Richvank: glutathione and excitotoxicity

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by equanimous, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. equanimous

    equanimous New Member

    Hi Rich,

    Sorry to bother you again haha, but you are the wealthiest wealth of information I know, so here's my question. Is it at all possible that supplementing with glutathione itself could, at least initially, cause some excitotoxicity? I'm just wondering, because at the same time as I've been trying to cut back on the methylation supplements and do other things to calm my system down, I've added in glutathione and I just want to make sure that it's not going to be a confounding factor. Also, would things like activated charcoal, fiber and cholestyramine possibly help with excitoxicity as they help increase the detox process? Not sure if detox and excitoxicity are necessarily as related as their names might imply. Thanks for your time!

  2. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, Liz.

    Glutathione is composed of three amino acids, one of which is glutamate. An excessively high ratio of glutamate to GABA causes excitotoxicity. If glutathione were added to the body, and it was then metabolized (broken down) to its amino acids, it would contribute to raising glutamate and raising this ratio. This is the reason I have suggested that liposomal glutathione would be the form to try. I think this form is more likely to deliver whole glutathione to the brain, with less broken down. Ordinary oral glutathione is mostly broken down in the gut. Taking the individual amino acids in order to supply the liver with the raw materials for making glutathione would mean supplying glutamate directly (or glutamine), and I think that would be more likely to contribute to excitotoxicity. I can't guarantee that liposomal glutathione will counter excitotoxicity rather than contributing to it, but I think it has the best chance.

    I think that the binders you mentioned could help indirectly. That is, the more toxins that are bound in the gut and removed via the stools rather than being allowed to recycle back to the liver via the enterohepatic circulation, the lower the demand on glutathione. As glutathione rises in the astrocytes in the brain, there should be better function of the mitochondria there because of the lower oxidative stress. This should supply more ATP to drive the import of glutamate and its conversion to glutamine, lowering excitotoxicity. This is of course based on biochemical theory, and has not been tested experimentally, as far as I know.

    Best regards,