Celebrities and influencers are constantly touting new ways to detox the body and shed unwanted weight. But the best detoxifier for the human body is likely something most people have never heard of. It goes by the name glutathione and it is believed to be the most powerful antioxidant known to our system. Having ample amounts can mean the difference between struggling with trapped fat and toxins and easily flushing them away. “Learning to maximize glutathione in the body is crucial, as many of us are being bombarded by more toxins than our body can fight off,” says health guru and bestselling author of Young Forever Mark Hyman, MD. Keep reading to learn exactly how to use glutathione for weight loss, including an amazing success story from Rebecca, who shed 70 pounds of stubborn body fat with this mighty molecule.
What is glutathione?
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant produced inside the liver. But it only forms when the body has adequate levels of cysteine, glycine and glutamine, three amino acids that fuse together to create glutathione molecules. Dr. Hyman calls glutathione the body’s “master detoxifier.” And people are beginning to hear that message. Glutathione was recently the most researched supplement online, with more than 800,000 searches on Amazon monthly.
What does glutathione do for us?
What glutathione does best is complete the body’s detoxification process to support healthy weight loss. And when we say complete, we mean it! Often, detox diets fail because they only do half the job: unlocking fat and toxins from a clogged liver. They don’t do the other crucial part: flushing those particles permanently out of our system. That means toxins resettle, keeping our body’s main fat-burning organ clogged.
That’s where glutathione is different. In essence, glutathione “handcuffs” oxidative particles (also known as free radicals) that trigger health problems and escorts them out of the body. How? The magic lies in glutathione’s sticky sulfur-like properties. Dr. Hyman says, “It acts like fly paper, and all the bad things in the body stick to it, including free radicals and toxins.” Dr. Hyman personally supplemented with glutathione to capture and remove heavy metals from his body that were making him ill. He concluded, “Glutathione plays an integral role in detoxing our systems and helping us lose weight and prevent disease.”
How powerful is glutathione as a weight-loss tool?
It’s very powerful, according to experts. “Boosting your body’s levels of glutathione is the best way to detox and lose weight — better than any seven-day cleanse, juice fast or diet,” says Nayan Patel, PharmD, author of The Glutathione Revolution. He adds, “This natural substance is far better at detoxing your body than any $90 cleanse kit on the market.” He sums up the issue this way: “More glutathione equals more fat burning.”
Indeed, Baylor College of Medicine research finds that increasing glutathione levels improves cellular fat burn by 104% and reduces liver fat by 63%. And in a Greek study, subjects with high glutathione lost 60% more weight than those with low levels.
Related: How to Prevent Fatty Liver Disease
Glutathione deficiency is rampant
We’re born with plenty of glutathione in our body. But those levels fall by half by age 50 and continue to dip with age. And only with enough of this molecule can the body function optimally. A pioneer in this area, Patel confirms, “The downturn in glutathione production as we grow older contributes to newfound pounds.”
Even when we have some glutathione in our system, it is quickly used up in our toxic world. Currently, our bodies face ever-increasing amounts of free radicals, thanks to stress, environmental pollution and processed food. Patel adds, “The greater the assault on your body, the greater the chance you will max out your glutathione stores.” And as our bodies get loaded down with toxins, it’s common for us to have symptoms such as fatigue, low immunity, brain fog and weight gain. (Worried about glutathione deficiency? Click to read how this nutrient benefits body and mind.)
The best way to boost your levels of glutathione
While the body makes its own glutathione, it can also absorb it through food and supplements. That’s why Patel created a two-week reboot plan, designed to “kick the body’s glutathione-making machinery into gear.” On it, rock-hard fat deposits that store toxins become soft as they break down and are flushed away. Patel’s test cases using glutathione with a doctor-supervised wellness plan shed 40 pounds in 12 weeks. Patel lost 22 pounds himself! Read on for his two-pronged approach:
Step 1: Eat foods rich in glutathione
“Food is the building block for our body’s glutathione-making machinery,” says Patel. Everyone’s toxic load is different, but Patel recommends enjoying a steady diet of glutathione-rich foods. Consider these delicious options:
- zucchini (36 mg. per cup)
- skin-on potatoes (22 mg. per large spud)
- asparagus (22 mg. per 5 spears)
- avocado ( 21 mg. per 1 small fruit)
- pork (19 mg. per 31⁄2 oz)
- spinach (11.4 mg. per 3 cups)
- winter squash (11 mg. per cup)
In addition to the foods above, you can eat fare rich in the glutathione building block cysteine, like…
- cod (259 mg. per 4 oz.)
