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Glutathione and Your Liver.

keywords:Liver Disease,Fatty Liver,glutathione,protecting the liver,liver function,functions of the liver

The liver regenerates itself and is an essential organ and without it, life is impossible. Unlike kidney dialysis to extend life, there is no liver dialysis.

Glutathione plays an important role in the liver. It greatly affects how the liver works and how well the liver functions for the body. 30% of the blood that is pumped throughout the body by the heart is sent to the liver. The liver needs this large amount of blood to function plus it's a processing plant—it clears out toxins, stores a lot of nutrients and wears a lot of different hats so to speak. 

Hepatocytes, liver cells, contain thousands of enzymes that perform many metabolic functions and carbohydrates-glucose metabolism is linked to proper liver functioning. Glutathione in the liver is a thousand times more abundant than any other part of your body.

The liver process good things and harmful things.

The liver also makes  bile which is a digestive enzyme used to break down fats. The metabolism of all fats, carbohydrates, and protein occur within the liver—this is one incredible function of the liver.

When there are excess carbohydrates in your diet, your liver converts the carbohydrates for storage in the adipose (fat) cells in the body which is called Lipogenesis. Upon demand the liver can convert the fat back into glucose.

The liver is also in charge of the sugar balance, (glucose—the vital energy for every cell) in the blood stream. The liver's job is to keep the level of glucose (the vital energy of the cells) constant as possible—exceptions noted for those with diabetes. The liver's job is to maintain blood sugar levels. When there's an abundance of sugar in the blood steam, the pancreas produces insulin which causes the liver to convert glucose from the blood stream into glycogen and when there's a shortage of blood sugar in the blood stream, the pancreas releases the glucagon hormone which causes the liver to convert stored glycogen back into glucose for the blood stream. Carbohydrate metabolism is directly related to liver functioning.

Likewise when there is excess protein, the liver converts the excess amino acids into fat and stores it like any other fat. Alternatively if you take in insufficient carbohydrates but plenty of protein, the liver can also convert the protein into glucose.

In each cell there are organelles containing hundreds of thousands or mitochondria depending on the function of the cell. The job of the mitochondria is to make ATP which is the energy of the cell. This is done by taking glucose and oxygen through a complex metabolic pathway to create ATP. However, this process also creates a lot of free radicals which is why it's necessary to have sufficient glutathione to quench the free radicals.

The metabolism, the storage and proper utilization of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are all done by the liver. 

The liver stores nutrients like A, B, E, K as well as vitamin B12 and certain minerals including Iron. The liver is in charge of the nutrient balance in the body, it actually determines on how much of each nutrient to store based on the nutrient levels in the rest of the body.  If the Iron level is too high though, it can actually cause damage to the liver.

Detoxifying the body is another process that the liver carries out for the body. The liver is directly responsible for drug metabolism which is actually detoxification. The liver treats any drug as a foreign substance which as far as it knows is not supposed to be there and will try to break it down. 

There are two phases in Detoxification, Phase 1 and Phase 2 which is for drugs, toxins, alcohol and so on.  During Phase 1, the glutathione is used to tie up the toxins which create more free radicals.

For phase two an additional amount of glutathione is required to deal with the free radials produced in Stage I of the process. If there's insufficient glutathione for Stage II you're left with very toxic free radicals that can do damage to your body.

Alcohol is a known substance that over time does real irreversible damage to the liver and this is primarily because of insufficient glutathione for Stage II of the detoxification process. .


 When you ingest too much alcohol and get a hangover, that is because Phase 2 of the detoxification process is sluggish—insufficient glutathione--and you are not able to get rid of all of the metabolic break down products of the alcohol.

The liver is the largest and heaviest organ in the body—about the size of a football. It can easily be damaged in an accident and because of the large supply of blood to the liver can easily become a life-threatening event. Overall, the liver serves as your body's engine, a pantry, a refinery, food processor, garbage disposal, your guardian angel, and so on.

A physician at Emory University writes, that the role of glutathione is to deal with oxidative stress in chronic liver disease. “Glutathione is the most important and ubiquitous (present everywhere) low molecular weight thiol compound (contains sulfur and can donate an electron to reduce free radicals). Glutathione is a key antioxidant and protectorant. Glutathione has multiple functions in the prevention and detoxification of chemicals and drugs while    decreased risks of toxicity and disease.

Glutathione works synergistically with other cellular antioxidants

A study from Italy with patients with fatty livers, viral hepatitis, and also alcoholism showed that when they gave them high doses of glutathione they improved their livers a lot faster.

There has been studies that Tylenol can actually cause liver problems

Clinical Doctorcology in 2009 with Tylenol overdose trying to figure out what should the recommendation be. People buy Tylenol for pain and fever reduction. Acetaminophen-people take that and could be overdosing on that.

Molecular aspects of medicine in February through April 2009 issue, looking at glutathione and liver disease hepatotoxicity in Southern California. Mitochondrial glutathione depletion induces increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species free radical exposure which impairs bio-energetics and promotes mitochondrial permeability transition poreoping which is critical for cell death.

Germany Journal in Sept 2009 in the largest urban area: The conclusion was that the study revealed that drug toxicity in Acetaminophen has replaced viral hepatitis as the single most cause of acute liver failure.

All of this is caused by people overdosing on Tylenol which has a good amount of Acetaminophen.

At the University of Louisville they took mice of 3 age groups--young, middle age and older mice--and they gave them a dose of Acetaminophen. After four hours they measured the livers of all 3 age groups of mice and they found that the glutathione levels where down 70-80% of normal. At 24 hours later in the young mice(3-6 months old) the glutathione was back 94%, in the middle aged mice(a year old) the glutathione was back 66%, the older mice(31 months old) was only 41% back to the normal. This was all done with a single dose of Acetaminophen.


Information taken from Dr. Daria's weekly calls at

Dr. Daria Davidson is a board certified medical doctor focusing on holistic medicine with 30 years of practice.

Richard Kuhns has been writing for the internet for over three years. He has shown thousands of individuals how to get healthy and stay healthy with his top selling cds at  Please go to to find out more about glutathione, receive a free bulletin re the health benefits of glutathione, and take advantage of a risk free two month trial offer.