. Glutathione is found in every cell in your body. Glutathione scavenges free radicals, detoxifies heavy metals, helps ferry amino acids into the cells, helps in bile production, and much more. Because of all its capacities, glutathione is crucial in maintaining immunity.
We don’t get a lot of glutathione in our diet and even then, not much is absorbed directly into the blood. Glutathione is synthesized by our bodies from amino acids. If our bodies cannot make enough glutathione to keep up with the chronic toxic load from infections and poisons, we may end up with immune dysfunction. Stress can also deplete glutathione, because increased adrenaline suppresses glutathione production. In animal studies, glutathione has been shown to protect against liver cancer; it has also been used in humans to protect them from kidney damage from chemotherapy drugs. It protects kidney function in patients undergoing bypass surgery.
In aerosol form, glutathione quenches inflammation in cystic fibrosis patients. This wonderful substance has even been shown to increase insulin production in older individuals who have impaired sugar metabolism. Glutathione also seems to inhibit herpes viruses and has been shown to help reduce viral load in hepatitis C patients. David Perlmutter, a Florida neurologist, found that intravenous glutathione helps relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Glutathione increases sensitivity to dopamine, which is depleted in Parkinson’s. It may also protect against neurotoxins that may be implicated in the disease. Dr. Perlmutter gave 1400 milligrams of intravenous glutathione three times a week to his Parkinson’s patients, whose symptoms improved, while they were able to reduce the amount of their drugs.
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