Intravenous Glutathione Boulder
Intravenous glutathione Boulder
Glutathione is an important antioxidant throughout the body and in the brain. Intravenous glutathione may be helpful for complementary cancer treatment, heavy metal overload, Parkinson's disease and environmental illness. NatureMed in located in Boulder, Colorado and has been providing glutathione infusion since 2004 to patients in the greater Denver and Boulder area.
Glutathione and related enzymes are depleted in an area called the substantia nigra of brains of patients with Parkinson's. The primary role of glutathione is to protect cells from oxidative stress. Glutathione also enhances the function of other antioxidant compounds by keeping them stabilized. In 1996, a group of Italian researchers reported that intravenous glutathione, given twice a day for one month, resulted in a significant improvement of disability. After glutathione administration was stopped, the therapeutic effect would last for as long as 2 to 4 months.
A case report from Japan in 1984 raised the possibility that glutathione might be an effective treatment for liver cancer. A trial of six liver cancer patients on 5 g of oral glutathione found regression or stagnation of tumor growth in three patients. One patient also had a reduction in alpha-fetoprotein (a tumor marker) from 496 to 5. Two of the six patients survived for one year. These patients were both women. In an animal study, oral administration of glutathione caused regression of liver tumors and increased survival of animals with tumors. The usefulness of glutathione as an anti-tumor agent may be limited to the liver, kidney and peripheral neurons, as these are the only tissues believed to have sufficient transport enzymes for cellular uptake. A randomized pilot trial with 45 participants investigated the effect of glutathione to prevent complication for radiation therapy. Patients were administered 1200 mg glutathione or saline placebo intravenously 15 minutes prior to pelvic radiotherapy. Patients receiving glutathione suffered less from post-therapy diarrhea (28% compared to 52% of controls) and were more likely to complete the treatment cycle (71% to 52%).
Glutathione with Chemotherapy:
Increased cellular concentrations of glutathione have been associated with resistance to both anthracyclines and platinum agents. Given the suggestion of the inability of most cell types to take up exogenous glutathione, decreased chemotherapy efficacy due to glutathione administration may be limited to liver, kidney and neurological tumors.
The use of cisplatin and glutathione concurrently has been studied in several small human trials. One human trial found 3 g/m2 intravenous glutathione given 20 minutes prior to cisplatin (100 mg/m2) led to a significant reduction in nephrotoxicity in patients with ovarian cancer compared with those receiving cisplatin alone. There was a trend toward greater tumor response in the glutathione group- 73 percent, compared to 62 percent in the control group. A similar trial using smaller doses of glutathione (2500 mg/m2) and cisplatin (50 - 75 mg/m2) did not find the reduction in nephrotoxicity reported above. However, the trend toward greater tumor response with glutathione treatment (72% response compared to 52% in controls) was comparable.
A double-blind trial studied the neuroprotective effect of intravenous glutathione (1500 mg/m2) during cisplatin treatment for gastric cancer. After nine weeks, no patient of the 24 receiving glutathione, but 16 of 18 patients receiving placebo, had developed neuropathy symptoms. Again, a trend toward greater tumor response (76%, compared to 52% in controls) was seen with glutathione treatment.
An open trial with 79 ovarian cancer patients found IV administration of 2500 mg glutathione prior to treatment with a cisplatin/cyclophosphamide combination led to greater tumor response and reduced toxicity compared to that found in other trials using these chemotherapeutic agents. Another trial using the same glutathione dose with the same combination chemotherapy found no cases of nephrotoxicity in 20 patients.
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