Understanding Glutathione and Chemotherapy

Before we discuss the relationship between Glutathione and Chemotherapy it is important to understand what exactly chemotherapy is.

Understanding Chemotherapy

Standard or Traditional Chemotherapy (cytotoxic) is the use of drug treatments for cancer that destroy cancerous cells by preventing them from growing and dividing. When most people think of chemotherapy, they think of the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. [1]

There are other types of drugs used to treat cancer that focus on hormone therapy. These drugs are far more targeted towards cancer cells specifically and do less harm to surrounding healthy cells. The majority of drugs used in chemotherapy today fall into this hormone therapy category.

Dangers of Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can be effective in the treatment of cancer, however it poses some severe health risks that should be addressed.

Traditional chemotherapy ravages the body, anyone who knows someone who has gone through these treatments knows just how profoundly they affect the body and overall health.


Common Side Effects of Chemotherapy

There are many side effects associated with chemotherapy, both during and after treatment. Here is a short list of some of the most common side effects:

  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Mouth sores

Some of the longer term side effects that may not appear for months or even years after treatment include:

  • Infertility
  • Nerve damage
  • Lung tissue damage
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Increased risk of future cancerous development [2]

Glutathione and Chemotherapy

Glutathione is one of the single best indicators of a person’s overall health and wellbeing. When reduced glutathione levels are low, the person is in poor health or is fighting off an infection / disease. By raising your glutathione levels with a quality GSH supplement, you can improve your immune function and cellular health. [3]

Chemotherapy can do severe damage to our healthy cells and virtually eliminate the body’s immune response. This treatment option can  be successful, but it takes its toll on the body in a major way.

Exploring your treatment options with a qualified professional is a must. If possible, get multiple opinions and pursue a treatment option that best fits you and your needs. That being said, if you do choose chemotherapy it is of utmost importance that you are supporting your healthy cells. One of the best ways to promote healthy cellular function and proliferation while also fighting cancerous development is to raise your glutathione levels.

Raising glutathione levels has never been so easy or so affordable. Once upon a time the only effective way to raise GSH levels in the body was to undergo lengthy, costly intravenous treatments at your doctor’s office. In order to maintain these benefits you would need to book an appointment every few days. Today you can effectively supplement it orally with a few select supplements: L-glutathione, N acetyl-L-cysteine, Alpha lipoic acid, Methyl-B’s, Silymarin and Selenium.

A study done in 2002 on the effects of glutathione and Oxaliplatin, a popular chemotherapy drug used to treat colorectal cancer gave us a glimpse of how beneficial GSH is during chemotherapy. [4]

“GSH is a promising drug for the prevention of oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy, and that it does not reduce the clinical activity of oxaliplatin.” – American Society of Clinical Oncology

Understanding Glutathione

Known as the body’s master antioxidant, glutathione is one of the most abundant and important antioxidants on the planet. Produced naturally by the body (production declines as we age), glutathione is responsible for detoxifying and repairing virtually every cell in the body. Glutathione has an important role in cellular apoptosis (programmed cell death), which is important in the prevention of cancerous development. [5]

Supplementing glutathione levels is crucial for optimal health regardless of your current health condition. It becomes even more crucial when undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

After age 20, our glutathione levels start to decline, the body simply cannot meet the demand placed on us from our increasingly toxic world. This leads to increased cellular toxicity, leaving us increasingly vulnerable to infection and disease manifestation. Low glutathione levels impact almost every aspect of our life, from reduced energy levels to cognitive decline.

Final Thoughts

As with any medical condition, it is important to consult with your medical professional. It is also important to do your own research though, arm yourself with knowledge in order to properly voice your concerns and discuss complementary treatment options.

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