- walnuts (345 mg. per 1 cup)
- eggs (278 mg. per 3 eggs)
- whey protein (21 mg. per 1 gram of protein)
(Visit our sister publication for more ways to get glutathione naturally.)
Step 2: Supplement with glutathione for weight loss
To get a steady dose of glutathione, women over 45 should also take a supplement. Unfortunately, many supplements are not absorbed properly. But recent research shows liposomal glutathione is more potent than traditional forms. Why? The molecule is encapsulated inside protective fatty lipids, preventing it from being devoured by digestive enzymes. Indeed, in a Penn State study, folks taking 500 mg. of liposomal glutathione increased their levels by 40% in two weeks.
The recommended daily dose varies based on toxin exposure, but experts suggest taking around 500 mg. daily for weight-loss purposes and 200 mg. for maintenance. Rest assured, glutathione is safe, so you can’t overdo it, says Patel.
Functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner Jennifer Woodward recommends Pharmaca Quicksilver Scientific Liposomal Glutathione (Buy on Amazon, $55 for 50 servings.) Two pumps of the liquid into your mouth delivers 200 mg. And Dr. Hyman trusts Tri-Fortify Orange Gel liposomal glutathione 450 mg. (Buy at DrHyman.com)
One word of caution: Some people experience fatigue or rash when starting glutathione. This is a sign that trapped toxins are being freed in the body. Those detox symptoms usually clear within a week or two.
For bonus anti-aging perks, choose a glutathione spray
For years, scientists tried to develop a topical (transdermal) form of glutathione, but the molecule was just too big to soak in. Now there’s a new patented technology, developed by Patel, that shrinks glutathione so it can pass through skin to repair cells, reducing oxidative stress and speeding weight loss. Women are raving that this form, available in the product GlutaRyl glutathione spray (Buy at AuroWellness.com, $119 for 1 oz). It’s designed to erase age spots and sun spots caused by free radicals and it can also deliver increased energy. To use: Spritz on skin four times and rub in.
One caveat on the spray: Due to the powerful sulfur molecules, the spray is sticky and has a strong odor, but the scent vanishes quickly.
Glutathione success story: Rebecca Wojno, 54
Feeling weak and achy, as if she’d had the flu every day for two years, Rebecca Wojno could barely lift her arms, let alone play with her grandkids. I keep going to doctors and
getting no answers, she lamented.
Rebecca had systemic yeast infections, leaky gut and a suspected sluggish liver. Her system was in desperate need of detoxing.
How Rebecca used glutathione for weight loss
So Rebecca finally turned to Mark Hyman, MD’s natural healing advice. She followed his detox diet from the book Food: What The Heck Should I Eat? It contained plenty of antioxidant-rich foods like avocado and spinach. Rebecca also supplemented with Pure Encapsulations liposomal glutathione. (Buy on Amazon, $62.80 for 30 capsules.) She recalls, “In just a few short days, I could feel the fatigue begin to lift. My rings fit better and my face was less puffy.” She shed nearly 10 pounds in those first 10 days. “I was surprised because I’d tried so many other ways and the scale did not budge. This was a miracle!”
After more than a year, Rebecca had her body composition tested and learned she’d melted off 70 pounds of fat and rebuilt lean muscle. She even lowered her Body Mass Index (BMI) 10 points—from 34.1 to 24.2. No more “muffin top.” Now, despite menopause and the pandemic, Rebecca continues to feel healthy and strong with her hobby of renovating homes. She adds, “I also provide day care for three of my grandchildren. There’s no way I could keep up with toddlers in the shape I’d been in!”
First For Women aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission. Questions? Reach us at email@example.com
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
For more ways to lose weight over 50, keep reading!